When Sandy Alderson told Fred Wilpon early this spring that he has aspirations for the Mets to win 90 games this year, most people said he was crazy, but I thought it was crazy that these sort of aspirations were not expressed earlier. Alderson's statement was not about realistic expectations, rather it was about finally rejecting the culture of losing that has permeated throughout the entire organization since losing in the NLCS in 2006. After all, it is about time to win some games and stop the lame excuses that have rampantly grown throughout the organization.
The Mets culture of losing has included two horrific collapses in 2007 and 2008 respectively. The culture continued for the next two years when the Mets were crippled with injuries and Jerry Manual constantly spoke of "treading water" until players such as Carlos Beltran, and Jose Reyes returned from injury.
So what can end this culture of losing? The answer comes from a seemingly overlooked place by many fans, the farm system. Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta have been quietly changing the culture throughout the entire farm system since they took over in 2011.
Prior to Alderson's arrival as General Manager, the Mets farm system struggled to produce minor league wins and impact prospects. In 2009 the Mets posted a putrid domestic Minor League winning percentage of .451. Contrast that with a .546 winning percentage among all domestic Mets affiliates last year which was tied for 4th in the Major Leagues. This year the system is off to a white hot start with a winning percentage of .649. The continued growth of the farm system has so far been the largest fruit of ownership's patience with Alderson's plan, despite continued losing on the major league level.
The expectation is that the Mets minor league success will translate to success in the Major Leagues, not only in the near term with prospects such as Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero, but also in the long term with youngers prospects such as Brandon Nimmo, who has gotten off to a fast start in St. Lucie with a .378 average, Gavin Cecchini , and Dominic Smith.
The Mets are finally being built for sustainable success which can last for years similar to the success of Cardinals and Rays. The young Mets talent learning how to win that will help them pioneer success that will endure for years to come which will ultimately result in serious October baseball in Citi Field for the first time. One thing is for sure, the Mets young talent is on its way and it's here to stay in Flushing for years to come.