As a Mets fan, the phrase you find yourself saying year after year is "There’s always next year." Unfortunately 2010 is no different. On paper the Mets looked promising, as always, but just couldn’t put it all together on the field. I’m not saying the year is over just yet, believe me I still "Believe". But the fact is the Mets are currently 1 game under .500 with a record of 59-60, 8.5 games out of the wild card, and a whopping 11 games out of the division. If there is any hope it hangs by a thin thread.
Realistically this is a good time to start looking toward the future of our beloved Mets. After analyzing the Mets farm system, as well as talking to minor league expert and fellow writer Joe DeMayo, I have come to the conclusion that the Mets future looks bright. From the very early stages of the Mets Minor League system there is tons of young talent. It is very possible that the Mets have the deepest system in the NL East.
Let’s start at the beginning, the GCL Mets (Rookie Ball). Last year the Mets did not own a first round pick, instead their highest pick fell in the 2nd round where they selected Steve Matz. Signability dropped him all the way to the second round as well as a few arm issues (which would later lead to surgery). But the talent is still there and many scouts believe Matz may have a very bright future in the MLB. The GCL Mets also boast a few 2010 draft picks in Erik Goeddel as well as Akeel Morris. Juan Urbina, son of former MLB pitcher Ugueth Urbina, also plays for the GCL Mets. No, he does not carry a machete. Francisco Pena, son of Yankees coach Tony Pena, is rehabbing with the GCL Mets and still loosely considered a prospect by some.
The Kingsport Mets boast prospects such as talented outfielder Javier Rodriguez and third basemen Aderlin Rodriguez. Javier Rodriguez was a 2009 draft pick of the Mets. Aderlin Rodriguez was the top International signing of 2008 by the Mets.
Now we travel to Brooklyn, where tons of talent is waiting in the wings. We have 2010 draft picks in outfielder Cory Vaughn and catcher Blake Forsythe. 2007 IFA signee Wilfredo Tovar is an infielder for the Cyclones, as well as 2009 4th round pick Darrell Ceciliani, who plays outfield. Wally Backman has done an extraordinary job managing the team and teaching these young players. Here’s to hoping he’s catching some attention of the front office of a team only miles away.
Savannah is the next stop. In Savannah you will see such names as catcher Dock Doyle, third basemen Jefry Marte, infielder/DH Robbie Shields, speedster outfielder Cesar Puello, and outfielder and 2010 Draft Pick Matt Den Dekker. Den Dekker has been a personal favorite of mine ever since I saw him make that "Willy Mays" style catch that grabbed the #1 spot on ESPN Top Plays last month. If you haven’t seen it yet it’s a must see.
The St. Lucie Mets are very pitching deep as far as prospects go. They have such pitchers as Kyle Allen, Jeurys Familia, Scott Moviel, Brant Rustich, and Brad Holt. All of which are considered to be among the Mets best prospects pitching wise. St. Lucie also has a prospect which some of you may recognize the name of in Wilmer Flores. Flores is considered by many, including myself, to be the Mets #1 prospect. He’s an infielder currently but a move to the outfield is probably in his future if he is to stay with the Mets due to his expected body growth. He has drawn many comparisons to Detroit Tigers first basemen and 2010 Triple Crown Candidate, Miguel Cabrera.
The Binghamton Mets, or as some know them as the "B-Mets" are also very pitching deep. The B-Mets have pitching prospect Jenrry Mejia, who we got a taste of as a RP in Flushing earlier this year. He’s currently stretching out to become a starting pitcher again in hopes of joining the rotation in Flushing sometime next season. The B-Mets also have pitchers such as Robert Carson, Mark Cohoon, Eddie Kunz, Roy Merritt and Eric Niesen to name a few. The B-Mets also have two of the Mets top position prospects in second basemen Reese Havens and third basemen Zach Lutz. Both are having terrific seasons, though both have had a few injury problems here and there. Carlos Guzman, Jonathan Malo, Sean Ratliff, and Jose Coronado are also names to pay attention too.
Last but not least we have the Mets highest ranking minor league system, the Buffalo Bisons. Pitching wise the Bisons have a few names that some of you may recognize such as Dillon Gee and Tobi Stoner. Both of those guys are probably 1a and 1b as far as spot starters are concerned if the Mets are in need and call to Buffalo. A name you may not recognize however is Mike Antonini. He is a lefty starter in Buffalo who is having himself a decent year and may ever garner himself a September call-up this season. As far as position players go in Buffalo you see such names as Nick Evans, who has been in Flushing many times over the past few seasons. You have outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who many believe may have a future as a starting outfielder in the big leagues. Also there is another outfielder named Lucas Duda who has put up some serious numbers in AAA this year and is also considered to be a likely September call-up this season for the Mets.
Do the Mets have the deepest farm system in the NL East? That’s up for argument no matter who you ask. Adam Rubin of ESPN NEW YORK has said he’s talked to scouts who do indeed believe that. These scouts feel that the Mets have the deepest farm system in the division. However other scouts may say it’s the Nationals, some may say the Marlins, some the Braves, and the crazy one’s may even say Philly, even though they have traded all there prospects over the last year in deals for Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and Roy Halladay.
One thing is clear however, the Mets have a very deep farm system no matter how you look at it. Is it the deepest? Who knows. Either way the future appears to be bright in Flushing.