June 9, 2007
Home Grown Mets
by: cp on Jun 9, 2007 11:03 AM | Filed under: Journals

Seaver, Straw, Doc.

All very different but each a supremely gifted player grown in our own Mets farm system. Despite none having wore orange & blue for their entire career, they remain part of the essence of the club because they came of baseball age wearing our uniform and gave us many timeless and unforgettable memories.

The emergence of Wright and Reyes, yesterday’s draft and a host of high ceiling minor leaguers make it only natural to have visions of home grown rotations & outfields dancing in our heads.

With this in mind it seemed like it might be fun to see how the Mets would fare if they built today’s roster solely from home grown talent that was either originally drafted or signed by the club.

It’s not something we’d ever really want to do, after all can you imagine having missed the artistry of Pedro & El Duque, the grace of Beltran, the grit of Cliff Floyd & the majestic blasts of Delgado? I can’t and that’s just the last 3 seasons.

This is meant in the spirit of a fun “what if?” and is in no way a prescription for how to build a club. It can also be a crude measuring stick of sorts for our player development approach of the last 15 years.

I’m sure I missed several players – I’ll keep looking – and welcome your additions. After looking at this lineup I sure hope so.

The “Homegrown Mets” greatest strength would be their starting infield though with the guys I found you need to move Ty Wigginton back to his original spot at 2nd base. Names in italics of course are current Mets.

3B David Wright
SS Jose Reyes

2B Ty Wigginton 246/286/429 11/32 17th round
1B Mike Jacobs 281/355/490 4/14 (96 AB) 38th round

Behind the plate we’d field a weak 3-headed platoon with Phillips doubling as a backup 1Ber.

Jason Phillips241/311/324 1/11 HR/RBI – 24th round
Vance Wilson – 44th round
Jesus Flores

The Achilles heel outfield would feature a rotation of mediocre 4th outfielders & unproven high ceiling prospects. A quick Milledge return and growth by Carlos Gomez could transform it into a strength.

Jay Payton 288/327/377, 1/20 HR/rbi 146 ABs– 1st round
Preston Wilson 219/265/313, 1/5 HR/rbi in 64 ABs
Angel Pagan 298/365/532, 2/5 HR/rbi 47 ABs
Jason Tyner 255/300/314 (06 – 312/345/353 in 218 Abs)
Carlos Gomez
DL Lastings Milledg

The starting rotation would open with two legit power arms who’ve yet to establish themselves as shutdown aces but is two arms short – who am I missing? Our skipper would also have to drag Lenny DiNardo in from the bullpen & grab Bob Keppel off the waiver wire unless you’re ready to hand jobs to Pelfrey & Humber or re-ignite the “Heilman to the rotation” debate. You could also call up Yusi Petit who had a solid spot start earlier in the season before being returned to AAA.

Scott Kazmir 3.92, 1.49 WHIP, .259 BAA, 38/75 bb/k in 78 ip – 1st rounder
A.J. Burnett 4.01, 1.23 WHIP, .213 BAA, 38/96 bb/k in 85ip – 8th round
Brian Bannister 3.33 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, .233 BAA, 48 ip/8 starts – 7th rounder
Lenny DiNardo 1.45, 1.06, .200 BAA 31 appearances/2 starts – 3rd round
Bob Keppel 11.25 4ip, Designated for Assignment 4/30 -1st rounder

The bullpen has the potential to be championship caliber if Heath Bell can maintain his early dominance. It’s shy one lefty should DiNardo join the rotation

Jason Isringhausen 14 saves, 1.50 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, .146 BAA – 44th round
Aaron Heilman – 1st round
Joe Smith – 3rd round

Heath Bell 1.06, 0.79 WHIP, .175 BAA, 7/38 bb/k 34ip
Octavio Dotel 4.50 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, .217 BAA in 6ip since returning from DL
Matt Lindstrom 4.26 1.42 WHIP .266 BAA – 10th round
Billy Traber (LHP) 1.50 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, .283 BAA 12ip/10 appearances 1st rounder

I was pretty much completely unable to build a bench without dipping into the minors – and even then . . .

Justin Huber AAA
Chris Basak AAA
Alex Escobar on the DL

So, could you construct a major league batting order out of this group? Well – you could try:

Jose Reyes – SS
Jay Payton – RF
David Wright – 3B
Mike Jacobs – 1B
Ty Wigginton – 2B
Angel Pagan/Carlos Gomez – CF
Preston Wilson/Jason Tyner – LF
Jason Phillips – C

Yikes! Though getting Milledge off the DL could make it kind of interesting. But the weak starting pitching & lack of a bench would be hard-pressed to keep this club competitive.

Well – here’s to hoping Gomez, Lastings, Fernando, Stewart, Humber, Pelfrey and the rest develop quickly enough that in two years we could do this same exercise and see a championship caliber club.

UPDATE: Forgot Kaz Matsui! Guess I’m not alone in having wiped him from my memory . . . Might be Coors Field factor but he’s hitting 324/355/480 w/11 xbhits & 11-12 steals in only 102 ABs.

And for garbage time another forgotten Met is Jae Seo.

Would you start him at 2B and have Wiggy PH or try LF? A new batting order might then be:

Jose Reyes – SS
Kaz Matsui – 2B
David Wright – 3B
Mike Jacobs – 1B
Jay Payton – RF
Angel Pagan/Carlos Gomez – CF
Preston Wilson/Jason Tyner/Ty Wigginton – LF
Jason Phillips – C


9 Responses to “Home Grown Mets”

  1. Comment posted by Woodman on June 9, 2007 at 11:24 am (#371616)

    Well done cp, you forgot a few:

    Jeff Keppinger 2b for KC last I heard.
    Victor Diaz hitting HR’s for Texas in the OF.

  2. Comment posted by littlefallsmets on June 9, 2007 at 12:28 pm (#371627)

    I don’t think we’re too far off from a day where…

    1. Reyes SS
    2. Gomez OF
    3. Wright 3B
    4. Jacobs 1B
    5. Milledge OF

    …would be considered a really good hitting top of the order.

    Diaz would be an acceptable 3rd OF in that line-up if he hadn’t originally started in the Dodgers system. Keppinger will probably be a starting infielder somewhere eventually but he started out drafted by the Pirates.

    The whole idea of the 6-7-8 of your order being Payton in the 3rd OF slot, Wigginton at 2nd and… I GUESS Phillips at catcher… yeah, that, not so much. But if you found another infielder, remember that Jacobs started out as a catcher who converted to 1st. Waaaaaaaaay down the road is F-Mart of course but the dude’s 18.

    But those first five guys in a 2009 Opening Day starting line-up. That’s be nice.

    As I look at the list of the players lost over the years, though…

    I don’t have too many regrets, really.

    Mike Jacobs would be great to have back down the road but Delgado got us to the NLCS while Jacobs is still developing down in Miami. It’s a long-term vs short term thing.

    Kazmir’s gonna be an injury machine, Izzy was never gonna keep his head together in the NYC, Bannister will end up an okay 4/5 starter somewhere but with Pelfrey and Humber ahead of him, he would’a never got a shot in Queens.

    Heath Bell, of course, would be an insane upgrade in the bullpen over Sele or Show but… so would Burgos and they’ve buried him in AAA for some reason so I can only assume the same would be happening to Bell.

    So yeah.

    Looking at all those guys, I’d really only want Jacobs and Bell back and… I understand why you had to let go of Jacobs and… it looks like Bell would’ve continued to have been mishandled by Willie and Omar.

    If we could have Jacobs AND still have Delgado in the line-up, using Mike as the primary back-up to both Delgado and LoDuca until one of those fine gentlemen decides to move onto greener pastures? Sure. A dude would love that.

    Would a dude love Bell and Burgos in the pen instead of Sele and Show? Sure. I’d love that.

    But a realistic assessment is important at some point.

  3. Comment posted by sheadenizen on June 9, 2007 at 12:29 pm (#371628)

    Victor Diaz hitting HR’s for Texas in the OF.

    iirc, Diaz is not a home grown talent. He came in a trade but, I’m too lazy to look up which one.

  4. Comment posted by cp on June 9, 2007 at 1:06 pm (#371648)

    Shea you’re right Diaz came over along with Joselo Diaz & Kole Stahorn for Jeremy Burnitz.

    And Wood Keppinger was originally drafted by Pittsburg – he came over with Benson in exchange for Wigginton, Matt Peterson & Jose Bautista.

  5. Comment posted by bcuster on June 9, 2007 at 4:49 pm (#371947)

    a first round draft pick like heilman, the greatest pitcher in big east history, still languishing in our bullpen and hating every minute of it; something is wrong with this picture…

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  7. Comment posted by Future on June 10, 2007 at 3:23 am (#372502)

    Hah, with this terrible starting rotation Heilman would definitely in it. The bullpen would be strong enough and the rotation would need some shoring up.

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  9. Comment posted by Future on June 10, 2007 at 3:36 am (#372503)

    (The rotation isn’t bad, but the back-end is ugly, especially the fifth starter. I’d rather have DiNardo as the fifth guy and Heilman as the fourth)

  10. Comment posted by Trent on June 10, 2007 at 3:22 pm (#373030)

    Wasn’t Jason Bay part of our farm system too though?

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  12. Comment posted by Future on June 10, 2007 at 4:25 pm (#373195)

    Bay didn’t start with us, that’s why he doesn’t count.