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July 9, 2008
  
Who’s There?

“I got so much chips I swear they call me Hewlett Packard.”- Lil Wayne

Unfortunately, the Mets aren’t exactly Hewlett Packard. “Blue chip” prospects are few and far between in the Mets farm system, but fortunately Omar Minaya won’t be targeting players that will require hauls like the Johan or Sabathia deals (for the record, Omar was very wise to turn down an offer of a few months of CC Sabathia for Fernando Martinez, Jon Niese, and others). Since the trade deadline will most likely consist of non-household names like Xavier Nady, Brian Fuentes, and Paul Byrd, teams looking to rebuild will most likely target B/B+ prospects, and luckily the Mets seem to have a plethora of those.

3B/2B Dan Murphy- Binghamton Mets

There are two reasons the Mets are attempting to move the sweet-swinging Murphy over to second base from the hot corner. One of the reasons is that he could be of some service with nagging and constant injuries to Luis Castillo (injuries are common to most octogenarians), the fear of starting Damion Easley every day, and the ineptness of former fan-favorite Anderson Hernandez. The other reason is that a second baseman with a big bat is rare, while a powerful third baseman is a dime a dozen. Murphy, a 23-year old alumnus of Jacksonville University, has been great for the B-Mets all season. Murphy is hitting .316/.375/.483 while manning the hot corner in Binghamton this year. He has 9 homers and 16 doubles in 269 at-bats, and has swiped 10 bases. The left-handed hitter has also been impressive against lefty pitchers, hitting .293 with an .814 OPS. Kevin Goldstein gave Murphy a 2-star rating and named him the 9th best prospect in the Mets system (post-Johan). With Reese Havens playing second in Brooklyn, Murphy may be a nice part of a package at the brink of August.

1B/OF Nick Evans

Mets fans have already seen Evans in the majors this season, and while he was pretty unimpressive, the 22-year old has been killing the ball in Binghamton alongside Dan Murphy. Along with Murphy, Evans has also seen a change of scenery defensively. Although a natural first baseman, Evans played left field for the big league team (and did adequately). As with the note on third baseman, slugging first basemen are also pretty common. With 14 homers and a .561 slugging percentage, Evans certainly has provided some pop. Last year in High-A St. Lucie, Evans smacked 15 dingers and 25 doubles. If Evans proves he can continue to play a solid left field (and maybe even some right and center), he fits right into the Murphy-mold of prospects.

RHP Robert Parnell

Parnell hasn’t been great this year, but with the departures of recent Mets pitching prospects (i.e. Guerra, Mulvey, Humber, Petit, etc.), the team may be less willing to give up more premium starting pitchers such as Jon Niese, Bradley Holt, and Brant Rustich. However, if forced to give up a minor league pitcher, Parnell may be expendable. As a 23-year old right-hander, Parnell has a 3.90 ERA this year for Double-A Binghamton after a 4.77 ERA for the same team last season. A tall, lanky 6’4 pitcher, Parnell has struck out a modest 71 batters in 99.1 innings, but has also walked an all-too-high 46 hitters. With some upside and a front office weary of dealing any more top-of-the-line young pitchers, Parnell may be available to most teams looking to deal with Mr. Minaya.

SS/2B Ruben Tejada

The Mets have a supply of pretty good prospects up the middle, including players like Murphy, Wilmer Flores, and Reese Havens. Therefore, although Tejada is only 18-years old playing in High-A ball, he may be available and entice many General Managers looking to retool and build up their system with young talent. A native of Panama, Tejada is a right-handed hitter who batted .283/.401/.367 for the Gulf Coast League team as a younger teen last season. This year, Tejada has struggled at the plate thus far. He’s hitting .242/.304/.308 (Endy Chavez-esque), with just 16 extra-base hits in 331 at-bats. Tejada did heat up with a .333 average in June and has batted .275 against lefties, but his season has been a disappointment thus far. However, with tons of years of baseball to go, he may be enticing to other clubs.

Other players to watch: SP Nick Carr, 1B Lucas Duda, SP Dillon Gee, 3B Zach Lutz, C Francisco Pena


32 Responses to “Who’s There?”

  1. Comment posted by littlefallsmets on July 9, 2008 at 12:24 am (#755946)

    I’d hang onto The Binghamton Four, myself… they’re basically all the Mets have, positionally.

    My hope is that Delgado goes on a tear and they unload that, uh, load onto some AL team looking for a DH for the stretch run.

    Gotta hope.

  2. Comment posted by §Ø©ª£ μΣŦƒдⁿ on July 9, 2008 at 12:36 am (#755952)

    If Evans proves he can continue to play a solid left field (and maybe even some right and center), he fits right into the Murphy-mold of prospects.

    Kinda optimistic if ya ask me. Lets wait till he’s a credible left fielder before hoping for a move to right or center.

    The Mets have a dearth of pretty good prospects up the middle, including players like Murphy, Wilmer Flores, and Reese Havens. Therefore, although Tejada is only 18-years old playing in High-A ball, he may be available and entice many General Managers looking to retool and build up their system with young talent.

    Uhm, dearth?

    “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.”

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  4. Comment posted by Bob Loblaw on July 9, 2008 at 12:40 am (#755954)

    My hope is that Delgado goes on a tear and they unload that, uh, load onto some AL team looking for a DH for the stretch run.

    This makes 100% perfect sense except that if Delgado goes on a tear we won’t want to trade him since we we’ll be needing that production ourselves and we have no one else to play 1st anyway. Otherwise, another brilliant piece of analysis!

    Oh and dearth does not equal Horn of Plenty.

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  6. Comment posted by Confused on July 9, 2008 at 12:45 am (#755955)

    Since the trade deadline will most likely consist of non-household names like Xavier Nady

    take that back.

  7. Comment posted by President of the Mike Pelfrey Fan Club on July 9, 2008 at 12:47 am (#755956)

    I’d love to have Nady, but I think it will take more than this cast of characters you mention.

  8. Comment posted by littlefallsmets on July 9, 2008 at 1:45 am (#755959)

    Point is, Bob, no such tear could ever last for long at this point in Carlos Delgado’s physical decay.

    Sell high and all that.

    As for who would play at first… hopefully one of the young guys you got in the trade or Tatis or something.

    Key would be having him off this roster before the end of the hot streak.

  9. Comment posted by MightyJoeOrsulak on July 9, 2008 at 2:17 am (#755966)

    As much as I dislike Omar Minaya, you do have to give him some credit.

    He saw that neither the Yankees nor the Sox were willing to part ways with their top prospects for Johan, and thus correctly moved to overwhelm the Twins with B prospects and Wild Cards, putting together the perfect package for Santana. Neither the Sox nor Yanks seemed to possess those high-risk/high-reward prospects that are simultaneously attractive and inessential, and Omar got to keep Pelfrey and FMart. (Both of these guys are looking better every minute.)

    He then rebuffed offers of Sabbathia for FMart and Niese. He seems to realize that a 19-year-old beginning to excel in AA despite a gaggle of injuries is a premiere commodity in the majors, and that they cannot afford the loss of flexibility that another major pitching contract will incur unto them. Either that or he takes enough pride in his credentials as a scout that he wants to (finally) see one of his discoveries raise some havoc as a Met.

    I’m guessing that he sees Carp as trade bait also; otherwise, why not promote him to AAA? He is probably trying to maximize his value by inflating his numbers at Binghamton. I wonder as to how firmly he has his eyes set on Teixeira? He is a much surer bet than Carp, whom I see as a Mike Jacobs-like player, but he will also come at a much higher premium and cost a draft pick.

    The question for me is, how long will Omar stick to his guns? He has shown me no signs that he has any plan at all as to how he is going to build a quality organization for the long term, and tends therefore, to act fitfully and impulsively, for the love of the noise he produces. He might get an itch that tells him the Mets are just one bat away–and do something stupid, or he might get an itch that tells him he needs one guy to keep his job–and do something stupid.

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  11. Comment posted by Alex Nelson on July 9, 2008 at 7:53 am (#755974)

    Uhm, dearth?

    Whoops. I shoulda caught that one. Fixed.

  12. Comment posted by sheadenizen on July 9, 2008 at 8:36 am (#755977)

    Delgado is hitting .387 in July. Let’s hold off on the “dumping” him, LFM. At the moment, he’s a hard bat to replace. Will he continue at this torrid pace? Probably not, but let’s ride it while we can.

  13. Comment posted by Pat Andriola on July 9, 2008 at 9:31 am (#756032)

    Ouch on the dearth note. I’m an English major and that was sad indeed.

    But I think Evans has the range to play RF if he can play LF for sure, and if Xavier Nady can play center, then I don’t think Evans being tried there is a major stretch. All it would do if expand his versatility and let Minaya say to other GM’s, “…AND he can play centerfield too!”

  14. Comment posted by Pat Andriola on July 9, 2008 at 9:38 am (#756046)

    I’d love to have Nady, but I think it will take more than this cast of characters you mention.

    While it may be so, most teams are more interested in pitching depth than a corner OF slot. So a package of Murphy, Parnell, Tejada and cash may do the trick. Could the Pirates hold out for more? Sure, but we’ll wait and see. Who would have thought we’d see Johan dealt to us without giving up F-Mart?

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  16. Comment posted by Eric Simon on July 9, 2008 at 10:17 am (#756126)

    Whoops. I shoulda caught that one. Fixed.

    Haha. Plethora. Is that even right? The Mets have an overabundance of decent middle infield prospects?

  17. Comment posted by Pat Andriola on July 9, 2008 at 10:46 am (#756191)

    Haha. Plethora. Is that even right? The Mets have an overabundance of decent middle infield prospects?

    Yeah, pretty much. In terms of just pretty good middle infield prospect, they have:

    2B Dan Murphy
    SS Ruben Tejada
    SS Wilmer Flores
    2B Greg Veloz
    2B/SS Anderson Hernandez
    SS Jose Coronado
    2B Reese Havens
    SS Matthew Bouchard

    Not that they’re all phenoms, but they have a lot of “pretty good” prospects up the middle.

  18. Comment posted by Pat Andriola on July 9, 2008 at 10:50 am (#756203)

    The funniest part is that the edit was to “plethora,” but I had already used that word in the opening paragraph.

    An abundance of plethoras.

  19. Comment posted by Danny on July 9, 2008 at 11:52 am (#756319)

    I would have gone with cornucopia myself.

  20. Comment posted by bravejamriot on July 9, 2008 at 12:11 pm (#756351)

    Yeah, pretty much. In terms of just pretty good middle infield prospect, they have:

    2B/SS Anderson Hernandez

    What are you on?

  21. Comment posted by littlefallsmets on July 9, 2008 at 12:17 pm (#756360)

    I’m just saying:

    If some schmuck GM is out there, thinking that this is the “real” Chuck Delgado, we might be able to get something for the dude, for the last time.

    Even with this tear, he’s hitting .240, plays awful defense and just happens to hit the occasional home run.

    If you can get anything for that, Fievel Mousekawitz would say “Mazeltov” to that.

  22. Comment posted by Pat Andriola on July 9, 2008 at 12:20 pm (#756365)

    Hernandez is a bit of a reach, but he’s just 25. As a 22-year old in Binghamton he hit .326/.360/.462, he hit .303 the same year in AAA, and last year hit .301 for New Orlenas. He also plays great defense. I wasn’t saying he’s awesome, all I said was that he’s a decent middle infield prospect. That’s all.

  23. Comment posted by Eli on July 9, 2008 at 12:27 pm (#756376)

    Carp, whom I see as a Mike Jacobs-like player

    I love Mike Jacobs but I concede that he can’t draw a walk - swings at pretty much everything. Carp on the other hand displays some pitch selection.

  24. Comment posted by Eli on July 9, 2008 at 12:31 pm (#756386)

    Hernandez is a bit of a reach, but he’s just 25. As a 22-year old in Binghamton he hit .326/.360/.462, he hit .303 the same year in AAA, and last year hit .301 for New Orlenas. He also plays great defense. I wasn’t saying he’s awesome, all I said was that he’s a decent middle infield prospect. That’s all.

    He was…had he just managed to duplicate what he did last year in AAA, or even do a little bit worse, he’d be with the Mets. Anyone know what happened to him? The rate he is going, he would be quite pleased to be at the Mendoza line.

  25. Comment posted by Pat Andriola on July 9, 2008 at 12:38 pm (#756404)

    He was…had he just managed to duplicate what he did last year in AAA, or even do a little bit worse, he’d be with the Mets. Anyone know what happened to him? The rate he is going, he would be quite pleased to be at the Mendoza line.

    Hernandez’s BABIP this year is a very low .220, so if he was up to around league-average .300, then he’d probably be in around the .250’s or so. Still, this has been an awfully bad year for him. Remember, he was the Mets starting second baseman at the beginning of 2006.

  26. Comment posted by sheadenizen on July 9, 2008 at 12:41 pm (#756411)

    And in case we all forget, Hernandez in ST didn’t look all that good on defense any more. Maybe the few times I saw him were an aberration, but I think he’s pretty useless at this point. I’m sure if anyone actually wanted him, the Mets would happily pack his bags.

  27. Comment posted by Pat Andriola on July 9, 2008 at 12:48 pm (#756427)

    And in case we all forget, Hernandez in ST didn’t look all that good on defense any more. Maybe the few times I saw him were an aberration, but I think he’s pretty useless at this point. I’m sure if anyone actually wanted him, the Mets would happily pack his bags.

    He’s historically been great defensively, and has nice range. He probably has the most range out of any second baseman at AA or higher.

  28. Comment posted by Pat Andriola on July 9, 2008 at 12:48 pm (#756430)

    Edit: At AA or higher in the Mets organization

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  30. Comment posted by John Peterson on July 9, 2008 at 1:11 pm (#756473)

    I would have gone with cornucopia myself.

    I think “a relative abundance” is the optimal phrase here.

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  32. Comment posted by Alex Nelson on July 9, 2008 at 2:09 pm (#756548)

    Haha. Plethora. Is that even right? The Mets have an overabundance of decent middle infield prospects?

    The funniest part is that the edit was to “plethora,” but I had already used that word in the opening paragraph.

    I would have gone with cornucopia myself.

    I think “a relative abundance” is the optimal phrase here.

    Jeez. You guys are a pain in the ass. It’s “supply” now. I hope you’re happy.

  33. Comment posted by Chaucer on July 9, 2008 at 3:11 pm (#756661)

    The Mets have a supply of pretty good prospects up the middle

    When in doubt, go for understatement. Change it to read: “The Mets have some people playing 2B and SS this season in the minors.”

  34. Comment posted by Pat Andriola on July 9, 2008 at 3:29 pm (#756685)

    Ok, now its a perfect article.

  35. Comment posted by President of the Mike Pelfrey Fan Club on July 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm (#756864)

    While it may be so, most teams are more interested in pitching depth than a corner OF slot. So a package of Murphy, Parnell, Tejada and cash may do the trick. Could the Pirates hold out for more? Sure, but we’ll wait and see. Who would have thought we’d see Johan dealt to us without giving up F-Mart?

    I am not down on trading Tejada. No way, no how.

  36. Comment posted by Jeff Mathews on July 9, 2008 at 6:33 pm (#756877)

    Jefe, what is a plethora?

    Why, El Guapo?

    Well, you told me I have a plethora. And I just would like to know if you know what a plethora is. I would not like to think that a person would tell someone he has a plethora, and then find out that that person has no idea what it means to have a plethora.

    Forgive me, El Guapo. But could it be that once again, you are angry at something else, and are looking to take it out on me?

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  38. Comment posted by Alex Nelson on July 9, 2008 at 7:31 pm (#756921)

    Jefe, what is a plethora?

    Why, El Guapo?

    Well, you told me I have a plethora. And I just would like to know if you know what a plethora is. I would not like to think that a person would tell someone he has a plethora, and then find out that that person has no idea what it means to have a plethora.

    Forgive me, El Guapo. But could it be that once again, you are angry at something else, and are looking to take it out on me?

    Jeff, I was thinking about that the whole time.

  39. Comment posted by ajsmith on July 10, 2008 at 12:52 pm (#758247)

    As someone who lives with a writer, I have these discussions all the time. Good to see some lively editorial banter in here.

    As someone who likes good middle infielders, I think you have to be kidding when you call guys like A-Hern, Dan Murphy (not saying he can’t hit, but he has 17 errors this year and has all of a week and a half of professional service time at second base), Coronado and Bouchard “decent middle infield prospects.”

    Yes, decent in that they’ve proven that they might be decent at the lower levels of the minor leagues. But would you bet any money at all that any of those guys will contribute at the ML level someday? What makes you think that a big league GM is going to give up value for that proposition?

    Tejada, Flores, Veloz, and Havens may well be real prospects, but they’re so young and so far away that you couldn’t possible get equal value for them at this point. No sense throwing them into a trade that, if they do pan out, you end up getting killed on.

    Here’s hoping that if Omar does anything, it’s a niche move rather than giving away too many of our few remaining prospects for a one-run player.

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