Welcome to the fourth installment of the UpAlongFirst.com official prospect list. Here are numbers five and six.
5. Jenrry Mejia- P
THROWS: R BATS: R
ACQUIRED: Signed as IFA in April of 2007
Despite enough big league experience to no longer be called a rookie, I still have to put Mejia on this list, and close to the top, too. Mejia, if you remember, pitched 29 innings out of the ‘pen in 2010, which drastically threw off the course of his career. The Mets got desperate for bullpen help, so they plucked Mejia, a natural starter, from his role in the minors to help the Mets in the big leagues. He had his streaks, such as his 1.64 ERA in April of that year, but for the most part, struggled. After April, he struggled, and was sent down after compiling a 0-4 record with a 4.62 ERA. Now Mejia gets a fresh start again as a starter. He had Tommy John surgery last year, and came back for five starts for Buffalo at the end of last year. Here is a look at Mejia’s statistics:
|2008||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A–Rk||5||2||2.89||14||14||71.2||1.074||6.4||0.5||3.3||8.4|
|2009||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A+-AA||4||6||3.14||19||19||94.2||1.310||8.1||0.2||3.7||8.7|
|2010||4 Teams||4 Lgs||AA-AAA-A+-Rk||2||0||1.28||9||9||42.1||1.063||6.2||0.2||3.4||9.6|
|AA (2 seasons)||AA||2||5||3.27||16||16||71.2||1.395||7.9||0.3||4.6||9.2|
|Rk (2 seasons)||Rk||2||0||1.00||4||4||18.0||0.944||6.5||0.0||2.0||9.0|
|AAA (2 seasons)||AAA||1||2||2.48||6||6||36.1||0.991||5.2||0.5||3.7||7.4|
|A+ (2 seasons)||A+||4||1||1.82||10||10||54.1||1.067||7.0||0.0||2.7||8.4|
|FRk (1 season)||FRk||2||3||2.47||14||7||43.2||1.168||4.9||0.0||5.6||9.7|
|A- (1 season)||A-||3||2||3.49||11||11||56.2||1.147||6.7||0.6||3.7||8.3|
Mejia has an electric fastball that has carried him through the levels of the minor leagues. Since his signing as an IFA in 2007 as a 17 year-old, he has been eased into the role of starter, building up arm strength. After his surgery, the Mets need to start over again. Mejia is only 22, so he does have time to develop strength, but the Mets need to be patient and wait this out. He has the potential to be great. Unlike the last regime, I trust this one with young players. Sandy Alderson seems like a guy who won’t rush anyone too quickly, which is perfect for the development of Mejia.
When he comes up, Mejia will showcase a wonderful repertoire of pitches. Before going down with TJS, Mejia was throwing a hard, sinking fastball I the 94-97 MPH range, an 86-88 MPH changeup, and a curveball that ranges from 79-81 MPH. Overall, hopefully this injury won’t hold back. I don’t think it will if the Mets manage him right. He has the potential to be a top-of-the-rotation starter.
6. Wilmer Flores- INF
THROWS: R BATS: R
ACQUIRED: Signed as IFA in August of 2007
Wilmer Flores burst onto the scene at the tender age of 16 in 2008 and immediately became one of the crown jewels of the organization. After signing with the Mets in August of 2007, Flores played his first pro season, for the most part, in Kingsport. He tore up Appalachian League pitching, hitting .307 with eight home runs and 42 RBI. He is a skinny kid who is still growing a little bit. He has quick hands and strong wrists. He is expected to develop major power as well as hit for a high average. Hitting is his bread and butter, and is what makes him a top prospect. Last season, Flores hit .269 with 9 home runs and 81 RBI in the Florida State League at the age of 19. None of those numbers particularly jump out at you, but at 19, they are rather impressive. Here is a look at the rest of Flores’s numbers:
|2008||3 Teams||3 Lgs||Rk-A–A||68||302||86||13||8||42||2||1||13||37||.307||.347||.468|
|2010||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A-A+||133||597||160||36||11||84||4||5||32||77||.289||.333||.424|
|A (3 seasons)||A||192||840||208||38||10||80||5||4||45||111||.270||.319||.369|
|A+ (2 seasons)||A+||200||849||222||44||13||121||4||6||36||108||.280||.314||.392|
|Rk (1 season)||Rk||59||265||76||12||8||41||2||1||12||28||.310||.352||.490|
|A- (1 season)||A-||8||32||8||1||0||1||0||0||1||7||.267||.290||.300|
What keeps Flores from being a no-doubt number one prospect is his lack of ability with his glove. He isn’t quick and not very athletic. Originally a shortstop, Flores is transitioning to third base, where he still might have trouble. Eventually, if his defense doesn’t develop at third, he could move to first base, where his lack of quickness won’t hurt him so much. He has a decent arm, so this trial at third is justifiable.
Look for Flores to become a big-time hitter in the future, however, no matter which position he is playing. .
The list so far (click to view posts):
5. Jenrry Mejia
7. Reese Havens
9. Cesar Puello
Come back Friday as we reveal number four!