Jerry Manuel’s opine for power has so far fallen on deaf ears in the front office. But, perhaps the solution can be found from within.
That’s right, there’s a slugging outfielder-first baseman right under our nose (well, actually, in Buffalo) — and he hits from the right side of the plate.
His name is Wily Mo Pena.
Stop laughing … he may be on the way up.
Though he struggled mightily upon joining the organization, Wily Mo has recently picked it up. In his last ten games, Pena is hitting .351 with 2 homers, 3 doubles, and 9 RBI, and is hitting .345 for the month of June.
As mentioned several weeks ago, Pena has tremendous raw power and is only 27 — on the brink of entering his prime. There are many who believe he’ll never recapture the magic that led to his hitting 51 homers before the age of 24, but I point the critics to Nelson Cruz. Cruz — someone I advocated acquiring last year — was labeled as a career “tweener” or “AAAA guy”, but has blossomed in this, his 28th year, with 17 homers and a .288 average in his first 236 at-bats in Texas.
I’m not predicting that a Wily Mo will come in and mash 40 homers. But considering that the Mets are desperate for some punch, and have little chance of acquiring someone from the outside, logic would dictate that Pena’s promotion is imminent.
By the way, not only does Pena play in Buffalo, but he also resembles one. Check out this photo I found of him on Flickr, standing next to Javier Valentin. Even if he can’t hit, his mere presence should cause a bit of fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers:
About the Author
Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers.