Mets Minors: David Roseboom and other prospects to watch this Spring

With position players set to arrive in Port St. Lucie at the end of the week and the 2017 season set to launch, we’re going to take a look at some of the minor leaguers who will be part of the big league camp. Players like David Roseboom, Dominic Smith, Phillip Evans, P.J. Conlon and Travis Taijeron are intriguing names to follow as their spring training performances could earn them time in Queens during the 2017 season.

David RoseboomDavid Roseboom, RP: Before the Mets brought back Jerry Blevins, Roseboom seemed more and more likely to have a role on the 2017 Mets. Still, the lefty reliever has been good in the minors and will get a chance to show how his stuff plays against the players in the pros. Roseboom is also likely to fall victim to the numbers game but he’s got a chance to solidify his role should the Mets need a lefty reliever to come up. His overall numbers were very good last year and against lefties, in 89 PA he held them to a .430 OPS in Double-A.

Dominic Smith, 1B: While the world expects Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores to be the everyday starting platoon at first, Smith is an interesting player to watch. Duda’s struggles both at the plate and with his health have created doubt as to if he can still be counted on as a middle of the order hitter. Flores, on the other hand, is a pure lefty smasher whose future is likely still tied to him being a pinch hitter and backup infielder. Smith appears to be the future first baseman of the franchise and this spring he can show it. If he can display some of the contact oriented magic he’s shown in the minors and outplays Duda, it’ll be hard for the Mets to keep him in Vegas for long.

Phillip Evans, IF: The Mets have Matt Reynolds and T.J. Rivera and don’t need Evans in the majors but Evans will get the chance to show his defensive and offensive merits, nonetheless. He’ll never be a starting player but he might be attractive trade bait for a team interested in a versatile bench player who can field multiple positions.

P.J. Conlon, SP: Don’t get too excited about Conlon just yet. He’s got a snowball’s chance in Hell of making it to the show to start the year but the Mets will be testing him as another emergency starter behind Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. Conlon appears to be a pretty solid inning eater and his future does still look to land him in the majors but he’s got to work his way past a few names in the depth chart first.

Travis Taijeron, OF: I have repeatedly pointed out that Taijeron is a flawed prospect. He’s got power and can hit but he strikes out too often and will never be more than a power bat off the bench. The problem with Taijeron seems to be that he actually struggles to hit lefties. With the number of left-handed hitters on the Mets roster it’s possible that he can distinguish himself as an outfield version of Flores but his statistical history is against that happening.

7 comments for “Mets Minors: David Roseboom and other prospects to watch this Spring

  1. Jimmy P
    February 13, 2017 at 10:58 am

    On Taijeron, in a way he’s a victim of the 12-man staff compared to the old 10-man versions. There used to be room for role players with highly specific skills on the offensive side. The speed guy, the power bat on the bench. But with only 13 position players, including a backup catcher that managers are too fearful to use, flexibility is king. The specialists have been replaced by the generalists. And Joe McEwing is king.

    Interestingly, baseball has shifted the specialists to the pitching side with the loogy.

    I’d love to see a team go against the grain and reverse the trend. It might provide a competitive advantage.

    On Evans: I don’t think he’s a trade chip. Every team has their own guys who will at best be utility players. You don’t trade for those guys. Ever.

    • David Groveman
      February 13, 2017 at 11:10 am

      Chip is the wrong word. Trade Piece is likely a better one. I could see Phillips getting packaged with Bruce or Lagares if a team has a need.

  2. February 13, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Phillip Evans – the poor man’s Matt Reynolds

    • David Groveman
      February 13, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Matt Reynolds – the poor man’s T.J. Rivera

    • Jimmy P
      February 13, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      I was initially interested in Evans, who was drafted and signed for good money over-slot. And it’s nice that he had a good year in AA. Doesn’t seem like anyone thinks he’s a ML shortstop, so that makes him 2B only.

      Flores, Cecchini, Rivera, Reynolds, Evans, Mazzilli, and any number of semi-promising guys lower in the system.

      The Mets looked at all that and decided to make Neil Walker the second-highest paid 2B in baseball.

      It’s not easy to make it to the MLB.

      Sometimes when rushed or unthinking or just in a bad mood, I may make some harsh assessments, say cruel things, but I feel for these young men. Like that great title of Roger Kahn’s book on minor league baseball, “Good Enough to Dream.”

      • February 13, 2017 at 4:20 pm

        Surely after reading this blog for years, you can rattle off the names of quite a few guys that I’ve championed from the minor league system to get a shot. Guys like Chris Carter, Darin Gorski, Matt den Dekker and T.J. Rivera, to name a few. In general, I think teams put too much faith in the veteran-ness of guys from other teams and I’d rather give a homegrown guy a shot then go dumpster diving for some reclamation project from somewhere else.

        Evans is going to Triple-A this year and as Ty Kelly and Matt Reynolds and T.J. Rivera showed just last year – you get to Triple-A and deliver, you can get your shot. He’s been steadily promoted through the minor league system, despite not doing anything worthwhile before last year.

        Feel for these young men? Sure, if they’re getting the short end of the stick but not just because they’ve chosen a path in life that’s difficult. That’s on them. They’ve chosen a path of ultra-high risk with the potential of great reward. They play just one day in the majors and they get lifetime healthcare coverage. They play 43 games in the majors they get a minimum $34,000 annual pension plan. Matt Reynolds played 47 games last year in the majors. He also got a $525,000 signing bonus. The guy should be set for life.

        If Evans puts up numbers in Triple-A and somehow doesn’t get a shot – then I’ll feel for him. But not yet.

  3. Mets Maven
    February 17, 2017 at 10:13 am

    I hadn’t even heard of Phillip Evans until now. He showed nothing on offense until this year. All of a sudden he sported a 335/374/859 slash line, just a notch lower than top prospect Amed Rosario. Did he figure something out? Maybe everyone is writing him off too quickly due to his pre-2016 performance.

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