Zack Wheeler, Wilmer Flores, who’s next?

With Wilmer Flores making his much anticipated Major League debut on Tuesday, and Zack Wheeler already showcasing his talents over the past month and a half, Met fans can certainly look forward to the next big prospect the team will call up. But exactly who will that be? Let’s find out.

As if Mets fans needed another reminder that things change in an instant, Cesar Puello was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball as part of the Biogenesis scandal. We all knew his name was being tossed around but what wasn’t completely clear was if the 2013 Eastern League All Star would in fact be forced to sit out. With that being said, it’s safe to say Puello will not be the next guy.

With John Buck‘s wife due to have their third child any day now, Terry Collins has indicated that Travis d’Arnaud will be strongly considered as a call-up when Buck is to be placed on the paternity list. d’Arnaud, whose rehab tour from a broken foot in April is currently stationed in Binghamton, would only be brought up for the three games Buck would miss and then would be sent back down. Despite that, it would not only be a chance for Met fans to see their possible catcher of the future, but it would be an unbelievable opportunity for him to get a small sample of what it’s like to be in the show, so don’t be surprised if d’Arnaud’s name is called within the current week.

The Mets currently have three everyday outfielders in Juan Lagares, Eric Young, and Marlon Byrd. The two latter names being veterans are probably going to need some days off in September when playoff hopes are gone, so is it unreasonable to say they could call-up a prospect outfielder? Matt den Dekker is hitting .265 but that in part is due to a sub-par August. On a better note, though, he is hitting over .300 against righties and has come through in the majority of his opportunities with runners in scoring position recording 16 RBI in 32 AB. den Dekker, known for his innate ability to play defense, broke his wrist diving for a ball in Spring Training. A lefty-righty platoon of den Dekker and Juan Lagares in centerfield doesn’t sound all that bad as Lagares has also been known to flash the leather when needed most.

Does the next big name prospect called up have to come from Triple A? Absolutely not. Why not take a look at Wilfredo Tovar, Cory Vaughn, or Darrell Ceciliani? Even pitchers Cory Mazzoni, Darin Gorski, Jeff Walters, and the big fish Noah Syndergaard are worth a shot in September.

The Mets farm system looks promising, and only time will tell when they can make a difference in Queens.

14 comments for “Zack Wheeler, Wilmer Flores, who’s next?

  1. August 7, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I like the idea of looking at a lot of these guys, in theory, but in reality it’s not so simple. Many of them are not on the 40-man roster and, unless they are subject to the Rule 5 draft this offseason, there shouldn’t be a rush to add them just to get a two week look.

    Tovar is, so by all means get him up here. The rest? I’m not sure of the status of all of them and if they need to be added this offseason anyways. If they don’t have to be, though, it doesn’t make sense. Those spots will be critical to protecting other players, as well as having room for offseason additions.

    Seeing all of the young talent is something I want to see as well, but they need to do it intelligently to make sure they don’t put themselves behind the 8 ball in a few months.

  2. August 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    If you platoon Lagares you send the wrong message to him. He’s young and he continues to make strides so why would you try something just to accommodate someone who might not even be on the Mets 2014 opening day roster? This is not the time to experiment with the kids. The Mets still have to try and win games(especially at home).

    • August 7, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      But do the Mets truly have a everyday center fielder in the system?

      • Chris F
        August 7, 2013 at 12:39 pm

        Yes. Juan Lagares.

        • August 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm

          I disagree with anyone who thinks Lagares is actually the answer in CF. He reminds me an awful lot of an Endy Chavez type, meaning he’s a nice fourth/fifth outfielder and a defensive replacement, but there is no way he maintains this type of production.

          Keep in mind the numbers in the second half:
          .348 average based on a .431 BABIP and 7.7% line drive rate

          Small sample size or not, what he’s been showing is completely unrealistic. He’s probably a .260ish hitter with little power and a little bit of speed. That’s not a player we should be looking to build around.

          • Chris F
            August 7, 2013 at 12:55 pm

            Sure. Until that changes, I cant see a reason to move him or platoon him with a bunch of losers that cannot produce and are defensively worse.

            Lagares is a better CF than every person the Mets have trotted out there over the past years, including Angel Pagan. Sure, he’s hitting above what we might expect. So what? He’s gold glove caliber with a scary gun for an arm that is saving run after run. Of all the vacancies we have for position players, why on Earth take one of the best we presently have and make that a problem too?

            To wit:
            1B We have no answer there at all. As it stands we have 3 or 4 sub par options.
            2B We have an average guy here.
            SS We have no answer there at all.
            3B Done.
            C We have no clue if our only real option in d’Arnaud will work out.
            LF Who knows if EYJ is an every day guy (Id keep him out there to find out)
            CF Lagares
            RF Who knows. Clearly we need a power bat in a corner outfielder.

            Turning CF into another issue strikes me as missing the forest for the trees.

            • August 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm

              For the remainder of this season I would 100% agree with you. There’s no reason to move him off the spot. Long-term, however, we shouldn’t pencil him in as the “solution”.

              If he were hitting .240, I don’t think people would be arguing that.

              • Chris F
                August 7, 2013 at 1:48 pm

                At this point the only person on the team that is a lock in ’14 where he is would be Wright. Having said that, for the ’14 roster, I would not make CF the biggest problem to address. Until he produces Kirk or Den Dekker offense AND starts flubbing out in the grass I leave him be. Even with below average offense he’s still got plus glove tool, speed tool, plus arm tool—and Ill take it. I agree with Metsense, if he hits anywhere near NL average, CF is not a priority.

          • Jerry Grote
            August 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm

            Overall, his production is consistent with anything that he’s done in the minor leagues.

            I love it when people take a small sample size – like JL’s last 100 ABs – and say its unrealistic and then completely fail to mention that the first 100 ABs weren’t representative of his ability either.

            Overall, every other statistic line can be supported from his past … other than one, and that’s his strike out rate. This is the one thing he can improve on, and if he does then watch out. His upside is easily 10-15% better than what you are seeing right now. Easily.

            And what you have now, is the second best defensive CF in the NL playing better than average offensively.

            • August 7, 2013 at 3:37 pm

              But the amount he was underperforming earlier is not equal to the amount he is overperforming now. His current .353 BABIP would be tied for the 10th-best mark in team history.

              The biggest sample size we have for Lagares at one level is the .723 OPS in Double-A in 2012 in 547 PA. But there is no way that a .723 OPS in Double-A Binghamton is consistent with a .713 OPS in the majors. That .723 was the equivalent of a .547 OPS in the majors.

              Players develop and get better and it’s certainly possible that Lagares has done this and will continue to do that in the future. If that’s your argument — I have no problem with that.

              But it’s simply not true that what he’s doing now is no surprise.

              • Jerry Grote
                August 8, 2013 at 7:55 am

                When I go down the line on his numbers at Fangraphs, his ISO, his BABIP, his B% are all pretty consistent with what he’s done at the ML level over his last three stops.

                That’s what I’m looking at when I see there’s no surprises. The striking number there of course is his K rate.

                I don’t get to see him every day, so I deal in small samples but what I do see are hard hit balls, even the outs. All of the hits I’ve seen (well, not the other night) tend to be sure-fire hits.

                And the minor league numbers indicate he puts the ball where fielders can’t get to it. From 2009 to 2013, I’m guessing his BABIP was right around .340. My greater fear is that, in trying to make him more “selective”, they take the aggressiveness out of this swing that makes him effective as a hitter.

                At his age, for the amount of play he has at his position, he is a special player … the likes of which we haven’t developed in NY since Jose Reyes. I like where his game is taking us.

                • August 8, 2013 at 9:28 am

                  I have two comments:

                  1. You cannot assume a player’s BABIP in the minors will transfer directly over to the majors, especially when one of the stops you are looking at is Las Vegas.

                  2. Lagares has hit balls hard but you are missing/forgetting a bunch of bloops and seeing-eye singles. Those are the ones that are going to go away and why he won’t post a .350+ BABIP.

          • SL
            August 8, 2013 at 11:16 pm

            I tend to agree, but think we need to see first, the league adjst to him, and then if he can adjust.
            I’m surprised the scouts have yet to see what is pretty clear. He can’t catch up to hard stuff up and in, and doesn’t have the power to scare anyone there anyway. I would think we’d see that more and more later in the season.

            Frankly, I still think Kirk N is a better option, but he also needs on full season somewhere, anywhere, with 600 AB’s to see what he is. But of all the prospects I’ve seen, he has the shortest swing with the most pop, and combines it with good range in the OF.

  3. Metsense
    August 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    The next call should be Travis d’Arnaud. Every day that he can pick Buck’s brains is a plus. Buck, in all likelihood will not be here next year. The next small group should be the September call ups after the minor league playoffs, unless there is another injury. That should be limited to a few of the current 40 man roster players. The Mets can add two to the 40 man roster with the Puello/JV suspensions.
    The 2013 average NL CF offensively has a .323/.329/.719 line Lagares has a .303/.411/.713 line and is trending upwards. He also has plus defensive skills. As long as he hits at the NL average and gives plus defense, I would consider CF not a priority to upgrade, especially when there are more glaring 2014 holes.

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