Starting today I am going to work on a daily piece where I am going to give my early projections on how I foresee the Mets arranging their minor league lineups and rotations. I will also throw in some bullpen arms that I think will be in each affiliates bullpen, but with so many bullpen spots in the minors it’s near impossible to predict exactly how it will fully shake out. I am going to only cover the full season ball teams, and I will start in Triple-A Buffalo which looks like it will be an extremely strong offensive team with some good pitching too. Here is my prediction for Buffalo’s Opening Day lineup:
1. Ruben Tejada – SS – Terry Collins said Tejada will be playing exclusively shortstop in AAA.
2. Kirk Nieuwenhuis – CF – Had rough go in first stint in AAA, but expect him to hit well and he very well could get a call up by mid-season if injuries occur.
3. Fernando Martinez – LF – Will he ever be healthy? If so you can expect big numbers from him here, and a likely call-up at some point during 2011.
4. Lucas Duda – 1B – Will also play some corner outfield to improve versatility, but I expect him to mow through the International League again.
5. Zach Lutz – 3B – Was once told that Lutz is one of, if not the best pure hitter in the organization but is never healthy enough to show it. Can really only play 1B/3B so he may be blocked in this organization.
6. Justin Turner – 2B – Like him and Russ Adams to play a lot here, and Turner will also DH some I’m sure. He has dominated throughout his minor league career, if there’s an injury up the middle there is a chance he could get a call.
7. Josh Satin – DH – I think they will really work on his versatility this year, and he will DH too because he can hit. I think he will be a productive utility guy very soon.
8. Jason Pridie – RF – Will try to prove he’s over the injuries in 2010 and regain that very strong 4th OF form that people projected of him.
9. Raul Chavez – C – Mike Nickeas will take this job once Ronny Paulino’s PED suspension is up. They simply need someone good to catch and handle the few young arms that will be in Buffalo’s rotation.
This lineup has a chance to lead the IL in almost every offensive category. It is an extremely strong AAA lineup top to bottom, and has guys that if injuries occur I am comfortable with them stepping up to the big league team and being able to contribute there.
Tomorrow: Buffalo’s Starting Rotation. Special thanks to PSL2F contributor Tejesh Patel, also of Mets Prospect Hub for his input on these projections.