Mets Minors: JC Gamboa among offseason league winners

Juan Carlos Gamboa – .270/.390/.444/.834 (28 Games) 11 Runs, 5 RBI, 3 2Bs and 1 HR: J.C. Gamboa will be 22 in 2013 and he hasn’t played above the SSA (though he’s played in the AAA Mexican League a few times.  He’s a smaller player who has good defense at 2B but he lacks the speed or power to be an impact in the big-leagues.  It’s a good bet that he’ll progress through the minors as a backup IF but he’s not a factor as a prospect… sorry.

Wilmer Flores – .272/.338/.410/.748 (52 Games) 23 Runs, 20 RBI, 10 2Bs, 1 3B, 5 HRs: Flores has had a good offseason and will look to flourish in the PCL and within the positive hitting atmosphere of Las Vegas.  The power and contact look to be in place, it’s 100% about his defense.  The only glimmer of hope that he stays a Met is that Daniel Murphy might get hurt and open a role for Flores.

Flores is developing a significant split:

  • Vs. Left: .347/.418/.551/.969 (K/AB: 0.163)
  • Vs. Right: .247/.311/.363/.674 (K/AB: 0.151)

Juan Lagares – .315/.377/.352/.729 (24 Games) 8 Runs, 6 RBI, 2 2Bs: The good news? Lagares hits the baseball and gets on base.  The bad news? Lagares plays the corner outfield and lacks both the impact speed and the power to legitimize a role on the team.  The truth is that he’s rounding into an okay option for a 4th or 5th OF on a team that wants a pinch hitter but doesn’t need that pinch hitter to slug a ton.

Dustin Lawley – .268/.286/.439/.725 (10 Games) 7 Runs, 9 RBI, 4 2Bs, 1 HR: Lawley is creeping his way into the radar as a legit prospect.  He’s going to be 24 and only hitting advanced A but at the same time he plays a few positions (such as the OF and 3B).  Averaging an OPS over .700 for his entire minor league career he is progressing to the point where he COULD eventually grow into a useful utility player.

Francisco Pena – .271/.314/.419/.733 (43 Games) 16 Runs, 21 RBI, 10 2Bs, 3 HRs: Pena fell off the radar a while ago because of a history not succeeding above the rookie league but his numbers in 43 games of winter ball are good and will at least make me open my eyes for the beginning of 2013 where Pena will be struggling in AA.  If Pena can continue to show this power then he might work his way back into relevance.  Also the power is nice to see.

Jordany Valdespin – .280/.402/.398/.800 (31 Games) 16 Runs, 7 RBI, 2 2Bs, 3 HRs, 18 BBs & 15 Ks: Valdespin hitting is not anything too impressive but it looks like he might have realized that if he learned to walk the Mets might need him to be the leadoff hitter.  Valdespin’s numbers should have you pretty excited. Though I temper that notion with his general lack of maturity and tendency to wear hats of opposing teams.  I’ll toss his name into both the outfield and bench races for Spring Training.  If he could also manage to learn CF I’d say that Kirk Nieuwenhuis should watch his back.

Cory Vaughn – .259/.388/.407/.795 (17 Games) 6 Runs, 7 RBI, 5 2Bs, 1 HR: I like Vaughn a lot and there is nothing in his 17 games to make me like him less but I want to see him be a little more consistent in 2013 or he’s going to have to do that.  I can live with a .260 hitter who hits 30 HRs as long as he doesn’t hit .150 for a month at some point in every season.

14 comments for “Mets Minors: JC Gamboa among offseason league winners

  1. David Groveman
    January 14, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Notice that no pitchers made the list. They either had too small a sample or didn’t perform to the levels I expected.

  2. January 14, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I would never hope to see a player get hurt so that someone else can have a shot at the majors. As much as I don’t like Daniel Murphy I don’t wish any ill will towards a Met or for that matter any professional athlete. If Wilmer Flores is deemed by Met management to be ready then let them decide who will bring more value in a trade.

    • David Groveman
      January 14, 2013 at 9:34 am

      I’m a Murphy fan but I just don’t see Flores getting the nod unless the Mets need to. (Turner, Havens and Satin might also need to not be viable options.) I think he’s just more valuable as a 3B prospect (in their eyes).

  3. January 14, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Nice to see Francisco Pena mentioned without the word “disappointing.”

    • David Groveman
      January 14, 2013 at 10:47 am

      Can’t find much disappointing in those numbers. He shows flashes of what he was thought to be but this season is very much his last chance.

  4. jerrygrote
    January 14, 2013 at 11:16 am

    … on Flores and splits: anyone know how many ABs that reflects? That is a *significant differential* … how many players in all of baseball manage close to a 300 point split and still can play?

    Makes him all but useless.

    • David Groveman
      January 14, 2013 at 11:56 am

      Don’t throw him in front of a bus just yet.

      49 ABs vs. Left
      146 ABs vs. Right

      Flores also generally faded towards the end of the winter leagues so his stats overall can be skewed.

  5. jerseymet
    January 14, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    There was talk that Turner was going to play some outfield in winter ball. Did that occur?

    • David Groveman
      January 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Turner played in 2 games but I get no defensive stats about it.

      • jerseymet
        January 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm

        Why so few games? Was he healthy? I look forward to his outfield adventure.

        • David Groveman
          January 14, 2013 at 2:31 pm

          No clue, he apparently was playing 3B too

  6. January 14, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    But wouldn’t you lose some bargaining strength if teams know that you will only use him at third base knowing that David Wright isn’t going anywhere soon? I mean second base is an option that the Mets need to look and see if he can handle it for at least a full season at AAA. It gives the team more flexibility for 2014.

    • David Groveman
      January 14, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      I talked with a relative expert on the minors and he assured me that the mets will only stand to gain potential value in Flores playing a position well. (The position being 3rd) The front office has clearly not given up on the idea of Flores playing second or he would be playing only 3rd base this year and we’ve heard that isn’t happening. Flores will split his time and has a small chance of becoming the Met second baseman of the future but he has to both hit well and field well. Stats are misleading for fielding so we will rely on watching him in Vegas.

      • Jerry Grote
        January 15, 2013 at 9:33 am

        Of course, it makes sense that his value increases in the trade market to concentrate on one spot. Then the buyer has more certainty as to what he is buying.

        That said, Flores biggest value to the Mets might be different. His flexibility (if they are going to keep him) in being able to go between 2B/3B adds to the ML team a great deal. Getting 2 WAR from your backup infielder is huge, especially if you can give him time to grow into a position.

        I think Mets fans – including myself – have to give up this idea that we are going to empty our cupboard to get a Stanton or an Upton. (And even if we would, we have no idea that Flores – the 10th best 3B prospect – is the sort of fodder that could bring ML talent to the team).

        More and more, I’m thinking that Flores is a valuable piece to building this team. The only problem I see in Flores is the defensive growth of Tejada. Its unlikely this team can afford to have two average-to-subpar middle infielders, with a lack of offense and a youthful pitching staff.

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