Bullpen: Not All Prospects Will Be All Stars

On a team that already features David Wright and Jose Reyes, along with Aaron Heilman, Duaner Sanchez and John Maine, the Mets also have Mike Pelfrey, Phil Humber and Lastings Milledge as big time prospects whom the team is expecting big things from fairly soon, while Carlos Gomez and Fernando Martinez are seemingly just a year or two away. 

Keith H recently sent in an e-mail asking… 

“What are the odds of these prospects all panning out?”

Matthew Cerrone

This is an interesting question, in that it is very unrealistic to expect that every promising, hight-touted prospect will turn in to Wright and Reyes.

Of the bunch, who do feel is most likely to succeed, and whose talent do you question the most?

Matt Meyers, of Baseball America, home of the 2007 Prospect Handbook

It depends on your definition of “panning out.”

It is extremely unlikely that they all become stars like Reyes and Wright, but that doesn’t make them failures either because Reyes and Wright have set a very high standard.  There is often a sense that if a top prospect does not become a star he has failed in some way, but that is not fair to the prospect.

I’d say Milledge is primed to become an above-average outfielder, but not a superstar.  However, I don’t think an all-star appearance or two is out of reach.

I’d say the same for Pelfrey and Humber (above-average starters) with Pelfrey having a greater chance of being a dominant force because of his exceptional fastball.  These projections may disappoint some Mets fans, but in a market where guys like Gil Meche are getting $55 million contracts, getting an above-average performance from your players before they hit free agency is incredibly valuable.

For me, Martinez is the most likely to approach the level of Wright and Reyes because his accomplishments at his age are so remarkable.  A lot can go wrong between now and the big leagues because he is so young, but he proved himself to be a rare talent with his performance last season.

I question Gomez’s talent the most because the most important of the five tools (hitting) is his weakest tool.  That doesn’t mean I think he is a fraud because if you read my Mets Top 10 Prospects List at Baseball America, I rated him as the Mets third best prospect ahead of Humber. Gomez, however, has the most boom or bust potential of the group in my opinion.

Regis Courtemanche

Usually with a class of prospects being as large as the Mets have, not all of them will pan out.

I have seen Milledge play the most and have confidence that if he continues to develop, he will be a great major-league talent.

I have my money on Martinez, who, if he stays on track, I eventually see becoming better than Gomez and Milledge due to the power he already possesses at 18.

Evan Drellich

Talent-wise, Martinez is the best prospect of the bunch, but he hasn’t had success above low A where he hit .192 in the FSL last season.

I’m sure he is capable of doing well this year at the higher levels, but until he puts up respectable numbers in St. Lucie and Binghamton, where the Mets may aggressively send him to start the season, and where I go to school, it’s hard to nuts about him.

I doubt if Gomez, like Milledge, will ever really be a power guy, but both players can be productive outfielders with speed.  Gomez’s large frame is encouraging though.

It should be noted that there won’t be room for all three outfield prospects at Shea as long as Beltran’s around.

Anthony De Rosa

I think if the Mets are able to harness the raw talent that Milledge has displayed, much like Reyes who was a wild colt when he first arrived, they will have something special on their hands. 

Its a tough thing to predict the guy who will ultimately succeed, but looking at their abilities Martinez would have the highest payoff.  The Mets would benefit the most from having Pelfrey or Humber succeeding because of the value of young pitching, especially given the age at the top of the Mets current pitching configuration.

Matthew Cerrone

Exactly, which means the most important part of this equation could end up being the way Omar Minaya exploits and capitalizes on the hype surrounding all of these players.


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