All’s Quiet in Metsville - By Mack Ade
I now work three nights a week as a security guard in the Palmetto Bluff resort, located in Bluffton, South Carolina. Look it up… it’s quite the place. Anyway, I go to work from 11pm-7am and my first three hours are spent sitting inside, guarding a safe that no one ever puts any money in. It’s also the worker’s building where they clock in and out so it is necessary for someone to be here. At 2am, I head out in the security van for rounds until I’m relieved in the mornings.
The point of all this is it turns out that I have this added time to write about the Mets without interruption. The rub is there is no Wifi, so all I can put to paper is what’s in my mind regarding the events of the past 24 hours in Metsville.
Writing about a sports team varies. My old boss, Morris Publishing, wanted a game recap no longer than 200 words, while features had to be a minimum of 800. 800 words isn’t hard to write if the team is doing something to write about. The off-season is particularly slow and any contacts you have tend to be unreachable, especially at the minor league levels. This off-season has been comatose.
There have been two bright signs coming out of the winter leagues. 3B Wilmer Flores continues to prove that he has the bat to make it to the pros and OF Cesar Puello has remained healthy throughout the off-season. Puello has always been the one minor league outfielder that scouts loved and many projected him to be roaming the CitiField outfield by 2013, 2014 latest. His only flaw has been his health and I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t see a remarkable season from him in 2013, first back in St. Lucie, and then in Binghamton.
The Mets are also going into the Rule V Draft with room on the 40-man so it would surprise me if you didn’t see at least one outfielder signed this way.
For now, on paper, Las Vegas will have Matt den Dekker, Juan Lagares, and Pedro Zapata (with a strong possibility that Kirk Nieuwenhuis will also return to AAA for the beginning of the season). Binghamton’s outfield looks like Cory Vaughn, Darrell Ceciliani, and Alonzo Harris, St. Lucie is Puello, Gilbert Gomez, and Travis Taijeron, and Savannah will be Brandon Nimmo, Stefan Sabol, and Eudy Pena. Wild cards would be if Dustin Lawley returns to the outfield or if Aderlin Rodriguez first, survives the Rule V, and is then converted to a corner slot.
Power wise, Vaughn, Rodriguez, and Flores represent the only players that have the potential to give you 30+ home runs a season.
I see very little potential for fast tracking here. den Dekker needs another year to work on his K/AB ratio. Vaughn has to produce a consistent game that includes both pop and average. Like Puello, Ceciliani needs to stay off the DL. Gomez and Pena, who were thought to be wonder boys, haven’t shown what the scouts projected and Nimmo still hasn’t played a full professional season.
And forget about Vincente Lupo. Yes, he may make the Hall of Fame someday (cough), but ‘last year’s Lupo was Pena… and the year before Pena was Gomez… and I can keep doing this and go back to 2007 when the ‘end all’ was Lagares and someone named Hector Pellot.
No, the 2013 Mets outfield is not going to come from the system.
And, it may take until 2014 for the system to generate the kind of outfielders needed in Queens, by trading off some of the SP talent currently in the system (Logan Verrett, Tyler Pill, Luis Mateo, Jake deGrom) after they have a superior 2013 season. There just isn’t any projectable room for these guys in Queens. The 2013 rotation is set, Mike Pelfrey and Zack Wheeler will be added sometime this season, followed by Rafael Montero in 2014 and Michael Fulmer in 2015. And, we didn’t even mention Domingo Tapia.
Try to imagine what happens if each of these guys produces double-digit victories in 2013?
Folks, this is a lot of young pitching talent… so much that trading a Cy Young winner seems the viable thing to do. Are we actually thinking of trading a Cy Young winner off of a team that continues to finish in fourth place? There would be no hesitation if this was a playoff team. You have a great staff stacked up with young talented arms. Why not deal off your aging ace for a killer everyday player or two?
Great songs are words and music. Lennon and McCartney… John and Taupin… and then, there are the San Francisco Giants, who have won two of the last three World Series. Did they do this with a bat or from the mound?
The RA Dickey phenomena has been a pleasure to watch. I was there when he reported for ‘pitchers and catchers’. No one had any idea who the guy with the beard was that looked like he was falling off the mound every time he threw. None of the catchers wanted anything to do with him. He was definitely going to be the first player cut (he actually turned out to be the last that year). And now look what we have?
This is a bat waiting to be traded for. Wait for the green light from Vegas on Wheeler and the medical report on Pelfrey. Don’t pull the trigger too early here. Dickey has the ability to take a team to the World Series… in 2013. Past that, as my father-in-law used to say when the weather turned cold and my mother-in-law wanted him to bring the plants indoors… ‘they’re on their own.’