The AFL Begins Today

The Mets prospects on the Surprise Rafters begin their Arizona Fall League season todarizonafallleaguelogoay at 12:35 MT.  My plan is to catch nearly a week of AFL games from 11/9-11/13, the second-to-last week of the season.

Once again, the participating Mets:
RHP Jenrry Mejia
Why He’s Going: The Mets want to see their best pitching prospect pick up some more game time against the best MiLB hitters after he missed a month with a blister problem at AA.
A Question: Can he learn to throw his potentially nasty curveball for strikes?

RHP Scott Moviel
Why He’s Going: Like Mejia, Moviel missed an awful lot of time – nearly the entire first half of the season – recovering from injury.  His numbers at St. Lucie, 3.92 ERA, 64.1 IP, 61 H, 1 HR, 24 BB, 46 K, were very pedestrian.
A Question: Now 21, will Moviel ever turn his projection and decent feel into a plus pitch?
LHP Eric Niesen
Why He’s Going: His last seven starts for AA Binghamton: 3-1, 2.40 ERA, 41.1 IP, 29 H, 13 R, 11 ER, 1 HR, 15 BB, 45 K.  K/9=9.9, K/BB=3
A Thought: This should be good preparation for an Opening Day assignment to Buffalo.

RHP Josh Stinson
Why He’s Going: 35 K in 36.1 IP out of the St. Lucie bullpen after 49 in 42.1 IP for Savannah.  That, and the Mets decided not to send Brad Holt to keep Holt’s IP down.
A Thought: the AFL will tell us a lot about whether Stinson’s for real or not.

2B Reese Havens
Why He’s Going: He really needs the game action after playing in just 120 games since he was drafted last June.  As a member of the taxi squad, he’ll get to play 2x a week.
A Thought: After hitting .247/.361/.422 for St. Lucie, the exposure to more upper-level pitching will be a nice preparation for a 2010 assignment to Binghamton.

1B Ike Davis
Why He’s Going: He’s the best hitting prospect in the upper minors not named Fernando Martinez.  This is the beginning of prospect finishing school for Davis.  By the way, Davis hit 20 HR this year.  Martinez’s career high is 9.
A Question: How much did Davis’ big 2009, and now how much will his upcoming AFL performance factor into the Mets plans for 1B in 2010?

SS Ruben Tejada
Why He’s Going: He’s the best upper-level up-the-middle prospect in the system.
A Question: Tejada got better as the year went on at AA.  Can he continue to improve in the AFL?

LF Lucas Duda

Why He’s Going: The Mets used their A-ball exemptions on Stinson, Havens and Moviel.  Duda had 39 XBH for Binghamton at age 23.
A Question: Will Duda ever figure out how to leverage is size and strength and his natural raw power into more game power?  And will he figure out lefties after hitting .192/.283/.225 against them in AA?