There has been a lot of talk lately about how Ike Davis should come north with the team at the end of spring training and be the starting 1st baseman for the Mets. Others have said how Jenry Mejia should be the 8th inning setup man for K-Rod, and before the signing of Rod Barajas many felt that Josh Thole was going to be the Mets starting catcher. Truth is this is how the Old Mets used to think. And I think they are wrong. Lets face it, the Mets have a horrible track record with prospects, over the last decade. Reyes and Wright aside, name a single contributing player that has come up through the Mets farm system? The only one really is Mike Pelfrey and the jury is still out on him.
I could argue the difference between success and failure is the philosophies at the time. Wright and Reyes were allowed to hone their games in the minors, only getting promoted when they excelled at the level they were playing. Under the Bernazard era it seemed like players got promoted to the next level only if they didn’t fail at the current level. They’d see he didn’t fail at AA, so then move him to AAA. Allowing a player to show that he can handle the AA and AAA level before moving him up rapidly is incredibly important, especially when the big club is in the bright lights of New York City. It’s as much about learning how to be a professional as it is about learning how to get the bat on the ball.
You can find a common thread with a lot of Mets busts in the past, and that’s been a lack of maturity. They just never seemed ready to handle it, and I feel that’s directly because of the organizations previous emphasis with rushing players through the minors. As a fan I buy into it at times, always hoping to see that young hot prospect. That’s mostly been a reflection on the overall lack of prospects in the Mets system. We are forced to concentrate on the players the Mets just drafted because there isn’t anyone to hype up at the AAA level.
Give the farm time to mature, and start to let players develop and eventually you will start to have people to talk about at the AAA level. Those types of players deserve the talk. They deserve to be hyped and most importantly they deserve shots at winning positions in spring training. Expecting players like Jenry Mejia to be ready and able to handle it isn’t fair and isn’t realistic. Look at poor Fernando Martinez. He’s all but forgotten these days and labeled by many as a bust. People forget the fact that the kid is only 20 years old. That’s because he’s been on our radar for what 4-5 years now? That’s crazy. I understand it’ a business and you want to build up your chips to create value, but the Mets should be sheltering these kids. The Mets should not put any expectations on them at least until the AA level. The atmosphere of being a Met and being looked at by the Met media will begin to apply pressure naturally as these kids are successful and climb the minor league ladder.
Here’s to hoping with the removal of the Tony Bernazard debacle will return the Mets to some semblance of reality. Lets hope they get someone who is capable and knows how to build major league players, and not just major league hype. Let the kids stay at AAA. Let them learn how to be a professional athlete. Let them refine their games. No matter how much I might scream and yell for them to be called up later, ignore me. It’s the minor league systems job to ensure the Mets have a bright future, here’s to hoping the change in philosophy will lead to a change in results.