Daniel Murphy, Juan Lagares, Francisco Pena, Greg Burke, Juan Urbina


Chris McShane wrote about Daniel Murphy:

Our eye test at the end of last season told us that we mostly view Murphy as an average defender at second base, and that's fair. He's no butcher out there, but he's far from elite with the glove. Still, though, it seems like a bit of a stretch to call Murphy one of the ten best as his position right now. He's been one of the top-ten hitters at second base, even with a relative down year last year. With a bounceback at the plate and perhaps a slight uptick in defensive performance, it's not outrageous to think that Murphy might crack the top ten in overall value at second base this year. He's just not quite there yet.

The Mets have much bigger fish to fry than second base and Murphy. Sure, he had 15 errors last year at second base, but the Mets needed to concentrate this off-season on catching, the outfield, and the pen. One is done, two to go. We’ll come back to this is 2014 after another year of Murphy and a look-see at Reese Havens in AA-AAA.

I don’t know how many of you participate in ‘The War Room’ on Sunday, but I wanted to re-print something I wrote there about OF Juan Lagares:

First thing I wanted to address was something that came out of the tele-press conference that Sandy Alderson had with selective Bloggers this week. Regarding the outfield, he REALLY was praising the growth if Juan Lagares while downplaying Matt den Dekker. He particularly spoke out on the progress Lagares made this off-season in winter ball. Lagares hit .315/.377/.352/.729 in 54-AB for AGU-DWL, but had only 13-K while drawing 5-BB. Not the biggest sample but the highest batting average of anyone on all the winter teams. This may be a little hint that he will be competing for a 25-man slot come spring.

The Mets have been particularly happy with Lagares’s conversion to the outfield, which begun in 2009. He was a big-time international SS prospect (who isn’t a SS down there) but 40 errors later in 2007 and the Mets were looking for another position for the bat that international scouts said was more progressed than Jose Reyes at the same time he was signed. There’s no pop here, but he’s settled into three great seasons (2010: .279, 2011: .349, 2012: .282) and is scheduled to make the jump to AAA this spring. Oh, did I mention he bats right?

C Francisco Pena had a relatively successful winter season for Aguilas Cibaenas of the DWL. His stat line was: .271/.314/.419/.733, with 3-HR and 21-RBI in 129-AB (only 21-K, 3-BB). Pena still likes to swing but he is making contact more often and will come to camp ready to compete with Blake Forsythe for the Binghamton job. The problem is both hit righty so there won’t be a perfect platoon here, but events in the off season have changed the urgency of producing a major league catcher.

One of the most successful pitchers on the winter circuit was Greg Burke, who was recently signed by the Mets. His new sidearm approach to the game produced an excellent stat line for Yaquis de Obregon of the Mexican League: 3-1, 2.23, 1.08, 32.1-IP, 25-K, 5-BB. Plans are for him to compete for a job in Queens. What I love about this guy is the fact that he originally signed with San Diego in 2006 after a showing in a try-out camp. The hell with the draft, right?

I guess we should bring up a little bad news from the winter season. P Juan Urbina continues to struggle and his career could be in jeopardy at this point in his career. He put up only 3.1 innings for  Tigres de Aragua of the VWL, but gave up three runs (8.10, 2.10), while striking out four and walking two. Something went bad here and, hopefully, the release of his father will help him get his game together.


TheCloser said...

Juan Urbina is currently listed as our #19th best prospect according to MLB.com. Haha

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