Jonathan Mayo took an interesting question in a mailbag feature a week ago in which he discussed two of the Mets’ most prominent shortstop prospects.
The Mets have two shortstop prospects in short-season, Amed Rosario and Gavin Cecchini, who could be ready for Class A Savannah. Who do you see as the better prospect and how do you think the Mets will handle the two of them going forward?
Based on our rankings, the quick answer is Cecchini. The 2012 first-round pick is currently No. 8 on the Mets’ Top 20. Rosario began the year 20th on the list but dropped off through no fault of his own, but because the Mets added talent via the Draft and trade market.
It’s possible Rosario will end up as the better player or at least with more upside than Cecchini. The Dominican Republic native won’t turn 18 until next month but played well in his U.S. debut in the rookie-level Appalachian League. Cecchini, for his part, is a grizzled veteran at age 19, one who just finished his second summer of pro ball in the short-season New York-Penn League.
The conundrum Mike raises isn’t one that’s likely to surface anytime soon. After a solid turn with Brooklyn, Cecchini should move up to full-season Savannah in 2014. But there’s no rush for Rosario. He can spend a summer playing in Brooklyn, and it shouldn’t be surprising if the pair continue that way, with Cecchini a step ahead on the Mets’ ladder.
The Mets have expended a lot of resources in trying to find a replacement for Jose Reyes who signed with the Marlins after the 2011 season without an official offer from the Mets.
Sandy Alderson’s initial plan was to replace Reyes with then second baseman Ruben Tejada, but the move backfired defensively and eventually it caught up with him offensively as well. Tejada, 23, batted .202 with a .519 OPS in 57 games in 2013, and has lost favor both with Alderson and manager Terry Collins.
The Mets eventually gave the starting shortstop job to career journeyman Omar Quintanilla last season. The 32-year old batted .222 with a .559 OPS in 95 games with the Mets.
The Mets drafted two shortstops in 2011, Phillip Evans and Daniel Muno. A year later they selected Gavin Cecchini with the 12th overall pick in the draft. Two months later they would give Dominican shortstop Amed Rosario a record signing bonus for an International Free Agent.
Both Evans and Muno have struggled offensively, with Muno also serving out a 50 game suspension for PEDs. Cecchini played for the Cyclones last season and batted .273 with zero home runs and 14 RBI in 198 at-bats. Rosario batted .241 for Kingsport in 2013.
Alderson has repeatedly stated that he intends to address the shortstop position this offseason either by free agency or trade.