Mets Get More Cow Bell
No, Cow Bell Man has not recently married (as far as we know).
The Mets traded former hot prospect Jefry Marte to the Oakland Athletics for outfielder Collin Cowgill. If you remember, Marte was a 17-year-old wunderkind, displaying enormous potential in his first season of pro ball in 2008. Here is a piece of the Baseball America scouting report from that time:
International scouting director Ismael Cruz labeled Marte’s bat the quickest in the 2007 international class. He ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in his pro debut.
Strengths: An outstanding young hitter, Marte uses the whole field when he’s at his best. Mets officials are confident he’ll hit for average and draw his share of walks while developing solid-average power. The ball jumps off his bat differently than with most players, and he has good pitch-recognition skills for his age. He’s a deceptively good runner, with baserunning knowledge and aggressiveness enhancing his average speed. He’s also advanced in terms of maturity. His arm is solid average.
Now of legal drinking age, Marte is washed up.
Actually, that’s not fair — he simply hasn’t made any progress since his 17-year-old season, when he posted a .930 OPS. His numbers took a big drop after being promoted to the Sally League (A), and have only improved slightly with each stop since. I haven’t had a chance to see him live so can’t comment on whether his physical skills have improved or not — part of the evaluation requires a scout’s eye.
In return, the Mets get Collin Cowgill, a spunky, scrappy, AAAA outfielder who turns 27 in May. He’s never had a real opportunity to make it in MLB, but he’ll get it in 2013 with the Mets. He’s a little guy who hustles and does everything right — all the makings of a fan favorite. If I had to make a comparison, I’d say he’s a Chad Curtis, sans steroids. Or maybe a Joe McEwing, but with more power and without the ability to play the infield.
Good deal for the Mets? Hard to say — we’ll need to see this one play out. It’s surprising to see the Mets part with Marte’s raw skills in return for a fourth outfielder, but they must believe that Marte has hit his ceiling, and is at his peak value.
My bet is we won’t miss Marte, and Mets fans will love Cowgill in a similar way they loved to root for McEwing, Endy Chavez, Chris Carter, etc. And right now, it’s all about finding alternative ways to put fannies in the seats.