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The one thing MLB has gotten right throughout its entire existence is its minor league system. Players can continue to develop at a certain pace versus their contemporaries. Obviously the cream rises to the top and eventually make it to the majors. No other league has a comparable training ground for its young and inexperienced players. The minors are also used as a hunting ground for General Managers and owners. A bunch if not most of MLB trades involve minor league talent with different stages of potential. There are certain teams that can’t take anything back more than a minor leaguer (due to financial situations ). What happens when all those great players in a teams farm system actually stay with those respective teams? There’s a team giving us the answer right now.
The New York Mets have had an interesting time since they last went deep into the playoffs. Who could forget Carlos Beltran watching an Adam Wainwright pitch breeze past him to end game 7 of 2006 NLCS. In 2009, the Mets owners were involved in Bernie Madeoff’s highly publicized “Ponzi” scheme. Whether it really had an impact on team finances or not the Mets were not signing big free agents to bad contracts, instead they were unloading their big contracts and growing their farm system. Adding player after player to their minor league system just gave them a surplus of players to choose from. Their Major League roster is filled with players they either drafted or traded for and brought up through their system.
The Dark Knight Rises
Phoneme Matt Harvey coming off Tommy John Surgery has still wielded a fastball in the high 90s. He has 164 strikeouts in 171 innings pitched and a 2.88 ERA. The 1st rd pick in 2010 is still electric and just imagine him actually improving when he gets used to how his arm feels. It’s hard to fathom, seeing as how he has 425 strikeouts in 409.1 innings pitched for his career (2.59 ERA).
Oh wait, there’s more.
Flamethrower Jacob Degrom was a 9th rd pick of the Mets in 2010. The 2nd year starter has thrown 5,044 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCH F/X system between 2014 and 2015. According to the results, his slider, sinker and fourseam fastball generates more swings and misses when compared to other pitchers. His curveball and change up generates more ground balls when compared to other pitchers. Noah Syndergaard (acquired in the R.A. Dickey trade) has posted an 8-6 win/loss record and a 137 strikeouts in 129.1 innings pitched as a rookie this season. Their closer Jeurys Familia (rookie free agent 07) has 41 saves & 77 strikeouts in 71.2 innings pitched. Rookie Steven Matz in four starts has a 3-0 win/loss and a robust 1.88 ERA (also hitting 3.00 with 5 rbi in 10 at bats). I think it’s safe to say we can call these young hurlers “The Strikeout Boys”, they get them in bunches.
Cespedes and the rest of us.
The acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes has turned the tide of the Mets lineup and hitting dramatically. In 43 games with the Mets, the left fielder has 17 home runs and 42 RBIs and a .295 batting average. The big trade to put them over the hump is panning out. The team sits 8.0 games ahead of the 2nd place Washington Nationals in the NL East. That was one trade in the bulk of their lineup but position players such as Daniel Murphy, Wilmer Flores, Michael Conforto (1st rd pick 2014 ) and Lucas Duda, were all draft picks or rookie free agents signed by the team.
Another big lift for the young team was the return of their captain David Wright. The 3rd basemen (another Mets draft pick 1st rd pick 38) was diagnosed with spinal stenosis (back) and out of the lineup for end of 2014 & the better part of this season. In 26 games he is hitting .303 and racked up 33 hits. But his experience and leadership is what the team will need for a long playoff push.
The organization has won two previous World Series (86′ & 69′ ). The 3rd could very well be in their grasp at the conclusion of this season. In 2015, great pitching is the key to winning (sprinkle in some late game hitting). In my humble opinion they shouldn’t worry too much, I mean they did bring the “Farm” with them.