An MMO Fan Shot by Derek Murphy
While the Mets have continued to struggle as a MLB franchise the minor league team has begun to flourish. The minor league teams have begun to get recognized for their improvement. Many experts have ranked them in the teens. This is much higher than just a few years ago. There is no doubt that they have a lot of high end talent. The question then becomes how much do they have in relation to other teams. Many experts believe the Astros have the best farm system and that’s becoming impossible to argue. That is something I’m in agreement on.
Ranking farm systems is very tough because they have so many moving parts. Looking at a Team’s winning percentage is a helpful tool but certainly not the end all be all. Teams fill out rosters with veterans and sometimes a guy could hit 30 homers and have an impact on their record but not be part of the future. For the most part you can derive if a team’s farm system is good or awful. Looking back on last season you’d have to call it a success for the Mets. While experts have it ranked in the teens nobody will actually know for years to come. My personal opinion is that the Mets have a top 10 farm system. This I believe is backed up by the amount of wins and losses as well as the number of players the team will graduate annually.
The amount of premier prospects the Mets have has also risen. Past years have provided us with little hope to help the major league roster. Those days are behind us this is a new generation. The Mets have capable players throughout the system and are also now producing some blue chip prospects. This should be a very exciting time for Met fans. They went out and had some big free agent signings and are not done reshaping the roster. However, the biggest impact will be felt through players already in the system. Often time’s people get caught up in what was lost and what was gained and not growth. Having so many young players on the team will make growth the primary cause of improvement.
Catcher Travis d’Arnaud, will still be a rookie in 2014, while he didn’t have the most successful debut he should not be discounted. Baseball America’s top 100 list in 2012 featured Travis at number 17. Travis has had plenty of ups and downs since then but will bounce back. He suffered a couple of freak injuries which have hurt his progression. He has hit everywhere and the biggest question was if he would stick at the position. Last season he showed he could handle the receiving duty’s. That being said I’m sure his bat will come around this season and he has a chance to be special. He’s starting the season as the everyday catcher which will take a lot of the pressure off. Provided he’s poised to have a breakout season like I believe he is there is no reason he can’t be a ROY candidate.
The way things stand right now we have exactly 5 starters. Having only 5 starters is dangerous as teams rarely make it through the season with the rotation in tack. SA has come around from his stance last season that Rafael Montero or Noah Syndergaard would not make the rotation. Jenrry Mejia also will be on an innings restriction that leaves little room for error. Provided a rotation spot is seized by either Montero or Syndergaard and they were to pitch 20 to 25 games couldn’t one of them win ROY? Syndergaard is a Harvey-esque type of prospect and if Harvey or Wheeler had pitched a full season as a rookie maybe they would have won ROY. Similarly with Bobby Parnell‘s health up in the air right now is there anyone who thinks Vic Black wouldn’t close in his absence? Having the closer’s job from day one could be very beneficial and Black could seize the opportunity. He could be a very dark horse candidate.
The Mets consider contract years with rookies and that keeps lots of players from being promoted earlier. They have some excellent prospects getting ready to graduate to the Mets. How they will be handled is due in large part to cash restrictions. There’s nothing we can do about that. However, now that the team will be better it’s hard to justify not having the best guys on the roster. With that in mind I’m hoping some players seize the opportunity and win jobs in spring training. This could provide us with an excellent chance of celebrating having a ROY. This year’s graduating class could feature D’Arnaud, Montero, Syndergaard, Cesar Puello, Black & Jeff Walters. This may be the most talented class the Mets have ever graduated in one season. Many Met fans are upset they are not spending as much as other teams. Those fans I’d tell pretend that our rookie graduates were free agents. When all is said and done at seasons end the Mets could have easily added through free agency & graduates the most talent.
* * * * * * * *
This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader Derek Murphy. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.