We do this every year.
We take a look at the players in the Mets organization, by position, and try to both predict the future and grade what the system is producing.
We start with the same position we start with every year. First base.
We’ve had a bunch of ‘A’ grades analyzing this position over recent years because, frankly, we had both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda in the system. Davis is gone and Duda is spending another year hitting 20+ home runs for the Mets, but his erratic hot/cold .244/.352/.486/.838 slash line may have been okay for ‘the old Mets’, but we’re talking about the World Series playing Mets now and I frankly need to see a little more consistency here.
I thought the above mentioned slash line was kind to him this season. In my opinion, Duda had a horrible season minus a hot streak or two and basically couldn’t be counted on in a clutch. His .352-OBP was dominated due to his 66 walks which is not what this guy is paid to do.
The good news seems to be the fact that the Mets attempt to sign Duda to a long term deal fell through before the 2015 season started. He now will move into his last two arbitration years and will eventually be ready for free agency in 2018. Sounds like a plan.
The future at first base seems to be Dominic Smith. The former first round pick that will play 2016 as a 21-year old will move on to AA-Binghamton after being named the most valuable player for the Florida State League (St. Lucie). Sure, the power still hasn’t developed yet, but he has become quite to hitting machine and conservatively should be major league ready sometime in 2017. With Duda being around through the 2017 season, there’s no rush to rush here.
Smith could be quite the future star in the game.
Past him, there isn’t much. First up, talent wise, probably is Dash Winningham, who led the Appalachian League in home runs (12). My guess is he will jump Brooklyn and open up in Columbia on opening day. He’ll play 2016 as a 20-year old and you have to respect anyone that led any league in home runs. I’d keep an eye on him.
Next up would be ‘the other St. Lucie first baseman’, Matt Oberste, who hit .301 in 419 at-bats. Like Smith, there is little power here (6-HRs) He should probably follow Smith to Binghamton and settle in eventually as the AAAA first baseman in the system someday at the AAA level.
Past that, Las Vegas is wide open in 2016, though Brandon Allen (AAA - .273) could be back or Vince Belnome (.252) could be promoted from AA-Binghamton.
As for St. Lucie, look for any combination of Michael Katz (Sav - .239), Jeff Diehl (Brklyn - .289), and/or Jon Leroux (Sav - .223).
Summary – The transition from Duda to Smith seems pretty simple, unless the Mets decide to revisit talks to sign Duda past his arbitration requirements. Frankly, I don’t see it at this point and it looks like that shiphas saied.
Rating - A
MLB Trade Rumors @mlbtraderumors - Marlins P Jose Fernandez rejected long-term deal, and Henderson Alvarez won't be ready for Opening Day.
Mack – Interesting, but no big surprise here on Fernandez. He’s a Scott Boras client and we all know they don’t sign long-term deals before their time. They’re great for limited talent guys like Juan Lagares and Jon Niese, but you will never see guys like Fernandez or Matt Harvey do this against the advice of their agent.
Fernandez is entering his first year of arbitration in 2016 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.
Max Wildstein @MaxWildstein -
With the #Nationals unable to finalize a deal with Bud Black, the team will now offer Dusty Baker the manager job, reports Jon Heyman CBS.
Mack – It’s going to be very interesting to watch such three fundamentally flawed managers as Baker, Don Mattingly, and Terry Collins are, all managing in the same division.