The first two weeks of the 2011 season has been pretty terrible for the New York Mets. Their lack to pitching and big hits has really hurt them so far this season and has left them with a 4-9 record. Coming off a 1-6 home-stand to begin the year, the Mets have a lot of issues they need to fix before they can be a winning baseball team. However, it's not all bad news for the Mets organization. Down in the minors, several key prospects have gotten off to a strong start in 2011. These prospects are important to the Mets' future and it's certainly a good sign to see them start off so quickly. Unfortunately, some others haven't been as fortunate.
Jennry Mejia: Starting Pitcher
Mejia was rated as the number 1 prospect in the Mets system this year by BA. After an impressive spring training last year, he made the team as a 20 year old and pitched primarily out of the bullpen. It was probably a mistake to do that in the first place instead of letting him develop more as a starter in double A. (One of the many reasons why Manuel and Minaya are gone) Mejia had a 4.62 ERA in 39 innings pitched (He made 3 starts) with a WHIP close to 1.7, and a K/BB of 1.10. Obviously the experiment didn't go well which further proves why they should have let the future starter develop more. This season Mejia is starting with the Mets Triple A team and he's looking real good.. He's pitched 12.2 innings, allowed no runs and has a WHIP of 0.947. Granted it's just two starts, it's still exciting to see Mejia getting closer and closer to being a ML ready pitcher. Mejia has a plus fastball with movement that ranges in the mid 90's. His breaking ball still needs work but it has been improving, especially his curve ball and slider. His lack of control is also an issue, but he's only 21 so he still has plenty of time to develop into a top of the rotation starter.
Matt Harvey: Starting Pitcher
Last year's first round pick for the Mets, Harvey weighs in at 210lb to go along with a 6'4" frame. Not having pitched after being drafted by New York, Harvey is starting the season in A+ St. Lucie. Harvey's first two starts as a pro have been impressive as he pitched 11 scoreless innings while allowing 8 hits and 4 walks. The most impressive part though is the 17 K's he's registered. With a quick start, Harvey should advance higher up in the Mets system later in the year. It's certainly a good sign for Met fans to see their two best pitching prospects to get off to a good start. Harvey has a plus fastball ranges between 92-95, and a good slider to go along with a potential plus curveball. His changeup still needs more work. Harvey also has command, and at times, control issues. If he can correct those flaws and continue to develop, Harvey can be a very good number 2 starter in the near future. Most people have him arriving in the Majors by 2013.
Fernando Martinez: Outfield
Yep. F-Mart was just placed on the DL today with yet another leg related injury. This time it's right hamstring strain. Last year he had a bunch of nagging leg injuries and it was in 2009 that his season was ended by knee surgery. He hasn't even reached the majors and he's already injury prone. Nice. Once rated as the Mets top prospect, Martinez has really fallen off recently due to being so injury prone. One wonders if he'll even come close to his potential, but F-Mart is only 22. He still has time to turn it around and actually play a full season. It's a shame to see someone with so much talent spend half the time on the disabled list than on the field. In his brief stints in the majors, Martinez has done nothing. (.174/.248/.257 in 122 PA) He hasn't been on a field for a full season since he turned pro so it has slowed his development in the minors. However, when he is on the field F-Mart is a good defensive OF but with a mediocre arm. He also has good power potential and could hit for average, but the problem has always been staying healthy. Is F-Mart ever going to become the player the Mets hoped for when they signed him for millions of dollars in 2006? Only time will tell.
Juerys Familia: Starting Pitcher
Familia is a 21 year old pitcher from the Dominican Republic who is currently on the Mets high A team. Familia has gotten off to a great start with a 0.69 ERA, 13 K's, and a WHIP of 0.308 in 13 innings pitched. One of the Mets top pitching prospect, Familia definitely has a great fastball that can reach the high 90's. He also has a good strikeout potential. (10.2 K/9 in A+ last year) It seems like his future will be in the bullpen, but he's going to continue to start for now. Hey, why not with outings like this? The way the Mets entire pitching staff has been getting clobbered lately, any kind of pitching down the road would be great for this team.
Cory Vaughn: Outfield
In class A Savannah, Cory has put up a line of .364/.517/.409 in 29 PA. Last year, Vaughn had a spectacular pro debut, crushing 14 homeruns, hitting .307, and OPS'ing at .953 in 313 PA. There's a lot to get excited about with the 21 year old OF. Vaughn is probably the only potential five tool player in the Mets system right now. Vaughn's best tool is his raw power, which was on display last year. He has above average speed has a good arm as well. He still needs to work on his swing and plate discipline as well as pitch recognition. Vaughn has potential to be a very good major league outfielder if he can develop and not fizzle out as the competition gets tougher. He still hasn't played in a game over single A so it remains to be seen how Cory will adjust.
The Mets farms certainly is not the best. It'd FAR from it, but there is good amount of promise in it and the Mets are a big market team. If some of these prospects turn out to be real good and the new regime makes some smart moves in the front offices, the Mets could have a good baseball team on the field everyday competing for a championship. They'll really need to get lucky. With all the bad luck surrounding the Mets, it has to turn around some time.....right?