Entering Tuesday, all but four members of the Mets’ healthy members of the Mets’ 40-man roster will be in the big leagues. Every healthy pitcher and catcher is in the big leagues already. The four exceptions: 3B/2B/1B Wilmer Flores, 2B Reese Havens, CF Cesar Puello and OF Juan Lagares. Neither CF Matt den Dekker nor RHP Zack Wheeler are on the Mets’ 40-man roster.
Flores, hit .300/.349/.479 overall between advanced-A and AA with 30 doubles and 18 homers and 38 walks against 60 strikeouts in 130 games. In the month he turned 21, he bashed .377/.436/.632 in AA with 5 homers, 10 walks and 15 strikeouts in 28 games in August. The man can hit. However, he is still looking for a position. On the 2012 Mets, he would not have played third base over David Wright, second over Daniel Murphy or first over Ike Davis. He should make his Major League debut sometime in the 2013 season after beginning the year in AAA. The position he’ll play when he makes his MLB is still unclear, but he’ll hit.
Puello, playing the whole year as as 21-year old, hit .260/.328/.423 in 66 games in advanced-A. I still really like the tools, but that’s not close to MLB ready.
After a slow start, Lagares recovered to hit .283/.334/.389 in 130 games in AA with nice defense at all three outfield spots. The 23-year old Lagares, who bats from the right side, beat lefties at a .331/.379/.474 clip in 133 AB, while hitting for little power against righties (.265/.318/.358 – 366 AB). He would be a nice right-handed piece of a platoon for any of the Mets’ left-handed swinging outfielders.
Reese Havens at age 25 in AA: .215/.340/.351 with 113 strikeouts in 94 games. That 40-man roster spot is shaky.
There was no reason to call up den Dekker. As a member of the 2010 draft class, the 25-year old is not rule eligible yet and after raking in AA (.340/.397/.563) struggled badly in AAA (.220/.256/.373 with 90 strikeouts in 77 games).
As for the 22-year old Wheeler, the Mets shut him down after 149 combined innings between AA and AAA. That’s a 34-inning jump over a year ago when he worked exclusively at the advanced-A level for the Mets and Giants. He told Adam Rubin of ESPNNY, that he could feel the extra strain on his arm.
Wheeler’s stuff is electric, but he still must improve his control. He walked 12% of the opposing batters he faced at AAA. Unlike many high school draftees, Wheeler was 19 when he signed in 2009, so he will be rule 5 eligible for the first time this year forcing the Mets to add him to the 40-man roster this off-season. As long as he’s healthy, he will make his MLB debut in 2013.