2009 Outlook - Catcher
Current Mets: 2-headed monster Ramon Schneider
Top Mets Prospect: Francesco Pena
And frankly, I think the Mets are starting to wonder about this kid. I watched him for 2 years now, and tough he’s only 19 years old, I expected to see a little more. First, he’s not a great defensive catcher and has been right up there as one of the league leaders in passed balls for 2 years. His arm is good, and getting better, but his bat comes in around .250 with very little power for a kid his size (6-3, 225). The Mets will move him on the Lucy next spring and it may be his make-it-or-break-it year.
Mets: Ramon Schneider
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Mets pitching staff loves being caught by Schneider and there’s not a better backup catcher in the league than Castro.
New Orleans: Salomon Manriquez
The Mets especially like to keep seasoned vet catchers at AAA to work with the young pitchers. Look for Mike Nickeas and Raul Casanova to survive one more year, but due to poor hitting, we might have seen the end of Shawn Wooten, and Gustavo Molina.
B-Mets: Josh Thole
Frankly , this was supposed to be Sean McCraw’s job, but he got sent back to Savannah after having a miserable start in Lucy last year. My guess is McCraw will back up Josh, as well as DH, and the 3rd catcher will be Sal Paniagua. That leaves Rafael Arroyo odd man out.
Lucy: Francesco Pena
As I mentioned above, this is Pena’s come-to-Jesus year and what better place to have it than with a team managed by his old manager, Tim Teufel. Jordan Abruzzo (who will DH) and Jason Jacobs will back him up.
Gnats: Dock Doyle
Ralph Henriquez and Jeffries Tatford (who doubles as a 1Bman) will back him up.
Clones: Jean Luc Blaquiere
Cesar Cordido and Luis Alen will backup.
K-Port: Patrick Maat
Tyler Howe and Juan Centeno will backup.
GCL: Kai Gronauer
Orlando Rodriquez will backup.
Summary: There’s no reason for the Mets to give up on Pena yet, because there’s no one else in the system that’s knocking the door down. Thole had a great year, but everyone wants to see another one out of him. God, I wish they didn’t get rid of Jesus Flores.