How Did New York Mets’ Prospects Perform in Arizona Fall League?
How Did New York Mets' Prospects Perform in Arizona Fall League?
The highlight of the baseball winter league season, the Arizona Fall League, has come to an end after more than five weeks of competition among some of the best prospects in baseball. The New York Mets didn’t send a great contingent of prospects, but there is plenty that we can take away from the performance of their players during the AFL season.
In the AFL Mets prospects played for the Scottsdale Scorpions, who turned out to be the worst team in the league, winning just 10 of their 31 games. However, the team’s poor performance doesn’t necessarily reflect on the Mets’ prospects that played for Scottsdale. Although the Mets sent mostly fringe prospects to the AFL, which was a rather unusual and somewhat wasteful move on their behalf, the Scottsdale players that wore Mets’ hats turned in generally positive performances. Of course, not all seven of them excelled in the fall league, but most of them held their own.
The next step in the offseason as it pertains to minor leaguers is the Rule 5 Draft. Several of the prospects that the Mets sent to Arizona are among the players that will be given consideration to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft. For these players the AFL was the last chance they had to prove to the Mets that they should be added to the 40-man roster, which is a big deal and a major step in the right direction for minor leaguers. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how the seven Mets prospects performed in the AFL.
Bradford picked up in the fall league where he left off in the regular season, as he threw 11.2 scoreless innings over 10 AFL appearances. He allowed just six hits and one walk while striking out 10, which is quite impressive, even for a rather small sample. Bradford’s stuff has always been unremarkable, but an ERA of 0.71 in double-A followed by a dozen scoreless inning in the AFL is something that can’t be ignored. He still shouldn’t be considered much of a prospect, but he should at least be on the Mets’ radar as a potential middle reliever.
Familia’s stint in the AFL is rather disappointing from a performance standpoint. As someone who got his feet wet in the majors this year and looked the part of a big league reliever he should have had his way with the minor leaguers playing in the AFL. Instead, he allowed six runs on eight hits over 8.1 innings, although he did also strikeout 11 which is a nice number to see. But with Familia it was more important that he was pitching and healthy after missing much of the season with an injury. It would have been nice to see him dominate younger hitters, but the fact that he was healthy enough to pitch was nice for the Mets to see.
Maron did during the AFL season the same thing he did during the regular season: get on base at a high rate despite hitting for a low average and little power. His OPS was nearly identical from what it was during the regular season, so he made little tangible progress during the fall. Right now Maron doesn’t look like anything more than organizational catching depth. If the Mets want him to play regularly next year he’ll stay in A-ball, and if not he’ll be backing up top catching prospect Kevin Plawecki in double-A.
Robles made six starts in Arizona, struggling in his first outing and his final outing, but he had four solid outings in between. Opponents hit for a lower average against him in the AFL than they did in A-ball this year, and he also struck out batters at a higher rate which is impressive and a promising sign. That being said, there’s nothing about Robles that stands out too much, and an ERA of four in the AFL doesn’t change that which is why the Mets may need to remove him from the 40-man roster.
As expected, Rodriguez struggled in the AFL, hitting .194 with just two doubles and no home runs while striking out 18 times and not drawing a single walk. These numbers tell us that a team won’t touch Rodriguez if the Mets leave him unprotected in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. It also means that he’s probably not ready for double-A and the Mets may be wise to start him in A-ball next season.
Satterwhite gave up three runs in two innings during his final AFL appearance, but before that he put together a rather impressive fall season. He finished the AFL with a 2.77 ERA over 13 innings with 13 strikeouts. Satterwhite definitely gave his new organization a good first impression, and his performance suggests that the Mets can send him to double-A to begin 2014 and see what happens from there.
The Mets sent Vaughn to the AFL to give him more at bats before they had to decide whether or not to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft, and Vaughn’s performance isn’t going to sway them one way or the other. He did have slight drop offs in OBP and slugging from what he did during the regular season, but for the most part he did the same things he did during the regular season. Though he mains one of the Mets' top-10 outfield prospects, he didn’t do anything in the AFL that will force the Mets to add him to the roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.
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