Will Reese Havens Ultimately Seize 2B Job This Season?

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reported that Mets second base prospect Reese Havens at Mets camp today and revealed he underwent surgery eight weeks ago.

The procedure shaved an inch off a rib that was rubbing against another rib on his left side and also irritating the oblique. It was performed at Dr. James Andrews’ clinic in Birmingham, Ala., by colleague Dr. William Clancy. Havens called the issue “rib tip syndrome.”

Havens said that he began hitting last week that he is “finally starting to feel like a baseball player again” and that he expects to be ready to fully participate in spring training.

Before the end of last season, the Mets had actually tinkered with the idea of having Havens undergo back surgery, but in the end they opted for rest and rehab instead. This recent procedure was done to relieve the oblique pain that has caused Havens to miss more than three months of last season.

Havens was a 2008 first-round pick for the Mets and many scouts felt he had a higher upside than fellow first-rounder Ike Davis. Unfortunately for Havens, his career has been slowed by injuries, but there’s no question the talent is there and all he needs is a few consecutive healthy months to put it all together and possibly help the Mets at the major league level as soon as late this season.

In 2009, Havens hit ,247/.361/,422 with 14 HR and 52 RBI in 360 AB.

However in 2010, Havens only collected 125 ABs due to numerous injuries, but he did show significant improvement batting .312/.386/.592 with 9 HR and 19 RBI. If you were to project those numbers over a full season, we’re talking 35+ homeruns and 90+ RBI with a great slash line.

While the Mets head into spring training trying to figure out who their starting second baseman will be from a group that includes Justin Turner, Brad Emaus, Daniel Murphy and Chin-lung Hu, I think all of us can agree that the winner will be nothing more than a temporary solution and place-setting for Havens.

All things being equal, Havens is without question the top second baseman in the organization.

All that is left for him to do is to stay healthy and play up to his capabilities in Buffalo this season. If he can do that, he will eventually seize the second base job for the Mets at some point this season and give our team one of the most potent infields in baseball.

Enjoy this video of Reese Havens blasting a walk-off homerun for USC only days before the Mets drafted him with 22nd pick in the 2008 MLB Draft.

I seem to remember “You Dropped A Bomb On Me” being played at Shea Stadium for a few walk-off homeruns of our own. Or am I just delirious? Happy Valentines Day to all you lovers out there!