Friday, March 24, 2006

Lets give them something to talk about

That great Bonnie Raitt blues song comes to mind when considering that another change is at hand for the Mets, and that is the re-emmergence of its minor league system. One early season assessment had them rated near the bottom, but this no longer is valid. With the spring showings of Lastings Milledge, Henry Owens, Mike Pelfrey and Brian Bannister, four who will begin the year in the minors, it can be said that the Mets indeed know what their doing in scouting and player development.

In Milledge, the Mets have possible developed their third or fourth straight everyday player. With David Wright and Jose Reyes established everyday players, and Anderson Hernandez poised to begin the year at second, Milledge's arrival to the everyday line-up represents the fourth example of home-grown talent to crack the line-up in three seasons. True, Hernandez was acquired via trade, but his late development was done under the Mets watch. This will make up half the line-up, something most teams desire doing. And its a line-up thats expected to contend.

The visual performances of Mike Pelfrey and Brian Bannister are certain indicators they will both be part of the Mets' rotation-possible as early as this year. If Aaron Heilman remains, this would mean that 3 of the 5 man rotation are homegrown, too. Owens' spring validates Mets scouting which recommended drafting him from another organization. Another strike-out arm could be available for the bullpen by mid-season.

Often its by default that rookies make a club as extra players. I remmeber the opening day roster in 1985 included Terry Blocker, Bill Latham, John Christenson, Ronn Reynolds and Roger McDowell. Only McDowell remained at the end. Significant contriburions can be expected by the Milledge, Owens, Bannister and Pelfrey, and not as back-ups as the 1985 rookies did.


At 2:38 AM, Anonymous G-Fafif said...

Tend to think of the absence of Darryl from his outfield mishap in May as the missing link in 1985, but you remind us that there was a serious depth shortage. I'm sure the Blockers, Lathams and Christensens did their best, but it's at least a little astonishing to realize 98 games were won juggling backup outfielders and infielders. What a difference a year made.

Can't remember another Met OF prospect to cause the noise Milledge has since Straw. And before that? Maybe Don Bosch, though that was probably hype, maybe Ken Singleton. Let's just say Lastings doesn't have a very high bar to surpass in that category. (Lest we forget the more recent misfires of Alex Escobar and Alex Ochoa among other five-tool handymen.)


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