In a recent article on Newsday, Mets beat writer Marc Carig cited a strong farm system that has improved tremendously this year to produce players that have on-field impacts. “When the Mets took the field for a series opener against the Cubs Tuesday night, the starting lineup included a pair of reinforcements from Las Vegas, outfielder Matt den Dekker and shortstop Wilmer Flores,” Carig cited.
However, I have a different viewpoint on this situation and I don’t believe it means I’m a pessimist, but rather just realistic.
When I think of a strong team, one that is playoff caliber, I see it as having a strong core, with an impactful rookie or two and other young players filling out the backup positions and bullpen. I have said this for the past few years now and it is something I firmly believe in.
The growth of young players on the Mets is negatively impacted by the amount of pressure that is on them. Besides David Wright, the past couple of years have featured young players at many spots in the everyday lineup. This year it is no different, besides for the acquisition of Curtis Granderson that helps redistribute some of the pressure off of these young players.
I’ve always believed that when ready rookies can come up and be successful, but it only helps if they don’t have all the pressure to make an instant impact on them. Lucas Duda, Ike Davis, and Travis d’Arnaud are three that come to mind. The pressure on for many of these young Mets players to produce as soon as they made it to the show seems much higher than it has to be. The problem is, the Mets have almost too many rookies and young players filling voids in their lineup when in reality, those players should probably still be honing their skills in Las Vegas.
They are called up to the big leagues and arrive with such enormous pressure on them to produce fast and furiously. And if they don’t? We all know how quickly the cheers will turn to jeers further compounding their development and of course the results.
Back to the point of Craig’s article which suggested the Mets are doing it right. I tend to agree with him, but the way the Mets handle their young players is awful, which comes down more often than not on Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson.
It’s been over 10 years since the Mets produced a David Wright or Jose Reyes, both of whom were considered superstars before the age of 26. I’d like to throw Matt Harvey into the mix as another potential superstar the Mets have produced, but in reality he was incredible for less than a full season and is now coming back from Tommy John surgery, so we will have to see how he performs next year.
Since Wright and Reyes, the Mets have not produced another star caliber offensive player unless you were to count former Met farmhand Carlos Gomez. After over a decade, it’s difficult to believe we haven’t had anyone in the system that had enough raw skill, high ceiling and perseverance to become that kind of player.
Or have we already seen such highly-skilled players make there way to the Mets, but none were ever set up for success as our executive editor Joe D. often points out? Are the Mets doing their due diligence in integrating our best offensive prospects once they reach the majors? Are the Mets promoting their continued development and ensuring a healthy learning curve and pathway to success? You be the judge.