Tag Archives: Jenrry Mejia

Prospect Reviews: Season in Review Part 3


Back in January and February, I reviewed 30 minor league prospects, and made some predictions. With the season over at the Minor League level and nearly over at the Major League level, I figured now was a great time to look back at how I did. I posted my thoughts on the first 20 prospects Tuesday and Wednesday, and will look at the final 10 today.

Tony Sanchez (PIT)

The Pirates were really looking cheap when they drafted Sanchez, but he has shown a fair amount of talent at this point. My prediction back in January: .320/.390/.490, 12 HR, 65 RBI (Split between High-A and AA). He ended up hitting .314/.416/.454 with 4 HR and 35 RBI in just 59 games due to injury. I think he’s going to end up a lot higher on prospect charts for 2011 and hopefully he’ll be able to stay healthy the whole season.

Chris Carter (OAK)

I really thought that Carter would come up sometime around mid-season, and he just didn’t hit well enough to unseat Daric Barton. He hit 31 homeruns and drove in 94, but the .258 batting average really profiles him to be a Mark Reynolds-type power hitter who will strike out quite a bit. I think that the Athletics will find somewhere for him to play next season at the Majors, simply because they have so few power hitters in their lineup.

Jaff Decker (SD)

Decker did not have the greatest season, and was definitely not within what I had predicted either: .305/.395/.495, 15 HR, 65 RBI, 8 stolen bases (High-A and AA). He spent the season only at High-A, missing part of the year due to injury. The batting line was a bit lower (.262/.374/.500), but the power is better than I thought (17 HR, 58 RBI). I think he will be a bit better next season since he should have recovered from the injury, but it concerns me that the batting average was so low in the California League.

Jenrry Mejia (NYM)

The Mets really messed with his development this season, having him work out of the bullpen to start the season before finally moving him back to the minors to work as a starting pitcher. I think that he’s going to be in the rotation come 2011 for the Mets, and that he will have some control issues (16 walks in 42 minor league innings, 20 walks in 39 major league innings).

Kyle Drabek (TOR)

Drabek pitched extremely well at AA over the span of the season, going 14-9 with a 2.94 ERA and 132 strikeouts. The 68 walks in 162 innings is concerning, and much worse than I had predicted (40 walks in 145 innings). He earned himself a few starts at the Major League level at the end of the season, but I think he’s going to be in AAA next year, at least to start out with.

Brett Lawrie (MIL)

I thought that Lawrie would post this line at AA: .270/.340/.440, 17 HR, 75 RBI, 15 stolen bases. His actual line: .285/.346/.451, 8 HR, 63 RBI, 30 stolen bases. Clearly overestimated the power, and clearly underestimated the speed. It remains to be seen where Lawrie will play once he gets to the Majors, but he seems likely to be at AAA to start next year and should earn a callup if he continues to hit like he did in 2010.

Chris Withrow (LAD)

In February I wrote that I thought he would do well if he could improve his control, and predicted the following: 9-7, 3.75 ERA, 145 IP, 150 strikeouts, 55 walks. Well, it appears that he did not improve his control, as he went 4-9 with a 5.97 ERA, 129 2/3 IP, 120 strikeouts but 69 walks. I think that honestly, Withrow should repeat AA to try and get his walks better under control.

Casey Kelly (BOS)

Kelly was in his first full season of only pitching and not trying to play shortstop, and I really thought he would do well: 10-7, 3.20 ERA, 135 IP, 115 strikeouts, 25 walks. Oops. His actual line: 3-5, 5.31 ERA, 95 IP, 81 strikeouts, 35 walks. I think that the Red Sox will probably leave him in AA to start 2011, and show some solid numbers before moving him up again.

Yonder Alonso (CIN)

Alonso remains a bit blocked, despite hitting .296/.355/.470 with 12 homers, 56 runs batted in, and 9 stolen bases in just 101 AAA games. Joey Votto has clearly established himself as the 1B for the team at this point, and Alonso’s future with the organization clearly lies in the outfield. Whether or not he can play the position at the Major League level will determine whether he is traded in the next year.

Jacob Turner (DET)

I came into my Turner post with no idea, and made this prediction: 10 K/9 IP, 3 BB/9 IP. What he actually did: around 9 K/9 IP, sub 2 BB/9 IP. He split the year between Low and High A, and I think that he will either start the season at High A again or could even see a promotion to AA. One of the better prospects in the minors at this point.

Prospect Reviews: Midseason Review – AA, High-A, and Low-A


Yesterday, I went over the prospects currently in the Majors and AAA that I reviewed back in January and how their seasons have progressed to this point. Today I’ll be focusing on the players at the levels below AAA.

Note: Each of these players are listed under the level that they are currently at, but will include their stats at all levels. All statistics are through Saturday’s games, and courtesy of Baseball Reference.

AA

Jenrry Mejia (Writeup)

Level G W L SV ERA IP K WHIP
AA 2 0 0 0 2.70 3.1 5 2.400
Majors 30 0 2 0 3.25 27.2 17 1.590

Mejia was finally sent down to the minors to be lengthened out to start after his appearance on June 2oth. Of course, in standard bad luck fashion, Mejia was injured in his second start down at AA, and has been shut down from throwing with no return date set as of yet. He strained his right posterior cuff, which seems like it would be pretty bad for a pitcher. However, his name is still being mentioned in potential trade talks that the Mets are having, and I am wondering if he could still be moved despite the injury.

Jordan Lyles (Writeup)

Level G W L SV ERA IP K WHIP
AA 15 6 5 0 2.60 22 85 1.168

Lyles was recently named to Baseball America’s midseason prospect All Star team, and has pitched extremely well so far this season. Back in May I wrote that I thought he might get a cup of coffee with the Astros’ AAA affiliate at the end of the season, but I think that the prospect might be better served by staying at AA the whole season through, and starting 2011 at AAA. He won’t turn 20 years old until after the season this year, and still looks like he has a very good chance of being with the big club at the start of 2012. One of the few high level prospects in the system for the Astros.

Trevor Reckling (Writeup)

Level G W L SV ERA IP K WHIP
AA 2 1 0 0 2.45 7.1 10 0.818
AAA 14 4 7 0 8.53 69.2 46 2.139

The numbers tell the story so far for Reckling, who struggled so much with the Pacific Coast League that he was sent back to AA on June 27th. I am wondering if the initial struggles led to some confidence issues for him, as his walk rate at AA ballooned completely out of control (50 walks to 46 strikeouts). While his walk rate has never been super low, this was high even for him. Hopefully he will be able to clean himself up in AA and return to AAA before the end of the season.

Christian Friedrich (Writeup)

Level G W L SV ERA IP K WHIP
AA 12 1 5 0 5.34 64 57 1.531

Looking at Friedrich’s numbers, he’s been a bit homerun prone compared to his previous years, especially when you consider that he gave up only 3 in 14 starts in the hitter friendly California League, but has already given up 8 in just 12 starts in the Texas League. The strikeouts are down, but are still a very solid 8 per 9 innings. I wrote back in May that he had missed more than a month of starts with an elbow injury, so this could definitely be causing him some trouble still.

Martin Perez (Writeup)

Level G W L SV ERA IP K WHIP
AA 15 3 4 0 5.46 64.1 68 1.617

Perez is still having a bit of a problem with the walks, as he is now at 4.81 per 9 innings for the season. Looking at his FIP (3.97) tells me that he’s probably due to get a few more breaks and overall lower some of these numbers back into the range we all expected of him during the preseason. One thing I am liking is the fact that on the season his groundball rate is at 50%, as I think that if he can translate that with his strikeout rate he will continue to excel long-term. His name has come up briefly in trade rumors for the Rangers, but I think they would be better served keeping him than moving him for a short-term rental, even if it would help them this season.

Kyle Drabek (Writeup)

Level G W L SV ERA IP K WHIP
AA 17 8 8 0 3.20 107 80 1.224

Drabek is fresh off of throwing a 9 inning no-hitter for New Hampshire last week, but his ERA doesn’t tell the whole story. His FIP is at 4.19 on the season, and at least part of that is related to the 45 walks he has issued already this season. He only issued 5 more walks in 50 more innings last season, so that raises some concerns for me. He isn’t brutally far away from his career rate of 3.4 per 9 inning, but it leads me to believe that there could be a regression of sorts here. The Blue Jays have exactly no need to hurry him, so I think he’ll spend the whole season down at AA, and start next year at AAA.

Brett Lawrie (Writeup)

Level G AVG OBP SLG R HR RBI SB
AA 83 .295 .358 .473 53 6 41 22

Lawrie has hit pretty well so far, and the speed is something I really like to see out of him.  He has been making errors at 2B at around the same rate as last season, but that’s not a huge surprise considering he is still learning the position really. He’s been mentioned as a player that the Mariners would love to acquire from the Brewers, but unless the Brewers get back prospects for a different position I am not sure how exactly the Mariners are going to go get Lawrie.

Chris Withrow (Writeup)

Level G W L SV ERA IP K WHIP
AA 16 3 4 0 4.69 80.2 76 1.500

Withrow’s numbers haven’t exactly been making anyone talk him up so far this season, but there is hope for the season. In June, he posted a 3.44 FIP over 29 innings with 28 strikeouts, but a disconcerting 17 walks. So far in July his FIP is 1.85 (small sample size of course). The key that I see is that his homerun rate appears to be normalizing, as his HR/FB rate is at 8.8% for the year, but was up over 12% coming into June. Look for him to be left at AA through the season, and if he pitches well in August potentially getting a call to AAA.

Casey Kelly (Writeup)

Level G W L SV ERA IP K WHIP
AA 15 1 3 0 5.05 62.1 55 1.652

Kelly is another prospect who isn’t pitching as badly as the numbers indicate. So far, he has had BABIPs of .389 (April), .366 (May), and .379 (June), but FIPs of 2.47, 4.66, and 3.52 respectively. With the exception of the month of May (4.33 per 9), his walks have been pretty much under control, and the strikeouts remain right around 8 per 9 innings. He’s going to see some growing pains undoubtedly as he continues to adjust to only pitching, but I think he’ll be just fine by the end of the season as well. The Red Sox have no opening for him in the rotation any time soon, so I am wondering if he could be moved potentially as the key piece to acquire a short-term player.

High-A

Derek Norris (Writeup)

Level G AVG OBP SLG R HR RBI SB
A+ 43 .243 .408 .375 28 4 22 4

Norris missed substantial time with injuries early on in his season, but has not hit quite at the same level as was expected back in the preseason. The one number that really jumps off the page to me is his OBP (.408). For the season, he now has 37 walks to go against 36 strikeouts, an excellent rate. He’s going to start hitting better with a walk rate like that. It is also telling to me that the Nationals announced that Bryce Harper would start his professional career as an outfielder, and with Norris being their most advanced catching prospect essentially locked in. He probably won’t be up until 2012, but if he is a solid offensive catcher and an excellent defender, that will definitely be enough.

Eric Hosmer (Writeup)

Level G AVG OBP SLG R HR RBI SB
A+ 80 .351 .428 .548 46 7 48 11

Apparently the Lasik worked. Hosmer has been hitting everything he sees, and I have to imagine that he’s going to be moved up to AA at some point in the next month. Even his walk-to-strikeout rate has improved over his previous seasons (41/33 so far). Hosmer seems likely to be much higher up in the rankings at the end of the season.

Tony Sanchez (Writeup)

Level G AVG OBP SLG R HR RBI SB
A+ 59 .314 .416 .494 31 4 35 2

For some reason, I thought Sanchez would have shown more power at this point, but the batting average and on base percentage are both really nice regardless. Interestingly, his caught stealing rate is only at 15% on the season. I am wondering if that could have something to do with the idea that only the real speedsters are generally allowed to run in the minors, and as such are going to show that much more success. Overall, I think he will probably see a little bit of time at AA before the season is out, but there is no real reason for the Pirates to rush him.

Jaff Decker (Writeup)

Level G AVG OBP SLG R HR RBI SB
A+ 41 .229 .315 .401 15 5 23 2

Decker missed time earlier in the season with a hamstring injury, and I am wondering if there are some other parts of that injury that may still be affecting Decker’s hitting.  He also appears to be very impatient as well, as he has struck out 49 times in only 41 games, but also only walked 18 times. He should be destroying the California League offensively, but he will probably stay down there for the rest of the season and potentially start next season there as well if his hitting doesn’t improve.

Jacob Turner (Writeup)

Level G W L SV ERA IP K WHIP
A 11 2 3 0 3.67 54 51 1.148
A+ 2 0 0 0 8.59 7.1 7 2.045

Turner was recently promoted to High-A, after pitching pretty well in the Midwest League. The control has been excellent, with 51 strikeouts against only 9 walks there. He is still only 19 years old, and I think he’s going to spend the rest of the season at High-A. That still seems pretty advanced to me for a player as young as him.

Low-A

Shelby Miller (Writeup)

Level G W L SV ERA IP K WHIP
A 13 2 3 0 4.20 49.1 65 1.338
AAA 51 .246 .283 .365 17 4 28 3

Miller has been dominating the Midwest League, striking out almost 12 batters per 9 innings. Back in May, I wrote that I thought he would spend the full season at Low A, but I think that if he continues to pitch as well as he has to this point, he’ll get a call to either High-A or AA. The interesting thing at this point is that his name is also being bandied about in trade rumors, as he is considered to be the highest upside prospect in the Cardinals’ system right now.

Aaron Hicks (Writeup)

Level G AVG OBP SLG R HR RBI SB
A 76 .260 .372 .407 50 5 34 11
AAA 3 2 0 0 2.37 19 26 0.842

Hicks is repeating the Midwest League, after only playing part of the season in 2009. His slugging percentage and on base are both higher than last year, but not substantially. He had a poor month of May, but both April and June have been solid months where he posted OPS higher than 800 in each of them. I’m not entirely sure what happened in May, but I want to see what he does in July before just assuming he is back.

Finally, a last word about the 30th prospect I reviewed, A.J. Pollock (Writeup) of the Diamondbacks. Here’s what I wrote back in May:

Pollock was to start the season at High-A, but injured himself trying to make a sliding catch in the outfield. The diagnosis was a fractured growth plate in his arm, and will miss at least half the season. Look for him to spend the remainder of this season at Single-A when he does return from the injury.

As of today, he still has not made his debut for the season,

The Week in Review – June 14th to June 20th


If the Playoffs Started Today

Tampa Bay Rays (42-27) vs. Texas Rangers (41-28)
Minnesota Twins (40-29) vs. New York Yankees (43-26)

New York Mets (38-31) vs. San Diego Padres (40-29)
St. Louis Cardinals (38-31) vs. Atlanta Braves (42-28)

League Leaders

Batting Average – Robinson Cano (NYY) – .367
Runs – Kevin Youkilis (BOS) – 58
Home Runs – Miguel Cabrera (DET) – 19
Runs Batted In – Miguel Cabrera (DET) – 60
Stolen Bases – Juan Pierre (CHW) – 27

Wins – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) – 13
Saves – Matt Capps (WAS) – 20
ERA – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) – 1.15
Strikeouts – Jered Weaver (LAA) – 107
WHIP – Cliff Lee (SEA) – 0.90

Roster Movement

To the Disabled List: Troy Tulowitzki, Luke Hochevar, Chad Billingsley, Carlos Monasterios

Return from the Disabled List: Orlando Hudson, Jeff Mathis, Edgar Renteria, Jason Bartlett, Vicente Padilla

To the Minors: Aki Iwamura, Jayson Nix, Cameron Maybin, Ian Snell, Rick Porcello, Felix Doubront, Jenrry Mejia

Called Up: Pedro Alvarez, Dayan Viciedo, Felix Doubront

Top Stories and Weekly Links

  • Monday was a pretty quiet day overall, with the exception of the slide by Casey McGehee that took out Angels’ SS Erick Aybar. Aybar has avoided the disabled list to this point, but it remains to be seen if he will be able to return soon or not yet.
  • Wednesday brought yet another top prospect to the Majors, with Pirates’ 3B Pedro Alvarez getting the call to the Show. Alvarez was yet another high end prospect making his debut this season for the Pirates, with Jose Tabata and Brad Lincoln both making their debuts in the previous week. Clearly, Alvarez has a better pedigree than both of those two, and was widely considered to be the top prospect in the Pirates system. What a year for rookies.
  • Also on Wednesday we saw a bit of a scary moment, as Giants’ ace Tim Lincecum was hit by a line drive on the shoulder. It sounds like he’s going to make his next start, but it is something to be watched to be sure.
  • Thursday saw an unfortunate injury, with Rockies’ SS Troy Tulowitzki being hit by a pitch on his wrist. He was placed on the disabled list on Friday, and will miss between 6-8 weeks. Tough break (literally and figuratively).
  • Friday brought Mannywood back to Boston for the first time since being traded by the Red Sox. Overall, the reaction was pretty reasonable, as there was some booing but overall not too bad. He unfortunately wasn’t able to lead the Dodgers to a victory on either Friday or Saturday, but did have a good game on Saturday with a home run and a stolen base.
  • Friday was also the 3rd start of Stephen Strasburg, this time against the White Sox. Strasburg went 7 innings, allowed only 1 earned run, and struck out 10 batters. The Nationals pulled him after 7, even though he had only thrown 85 pitches. My question is this: At what point do they allow him to go either more than 7 innings or approach 100 pitches?
  • ESPN posted an interesting article on Friday about what major league teams are doing to help prepare their prospects for the upcoming implementation of the new Arizona immigration law.
  • On Tuesday, the Athletics acquired OF Conor Jackson from the Diamondbacks for minor league P Sam Demel. The Athletics had supposedly been looking at acquiring Jackson for quite a long time, but looking at the A’s team I am not sure exactly how this is going to help them to improve the team.
  • Chipper Jones was brought up in discussion about whether or not he would retire at the end of this season, or if even it was possible he might do so before the end of the season. He is currently under contract for 2 more seasons, so unless some version of a settlement occurs to help determine the status of that contract, I don’t think he does. He stated during the week that he would not discuss it any further during the season, to avoid distracting from the retirement of Bobby Cox.
  • The Mets sent reliever Jenrry Mejia down to AA on Sunday, with the intent of lengthening him out to become a starting pitcher. It’s about time.

Upcoming Posts This Week:

Tuesday: The Original Draft Series – Team #24 and #23
Wednesday: The Original Draft Series – Team #22 and #21
Thursday: The Original Draft Series – Team #20 and #19
Friday:  Trade Retrospective – Rickey Henderson to the Athletics

Original Draft Series: #26 – New York Mets


For those that missed the guidelines I am using for this series of posts, you can find them here.

Team #26: New York Mets

General Managers(since 1994)

Joe McIlvaine (1994-1997): 283-298
Steve Phillips (1998-2003): 502-469
Jim Duquette (2004): 71-91
Omar Minaya (2005-Current): 427-383

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
0 1 3 1 6 4 3 2

The Mets have actually had some pretty solid years over the past 16 seasons. With a trip to the World Series in 2000,  and 3 playoff appearances overall, the Mets have done well with what they’ve had. The key being that as time has progressed since 1994, they have continued to spend money in addition to developing players, sometimes one to the detriment of the other. All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Josh Thole 2005 – 13th Rd 5 17 gm, .321/.356/.396, 9 RBI, SB, 2 R Currently with Org.
1B Ike Davis 2008 – 1st Rd (18) 2 51 gm, .258/.346/.451, 8 HR, 22 RBI, SB, 31 R Currently with Org.
2B Ty Wigginton 1998 – 17th Rd 6 288 gm, .270/.327/.440, 29 HR, 131 RBI, 20 SB, 137 R Traded to PIT – 7/30/04
3B David Wright 2001 – 1st Rd (38) 9 4 All Star Appearances, 2 Gold Gloves, 2 Silver Sluggers
910 gm, .308/.388/.519, 152 HR, 611 RBI, 130 SB, 585 R
Currently with Org.
SS Jose Reyes Int’l FA – 1999 11 2 All Star Appearances, 1 Silver Slugger
851 gm, .284/.336/.430, 66 HR, 348 RBI, 318 SB, 587 R
Currently with Org.
LF Angel Pagan 1999 – 4th Rd 7+2 181 gm, .293/.345/.446, 10 HR, 71 RBI, 31 SB, 102 R Purchased by CHC – 1/25/06
CF Carlos Gomez Int’l FA – 2002 5 58 gm, .232/.288/.304, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 12 SB, 29 R Traded to MIN – 2/2/08
RF Nelson Cruz Intl FA – 1998 2 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to OAK – 8/30/00
SP Scott Kazmir 2002 – 1st Rd (15) 2 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to TAM – 7/30/04
SP A.J. Burnett 1995 – 8th Rd 3 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to FLA – 2/6/98
SP Mike Pelfrey 2005 – 1st Rd (9) 5 37-33, 4.25 ERA, 334 K, 212 BB, 565.2 IP, 1.448 WHIP Currently with Org.
SP Brian Bannister 2003 – 7th Rd 3 2-1, 4.26 ERA, 19 K, 22 BB, 38 IP, 1.474 WHIP Traded to KC – 12/6/06
SP Jonathon Niese 2005 – 7th Rd 5 5-4, 4.27 ERA, 74 K, 36 BB, 97 IP, 1.505 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Hisanori Takahashi Int’l FA – 2010 1 5-2, 3.48 ERA, 52 K, 20 BB, 54.1 IP, 1.325 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Jenrry Mejia Int’l FA – 2007 3 0-2, 3.04 ERA, 16 K, 13 BB, 26.2 IP, 1.575 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Octavio Dotel Int’l FA – 1993 6 8-3, 5.38 ERA, 85 K, 49 BB, 85.1 IP, 1.383 WHIP Traded to HOU – 12/23/99
RP Aaron Heilman 2001 – 1st Rd (18) 7 22-33, 4.24 ERA, 395 K, 185 BB, 450.1 IP, 1.328 WHIP Traded to SEA – 12/11/08
RP Matt Lindstrom 2002 – 10th Rd 8 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to FLA – 11/20/06
CL Heath Bell Amateur FA – 1998 8 1-5, 4.92 ERA, 105 K, 30 BB, 108 IP, 1.472 WHIP Traded to SD – 11/15/06
BN Kaz Matsui (2B) Int’l FA – 2003 3 239 gm, .256/.308/.363, 11 HR, 75 RBI, 22 SB, 106 R Traded to COL – 6/9/06
BN Daniel Murphy (1B) 2006 – 13th Rd 4 204 gm, .275/.331/.437, 14 HR, 80 RBI, 4 SB, 84 R Currently with Org.
BN Lastings Milledge (OF) 2003 – 1st Rd (12) 4 115 gm, .257/.326/.414, 11 HR, 51 RBI, 4 SB, 41 R Traded to WAS – 11/30/07
BN Jesus Flores (C) Int’l FA – 2002 4 No Major League Appearances with Organization Rule 5 Draftee – WAS – 12/7/06
BN Guillermo Mota (RP) Int’l FA – 1990 6 + 2 5-2, 4.66 ERA, 66 K, 23 BB, 77.1 IP, 1.241 WHIP Rule 5 Draftee – MON – 12/9/06
BN Ryota Igarashi (RP) Int’l FA – 2009 1 0-1, 10.03 ERA, 4 K, 9 BB, 11.2 IP, 1.971 WHIP Currently with Org.

June Amateur Draft

Looking at their drafting results, they have had only 20 first round picks in the last 15 drafts (not including 2010). With success comes a lack of top-10 picks, as they have had only 4 picks in those drafts. They have actually done reasonably well in the 1st round, 14 of the 20 making it for at least 1 game to the Majors. Clearly, the biggest success to this point has been 3B David Wright, who has posted a 27.2 career WAR already, despite being only 27 years old. Unfortunately, they haven’t always known what to do with their first rounders, as the player with the second highest Career WAR to this point is the notorious Scott Kazmir, traded away in 2004 for the player equivalent of 5 baseballs and some pine tar.

International Free Agency

The Mets have been extremely active in the International markets, with both professional free agents (Matsui, Takahashi) and amateur free agents (Reyes, Dotel) having success. There have been a few however, who are either too new still (Igarashi, Mejia), or never really did much for the team itself (Flores, Cruz). Overall, there is definitely an effort being made organization wide to try to ensure that they are tapping every talent pool possible.

Overall Grade

I am leaning towards C- here. While there have been some stunning success stories (Wright, Reyes), there have also been players who essentially brought nothing to the table for the Mets (Kazmir, Flores, Cruz). And while at least a few of these players who did not play for the team brought back useful players (Burnett was used to acquire Al Leiter), the fact that so many of these players were not in a Mets uniform when they had success leads me to rank them down this low. As you will probably see in the next few teams, these teams are all kind of bunched together, and if you had one ahead of another, I wouldn’t necessarily disagree.

How are They Doing So Far? part 1


Over this week, I am going to look at how the prospects I reviewed during this offseason and see how they have done so far this season. Today I’ll be going over the players who are currently in either the Majors or at AAA. All statistics are through Sunday

Welcome to the Show

Jason Heyward (ATL): 28 games, .291/.410/.616, 8 HR, 26 RBI, 14 R, 16 walks, 26 strikeouts

Heyward was named the starting right fielder out of Spring Training, as he impressed nearly everyone who saw him down in Florida. He hasn’t let up since, and is well on his way to winning the Rookie of the Year award. He’s been sidelined of late with a minor groin injury, and there has been talk as to whether or not he will need some time on the disabled list. He is already past the stats that I thought he would post in the Majors this season when I reviewed him. Whether or not his split numbers will stay that high remains to be seen, but he’s been a definite hit so far.

Jennry Mejia (NYM): 15 appearances, 13 2/3 IP, 0-2, 2.63 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 9 strikeouts, 7 walks

I was extremely surprised when the Mets put Mejia into the bullpen out of Spring Training. When I wrote about him during the offseason, I predicted (incorrectly) that he would not be in the Majors until 2012 at the soonest. Leave the Mets to make a liar out of me. However, I did also say that unless his control issues were managed, he’d struggle. 7 walks in 13 2/3 IP would qualify as struggling for me. The problem I really see at this point is that this seems likely to severely stunt his development. Long term his best value would seem to be as a starting pitcher, and he’s not going to develop as one until he goes back to the minors to get reps there. Now, there is the potential for the Mets to be grooming him as a closer-in-waiting for after the 2011 season, when Francisco Rodriguez will be a free agent again. But it just doesn’t seem to be the best answer for him.

Brian Matusz (BAL): 7 starts, 40 1/3 IP, 2-3, 4.91 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 33 strikeouts, 14 walks

Matusz was slated to start the season in the rotation for the Orioles, and has pitched  reasonably well so far. When I wrote him up, I thought that he would post a strikeout rate of 8.25 per 9 innings, and a walk rate of 2.3 per 9. So far, he’s at 7.425 strikeouts per 9 and 3.15 walks per 9. He hasn’t quite matched the numbers I predicted, but until his last start had pitched reasonably well all the same.

Starlin Castro (CHC): 3 games, .333/.333/.833, HR, 6 RBI, 0 walks, 1 strikeout

Castro was called up on Friday to help spark the offense. His callup also moved previous SS Ryan Theriot over to 2B, and potentially for good if Castro hits while he is here. It will be interesting if Castro has a lot of struggles, as he has not played at all at AAA, and did not play a lot at AA either for that matter.

AAA

Carlos Santana (CLE): 29 games, .309/.446/.526, 5 HR, 24 RBI, 3 SB, 22 walks, 19 strikeouts

Santana has gotten off to a hot start, and realistically I have to imagine he will probably be up to the big club as soon as the expected date to avoid making a Super-Two player passes. The player currently blocking him at the Major League level, Lou Marson, is not hitting worth anything, and is realistically just a place holder until they bring up Santana.

Buster Posey (SF): 29 games, .345/.434/.536, 4 HR, 20 RBI, SB, 16 walks, 18 strikeouts

Posey was sent down to AAA after Spring Training so that he could play every day. His offense could very well be needed at the Major League level sooner rather than later, but unless something changes with Bengie Molina, there really isn’t a good spot to play him. I’ve heard talk that Posey is athletic enough that he may be able to play 1B or RF potentially, but clearly his future is behind the plate. I still don’t entirely understand why they brought him up at the end of last season. Hopefully, they don’t bring him up just to sit on the bench.

Jesus Montero (NYY): 24 games, .244/.306/.378, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 16 strikeouts, 8 walks

He’s not quite hitting up to the level that he has in the past, but he is still very young, especially for his level. The Yankees are best suited by continuing to let him try to develop as a catcher, as his bat is probably ready for the Majors now. However, he is their long-term solution behind the plate, and he is going to need probably the majority of this season at AAA continuing his development. Thankfully (for him anyway) the Yankees do not need his bat at the Major League level at this point, and can let him do this.

Trevor Reckling (LAA): 6 starts, 33 IP, 3-1, 4.64 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, 23 strikeouts, 23 walks

Reckling has struggled a bit to this point, as control has clearly become a massive issue. This had already shown itself in previous seasons, and to me he is going to have to get that under control before he can even be considered for the Majors. Good for the Angels is the fact that they do not need to rush him, as they have other pitchers who can be called upon if they need someone at the Major League level. I wrote back in January that I thought he would be in the Majors during 2011, and I think that’s probably still right. He really could use the full season down at AAA to work on the control issues.

Desmond Jennings (TAM): 12 games, .269/.387/.346, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 6 SB, 5 walks 5 strikeouts

Health remains the problem, as he’s only appeared in 12 games out of 29 possible so far. The Rays are taking an extremely conservative approach with him, as they have their outfield at the Major League level pretty well locked in for this season. His batting eye remains excellent, as well as the speed. I could very well see the Rays leaving him down in AAA at least until September, as they really don’t have any pressing need for him in Tampa.

Daniel Hudson (CHW): 6 starts, 29 1/3 IP, 4-2, 5.83 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 34 strikeouts, 10 walks

Hudson was slated to the minors after Spring Training, as the White Sox have an extremely deep starting rotation, with Buehrle, Peavy, Danks, and Floyd at the top, and Freddy Garcia currently in the 5th starter role. I figured back in January that he would be up at some point this season, and I still think he will be. Garcia has not pitched particularly well, striking out 18 and walking 12 in 29 innings. He’s probably going to be given a lot of rope, but I would be surprised if he is still in the rotation come June 1st. Look for Hudson to be called up when that time comes.

Chris Carter (OAK): 29 games, .259/.354/.518, 8 HR, 28 RBI, 16 walks, 33 strikeouts

Carter has started his year in Sacramento, and while he is performing well, I have to imagine that the A’s are likely to keep him down there until at least midseason. The hard part is that for them to get Carter consistent playing time, he is going to need to play either 1B or DH. Current 1B Daric Barton has been solid this season, and appears very unlikely to lose his job. DH is a different concern, as that is currently being misused by the $66 million dollar man, Eric Chavez. The A’s are going to give Chavez every chance to succeed, and at this point he has managed to stay healthy, even if he hasn’t done well. Look for Carter to debut sometime after the All-Star break.


Weekly Links for Opening Day


Well, the first game is in the books now,

  • Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune writes about how the new owner of the Cubs is clearly different from previous owners: out in front of the team, and not in the background. I’ve written about how I think the Cubs will do this season, and I think that the new ownership group, led by Tom Ricketts, will be very good for the organization as a whole. So far, he seems to be doing and saying all the right things.
  • Back during my Prospect Review series, I wrote about Mets’ prospect Jenrry Mejia. I figured then, that he would probably not be up to the Majors until 2012 at the soonest. That assumed that they would keep him starting regardless of what the needs were at the Majors, and clearly, that was not the correct, as he’s made the Mets’ roster as a reliever. I’m not sold that this will be the best thing for his development, but  it could be an interesting one. The Mets’ closer, Francisco Rodriguez, is currently in the 2nd year of a 3 year contract with the Mets, and if Mejia thrives in a setup role, they could conceivably groom him to be the closer in waiting for when Rodriguez’s contract is up.
  • The Marlins’ owner is expecting that the team will make a playoff run this season, after the improvement they showed last year. To me, this seems a bit unrealistic. Spending money on 2 players is better than spending on zero, but the team still needs to grow some more.
  • Jack Cust apparently did not take it very well that he was designated for assignment by the Athletics. I’m guessing a reporter caught him at a bad time, but it was a bit of a surprise to nearly everyone that it happened. I have to imagine that he’s going to take the minor league assignment should he clear waivers, since he will still make his full salary of over $2 million even if he goes to the minors.

Well, there are 5 games on the television today, and I’m hoping to catch at least 1 or two of them. Opening Day is always a whole lot of energy, and hope too.

Prospect Review – Jenrry Mejia – P – NYM


Baseball Reference.Com Profile
Fangraphs Profile
Video Scouting Report from Youtube
Mets Minor League Blog Profile

The Basics
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
How Acquired: Signed as an international free agent.
Age: 20

Statistics

2008 – Gulf Coast Mets (Gulf Coast League – Mets Rookie League) – 3 starts

  • 2-0, 0.60 ERA, 15 IP
  • 15 strikeouts, 3 walks
  • 1.80 FIP

2008 – Brooklyn (New York-Penn League – Mets Short-Season A) – 11 starts

  • 3-2, 3.49 ERA, 56 2/3 IP
  • 52 strikeouts, 23 walks
  • 3.55 FIP

2009 – St. Lucie (Florida State League – Mets High-A) – 9 starts

  • 4-1, 1.97 ERA, 50 1/3 IP
  • 44 strikeouts, 16 walks
  • 2.52 FIP

2009 – Binghamton (Eastern League – Mets AA) – 10 starts

  • 0-5, 4.47 ERA, 44 1/3 IP
  • 47 strikeouts, 23 walks
  • 3.49 FIP

Rankings
Baseball America – #1 (NYM – 2010)
Baseball Prospectus – #7 (NYM – 2009) – 3 star
John Sickels – #1 (NYM – 2010) – B+

Analysis

Mejia burst onto the scene in 2009, posting excellent numbers at both High-A St. Lucie (44 strikeouts to 16 walks in 50 1/3 IP) and AA Binghamton (47 strikeouts to 23 walks in 44 1/3 IP). This during his 19-year-old season. Signed internationally as a 16 year old, Mejia has developed quickly, although his control was a bit of a letdown when he was promoted to AA. His loss of control continued when he pitched in the Arizona Fall League, posting 16 strikeouts and 13 walks in 14 1/3 IP.

Mejia throws a low-to-mid 90s fastball, which per the scouting report above has excellent movement. He also relies on a good curveball, and also throws a changeup as well. His arm motion, while appearing somewhat violent, also appears to be under control to an extent. He comes with a 3/4 arm angle as well.

His low innings total this season (110 over all 3 levels), has me a bit concerned for his development. It seems to me that he will most likely need at least another season at AA to help improve his durability. I think that the Mets really need to try to get him up to the 140-150 innings pitched level during next season.

Outlook

Mejia could really use a full season at AA, in my opinion. He has only thrown a maximum of 110 innings in a single season, while being promoted extremely quickly. His control still needs some improvement, and a consolidating season at AA would be the best thing for him, in my opinion. Assuming he can continue his success while doing this, I could see him starting 2011 in AAA, with the potential for a callup later on in that season.

Prediction for 2010

8-6, 4.25 ERA, 145 IP, 140 strikeouts, 65 walks (AA)

Expected ETA

2012 at the soonest. If he can’t get his control issues worked out, I could see it taking longer. But he would still be only 22 if he made the Majors in 2012.

Tomorrow’s Prospect for Review: Kyle Drabek (P) of the Toronto Blue Jays