Zach Lutz, Davis Scouting Report, RP Ike Davis, Jon Niese... and Richard Lucas

Zach Lutz:

Stock Up: We talked yesterday about the fact that the Mets have solved their first base problems for the next 5+ years. It’s also true that they don’t need a new third baseman during that same period, but the fact remains that there is a new one developing down on the farm and we might see him branching out to a new position someday to hopefully make this team both as the backup to David Wright, and a quality power utility bat.

Zach Lutz (“The Keepers” #12) hit his league leading 5th home run Wednesday afternoon and is turning scouts heads with his power.

The Mets drafted Lutz in the 5th round of the 2007 draft. Lutz played the entire 2008 season for Brooklyn, going .333/.442/.514/.956 in 72 at bats. This included 4 doubles, 3 HRs, and 12 RBIs in 24 games. In 2009, Lutz mastered A+ ball, going .284/.381/.441/.822, with 11-HR and 62-RBI in 356-AB and 99-G. He was ranked second in the league in OPS, and seventh in slugging percentage.

I wrote in October 20089: I have never met anyone in the Mets organization that isn’t high on this kid. Lutz’s pro career spans three years at three levels and he has a combined .438 slugging percentage and an .823 OPS. The strange part is the lack of press he has been getting. If we assume he hits at the same pace in Binghamton this upcoming season, and he plays the season at 24 years old, and he plays 3B, where the hell does he go? I expect to start seeing him play second base soon.

I wrote on Feb 10: Zach Lutz – nothing wrong here, either… Lutz is showing the minor league brass that they just might have three major league third basemen in their organization… hit .284/.381/.441/822 for Lucy this year and will join most of his 2009 teammates with the B-Mets this season. Remember this name.

With the exit of Shawn Bowman, and the bad 2009 from Jefry Marte, Lutz has become the top third base prospect in the system. It’s nice to know there is someone down on the farm behind King David, but I’d sure like to see this kid join the race for second base someday.

Davis Scouting Report:

If Davis can shorten up his swing a little bit, he’ll swing through fewer off-speed pitches and fastballs. Though he was an elite line-drive hitter last season, Davis hits a lot of fly balls. He’s going to fly out too many times to sustain a .350+ BABIP. Don’t be surprised if he winds up being a .300 BABIP guy with a batting average closer to .275 than .300. A fluid defensive first baseman with soft hands, Davis has a plus arm – 90+ MPH fastball as a RP in college. Although he’s a decent athlete, he’s a below-average runner. To reach his full potential, Davis must improve against lefties – particularly breaking balls. He’s already exceeded many expectations by powering through Double-A. With another solid year, he could find himself in New York before long. It’s rare for approaches like his to work in the bigs, but his 25-30+ home run potential is too much to overlook. -

RP Ike Davis:

The Mets actually could have used him on Saturday as, like his father, Davis can pitch. While he has drafted for the power in his bat, Davis has plenty of lightning in his arm as well. He finished his high school career at Chaparral in Scottsdale, Arizona with a perfect 23-0 record, and was a two-way star at Arizona State, pitching in the Sun Devil rotation as a freshman and closing his junior year. As a reliever, he had a 2.25 ERA in 2008, with 30 strikeouts in 24 innings against just four walks while touching 94 mph on the gun. - link

Jon Niese:

Niese's most important development over the past two years has been a cut fastball, which could augment his status from a moderate ground ball pitcher.

Fastball 90 - Sinker 90 - Cutter 88 - Change-up 82 - Curveball 74

Niese's most recent start was against an all right-handed line-up put out by Cubs manager Lou Piniella. The outing underscored his new reliance on the cutter, as he threw an even mix of cutters, sinkers (two-seam fastballs) and heaters (four-seam fastballs, "heater" used loosely in Niese's case). Had he faced some lefties, there would've been more heaters, but he's gone from mostly heaters to a balanced mix of three hard pitches along with the occasional change-up or curveball. The mix of movement will offset is underwhelming velocity. - link

Richard Lucas:

New York's fourth-round selection, is poised to do his part to redeem the ’07 draft. If the name doesn't sound familiar, it's probably for lack of exposure—the 21-year-old third baseman played in just 137 games during his first three pro seasons. The Jacksonville native contended with a knee injury in 2008 and personal issues that also resulted in missed time.

But coming off a cumulative .318/.414/.534 batting line in short-season ball last year, Lucas earned a promotion all the way to St. Lucie to begin the season. The righthanded batter was off to a 9-for-38 (.237) start with two homers and two doubles in the Florida State League. He garnered just 119 at-bats at the low Class A level, and even they were practically ancient history, having transpired in the opening weeks of the 2008 season. - link


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