11/8/09

The Keepers - #32 - 2B - Reese Havens

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32. Reese Havens – 2b –

Havens was drafted in the 1st round of the 2008 draft by the Mets. He signed days later which included a $1.4mil signing bonus.

MLB.com’s comments on draft day: Hitting Ability: Havens has improved over time as a hitter and makes good contact with a very patient approach. Power: Excellent bat speed does generate some pop and he could hit 10-15 homers, maybe 15-20 at best. Running Speed: He's a well below-average runner. Base running: Very alert on the bases and armed with good instincts, he won't hurt you. Arm Strength: He's got a plus arm at short. Fielding: He catches the ball well when he gets to it. Range: His range is restricted because of his lack of foot speed. Some feel he'll have to move to third. Physical Description: Havens is really put together with a strong, athletic body. Medical Update: He had a sprained thumb in the fall, but he's 100 percent now. Strengths: A good approach at the plate with the ability to make solid contact; good knowledge of how to play the game.

College Stats on Havens: 359 BA/.486 OBP/.645 SLG%/ 248 AB, 76 R, 89 H, 13 doubles, 2 triples, 18 HR, 58 BB-44 K, 13 E in 66 games, .953 FPCT


Scouting Report: Summation: Swing mechanics and theories towards what makes up “the best swing” are very diverse. But, there are many standards that I like to think are pretty constant when it comes to making a good stroke. That is why I chose to examine Reese Havens first. What you see in the video, and in the photos is a very refined hitter with a polished swing. He has some small flaws here and there and other things go into make a good hitter besides mechanics of his swing, but it is a good place to start. Havens’ stroke is built to spray line drives to the gaps and to all parts of the field. I’d be quite surprised if that polish doesn’t easily carry him to a big league career.

From Keith Law on Draft Day: This is a great pick for the Mets. He makes all the plays at shortstop because he reads the ball off the bat so well. At the plate he has excellent pitch recognition and hand-eye coordnation. If he has to move to second base because of the presence of Jose Reyes at shortstop, he has more than enough bat. Havens has a great approach and instincts, and he should move quickly through the Mets' system.

From Kevin Goldstein (BP) on Draft Day: I actually kinda like this pick. He's got some pop, he's got some holes in his swing, but he's a monster makeup kid who could move quickly, and is probably now the Mets 2B of the future

From Adam Rubin the day after the draft: Havens, born during the 1986 World Series, hit .259 as a freshman and .274 as a sophomore in the Southeastern Conference, but took off after shortening his swing under the tutelage of Mike Roberts (the Orioles’ Brian Roberts’ father) while hitting .315 in the prestigious wood-bat Cape Cod League. Havens hit .359 with 18 homers and 57 RBI in 63 games this season for the Gamecocks. The Mets’ recent philosophy has been to keep shortstops and center fielders at their natural positions until they’re close to the big leagues, including Fernando Martinez remaining in center field, but there already was draft-day speculation Havens could be converted to catcher, which he’s never played, or second base.
Havens was considered a potential first-round pick out of high school, and the Red Sox were prepared to draft him 26th overall in 2005, but he was seeking a reported $1.7 million signing bonus - and Boston’s offer would have been $1.35 million. With teams shying away, he dropped to a 29th-round pick by the Rockies and instead headed to South Carolina.

SNY the day after the draft: I love the Reese Havens pick. This is not a guy I expected Omar Minaya to pick, as he’s been leaning more toward tools and Havens plays much greater than the sum of his parts. He is not an athlete, per se, but definitely a baseball player. Through hard work and smarts, he proved capable at short and may even project there, but not on the Mets. Some teams, including the Red Sox, were rumored to want to move him to catcher. Havens, according to the reports Thursday, was not enthused about that switch. Perhaps it’s still in the cards for the Mets. He’ll sport a plus-lefty bat no matter where he ends up, but expect it to be second base for New York. This year at South Carolina, Reese had a .485 OBP/.628 SLG/1.113 OPS, walking 19 percent of the time.

ScoutingBook.com ranked Havens as the 262nd top prospect: A successful shortstop in college whose range is a bit of a question in pro ball, South Carolina graduate David Havens could make a heck of a second baseman for a future Mets infield that already includes two All Stars and the player picked just before him in the 2008 Draft, first baseman Ike Davis. A solid line drive hitter with plus plate discipline, Havens could be a long-term keystone for New York
In June 2008, BA did a post-draft adjustment of their top 10 Mets prospects and Havens was ranked #3, with the comments: “more likely a third baseman or possibly a catcher, stands out with approach and pop. “

In late July 2008, ProjectProspect.com updated their top 10 Mets prospect list and Havens was ranked 3rd.

In 2008, due to injuries, Havens was used exclusively as a DH, at Brooklyn, going .247/.340/.471, with 3 HRs and only 11 RBIs in 23 games.

In February 2009 from MYOB: Reese signed for a little over $1.4 million. He doesn’t quite have the pop of Ike Davis, but he sent three more over the wall than Ike. His slugging percentage was .471 even though his batting average was a few points less than Davis. Reese will be more of a gap hitter. The Mets didn’t see a lot from him defensively, as groin and elbow problems limited him to DH. There are some that think his foot speed and first step quickness will not be adequate to stick at short and a move to second will be in his future. But since he wasn’t given much of a chance to show his stuff this year, the Mets will give him an opportunity to field the position next year. At least he has no less range than Mets super prospect Wilmer Flores. He does have great makeup and has the intangibles to succeed whereever he is placed.

In March 2009, Rotoworld ranked the Mets Top 10 Prospect: 5. Reese Havens - An elite performer in college, Havens hit .359/.486/.645 as Justin Smoak's teammate at South Carolina last season. No one saw him as a long-term shortstop, so it was thought he might fall out of the first round of the draft. The Mets, though, took him at No. 22 with the intention of grooming him as a second baseman. Havens hit plenty of homers in college, but he figures to be more of a doubles guy in the pros. He'll both hit for average and draw walks, so if he can deliver 35-40 doubles per year, he has a chance to be a very valuable offensive player. He should begin to move quickly this season.

9-9-9 From www.hardballtimes.com: - A big sleeper, Havens has been nagged by injuries since being taken by the Mets in the first round of last year's draft. The lefty shortstop has some serious power, as he had ISO's of .224 last year and .175 this year. A .275 BABIP has given him just a .247 batting average, but he's maintained a walk rate of 13.3%, showing that when he combines power and a good eye with some luck on balls in play, he can be a big threat. He still needs to cut down on his strikeouts and work on his defense, as many see a move to second base in his future.

2009 was an interesting year. On the down side, he only hit .247, but produced 14 home runs, which tied him for 6th in the league. His .422 slugging percentage ranked him11 th in the league and his .784 OPS put him in 10th place.


Forecast: Nothing but blue sky, now that he has changed to second base. Havens goes from the 3rd, maybe 4th SS prospect, to the #1 slot for 2B, and gives the Mets potential pop at that position. Look for some additional errors this coming season in Binghamton, but, as long as the bat produced, this will be your Mets second baseman in 2012.

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