Readers of my Met’s Minors column may have grown accustomed to me ignoring players who might be struggling in a given week.  For this reason you have heard a lot about: Matt Harvey, Wilmer Flores, Zack Wheeler, Travis Taijeron and Aderlin Rodriguez, but less about others.  Well I tend to go by the doctrine of, “If I don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

So it was with Jeurys Familia, Reese Havens, Michael Fulmer and Brandon Nimmo.  The four players all didn’t get their seasons started on the right foot.  A wise and venerable man once told me, “There is a reason they play a whole season.”  That has proven to be sage advice time and time again.  In this case… perhaps it means that I might have been counting a few players out too quickly.

Jeurys Familia: On the year, Jeurys Familia has: a 7 and 5 record and a 4.33 ERA.  In 95.2 innings he’s struck out a respectable 87 but also walked a regrettable 56.  These stats should not have anyone too excited.  Yet… since July 6th, Jeurys Familia has been a different pitcher entirely.

In the three games since July 6th, he’s pitched a total of 20.2 innings.  In that span he’s struck out 20 and only walked 4.  That is much more like the Familia who blew through two levels of the minors in 2011.  In the three most recent games his ERA has been a measly 0.87 and his WHIP a phenomenal 0.825.  What does this mean?

Well… hopefully it means that a flaw in Familia’s game has been discovered and corrected.  Hopefully it means that Familia is still on track to be a front-line starter.  What does it ACTUALLY mean?  He’s pitched three good games.  It’s not enough to get excited, but it is enough to have hope.

Reese Havens: Enough already, he’s always hurt and he’s done.  The Mets top 2B prospect is Wilmer Flores… MOVE ON!  Hold the phone.  The fans may have been a little over-eager to dump poor Reese and his sweeter than sugar swing from their radar.

He’s played 69 games this season and seems to be healthy… FINGERS CROSSED.  What bugs people is that trough those games he’s hit .231.  Look at the splits:

Before the All-Star Break: .217/.351/.353

After the All-Star Break: .333/.419/.630

Still not convinced?  Well… 7 games is hardly a sampling so how about we look at how his May Slashes: .127/.286/.177 compare to his June: .269/.364/.462 and July: .286/.412/.482.

Why do I think there are big things on the horizon?  Well… despite his poor start and .231 yearly batting average, Reese has still managed to hold a .743 OPS for the year.  That’s not too shabby.

Michael Fulmer: He’s a different case than the others.  Fulmer hasn’t been bad in 2012.  He’s got a 2.67 ERA… how bad could he have been?  Let’s say instead that his stock with me was hurt based on some questionable starts and some less than spotless peripherals.  81 innings pitched and only 72 strikeouts doesn’t sound to me like the mid-rotation pitcher people tell me he’ll become.  I mean… especially in pitcher friendly Savannah.  More troubling are the 30 walks and barely higher than 5 innings per start.

Word on the street is that Fulmer has turned a corner in development and his last start might prove it.  He threw 6 innings of 4 hit, 2 walk baseball while striking out 7.  THAT, is impressive to me.  He’s going to need to induce more ground balls in the future, but I think he’s still got the track for mid-rotation and perhaps I’ll be a little kinder in the weekly minor posts.

Brandon Nimmo: In June… Brandon Nimmo showed us that he could take a walk.  He walked 13 times and struck out only 10.  When he hit (he only had 8) it usually went for extra bases (3) but he didn’t look like a first round talent early on.  In July… Brandon Nimmo showed us he DOES have a bat.  He’s hit .265 in the month with 6 doubles 1 triple and 1 HR.  He’s still not tearing the cover off the ball but he’s making contact.  I’m not in the least disturbed that in July he has more K’s than B’s… HE SHOULD HAVE MORE K’s THAN B’s!!!  Do I think Brandon Nimmo is on a sweet tear?  YES!  He’s got 5 of his July extra base hits in the past 6 games.  He’s on track to get tortured for a season in Savannah… that’s what we wanted.

Don’t take my word for it, I’ve asked around…

Mack Ade, Mets Minor League Maven: I have always considered this season a big ‘upswing’ because I never expected the team to compete for even a wild card. There are raves about Nimmo, both with a bat in his hand and a controlled smile on his face. Fulmer is so ready for St. Lucie (he’s 19!!!) and Familia still needs some time to command the zone before going out next to chop shops.


8 comments on “Jeurys Familia may prove to be a second-half star

  • Brian Joura

    It would be great if Familia rediscovered his control. But I’m off the Havens bandwagon. I just hope Alderson doesn’t protect him in Rule 5 only to turn around and remove him from the roster like he did with Fernando Martinez.

    • 7train

      Brian I think it’s probable that Alderson waited to see if Fern was able to make it through a winter league season and how he looked before cutting him loose. He never did make it to the DWL. He was put on waivers right before Baxter was signed this off season because the decision was made that he wouldn’t contribute this year and you can’t wait forever. Ultimately his option years began too early because he was put on the 40 man roster a year or two before he had to be and rushed up the system. If he had been added in 2010 instead of 2009 Alderson would have had more flexibility with him plus LH hitting OFers are not in short supply in our system and Fern only hit GB’s against them anyway. 2B is a different deal. Tejada, Tovar and Havens could form a pretty damn good troika at MI for years to come and one extra year could make all the difference.

      • Brian Joura

        I have no idea what Alderson’s thought process was in regards to Martinez this off-season. However, if they were going to use 50-75 ABs from Winter Ball instead of the 1800+ he’s had here in the US — I’d say that was crazy.

        And there was no reason to judge his health on 25 Winter League games, either.

        Losing Martinez at this point was no great loss. But the way they did it we lost Martinez and Rhiner Cruz. Perhaps Cruz could have been a useful reliever to call up earlier this year. He was good his first two months for the Astros until Interleague games started.

        I’m not worried about losing Reese Havens at this point. My main fear is that they bungle the 40-man roster again and we end up losing Havens + (fill in the blank). To me, Havens is no more likely to play a big role in the majors than Satin or Lutz

        • 7train

          Havens has way more value than Lutz or Satin. Not even close. Adding Harvey this season makes it more likely we lose someone this off season as adding Edgin did.

          As for Fern, not all of those 1800 AB’s came after his injuries, most of them came before. Evaluating his chances after the injuries is an entirely different situation.

          I didn’t want to lose Cruz either but who should we have left off? Perhaps Puello I guess but even though he’s very far away his potential far and away out distances Cruz.

          Hard to believe we have produced so few relievers in the last 10 years. Heilman, Smith and Parnell. Hell most teams do that every other year.

  • 7train

    I’d consider giving Familia a taste this year. He’s already on the 40 man roster and it could provide a big spark for him going into the off season. Just tell him he has to throw strikes if he wants to stay in the game, no pussyfooting around.

    It would really be a shame to bump Havens off the 40 and lose him for nothing this off season. Someone would keep him in a backup utility PH role with the hope he could take 2B in a year or two and he just might. Wouldn’t shock me at all. At the least we should give him one more year and that’s why I’m against bringing up Harvey this year. Matt doesn’t have to be put on the 40 this off season so by putting him on it we’re going to have to cut bait with someone and that we could keep for one more year of development and you just never know. One thing we do know is we’re not talented enough to just give potential long term solutions away.

    It would be very Steve Phillips like to include Fulmer in a trade for a reliever, backup catcher or short term rental. ’nuff said.

    Nimmo must be forced fed LHP. I don’t care about the results, I care about the experience. Right now in 55 AB’s he has a 33% K rate and a 7% walk rate hitting .170/.278/.234 against them. Almost meaningless numbers considering the level and the sample but clearly room for improvement and that’s what the minors are all about. Improving on what you need to work on.

    Never let this kid sit against LHP and if he has a day off and a lefty comes in, PH him as soon as possible.

  • Stephen Basile

    Almost wrote a hype file bashing Familia, but couldn’t as he has been on such a roll lately he deserves praise instead of criticism. It’s also time to move Havens to Triple A and give him a little baptism by fire. He’s 26 years old, so it’s time to see what this kid has while freeing up an infield position in Bing for Flores. I’d like to see what he can do at 2nd base full time.

    • 7train


  • David Groveman

    I think 7Train covered all my counter-points.

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