Jan. 8.10: Looking at the Mets’ prospects.

John Sickels, author of the 2010 Baseball Prospect Book, is high on Fernando Martinez and Jenrry Mejia, but lukewarm with John Niese.

Most scouts believe Mejia has the stuff to be a starter, but needs time in the minor leagues – maybe two more years – to refine his secondary pitches. The worst thing the Mets could do is to push the envelope with him, but that’s the fear, that they will rush him as they did Mike Pelfrey.

Sickels also believes Martinez is being regarded too harshly considering his age, but is concerned about his durability. The acquisition of Jason Bay makes it clear the Mets don’t believe Martinez is ready this year. Perhaps by the end of the year he may have put himself in position to help.

As far as Niese goes, if his hamstring is sound he could help the Mets this season, but Sickels doesn’t see much of a ceiling for him, calling him a “classic number three guy.’’

If you’re highest minor league level pitching prospect is a No. 3, that’s not encouraging.

25 thoughts on “Jan. 8.10: Looking at the Mets’ prospects.

  1. I don’t care.

    I would welcome a classic #3 guy on this team.

    Today we do not have one.

    As for FMart. He is not a high priority for me. The more I read about him, the more I do not believe the hype.

    I think he has talent, but he also has never played out a season. He does not have a gun for an arm. His defense needs work. He is not agressive on the bases and as with all young hitters still has a lot to learn.

    If he cannot play how can he learn? That is my biggest problem.

  2. Kyle Allen at 12 I think was compared to Mejia.

    I know Mejia has a fastball, but if he doesn’t have anything else he ain’t a starter.

    His comments on FMart are old. I have been reading the same ‘if he were healthy and could get more playing time..’ for 3 years now. Yes he is 20 or whatever, but really, why can’t he stay healthy?

  3. He is our closest to the Majors guy, not our “highest”. I will take a solid #3 myself thank you very much.

  4. (3) Yes — Niese is the “closest,” not the highest. Good catch.

    The “highest” is Mejia, whom Sickles describes as having the stuff to be a number-one starter, not just _a_ starter.

    Sickles also calls FMart an “elite” prospect but voices concerns that Ike Davis may end up being solid but unspectacular.

  5. Since when is a “number 3 starter potenial,” considered to be lukewarm? I’ll start calling it “Delcos being Delcos.”

  6. Speaking of prospects. Boston is getting the 22nd pick overall and a sandwich pick for losing type A free agent Billy Wagner to the Braves. Thanks Omar. We sure could have used those draft picks.

  7. Ray(6)

    That was my general impression when the trade was made. We get a career minor league guy instead of a pick that might help us in a year or two.

    Why did we have to make that trade? To save a million?

  8. On the Omar trade thread, he came out looking pretty good. Its moves like this that kills the Mets Its a good thing he kept Shef. I am sure we will get a real nice return for that smart move. I wish we had a real GM like epstien who knows a steal when he sees one.

  9. Its funny though, how many players woudl have done what Wagner did? I mean he turned down what probably would ahve been 10-12 million to setup the Red Sox for 7 million to close for the Braves. I am glad Wagner isn’t on this team anymore as I think he is poison in the clubhouse, but I am still surprised by that.

    Anyway, I agree though, bad deal by Omar, this always smelled like a Wilpon deal to me tho.

  10. (10) What were Omar’s options?

    a.) keep Wagner for the remainder of the season at a cost of an additional $3 million with an eye towards offering him arbitration

    b.) trading him and his contract for whatever dreck a contender is offering

    c.) trade him _and_ pick up a portion of the remaining salary with an eye towards getting something of value back in return

    Option A has many problems. For starters, you’re paying $3 million for Wagner to pitch on a team 20 games below .500. Then, you run the risk of him accepting arbitration at a cost of $10-12 million; if he doesn’t accept and signs elsewhere, then signing the compensatory draft pick will likely cost you about $2 million. So, this option will likely cost you somewhere between $5-12 million to pursue.

    To me, the choice was really between Option B and Option C. With Option B, though, you would essentially be paying $1-3 million for someone else’s b-level prospect — while surrendering something of value (Wagner) in the deal. Perhaps the Mets were thinking that b-level prospects should be cheaper than that.

    As for whether it was a Wilpon deal, I sensed that, too; but I also thought they were trying to do the right thing by Wagner, who didn’t fit into their future plans and has been in search of a ring. They should have done something similar with Sheffield.

  11. 11. Doing right by Wagner? how about doing right by the Mets and thier fans? Everybody knew that wagner wants the lefty save record. He wasnt taking arbitration or else why didnt he do it with the sox? We didnt even get a midlevel player back but a 26 year old career minor leaguer who wont even have a starters job in AAA ball. Your Fregosi argument was bad, this one is even worse IMO. This team needs infusion into its minor league system. This was a perfect opportunity to get two high draft picks. A couple of million dollars to sign draft picks? maybe that would be a better investment than what Wilpons spending now.

  12. furthermore, What was Omar thinking signing a middle aged closer without putting insurance on him. Another debacle by the idiotic mets front office.

  13. (12) Nothing wrong with the Fregosi argument. Go check out the 1971 Mets: They had the league’s best pitching staff and one of the worst offenses. For 1972, they brought in Staub and Fregosi, and were leading the entire NL before Staub got injured. So, according to the results-mean-everything theory, an NL pennant in 1972 would have made that trade a winner, right?

    As for Wagner, it would have cost them $3 million for the remainder of the season, as well as whatever it would cost to sign the picks — and that’s if he didn’t pull a Rafael Soriano and accept arbitration.

    Insurance? I thought Mo Vaughn’s contract was one of the last ones to carry insurance. My understanding is that policies have become so cost-prohibitive that they are few and far between these days.

  14. (13) Ray: There are two choices:

    1. They had to get rid of him because of the $$$ situation with the Mets

    2. Omar guessed wrong about him declining arbitration.

    S#$% happens.

  15. 14. How can you keep this argument up? Fregosi did little to contribute to the Mets offense in 72. Staub, who you say was no big deal was in fact a huge factor in the 72 mets offense until he got hurt. I am sure there is still insurance on players but once again congrats you can fight it out with steve in sc to be omars biggest boosters here. If there is no longer insurance show me where it is stated.

  16. 15. original, yes, shoot happens, always to the mets unfortunately. worst case wagner takes the arbitration and becomes a super set up man and insurace for frankie. stupid, stupid decision. Whats more importaant saving a few mil or restocking the freakin farm system. when our top guy is a kid who throws hard but cant find the strike zone I know where i would go with this.

  17. (16) Fregosi’s contributions to the ’72 team wouldn’t be _my_ argument; rather, that would be the argument of other blog posters who believe that GMs are judged solely on whether their trades help the team to win. So, by _that_ logic, a would-be pennant in ’72 would have made the Fregosi deal a resounding success, since Fregosi would have been part of that winning team. Aren’t results wonderful?

    My position, however, is that deals need to be evaluated both at the time of the deal and over the long term. By _my_ reasoning, the deal made sense at the time, as Fregosi looked to be a significant upgrade over Bob Aspromonte and Ryan was entirely expendable and showed little signs of maturing. (For context purposes, you should know that Oliver Perez had more wins at age of 24 than Ryan did.) And, of course, by _my_ reasoning, the deal was a failure over the long haul. Again: It made sense at the time, but didn’t work out for the long haul. That’s my position.

    Staub: Can you show me where I said he was “no big deal”? I don’t write most of my own material, but I’m pretty sure my position was that Singleton was the better player.

    Insurance: My typical rates are about $225 per hour. If you’re willing to agree to that, we can work out a payment method and then, if and when I find the citation for you, we can arrange for the exchange. I don’t have a PayPal account where I can receive money, but I could so, if that would work for you. Deal?

  18. (17) The worst-case scenario would be Wagner being a $10-million set-up man — and this would be in addition to the $3 million spent keeping him around for September 2009. So, figure $13 million for one year and one month. My guess is that there’d be no Jason Bay patrolling LF and hitting cleanup under those circumstances.

    As for the freakin farm system, Sickels’ report confirms what many have thought: While they’re thin in terms of depth, they’re pretty strong in their top 10. Moreover, Sickels notes a difficulty in evaluating the Mets system because of their propensity to sign underage Latin players and then rush them through the system in leagues that could be too challenging for their ages.

  19. James: Dead spot on about Wagner and poison in the clubhouse. Tiffany you, and not James should replace Horwitz. You can defend every horrible trade in the history of the Metsies.

  20. Harry Chiti, the voice of reason in a sea of trouble. Tiffany is just looking for a debate. thats the only thing I can figure. Once again Wags wants to be a closer. not taking the arb money. wants the record. Would have took red sox arb if thats what he wanted. everybody knows except tiffany and Omar it seems. Hope im not hurting any feelings. GMs are supposed to be able to read these things. Epstien obviously did.

  21. im glad that billy has moved on….the farm system is slowly beign built….needs to be done the right way from the bottom up

    i see the mets signing delgado…his bat will be nice but moving on and lettign others step up would be a smarter move i think…JD have u read that delgado is the “leader” of the clubhouse like i have..id rather let him walk and let beltran, reyes, wright do the talking

  22. (21) Wagner definitely wouldn’t have forced their hand by accepting arbitration….just ask Rafael Soriano and Frank Wren.

    By the way, why don’t you and Harry get a room?

  23. delcos since you are deleting again you might as well take out 23 too. cant let that stand without an answer.

  24. (24) But then, he would have to take out 21, too. Can’t let that stand without an answer, either.