The Keepers: – #8 – SP Jeurys Familia

8. SP Jeurys Familia

“Family” signed with the Mets during the October 2007 International signing period. 2008 was spent with with the GCL Mets, where he went 2-2, 2.79, 1.14 in 11 starts. He quickly became the dean of the staff.

 
In 2009, Familia pitched for the Savannah Sand Gnats: 10-6, 2.69, 1.16, 109-K, 134.0-IP.

His two year professional stats are: 12-8, 2.72, 1.16

 

 
1-1-10 Forecast: – Nothing but blue sky for the 19-year old, but his job is just beginning. We’ve seen many a pitcher do well in rookie and A ball, only to fade away by the time they compete AA. Familia definitely loos like the real deal, but it is too early to tell. He’ll rotate with his Sand Gnat buddies for a new coach in Flordia and we wish him well.

 

 
5-22-10: – SP Jeurys Familia: Famila started off the season with a horrendous outing in which he gave up 7-ER in 3.2-IP (17.18). Four outings later, he’s worked his ERA down to 7.06, but he definitely has settled down his last two outings, giving up only 3-ER in 9.0-IP. You won’t see him pitching for anyone other than St. Lucie this season. One good sign is his K/IP ratio has remained high (23-Ks in 21.2-IP). He’s only 20-years old so there’s plenty of time. (update… five more decent innings tonight, giving up only one run…)

 

 
6-22-10: – Familia has had a tough time this season and some have speculated that he might be returning to Savannah to get his game together; however, he put together a good outing Monday night, with stats of: 6.2-IP, 1-ER, 7-K, 3-BB. His yearly ERA is now 6.16 and this was especially a heart breaker, since it was a 7-inng game. Jeurys was one out away from a complete game victory, but was relieved and the game was lost eventually to Bradenton. Bad game, but good outing.

 

 

6-28-10: – Giving up three earned runs in 6.1-IP may not be considered the best of outings, but it’s a good one for Familia, who’s been struggling all year long. He struck out five, but walked four. Regardless of the tough year, he still is considered a top pitching prospect

 


7-28-10 from: – we don’t have to talk about what a frustrating year it’s been for Familia, but he did manage to put together a decent outing last night against Brevard County. Familia went: 6.0-IP, 6-H, 2-ER, 7-K, 2-BB and lowered his season ERA to 6.13. Let’s remember he is only 20-years old and did come off two great years in 2009 (Savannah: 2.69) and 2008 (GCL: 2.79). We’ll give him a push this season and it sure looks like he will repeat Lucy in 2011.

The Keepers: – #7 – SS – Ruben Tejada

 
 
 
 

Photo by Michael G. Baron

 

7. SS Ruben Tejada

Tejada started the 2007 season with the VSL Mets where he had a wonderful season (.364/.466/.479 in 121 at bats, 16 SB). He was promoted and came stateside to finish the season starting for the GCL Mets (.283/.401/.367 in 120 at bats, 16 SB).

2007 Tejada was named the recipient of the 2007 Sterling Award as the MVP of the VSL Mets.

1-1-10: Forecast: – 2010 will be the come to Jesus year for Tejada. So far, his combined three year, three level, pro career has produced .262/.331/.341/.672 in 1105 at bats. And, he’ll play 2010 as a 20 year old. Trust me, if he hits .280 in AAA, there will be a lot of meetings in Queens over whether or not they renew the Reyes option year.

I wrote on 2-10-10: – Ruben Tejada – one of the future “Class of 2011”… Tejada is being converted to a second baseman (who isn’t in this organization?), so we’ll keep an eye on any increase in errors. He’s still very young and the only reason that his next step is Queens is because he’s done with all the levels by the end of this season. Will he become the 2011 Mets second baseman. Did Brian Bannister become the Mets SP5? We’ll see…

5-22-10: – SS Ruben Tejada: The 19-year old Tejada impressed everyone during ST and almost made the 25-man, but common sense took over and he was returned to the minors for seasoning. He has hit at every level which includes this season at AAA (.299), and, with the recent developments involving the health of Luis Castillo, might be back in Queens before I finish writing this. Tejada experimented with second base (who doesn’t on this team?) but he’s now back playing short, sparking rumors involving just who is going to play that position in Queens next season

1-27-11: – New manager Terry Collins is on record saying that Tejada will play AAA/Buffalo in 2011 unless there is an injury or trade involving Jose Reyes. He has also returned to his natural position, shortstop. Good. That’s where he belongs. It will be interesting to see where the Mets play all the prospect-type shortstops behind him, especially Jordany Valdespin. JV was protected on the 40-man during the off-season and is also ready to play at the AAA level.

2-24-11 – Up: – SS/2B Ruben Tejada – you always have to appreciate a ballplayer that takes the off-season serious, and Ruben has. No one has ever questioned his defensive skills, but his first shot at playing in Queens caused comparisons to Anderson Hernandez. So, Tejada went home and concentrated on bulking up and perfecting his swing. Word is he will never win the home run crown; however, everyone is impressed with his new dedication to improve his offensive statistics.

3-3-11: – Up – SS/2B Ruben Tejada – no one expects Tejada to make the 25-man, but you have to agree that he has impressed so far this spring… with the bat. Through March 3rd, he’s hitting .556. I still think this is the 2012 Mets shortstop, so let the kid keep working on his hitting in Buffalo

The Keepers – #34 – RP – Scott Moviel

 

34. RP Scott Moviel

 
Moviel was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2007 draft by the Mets. He finished his last season this year in high school, going 3-2 1.47 and striking out 69 batters in 38 IP. Moviel’s fast ball tops off at 94 and is quite intimidating on the mound, standing 6-10 and weighing 245 pounds.

 
Moviel spent much of 2008 dinged up, but still managed to post a combined record of 10-8, 4.25 in 25 starts for Savannah and St. Lucie.

 
2009 wasn’t much better, injury wise, but he did pitch a combined 4-5, 3.56, in 5 starts, for the GCL Mets (rehab) and St. Lucie.

 
1-1-10: – Forecast: Moviel is one of those forgotten prospects that falls down the chain because of a little thing called surgery. A knee injury cost him almost three months of the season this year, but he has bounced back well. Frankly, his 3-year minor league totals are still impressive: 14-15, 3.89, 1.34. I have him projected as the SP5 in Binghamton, simply because with the graduating class from Savannah all going to St. Lucie, there’s no room for him to repeat there. If he’s healthy, he should be ready for the jump.

 
5-5-10: – Stock Down: Moviel was a big-time second rounder who has played scuffed up for the past two seasons. Everyone was looking forward for a strong start this year from Scott, but it simply hasn’t happened: 3-starts, 10.29, 16-H, 9-BB, in 14.0-IP… only 9-K. He would be in jeopardy of losing his gig if it wasn’t for the fact that most of the so-called Mets SP prospects have been off to a slow start this season.

 
6-30-10: – Moviel has been removed from the St. Lucie rotation and threw three relief innings last night following Brad Holt. Frankly, his stat line wasn’t much different from when he was starting: 3.0-IP, 2-ER, 4-H, 3-BB, only 1-K. His 2010 ERA now stands at 6.32.

 
8-20-10: – I don’t know if you noticed, but once-prospect Scott Moviel got back on the horse Thursday night and threw four scoreless, one-hit innings for St. Lucie. The Mets haven’t been too lucky with second round picks in the 2000s. Remember Matt Durkin? Anyway, Moviel rose as high as #7 on some of the prospect lists and simply has never come bakl properly from knee surgery. The Mets are far from giving up on the 6-11 righty, if for no other reason than, how many times do you get your hands on a seven foot pitcher? Numbers so far for the season at Lucy: Only 22-years old… 23-G, 2-6, 5.78, 1.70, 80-K, 95.0-IP, 52-BB.

The Keepers: – #1 – SP – Jenrry Mejia

 

  1. 1.     SP Jenrry Mejia:

 

Mejia pitched for the 2007 DSL Mets, going 2-3, 2.47 in 14 games (7 starts). He also struck out 47 batters in 43.2 IP. Mejia’s arsenal includes a 91-95 MPH fastball that when low in the zone has tons of movement, sometimes tail and sometimes sink.  This sets up his 77-80 mph hook that drops off the table.

In 2008, Mejia pitched for both the GCL Mets, and Brooklyn, going a combined 5-2, 2.89, in 14 starts. He struck out 67 batters in 71.2 IP.

1-10-10 Forecast: – Everybody loves Jenrry Mejia. He was the talk of the winter leagues, both for his speed and the speed the ball went off opponent’s bats. He still has a long way to go and will start again at AA, but anyone who has spent any time observing him says he’s a can’t miss.  Me?  He’s a closet closer.

5-22-10: – SP Jenrry Mejia: It’s impossible to project Mejia’s future right now because he’s supposed to return to the minors and be stretched out back to a starter. The problem is he’s still sitting in the Queens pen. So far this season: 20 outings, 19.0-IP, 3.79 ERA, 14-K, 11-BB… okay, but not what a 19-year old is supposed to be doing. The good news… he’s an extremely talented young man that should be a Met for a very long time.

6-21-10: – Maybe it took two loses to the Yanks, or maybe somebody finally just hit Jerry in the head, but Jenrry Mejia has been returned to the AA-Binghamton market are put back into the starting rotation. I also understand he will start on Wednesday. All this makes my prediction of Mark Cohoon being promoted from Savannah here a distant long shot, but we’ll see. I still think there’s a good chance that Mike Antonini will move on to Buffalo this month. Right now, the B-Mets rotation (Mejia, Antonini, Eric Niesen, Josh Stinson, and Chris Schwinden) is a pretty good one. And, no AAAA waste here. All pitchers that actually have a chance of getting to the Bigs. Is the Mejia move something that will enhance his value in a trade. I think so, but we’ll see.

6-27-10: – Suffering from a stiff right shoulder, Jenrry Mejia was forced to leave his start for Double-A Binghamton today after just an inning-plus. Mejia faced two batters in the second inning and seven for the game against Akron before departing. He allowed no runs, surrendering two hits and two walks while striking out two. He threw 43 pitches, 23 strikes. The Mets said Mejia was removed for “precautionary” reasons, though certainly this is an alarming development.

6-28-10: – Jenrry Mejia was examined in New York on Monday and diagnosed with a posterior cuff strain in his right shoulder. The Mets say he will return to throwing “as tolerated,” but we’re not exactly sure what that might mean. Mejia was lifted from a start at Double-A Binghamton on Sunday after complaining of discomfort in his throwing shoulder. He’s been working on building up his stamina down in the minors with the hope of returning to the big leagues as a starter around late July

8-2-10:  Mejia’s rehabbing stint made its way to St. Lucie last night and it was quite impressive:  4.0-IP, 1-H, 0-R, 7-K. Mejia’s conversion back to a starter seems to be right on target and I expect him back in the Binghamton rotation by mid-August and on to Queens in September.

 

8-8-10: – It would be impossible not to write about Mejia’s performance last night. First, the stats: 4.1-IP, 3-H, 0-R, 4-K, 2-BB, 10-GB.  He sat most of the night at 96 and hit 99 once. His seasonal minor league ERA, where he’s been a starter all the time, is now 1.17 (his WHIP is 1.69 due to 6-BB in 7.2-IP). I’m sure we’ll see him in Queens again this year, this time as a starter.

 

8-14: – Look… if last night’s outing by Jenrry Mejia is the worst he ever pitches, we’ll have ourselves a future HOFer. Mejia went: 5.2-IP, 8-H, 3-ER, 3-BB, 5-K, and his AA-ERA “soared” to 2.70. Reports from the stadium were that he didn’t have the pinpoint accuracy he had his last outing, but the velocity was still there. Mejia is sitting at 96 now, and hit 98 again last night. Remember… the Mets really only need one more SP (Santana, Niese. Pelfrey, Dickey). This sure looks like a strong candidate for 2011 (btw… Mejia threw this game against Michael Cisco, son of ex-Met Galen Cisco).

 

8-20-10: – We’re running out of superlatives involving Jenrry Mejia’s current return to an SP role in Binghamton. He easily had his best minor league outing on Wednesday night, going 7.0-IP, 1-H, 0-R, 8-K, 2-BB, with a 1.77 ERA. Even more important, Dylan Owen, who seemed lost this year as a starter, seems to be reinventing himself as a successful reliever, going 2.0 hitless innings and lowering his seasonal ERA to 3.57.Okay, Owen’ reliever ERA (4.55) is still higher that the six outings he started (2.70 ERA)… so why the relief role? I’m getting confused. Nack to the main issue… Mejia is game ready which is very good news for the Mets.

 

2-23-11: – Stock Up: –  SP Jenrry Mejia – I talked with one of the beat guys down in Port St. Lucie and he told me that there are a lot of pitchers that look good right now, but everyone is talking about Mejia. Other Met ballplayers were literally stopping what they were doing and walking over to watch Mejia throw on the back field mounds. My contact said he was easily sitting at 94-95.

The Keepers – #15 – SS/2B – Jordany Valdespin

 
 

Photo by Michael G. Baron

15. SS Jordany Valdespin

 
Valdespin was signed by the Mets as an undrafted international free agent in 2006.

 
He played one year for the DSL Mets, in 2007, hitting .245/.369/.338/.707 in 139 at bats. Someone must have liked what they saw in that .239 batting average because he went stateside in 2008.

 
In 2008, Valdespin played the entire season for the GCL Mets, though he only had 134 at bats. He hit .284/.319/.440
In 2009, Valdespin started the season for Savannah and was close to leading the league in hitting Then, something happened. He was suspended from the team, banished back to extended camp, and eventually wound up back for the DSL team (.333/..421/.600/1.021 in 15 at bats).

 
Next stop was the GCL Mets followed by Brooklyn (.279/.338/.397) where he finished the season.
1-1-10 Forecast: – As many of you know, I’m one of the beat reporters for the Savannah Sand Gnats and I’m pretty close with the folks there. That being said, I never could find out what Valdespin did to cause him being taken out of A ball when he was doing so well. All I can say is it was definitely something no one wanted to talk about. The next question would be, if the Mets management doesn’t change at the A-level, where does Valdespin play in 2010? Hopefuly, all is forgiven because he has showed to be a pretty good 1 or 2 hitter in a lineup.
I wrote on 2-10-10: – Jordany Valdespin – this is the one you have to watch… highest ceiling of any Mets infielder in the system, and maybe the highest ceiling of any player period… the boy can hit, but also can piss off the coaches, so hopefully, we’ll see a new level of maturity this season. Remember his name… he’s a future major leaguer.

 
4-19-10: – Stock Up: Valdespin has been a hitting machine since the day he came stateside in 2008. .284 for the GCL Mets that year… led the Sally League, early, in hitting in 2009… and now hitting his stride at A+, with stats of .310/.310/.524/.833. Other than the fact that he doesn’t walk, he quickly is establishing himself as the top second base prospect in the system. I wrote on Feb 10: “Jordany Valdespin – this is the one you have to watch… highest ceiling of any Mets infielder in the system, and maybe the highest ceiling of any player period… the boy can hit, but also can piss off the coaches, so hopefully, we’ll see a new level of maturity this season. Remember his name… he’s a future major leaguer.” I expect the 22-year old to stay put at Lucy this season. Play Binghamton in 2011, and then… who knows…
2-23-11: – Stock Up: – 2B/SS Jordany Valdespin – word from camp is that Valdespin turned heads during his infield workout along with other Mets vying for a Queens job. He simply was faster than the rest of the guys, both in getting to the ball and also getting back into postion for the next ground. He has been known to get lazy on routine balls, but not sof ar this spring.

The Keepers – #41 – RP – Roy Merritt

41. RP Roy Merritt

The Mets drafted Merritt in the 29th round of the 2007 Mets. He played the 2007 season for Kingsport, pitching in 17 relief appearances and posting highly respected stats of 1-2, 2.88, 1.12.

In 2008, Merritt pitched a combined 3-0, 2.16, in 31 appearances for Brooklyn and St. Lucie.

2009 was a mixed year for Merritt. He was on the fast track out of spring training and actually stood a chance to make it to Queens on a September call-up; however, a hot start turned cooler later on in the year. AA stats: 4-5, 3.45, 1.48, 14-Sv, 56-K, 56-G, 62.2-IP.

1-1-10 Forecast: A lot more was expected of Merritt this past year. The Mets brass fell in love with him in spring training and everyone expected him to be a September call up. He has ++ talent and could make it there by the end of this year if he aces AAA.

9-30-10 – 2011 Forecast – I still remember spring training, when Merritt was invited to the parent clubhouse to pitch in one of the first exhibition games. Certain Mets brass were predicting he would be in Queens by the end of the season. This probably was the worst thing to happen to Roydrick because he was far from ready. Two decent seasons at AA (2009: 56 appearances, 3.45… and 2010: 60 appearances: 3.86) should have him ready for the last big hurtle in 2011. Watch for Roy to light it up in ST and make it interesting.

11-18-10: – RP Roy Merritt – 25/yrs. old – getting back to Mets minor league household names, we come to one of my favorites who I expected would have been in Queens by now. Merritt got us all excited three years and I was there when Omar invited him into the first Mets spring training game in 2009. Roy was on the fast track, and, for whatever reason the “old Mets” management seemed to always decide to screw with a pitchers mechanics. You guessed it… a year of bad road. Rebounded in 2010: 4-5, 3.86 in 60-appearacnes for B-Mets. This might me his last shot. 2011: Buffalo pen 2012: Queens or bust

The Keepers – #24 – OF – Kirk Nieuwenhuis

24. Kirk Nieuwenhuis

 
4-28-10: – Kirk Nieuwenhuis – OF – AA – Binghamton – Kirk is off to another of his typical productive years: .313.360/.475/.835. I happen to think that he’s the top Mets outfield prospect and will get to Queens ahead of Fernando “Day-To-Day” Martinez, who I understand is once again dinged up.

5-22-10: – OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis: Most of the outfield prospect press has fallen on Fernando Martinez; however, Nieuwenhuis has very quietly become the top Mets prospect for that position. Kirk hit 16-HR and 71-RBI for St. Lucie last year and is hitting .301/.337/.470/.807 so far this season for Binghamton. He needs to learn some plate discipline (only 8-BB this season), but as of right now, he’s on top of the list to become a future Mets center fielder. Keep an eye on this kid. Big trade bait.

5-27-10 – Stock up: Nieuwenhuis has quietly been putting together a decent year in AA, but there just wasn’t that home run pop we got used to last season at St. Lucie. Well, that’s not true anymore. Kirk hit #7 of the young year last night, which is his third in the past five games. His slugging percentage is up to .500 and his OPS is .837. It will be interesting to see what the Mets do with him next season. They gave him a taste over Fernando Martinez at ST and I can speak firsthand about how much he enjoyed being part of the Mets locker room with the Queens boys. Martinez will obviously not be ready to play centerfield at Citi Field, but Nieuwenhuis is earning playing CF in Buffalo, over F-Mart. As I said, interesting decision coming up for the Mets.

6-11-10: – CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit his 9th home run of the season in the opening game of a twin bill Thursday. Don’t look for him to be heading to Buffalo any time soon. Pedro Feliciano will be returning there as soon as Carlos Beltran is activated. Still, Captain Kirk is on pace for a 20+ HR season at AA.

7-3-10: – Nieuwenhuis continues to strengthen up after his short stint on the disabled list. He hit his 11th home run of the season in the first game of a Friday night doubleheader and it’s interesting that the team management continues to have him lead off. Right now, he is the top Mets’ outfield prospect in the system.

7-7-10: – Binghamton’s Kirk Nieuwenhuis is on fire… he led off Wednesday’s game with a double for the third game in a row and followed that with another double in his second at bat. At that point in the game he had nine doubles, a home run, and four singles in his last 20 at-bats.