My first post on Terry Collins was fun. It generated a bunch of intelligent comments and, if one chooses to read them in the order they were written, we created a wonderful read on both the Mets and TC.
My past administrator blog role prevented me from developing relationships with readers that commented and being freed from that here is a Godsend. I was never a great blog administrator. But I am a decent Mets writer and I can now concentrate 100% on that here and the other sites I write for.
Also, don’t be afraid to email me suggestions for topics here. My email address remains: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re going to get back to writing about the organizational flaws of this team later in September, but for now, I want to take a look at the current team being put on the team by the Mets front office.
We’re limited here. We’re building a team without any future free agency signings or trades. There will be additional names here someday, though I don’t expect anyone in the Adrian Gonzalez range.
The point of this exercise is to show you where the organization stands now, it’s strengths and weaknesses, and whether or not you are going to put $500+ in the pockets of the Wilpons every time you decide to go to the unpaid stadium and root for this team. (hint – don’t).
1B – I’m going to go out on a limb here (sic). My guess is Ike Davis will be the New York Mets first baseman for years to come. Let’s face it, 24/70 isn’t chopped liver in a bad season that started with an exotic fever that could kill you. There is excellent emergency and secondary depth here. First base is Lucas Duda’s natural position and ex-first round draft pick Alan Dykstra will settle into AAA next season awaiting that ominous 911 call. In addition, look for Eric Campbell to possibly come out of ST as one the 25-man utility players. Campbell plays first, third base, and both corner positions.
2B – Why do we spend so much time beating up a .280+ hitter? Couldn’t the New York Mets do a lot worse than, on a bad day, the 50th top hitter in the league? Daniel Murphy is actually capable of doing much better than this and, since we’re talking bargain basement here, he’ll be back in 2013. I guess Reese Havens will be promoted to Buffalo if for no other reason than he has to make room for the emerging Danny Muno. That’s about it for second base in the organization and this continues to be a weak point since Fonzie took off his Mets uniform for the last time.
SS – Ruben Tejada would get my vote this year for team MVP. This kid has single handed created an entire season of not one single ‘bring back Jose’ story from the beat dudes. Actually, there is also some depth here. Defensive specialist Wilfredo Tovar is doing pretty damn good with a bat in his hand, and prospects Phillip Evans and Gavin Cecchini offer help come 2015 if Tejada was to stumble (I still can’t get myself around drafting Gavin in the first round). Like first base, there is no problem here.
3B – When it comes to David Wright, all I can do at this point is assume. I know he will be back in 2013, but, in my gut, I know it will be his last year as a Met (future column). For now, he’s penciled in here, and will be replaced in 2014 by a 21-year old with a 305/.353/.481/.833, 17-HR, 72-RBI stat line. Wilmer Flores may not make Mets fans forget about Wright, but we said the same thing about Tejada and Jose Reyes. And then there is Aderlin Rodriguez, who will always stumble in the infield while, at the same time, be one of the top home run hitters at whatever level he plays. I need help here. I simply have no idea what to do with this guy.
C – For now, Kelly Thole looks to be the 2013 catcher, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Shoppach takes over the lion share of the assignments. Everybody should give Josh a gold star for reaching a level he was never projected to make, but he simply doesn’t have the superior skills (both offensively and defensively) to command a starting job in major league baseball. Sorry Josh. You know I was your biggest fan.
The system doesn’t offer any help for a while. Matt Den Dekker might be ready by September 2013, Cory Vaughn, Alonzo Harris, and Cesar Puello should offer some relief in 2014, and Darrell Cecilliani, Gilbert Gomez and Eudy Pena could mature in 2015. None will someday go to the HOF unless they buy a ticket.
The wild card is Brandon Nimmo, who is showing the poise, character, and talent to get on the Mike Trout–Bryce Harper fast track team. The Mets desperately need a star, every day outfielder and Brandon May be the only name I listed in this paragraph that could achieve that.
LF – Folks, he’s back. I don’t care if you come up with a hundred reasons not to play Jason Bay in 2013, the Mets can come up with 18,125,000 reasons that have to. It will be our luck that he has a great spring, but don’t expect much here. He will represent one of the last members of a past administration that had trouble making decent deals past the Johan Santana gem.
CF – Base on the premise of this post, I’m giving CF back to Kirk Nieuwenhuis in 2013. Den dekker actually plays a better field, but Kirk’s bat could earn him a long stay in Queens. Now, all that has to happen is one of them stay healthy.
RF – Also based on the same CF post, Lucas Duda gets his last shot here. I still think he’s Dave Kingman revisited, but we’ll see.
Utility – For now, that will be Mike Baxter. Sandy Alderson will sign a couple of $1mil per year free agents to hopefully strike more than the fool’s gold he bought for the 2012 bullpen.
Summation – This is not a great 8-man field team. It barely is good one. It’s another .500 team fighting it out to be .525. All it needs is a star catcher, second baseman, and two OFs and we’re holding at least three World Series games. But, it’s simply not going to happen under the fiscal woes of the ownership.
One ray of sunshine. Everything would change if these guys were attached to a great pitching staff, but that’s a future column.