Ask Petey Part One: Mets 2012 Draft, Wheeler & Flores Timetable?

Mets Minor League Questions? Better Ask Petey.

When I came to, the pounding in my head started. Like a jack-hammer inside my skull, and my mouth felt as if it were stuffed with cotton socks. I could feel the cords cutting into my wrists, and my shoulders ached from having my arms wrenched behind my back for what had probably been hours, maybe even days.

There was some kind of burlap sack over my head keeping me from seeing my surroundings, and it smelled bad trying to breathe through the coarse, dirty material. I shook my head and heard someone say “he’s awake.” Someone else closer to me said “lets do this” and the burlap was ripped from my head. The light in the room was so bright that I had to shut my eyes tight but it was too late, I was blinded and it felt like there was hot sand in my eyes. I couldn’t even open them. And I felt like tossing my cookies.

I could sense there was someone right in front of me, close. I could smell onions and rancid breath in my face. I tried to head-butt him but he moved back out of reach. I twisted around hard and my arms strained against the ropes.

Tommy Gun:  Settle down Petey, don’t make this tougher than it has to be. We just want some answers that’s all.

Petey:  Who the hell are you, and what the heck do you want?

Tommy Gun:  Who we are is not important, what do we want? The truth. No more, no less.

Petey: Let me outta these ropes.

Tommy Gun:  When we’re sure you have told us what we want to know, we will let you go. You can go running back to the protection of your fancy-schmancy website, Back to your bunch of Sandy lovers!

Petey:  Hey wait a minute, I ain’t no Sandy lover.

Tommy Gun:  Save it for the morning grind Petey Pete. Now answer this question. Original?

Petey:  What question?

Tommy Gun:  Shut up! Go ahead Original.

Original Met Fan:  When will they promote Wheeler to AAA? You would think they must be considering it already. Is he being blocked because of a logjam or something? Also, Wilmer Flores is another player that should get a promotion. This is his second straight season in High-A, shouldn’t they be challenging him in AA?

Petey:  Original Met Fan? You’re in on this too? I thought we were friends.

Original Mets Fan:  Sorry Petey just answer the questions and we’ll let you go, no hard feelings.

Oh Petey I Could Talk Mets Minors With You All Night Long…..

Petey:  Jeez couldn’t you guys have just sent me a text or an email? This is a little extreme isn’t it?

Tommy Gun:  We tried tweeting but the damn questions were too long! Now answer, or your pathetic minor league blogging career is going to end right now!

Petey:  Okay take it easy man! Wheeler should get the call very soon, ok? Very soon. I look for the Mets to give him roughly 12 starts at Bingo before moving him up, and he just threw his 10th start last night. So give him two to four more starts, two to three weeks, and he’ll get that call up. The recent loss of Chris Schwinden on waivers, combined with the big league promotion of Jeremy Hefner, the recent shaky start by Dylan Owen, and the need for rotation help at AAA can be clearly seen. Wheeler will divide this year fairly evenly between Bingo and Buffalo, so he’s right on schedule as far as where the Mets want to see him. Next on the list for Wheeler is refining his off-speed pitches, and that should put him on time for a mid-season call-up to the Mets in 2013.

Tommy Gun:  And what about Flores? He asked you about Flores!

Petey:  Whoa chill out man, what is your problem? Flores is still a kid, he’s 20-years-old in a league, the FSL, where the average age is 22 to 23. He’s also still growing, having put on somewhere around 20-30 lbs in the last two years. And now his natural power is just beginning to emerge, and he’s driving the ball with authority for the first time in his career. And you want to move him up to AA now? The toughest jump in the minor league chain? From high-A to AA? What’s the rush? For one thing, Jefry Marte is the best offensive player at Binghamton right now, and he plays the same position as Flores. The Mets feel that third-base at AA is the perfect place for Marte to be right now, and they feel that high-A is the perfect place for Flores to develop his power and confidence. Flores will get moved up to AA sooner or later this season but it may not be until the end of the season, and that is not necessarily a bad thing for a guy his age. The most important thing for both him and Marte is that they play everyday.

Tommy Gun:  Your up next Ray. Give him your best shot.

Ray:  Hey Petey.

Petey:  Hey Ray.

Ray:  Do you think the Mets screwed up by not taking Courtney Hawkins? He was right there for the taking! What happened??

Petey:  Did they screwup? That’s what you want to know? Un-tie me right now, this is a bunch of bull!

Tommy Gun:  Not so fast smart guy, just tell us what you know about this Hawkins guy!

Petey:  Okay, okay, yeah they screwed up. They screwed up big-time! That Hawkins guy was one of two players that would have been absolutely perfect for the Mets. David Dahl didn’t make it to number 12, but Hawkins did! He fell right into our laps. But we were too stupid and full of ourselves to see it. Hawkins would have been great for us, a young, athletic, right-handed power bat to go with the modest collection we have acquired so far, consisting of Travis Taijeron, Aderlin Rodriguez and Wilmer Flores. Cecchini is a good player, and a good prospect, and the chances that Hawkins becomes a quality major league player are no greater than the chances that Cecchini does. But they will be very different kinds of players and I feel Hawkins has the higher ceiling, and the better chance at becoming an impact major league player for his team. Hawkins should have been gone when the Mets drafted and yet there he was. When they took Cecchini they reached for a player that might not have been taken until much later in the first round. That’s not taking the “best available player” not by any stretch. What it is is two things, drafting for need as opposed to taking the best talent, and drafting for sign-ability and cost effectiveness, as opposed to taking the best player available. These are both traits of a small-market team with no financial resources at their disposal. Something the Mets are not, and yet they continue to act like one. When the Mets say that money is not a negative factor in running the team right now, and that they will draft the best available players, they are lying to us.

Tommy Gun:  What do you think of your beloved Sandy now? Hahah! Do you still worship at his altar?

Petey:  What in the heck are you talking about? Are you some kind of nut?

Tommy Gun:  I’ll ask the questions, you just shut up!

Petey:  If I shut up I won’t be able to answer.

Tell Me More Petey……

Tommy Gun:  It appears power is down throughout entire Mets system! This passive philosophy could be killing the organization. What do you think?

Petey:  I don’t think a lack of power-hitting is going to kill any organization that has decent pitching, and athletic enough players to play good defense in it. I think the Mets need more power hitting, but the lack of it won’t seriously hamstring the organization. Remember two years ago we had practically no power pitchers in the system, now we have more than a dozen of them. All the organization has to do is identify power hitting as a weakness and to invest some high round draft picks into power hitters over the next several years. It is doable and there should be no long-term adverse effects from not going for the power this year, providing the gamble they placed on a high-school shortstop (Cecchini) pays off for the team down the road.

Met Maniac:  I was wondering what your thoughts were on the rest of the draft. I think they screwed up and like I told the others in the chat room I wanted to see what you thought.

Petey:  Maniac, you too? Look, my biggest problem with the Mets draft this year is that they severely reached on their first two picks. Like I said before they drafted for need, and ease of signing, rather than talent. That practice is the best way to destroy a farm system because you end up with a lot of low-ceiling talent with limited upside. It’s basically the opposite of what they did last year in taking Nimmo and Fulmer with their top two picks where those were based on talent and projection. Like I said before Cecchini was a reach made more out of desperation to fill a gaping hole in the system, than any smart baseball decision. The same can basically be said for their first-round sandwich pick, catcher Kevin Plawecki, who they drafted out of Purdue University with the 35th pick in the draft. Plawecki was indeed a reach at that spot but in fairness to the Mets, college catchers were at a premium in this years draft. With Mike Zunino gone at number three, and Stryker Trahan and Clint Coulter gone at 26 and 27, the Mets were panicking that a suitable catcher would no longer be there when they drafted next at 71, so they pounced on Plawecki even though it was perhaps a tad early.

Tommy Gun:  Well look Petey, this has been a real cozy little chat. Real nice and friendly. Just the way we like it right boys? Now our friend here Johnnie V is in from upstate visiting for the subway series with those Bronx bums this weekend. He came all this way and he has some more draft questions for you, and you better answer them straight to the core, with no monkey business. But right now we are going to Goodfella’s for a slice, and then on to the Bronx to take in the game.

Petey:  What the hell?

Tommy Gun:  You sit tight and we’ll be back to finish up with you later, Petey. Too bad your going to miss Santana tonite.

Petey:  Are you completely out of your mind?

Tommy Gun:  Metsie put our friend’s “hat” on for him, Bayonne check his ropes. Make sure they are nice and snug.

And with that the lights went out again, and just when I was able to get my eyes open a little bit too, I didn’t even get a look at any of these shifty characters.

Metsie:  What if he makes noise? Someone might hear him.

Tommy Gun:  He’s right. Hey Alex, make our friend go nighty-nite.

A minute later I felt a sting on my arm and a burn, and everything went black.

Will Petey make it through his ordeal alive?

Or will he be used by radical Mets fans and then left to sleep with the fishes?

Check back on MMO tomorrow to find out!

Ask Petey