Q&A: – 2011, Sandy, Drafting By Position, the Kids at AAA

Joseph Polini asked: Honest thoughts on the Mets for this year? And can Sandy rebuild us into a team that competes every year for WS Titles?

Mack: Thanks for the questions Joseph.

You want to look at 2011 as a fun year. No playoffs, but there should be a bunch of good things beginning to happen on this team. The real excitement will come in the higher levels of the minor league teams where anywhere from 3-5 of the kids will mature into everyday players in 2012.

The Mets will most probably trade Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and maybe even Francesco Rodriquez by the all-star break. You won’t recognize the starting lineup by the end of the year. In my opinion, September will be 1B Ike Davis, 2B Reese Havens, SS Ruben Tejada, 3B David Wright, LF Jason Bay, CF Angel Pagan, RF Fernando Martinez.

Havens and Martinez will rise to star regulars and some of the (whoever they are) players received in the above mentioned trades will come into play. There’s a good chance you will see a new center fielder and catcher by the beginning of the 2012 season.

I also truly believe that the Mets will be sold in full.

If not, there will be no return to a 100+mil payroll under the Wilpon family.

Regarding Sandy Alderson, he’s smart enough to do this without the big money. The trades listed above will generate 6-8 top prospects, mostly pitching and catching. Add to that a proper draft in June, and the Mets will continue to build from within.

Two-thirds of the 2014 rotation will be minor leaguers Matt Harvey and Jenrry Mejia.

Jason asked: Mack… do you believe in drafting by position?

Mack: Thanks Jason for a very good question.

I don’t. I believe you should always pick the best person you show available on your board, regardless of position.

I don’t care how many prospect third basemen you have. Nothing is etched in stone. Bones break and prospects fizzle. Generation K and the future outfield of Gomez-Milledge-Martinez proves this every day.

That being said, the Mets are very lean in prospect catchers and I really hope they pick either Blake Swihart in the first round, or Peter O’Brien in the second. Still, given the choice between Swihart, and let’s say, Sonny Gray, if he still was on the board, you go with the best player.

Day two is when you start screwing around and draft everybody that pitches and stands over 6-9…

You fill in your minor league teams, by position, on day three.

Derek Showerman asked:

Do you get a sense that Sandy wants the kids to win together at AAA and bring the good vibe to NY later this year? He seems hell bent on having this group together and winning at Buffalo:Mejia, FMart, Tejada, Duda, Gee, Havens, Kirk…

Mack:

Derek, it’s my belief is that Mr. Alderson is operating to excel… in 2012. Thus, the more his prospects develop at AAA this year, the better it will be.

The Wilpon family is in serious financial trouble and you will not see this team return to a six figure salary team under their ownership. Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Luis Castillo, and Fernando Rodriguez will all be replaced by someone in the organization, quite possibly all before the 2012 season. Latest 2013.

Fernando Martinez is back on track and, if he stays healthy, will replace Beltran in right field. Duda and Nieuwenhuis have a chance, but they project out as a backup at best.

The Mets want Ruben Tejada to replace Reyes, and though he has already proved he can hit AAA ball (.280 in 2010, .289 in 2009), they need him to prove he can do it in the majors. He’ll get another year to mature.

The long range plan for the Mets at second base is Reese Havens, but they wouldn’t mind Daniel Murphy playing well enough to prevent that.

The only candidate currently mature enough in the system to replace K-Rod would be Bobby Parnell. I would expect one of the players received in one of the mid-2011 trades will possibly be a future closer.

Only three questions this week…

Please email your questions directly to: macksmets@gmail.com.

Thanks.

Mack

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