Based upon my experience covering the Met Minor Leagues for over 10 years, I have never seen a prospect produce the offensive success that Peter Alonso. In 115 games he has hit 30 home runs between AA and AAA, managing a .285 batting average despite a considerable slump with the Las Vegas team. To make an already impressive resume more impressive, his control of the strike zone is above average, showing the ability to take a walk despite the strikeouts that come along with power hitting.
Were this almost any other team we’d be asking, “When will they bring up this 23 year old prospect?” Since this is the Mets we know, deep down, that they will hold that off as long as possible. Today, we look at why the Mets have not and may not bring up Alonso before the end of the 2018 season.
Nothing to Play For:
The Argument: The Mets are out of the playoff picture and have been out of the playoff picture for over two months, it seems. Winning games in 2018 does nothing to help the 2019 team or any other team we may have in the future. Shouldn’t the Mets be “Tanking” as teams in Football and Basketball seem to do? That way the team could get better draft picks.
The Truth: While winning in 2018 doesn’t help the team, experience for young players in 2018 does. If the Mets can give Brandon Nimmo, Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto and Peter Alonso experience this season it might pay off with dividends for the team in 2019. Otherwise you have Alonso making his big league debut with little idea how his transition to the majors will effect him.
The Argument: While Alonso is 23 years old, he hasn’t been with the Met system for an exceptionally long time. The Mets want to maximize the controllable (affordable) time that they have with each prospect by delaying their debut until it makes the maximum financial sense for the team.
The Truth: Sure, baseball is a business. Teams need to make money and they need to make decisions for their financial well being. This is why the Mets trade some players for lesser prospects as salary dumps, right? The problem here is that the team’s financial success is also tied to the team’s actual success and the team needs to stop letting accountants run the baseball side of the business.
Backlog at the Position:
The Argument: With Wilmer Flores still on the team and the Mets looking to trade him, with David Wright and Jay Bruce in rehab and with Yoenis Cespedes unlikely to play the outfield once he’s back, do the Mets need a first baseman? Wouldn’t it be better to trade Peter Alonso for a position of need, like catcher? At least, let the Mets trade Flores (again) before they promote another right-handed first baseman.
The Truth: The Flores argument is fine. If the Mets are looking to trade Wilmer Flores before they promote Alonso, that makes some sense. After all, Flores needs the playing time to showcase his talent so the Mets can attract a trade partner. The issue is that the Mets are likely thinking of their excess baggage veterans and the contracts each represent. Where to Wright and Bruce play when they finish their rehab? To that I answer, “Where their bats earn them playing time.”
Lack of Confidence in Our Prospects:
The Argument: Look at the lack of success stories among Met hitting prospects. Amed Rosario isn’t exactly lighting things up and Dominic Smith was a near complete wash-out. Need we bring up Alex Escobar and Lastings Milledge again? Can the Mets really expect any of their hitting prospects to translate well in the majors?
The Truth: Of course they can. While no team is going to see every prospect they groom ascend to the majors and become a star, the team will get their Michael Confortos, David Wrights and Jose Reyes success stories as well. As has been said, there isn’t much comparison for Met prospects to find someone who has hit as well as Alonso has this season.
Andres Gimenez may be on his way to AAA – With 24 successful AA games in the bag and season left to play it’s possible the Mets have him start 2019 in AAA. (Last 10 Games: .342 with 4 stolen bases)
Patrick Mazeika fans hoping for late season surge – It’s been a bad year for the hitting catcher prospect but he’s managed to keep his OPS in the realm of respectability. (Last 10 Games: .281 BA, 1 HR, 5 BB and 1 K)
Justin Dunn trying to end the season with an exclamation point – Looking at AAA for 2019, Dunn only wants to do what he can to make the Mets play closer attention to him in Spring Training. (Last Start: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB and 7 K)
Franklyn Kilome is looking like a star – He made two starts since last week’s post and both were really good. (Last 2 Starts: 12.2 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 4 BB and 17 K)
Jeremy Vasquez putting an end cap on a solid development season – Nothing but good things to say about the solid season for the Mets first base prospect. (Last 10 Games: .281 BA, 1 HR, 6 BB and 7 K)
Desmond Lindsay doing too little too late – The season has just about sailed but Lindsay wants to hang onto the Top 50 prospect list with his fingertips. (Last 10 Games: .342 BA, 1 HR, 4 BB but 12 K)
Two solid outings for David Peterson – His performance in Advanced A hasn’t been exceptional but he’s getting better. (Last 2 Starts: 11.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB and 14 K)
David Miranda shines after promotion – He’s got 10 games in Columbia on the year and he’s already 23 but his debut has been good. (Last 10 Games: .368 BA with 4 BB and 5 K)
Hansel Moreno going out big – He’s a promising infield prospect with good physical gifts and he’s making them felt in Columbia. (Last 10 Games: .311 BA, 2 HR, 6 SB but 16 K)
Luis Santana looks like a #1/#2 hitter – He’s got great contact and plate control with reasonable speed. He’s a long way from the majors but it’s a good skill set to have. (Last 10 Games: .357 BA, 1 HR, 2 BB, 6 K and 1 SB)
Jarred Kelenic is ending on a high note – He’s got his batting average back up and is striking out less. Expect him in Brooklyn or Columbia in 2019. (Last 10 Games: .317 BA)
Simeon Woods Richardson is an interesting new prospect – Coming to the Mets with some quality scouting and some potential baggage he’s been good for the GCL in his minor league debut. (Stats To Date: 5 G, 11.1 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 4 BB and 15 K)