“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