Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
Here’s what would be my Las Vegas outfield would be on opening day –
First, let me say this. This outfield is not going to be as talented as the infield is. Potentially, I see only one guy that could make a difference at the major leave level. That being said, let’s get on with it -
LF – Victor Cruzado – Cruzado had a halfway decent season last year in Binghamton (364-AB, .261), splitting time with Jayce Boyd (270-AB, .259). The difference was the 8 HRs he hit vs. Boyd’s 2. Cruzado will turn 25 in June and should settle in nicely as a AAAA institutional player for Las Vegas for two or three season.
CF – Brandon Nimmo – Brandon, Brandon, Brandon… I was extremely pleased with his late season stats (73-AB, .274) with the Mets. As you see, I don’t think it’s enough to win away the 5th outfield slot in Queens and take it away from Mike Conforto. Nimmo is going to have to wait one more time for the injury phone call, or be packaged in a deal for a new reliever or catcher. One thing in his favor… the Mets have a few guys now that can be added to a package deal (Gsellman, T.J., Nimmo) and maybe get a decent deal done without hurting the core of the team.
RF – Travis Taijeron – The soon-to-be 28-year old (January) had an impressive 2016 for Las Vegas… 459-AB, 19-HR, 88-RBIs), but a .275 batting average in this league is sub-par. Like most AAAA power hitters, he strikes out far too much to be a potential major leaguer (166-K). I assume his power bat, and lack of prospect outfielders in the pipeline, will keep his around for a while.
OF/UT – Matt Oberste – Oberste is a potential next-Lucas Duda as a DH only. He can smack the hell out the ball, but his overall game is far below major league standard. Like Taijeron, will settle in as a AAAA player.
OF/UT – Ty Kelly – Kelly would have qualified for the 3rd highest batting average in the PCL if he had enough at-bats (271-AB, .328). You can’t get rid of guy like this and, frankly, he did produce a little for the parent club on their quest to make the playoffs (58-AB, .241-BA). Still, Kelly is at best a AAAA player and an injury replacement if needed.