In the Year 2008... Part 1

I was at my town's public library today and found a Baseball America Prospect Handbook from 2008. Even though it has only been three years since it was published, many prospects have left the team, been traded, or have simply left the game altogether. Don't get me wrong, the Mets have hit on a few of these prospects, but take a stroll through memory lane with the Mets Top 30 from January 2008.

1. Fernando Martinez, OF 
Age at time of publication: 19 
Where is he now? AAA Buffalo 
Career numbers (as of 7/1/2011): .275/.333/.444 in 1682 minor-league PA, .185/.252/.292 in 144 MLB PA.

"Martinez is heavy on tools and low on present skills... one scout who saw him this year says Martinez 'can do anything he wants offensively'... his bat will ultimately be his calling card and the Mets see him as a future 30 home-run threat" 

Top 50 Rankings: Jim Callis (23), Will Lingo (32), John Manuel (19), Chris Kline (14)

2. Deolis Guerra, RHP 
Age at time of publication:
Where is he now? AA New Britain (Twins)
Career numbers (as of 7/1/2011): 39-53, 5.08 ERA, 1.443 WHIP, 9.6 H/3.4 BB/6.3 K per 9 in 641 minor league IP.

"Guerra has two above average pitches that could become well above-average... fastball ranges from 89-94 and touches 96... changeup should become a big league out pitch once he commands it... his next goal will be to stay healthy and reach the 100-inning level."

Top 50 rankings: Jim Callis (36), John Manuel (33), Chris Kline (20)

3. Carlos Gomez, OF 
Age at time of publication:
Where is he now? MLB Milwaukee Brewers
Career numbers: .243/.290/.350, 71 OPS+ in 1636 MLB PA

"Gomez has game changing speed and a well-above average arm... excellent bat speed that projects for average power, if not more... hitting will be the last tool to develop for Gomez" 

Top 50 rankings: John Manuel (36)

4. Kevin Mulvey, RHP
Age at time of publication:
Where is he now? AAA Reno Aces (Diamondbacks
Career Numbers: 34-41, 4.14 ERA, 1.383 WHIP, 9.3 H/3.1 BB/6.3 K per 9 in 696.1 IP; 7.90 ERA in 27.1 MLB innings

"Mulvey throws 4 pitches for strikes and keeps everything down... fastball sits 87-91, touches 94 with good sink and run, but lost 2-3 miles from his days at Villanova ... mid-70s curve and mid-80s slider are both average offerings... projects as a No. 3 or No. 4 starter"

5. Eddie Kunz, RHP 
Age at time of publication:
Where is he now? AA San Antonio (Padres)
Career Numbers: 14-20, 4.89 ERA, 1.509 WHIP, 8.6 H/5.0 BB/5.5 K per 9 in 274.1 minor league IP

"With a low, almost sidearm arm slot, Kunz produces heavy sink on a 94-96 fastball... slider can be an overpowering pitch with short, late break and 86-87 velocity... Kunz with have to watch his weight to maintain his best stuff and command... he could eventually replace Billy Wagner as closer" 

6. Brant Rustich, RHP 
Age at time of publication:
Where is he now? I'm currently unsure, last pitched with St. Lucie last year, either rehabbing thoracic outlet syndrome or out of baseball
Career Numbers: 7-6, 3.00 ERA, 1.178 WHIP, 7.5 H/3.1 BB/8.5 K per 9 in 135 IP

"Healthy in pro ball, Rustich showed a premium fastball, sitting 93-97 with late life and also showed an 84-87 power slider with tilt.. his splitter was a plus pitch before he got hurt, but he hasn't thrown it much since the injury (ruptured tendon on middle finger in spring 2006)... Rustich has enough stuff to start but the Mets will likely hime him join Kunz on the fast track as a reliever"

7. Philip Humber, RHP
Age at time of publication
: 25
Where is he now? MLB White Sox
Career numbers: Minors: 40-42, 4.48 ERA, 1.313 WHIP, 9.1 H/2.7 BB/7.3 K per 9 in 664.1 IP
                                Majors: 9-5, 3.71 ERA, 1.196 WHIP, 7.9 H/2.9 BB/5.7 K per 9 in 148 IP

"Has made just 15 pro starts since needing Tommy John Surgery in July 2005 and hasn't been the same pitcher since... still has the best curveball in the system... at times Humber still tries to pitch up in the strike zone, but he doesn't have that velocity anymore.., fastball ranges from 87-91 after he used to touch 94-95 at Rice... he now projects as a back-of-the-rotation starter" 

8. Jon Niese, LHP
Age at time of publication
: 21
Where is he now? MLB Mets
Career numbers: Minors: 39-32, 3.75 ERA, 1.346 WHIP, 9 H/3.1 BB/8.2 K per 9 in 557 IP
                                 Majors: 18-18, 4.16 ERA, 1.445 WHIP, 9.8 H/3.2 BB/7.4 K per 9 in 311 IP 

"Uses a 91-92 fastball then attacks hitters with a plus curveball now that he has learned to locate it... throws a changeup with the same arm speed as his fastball, and has similar sink and tailing action... while he has improved his conditioning, he still remains inconsistent in terms of maintaining his velocity... still probably 2 years away from making an impact in New York's rotation" 

9. Nathan Vineyard, LHP 
Age at time of publication: 19
Where is he now? Out of baseball, albeit leaving quite acrimoniously. After two starts with Savannah in 2008, Vineyard injured his shoulder and required surgery. This is where things got strange, according to Inside Pitch

A scout told me -- and this confirms what another scout told me originally -- that following his April surgery on his shoulder, Vineyard was completely MIA for his rehab and refused to show up for his local rehab close to his home in Georgia.  He then failed to report THIS FALL when asked to report to the Mets complex. 

Another scout with a lot of knowledge on the situation told me that since spring, when he failed to report to original rehab, he went off the radar [confirms why all 3 phone numbers I have for Vineyard are all non-functioning]. Club reps literally had to track him down. 

Now, from an on the field perspective, considering he went all this time without any consistent rehab, you can imagine the built up scar tissue and other flaws that will seriously affect his ability to pitch. While he did not walk into a Mets office and say "I quit", his actions and lack of care for his shoulder speak to the idea that he's going that way. There's more to the story, but this is the jist of what's going on with him.

He's still only 22 years old currently, too. 

Career numbers: 0-5, 7.19 ERA, 1.642 WHIP, 11 H/3.8 BB/9.2 K per 9 in 35.1 innings

"At his best Vineyard throws 3 pitches that rate as average or better, with room for projection...  fastball sits 88-91 and should develop more velocity and command with more use... slider is a plus pitch at times, but changeup needs refinement... needs to prove he can get hitters out with his fastball in fastball counts after throwing too many sliders in high school... Mets believe Vineyard can be a future No. 3 and has the highest ceiling of anyone in their 2007 draft class" 

10. Robert Parnell, RHP 
Age at time of publication:
Where is he now? MLB New York Mets
Career Numbers: Minors: 28-31, 4.03 ERA, 1.383 WHIP, 8.6 H/3.9 BB/8.1 K per 9 in 520 IP
                                 Majors: 6-10, 4.43 ERA, 1.557 WHIP, 10.1 H/3.9 BB/8.1 K per 9 in 148.1 IP

"Though he posted 6.82 and 8.86 ERAs in his final two seasons at Charleston Southern, area scout Marlin McPhail like his arm strength... a former prep shortstop, Parnell has velocity to spare... fastball sat in the low 90s and regularly hit 95 in August with heavy sink... hard slider sits in the mid-80s and can be a strikeout pitch... he needs to trust the changeup more, but made significant progress with in 2007, giving the Mets hope he can remain a starter... too often Parnell works away from contact while trying to strike every hitter out... has improved his profile from a middle reliever to a middle-of-the-rotation starter" 

Parts 2 and 3 to come over the next week.


This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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