Up to this point I have been an advocate of holding on to top prospects in the organization. My belief is based on the fact that I don’t think this team is good enough to justify clearing out more of the system for short term help and nobody that has been mentioned as a return is that big of an upgrade.
And while my overall opinion has not changed, after a little research, my enthusiasm for some of the players deemed “too valuable” to trade has been dampened. I haven’t soured on Fernando Martinez. His injuries this year aside, he is only 19 and has a huge upside. But the other top Mets hitting prospects are more troubling.
Dan Murphy is putting up good numbers, but his fielding is pretty bad. David Wright also blocks him at his natural position. The attempts to move him to 2B are suspect at best. Mike Carp is having a very good year in his second year at Double A. His BA and OBP are well above where his numbers have been in the past. His power numbers have been pretty consistent which is promising, but some red flags go up here. Nick Evans has struggled in limited work in the majors. He is clearly a work in progress, but he doesn’t seem to have the natural power to justify a corner outfield or 1B spot.
Of greater concern to me is the pitching. As much hype as Niese, Parnell, and Kunz have received going into the deadline, their peripherals are cause for concern. In his minor league career Kunz has a K/9 of 7.6, and K/BB of 1.6, and a 1.31 WHIP. It’s a small sample, but his numbers at Oregon State reflect this type of performance. Parnell’s K/9 is 7.9, his K/BB is 1.98, and his WHIP is 1.39. Niese has the most promising numbers with an 8.36 K/9, a 2.56 K/BB, and a 1.36 WHIP.
None of these numbers are awful but since they don’t dominate in the minors it’s hard to envision them being anything more the middle of the pack major leaguers. When you compare them to the more highly touted, “can’t miss” guys in recent years their performances just don’t stack up. Guys like Hughes, Kennedy, Chamberlain, Kershaw, Buchholz, and Volquez all had K/9 rate over 9 and K/BB ratios over 3 (except Volquez) to go along with a more dominating WHIP.
I’m not arguing that it is worth trading these guys for the limited services of a Raul Ibanez or Brian Fuentes. But based on what I see, especially from the pitchers, these guys should be far from “untouchable”.