Posted by Ernest Dove at 2:22 PM
The season is about to end for the Mets. Another possible losing season for the Amazin's. David Wright has already been shut down. Vic Black also appears done for the season. Den Dekker and Campbell have good at times. Lagares might be done for the year. Curtis Granderson is probably wishing this season was already over. Murphy was an injury away from 200 hits, Duda might have turned himself into a legit 35 homer cleanup hitter, and Ruben Tejada might have hit himself out of a job. Amongst all the turmoil, injuries, and Mets fans dressed as empty seats at Citi Field, the one ongoing question mark still hovers over one Wilmer Flores.
The kid who, if you are a well advised follower of Mets minor leaguers, has been around for what seems like 15 years, is still only 23 years old. You know, the kid was originally scouted and signed as a short stop (although pretty much all Latin kids are signed originally as shortstops). You know, the kid who can't field or run, but has somehow managed to play multiple positions, without embarrassing himself. The kid who warmed the bench, in between some monster doubles and homers, has finally been given a chance to play as a regular on this team. And, after that series with the Marlins, he is showing exactly why he possibly should have been in the lineup, and on the field, the entire time.
So now what? The kid is still 23 years old. He is still a 'minimum wage' type player going into 2015. And, due to some additional injuries in the organization, he is not even playing short stop every day anymore to end this season.
Wilmer has bounced around the field, bounced between 2 levels, and bounced around the lineup, going from 8th to second, to 5th. Yet, one this is for sure. With actually consistent playing time, the kid is delivering. And he is delivering with power. Along with the homers flying out of Citi Field in the recent Marlins series, he also hit shots that would have been homers at other ballparks (or possibly at the 2015 Citi Field park if fences are brought in). So what's stopping the organization from allowing Wilmer his shot in 2015?
It can't be internal competition. Ruben Tejada all but played himself out of favor with this organization. He has no power, he can't run, and he no longer hits for average with doubles like he did when he was first given his chance. Matt Reynolds, no matter the video game numbers put up in the minors, also has no power, and no guarantee that his .300 plus hitting will continue at the major league level. Wilfredo Tovar, seemingly the forgotten one, also projects with zero power, and nobody predicting any batting titles in his future either. So, basically, so have to reach down to the low minors to project any kind of possible competition, which is basically a group of teenagers with potential, you know, like Wilmer Flores type potential.
So, everyone now speculates players outside the organization. First and foremost......... how's that Stephen Drew guy working out this year.......... anyway, there are new names floating around as possible Mets next year. One of which is JJ Hardy. Well, I can try arguing stats: this year, Hardy has a line of .276 BA, with 9 homers and 52 RBIs, at age 32. So, you're telling me that 23 year old Wilmer Flores can't project out to better numbers then this? Oh, and did I mention that Hardy may cost 15 million next year, as opposed to the peanuts that Wilmer be earning? And yes, I did a little research, and I understand that Hardy averaged about 25 homers between 2011 and 2013.......you know what, Curtis Granderson also had back to back 40 homer seasons with the Yankees...... but its Citi Field's fault, not his I guess.
The other options come from other organizations prospects. Many were high on the Mets acquiring Nick Franklin from the Mariners. Well, if you were against Wilmer and his inconsistent under .250 BA and a few homers this year, you probably wouldn't get excited about Franklin hitting about .160 with zero homers in his limited at bats and chance on the big stage this year.
Theres also the kiddies in the Cubs organization. Well, Starlin Castro keeps hitting, and apparently keeps getting himself into a little trouble with his attitude. Oh, he also is making over 10mil a year, and commits enough errors to make Wilmer look like Ozzie out there. There is also Javier
Baez, who projects to have a lot more power then Wilmer. Oh, did I mention that he has 77 strikeouts in 170 at bats? Meanwhile, Wilmer has 26 in 224 at bats.
The other possible option is 20 year old Addison Russell, who finished out AA ball season for the Cubs. Looks great. Also looks 'expensive' as far as trade value and asking price. So, unless the Mets are ready to trade deGrom, Wheeler or a package that starts with Syndegaard, I'm guessing the Cubs will trade this excess commodity elsewhere.
So where does that leave the Mets? Sure, during the winter time, everyone will look great, and healthy. Most of the Mets Pitchers, even Harvey, will be ready to rock come February.
But, as we all know (ask the Braves), pitchers go down, and all the hitting and talent in the world can not consistently offset a number of injuries to other key positions. Which is why Sandy Alderson continues to publicly be against trading away pitching, especially young pitching (unless he is blown away with an offer of course). Sooooooo, is it time for the Mets, as an organization, to make a statement, and maybe worry about another position on the diamond (say, LF), and let the 23 year old power bat, with a low K rate, and potential to hit for average, man the position for 550+ at bats in 2015?....................Anyway, what do I know...... If David Wright hits like David Wright next year, Grandy hits like a dude worth 15mil, Harvey pitches somewhere close to like Harvey, and Duda/TDA both continue hitting with power, we may not really care who fields the position at SS anyway, am I right?