Mets’ RHP Joel Carreno Could Be A Steal

joel-carreno-350x277With Baseball America’s recent release of their Minor League Free Agent tracker, some of the skilled minds behind their minor league coverage decided to weigh in on the free agents whom they find most intriguing.

In case you weren’t aware, first-round picks from the 2007 draft who are not currently on any teams’ 40-man roster will be eligible for minor league free agency for the first time this offseason.

Carreno, who was signed by the Mets last week, was 6-3 with a 2.43 ERA in 50 relief outings in both Double and Triple-A ball.

With his very first mention, Ben Badler describes why the Mets recent acquisition was such a smart choice:

The Mets quickly snapped up righthander Joel Carreno, who could be one of the steals (a relative term, of course) of the minor league free agent class.

Carreno, who turns 27 in March, throws in the low 90s with a curveball that can help him miss bats, something he did more of in 2013 than ever before, perhaps in part because the Blue Jays made him a full-time reliever for the first time in his career.

After striking out 25 percent of batters in his minor league career, Carreno’s strikeout rate jumped to 34 percent last year between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo with a 2.43 composite ERA.

Now he’s pitching well for Escogido in the Dominican League. The Red Sox just paid $4 million for 27-year-old Cuban righthander Dalier Hinojosa, who might not even be as good as Carreno.

The Dominican native has spent time in the majors before. Between 2011-12 he was 1-2 with a 4.06 ERA in 22 appearances for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Also on the list is center fielder Adron Chambers, shortstop Juan Diaz and reliever Santo Manzanillo.