After being swept in rather embarrassing fashion at the hands of the playoff-bound Milwaukee Brewers this weekend at Citi Field, it became clear to Mets players, fans, and management that this incarnation of the New York Mets has no shot at reaching the 2011 MLB playoffs. So the prudent move right now for the organization to do is to utilize the last month and a half of this season to deeply evaluate the organization’s talent levels especially in the upper tiers (Double-A on up to the Majors). The best possible way to do this is to get some of these young players actual MLB game experience, which is exactly why the MLB created the whole “expanding rosters to 40 players on September 1st” rule. Here are some top candidates for the Mets to call up from he minors to fill out the up-to-40 man roster:
Josh Satin 2B
Buffalo Bisons (Triple-A)
123 combined games with Buffalo and Binghamton
12 HRs 73 RBIs .326 BA 42 2Bs
Satin, a 2008 6th-Round draft pick of the Mets out of Cal, shredded Eastern and then International League pitching this season with his nice mix of power and contact. Second base is the most unstable position on the field for the Mets personnel-wise so he has a nice chance of entering the carousel. The position has been a revolving door of players the last 2 seasons and Satin looks like he could fit in well at that position. The Mets would be foolish not to give this kid a shot in the majors in September.
Zach Lutz 3B
53 games with Bisons in 2011
10 HRS 27 RBIs .312 BA 36 R
The Mets drafted Lutz in the 5th round of the 2007 MLB draft and when he has been healthy, he has truly impressed. Lutz is a solid defensive third baseman but his real and only major problem is staying on the field. He has only played in 127 games in his last two professional seasons, which comes out to roughly 63 games per season. That simply won’t cut it if Lutz wants to be effective in the Majors. Despite this problem, Zach still has a lot of pop in his bat and that’s exactly what the Mets need, regardless of which position Lutz is changed to bend to the strengths of star third baseman David Wright.
Chris Schwinden SP
23 GS 7-6, 3.60 ERA, 119 Ks, 130.0 IP
Schwinden, a 22nd-round draft pick in 2008, has had a truly breakout season this year for the Bisons. He has emerged into one of the best-performing starting pitchers in the Mets’ farm system. Like current Mets pitcher Dillon Gee, Schwinden doesn’t have overpowering stuff but still manages to get batters out. This is one of the reasons why he was named to the International League All-Star Game in 2011. Schwinden is a smart pitcher and as evidenced by Dillon Gee, those kind of guys manage to be successful for the Mets.
Jordany Valdespin SS
119 games combined between Buffalo and Double-A Binghamton
16 HRs, 56 RBIs, .288 BA. 34 SB
Now if you’re looking for a speedy shortstop with loads of power, Valdespin is your kind of player. Since signing with the Mets as a non-drafted free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2007, Valdespin has quickly risen through the ranks of the Mets’ farm system and has stolen bases and RBI at every step of the way. With the uncertainty of Mets current star shortstop Jose Reyes’ contract beyond 2011 and the chronic injuries of prospect Reese Havens, Jordany enters the very top tier of middle infielders in the Mets minor league system. He deserves a long, hard look from Terry Collins and the rest of the Mets’ front office during September baseball for his future prospects with the Mets.
Jeurys Familia P
Binghamton Mets (Double-A)
20 GS with Binghampton and Single-A Adv St. Lucie
5-4, 2.81 ERA, 120 Ks, 109.0 IP
Familia, an Eastern League All-Star this season, has electric stuff and he has used it to strike out 120 batters in only 109 innings this season in starts for Binghamton and Port St. Lucie. The Mets already have some more developed pitching prospects similar to Familia in Pedro Beato and Jenrry Mejia already in the Majors and Triple-A, but with the current rotation status of the Mets they can’t have enough pitching. Familia is still a little raw as a pitcher, but he will mature quickly with a call-up to the majors in September.
These are only five prospects who can potentially be promoted — the Mets can technically add up to 15, so, who not on this list would you consider? Post your suggestions in the comments, as well as your thoughts on these candidates.
About the Author
Josh Burton is a student at Lynbrook High School on Long Island in New York. He enjoys writing about his favorite sports teams like the Mets, New Jersey Nets, and others. Josh has been a Mets fan since birth and has stuck with the team through the highs of the Bobby Valentine and Willie Randolph managerialships and the lows of the Art Howe and Jerry Manuel managerialships; of course the jury is still out on Terry Collins. His one dream with the New York Mets is to personally witness a World Series Championship in his lifetime. Ya Gotta Believe!