New York Mets Winter League Update - 1/10

So it's been over a month since our last look-in on the Mets who are currently playing down in the Caribbean Leagues. Playoffs are now underway in most of these leagues and it won't be long before the heralded Caribbean Series gets started. Many teams have already called it a year and what's more, many of the American players' seasons were cut short by the holidays so this will likely be the last incarnation of our Winter League Update. Enjoy!

SS Wilmer Flores (VWL - Margarita)

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
MAR VWL .320 31 103 13 33 6 0 2 18 45 7 14 1 0 .365 .437 .802

With the Venezuelan League playoffs underway, it looks like Flores may be done for the winter as he hasn't played since just after Christmas. If so, it was a very nice season for Wilmer who capped 2010 by continuing to show off his raw hitting ability, this time against veteran competition. Even as one of the youngest players there Flores ranked in the top 10 in OPS, a category that Josh Thole dominated a year ago. More interestingly, with Alex Gonzalez at short - the less talented one - Flores was pushed to third base quite a bit in the last few weeks in something of a trial for the future. Unfortunately, Flores made seven errors in his 31 games in Venezuela so he's clearly got some work to do with the leather; no reports on how he actually looked at the hot corner though.

 

2B Brad Emaus (DWL - Este)

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
TOR DWL .268 38 127 18 34 9 1 4 18 57 13 21 2 1 .345 .449 .794

 

2B Justin Turner (DWL - Escogido)

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
ESC DWL .313 20 80 13 25 7 0 1 9 35 7 7 0 1 .382 .438 .820

A second baseman by trade, Turner was featured at third for the Toros apparently deferring to Esteban German at second. But if anything this showed off Turner's infield versatility which - paired with his always solid bat - is going to make the second base race this March very interesting. Now that we've seen all three of the top candidates for the keystone make their pitches this winter - Click here for a refresher on Murphy's DWL line & see Emaus's line above - vote in the poll below for who you'd like to see win out in Spring Training!

 

Ronny Paulino (DWL - Oriente)

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
LIC DWL .212 10 33 2 7 0 0 1 3 10 5 8 0 0 .308 .303 .611

He's been DH'ing some to allow Mets prospect Mike Nickeas some time behind the plate for the Estrellas.

 

2B Jordany Valdespin (DWL - Licey)

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
MSS AFL .355 19 76 19 27 3 1 1 11 35 4 12 7 0 .388 .461 .848
LIC DWL .222 8 18 1 4 0 0 0 2 4 1 4 1 0 .263 .222 .485

After a successful stint in the Arizona Fall League back in October, the talented infielder re-surfaced with the Tigres in the beginning of December, although he hasn't looked as good so far.

 

Star-divide

 

RHP Francisco Rodriguez (VWL - La Guaria)

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
LAG VWL 0 0 3.38 2 0 0 0 1 2.2 3 1 1 0 0 2 0.50 .300

K-Rod showed up at the tail end of the season for the Tiburones who did not make the VWL playoffs.

 

RHP Jenrry Mejia (DWL - Licey)

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
LIC DWL 0 1 3.38 2 2 0 0 0 5.1 5 2 2 0 4 6 9.00 .227

 

RHP Pedro Beato (DWL - Licey)

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
LIC DWL 0 0 16.20 2 0 0 0 0 1.2 2 3 3 1 0 0 1.50 .250

 

LHP Michael O'Connor (DWL - Este)

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
LIC DWL 1 0 1.98 19 0 0 0 0 13.2 13 4 3 0 4 18 0.77 .232

Like many of these guys, O'Connor went home right around the holidays but it's important to note his performance this winter. After a very strong year in Buffalo he was flat-out dominant throughout the DWL campaign and the Mets loss of and subsequent inability to replace Hisanori Takahashi puts O'Connor strongly in the mix for the role of longman lefty this spring.

 

LHP Oliver Perez (MWL - Culiacan)

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
CUL LMP 3 3 5.18 11 6 0 0 0 33.0 30 19 19 5 23 26 0.97 .242

His record is now 3-3 after another so-so performance a couple weeks back (3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 2 HR).

 

RHP Dylan Owen (PWL - Caguas)

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
CAG PWL 0 0 0.00 2 1 0 0 0 18.0 5 0 0 0 7 14 0.33 .167

Owen is on a roll so far down in Puerto Rico. After his seven no-hit innings last week, he followed with six more scoreless on Friday, allowing just two hits. In fact, Owen has yet to allow a run this winter. Impressive? Yes, but after a so-so season with Binghamton and an even worse showing with Buffalo, don't put too much stock into this small sampling.

 

RHP Manny Alvarez (VWL - Magallanes)

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
MAG VWL 0 0 2.95 17 0 0 0 1 21.1 19 9 7 0 8 14 0.53 .241

With the major league 'pen coming together Alvarez will likely get sent to Buffalo to start 2011 with a chance to join the big league club at some point in 2011. With Terry Collins' familiarity with the 2010 Bisons, I wouldn't be surprised to see him up first in case of injury, ineffectiveness, etc.

 

RHP Jose De La Torre (PWL - Caguas)

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
CAG PWL 1 2 3.78 21 0 0 0 1 28.1 25 13 12 2 11 29 1.58 .233

 

RHP Armando Rodriguez (DWL - Escogido)

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
ESC DWL 1 0 6.97 8 1 0 0 0 10.1 13 8 8 0 3 11 0.46 .310

 

LHP Roy Merritt (PWL - Caguas)

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
CAG PWL 0 0 1.69 5 0 0 0 0 5.1 3 1 1 0 1 4 4.50 .176

Merritt is quietly an interesting player for the Mets this winter. The lefty reliever just recently showed up down in Puerto Rico and he's four-for-four so far against lefties with three strikeouts. With the Mets seeming unwillingness to pay up for lefty relief talent on the open market, Merritt has to at least be in that discussion. Sandy is bound to bring in at least one more serious contender for the job so Roydrick may not be the top option but a 2.18 second-half ERA as well as a .228 average against lefties overall in Double-A certainly keep him on the radar.

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