The Pena Legacy?

fmartcardIn light of Special Assistant Ramon Pena’s firing, lets take a look at some of the Mets top international prospects performances this season.  All of the players listed numerically are among my top 30 Mets prospects.
1. Fernando Martinez – signed July 2, 2005 (pre-Pena).  Made his MLB debut at age 20, after tearing the cover off the ball in May in AAA.
2. Jenrry Mejia – signed April 4, 2007 by Ramon Pena, Ismael Cruz & Sandi Rosario.  A true find.  Mejia put up a 1.97 ERA in the FSL and then struck out more than a batter an inning as a 19-year old in AA.
3. Wilmer Flores – signed 8/6/07 by Ismael Cruz, Sandy Johnson & Robert Alfonzo.  Hit .264/.305/.332 as a 17/18-year old in the SAL in 2009.
4. Jefry Marte – signed 7/2/07 by Ramon Pena, Ismael Cruz & Marciano Alvarez. Hit .233/.279/.338 as a 17/18 year old in the SAL in 2009.
5. Ruben Tejada - signed 7/11/06 by Ismael Cruz, Wilfredo Blanco and Alex Zapata.  Hit .289/.351/.381 as a 19-year old in AA.
6. Jeurys Familia - signed 7/13/07 by Ramon Pena, Ismael Cruz and Marcelino Vallejo.  Finished 3rd in the SAL in ERA (2.69) at age 19, while making significant strides during the year.
7. Juan Urbina – signed 2009
8. Francisco Pena – signed 7/8/06 by Ramon Pena, Ismael Cruz and Juan Mercado.  Hit .224/.258/.329 in the FSL at age 19 with a career-best 8 HR.  That’s the same number of HR as Josh Thole has hit in his entire professional career since 2005.  Starting Pena at Savannah at age 17 with no professional experience in 2007 made no sense then or now, but hardly seems like something to put on Ramon Pena’s head.
9. Eduardo Aldama – signed 7/15/06 by Ismael Cruz, Robert Alfonzo and Rafael Jimenez.  The 19-year old Venezuelan quietly had a nice season for Rookie Kingsport, fanning 57 in 61.2 innings and posting a 3.79 ERA.
10. Aderlin Rodriguez – the Mets big international signing in ’08.  The 17-year old had a successful debut in the GCL, hitting .290/.389/.387 in 17 games.
11. Cesar Puello – signed 7/2/07 by Ramon Pena, Ismael Cruz and Marciano Alvarez.  Hit .296/.373/.423 in 49 games for Kingsport as an 18-year old.  OBP supported by a whopping 14 HBP.

Notable: CF Javier Rodriguez, 2008′s second-round draft pick, repeated the GCL where he hit .230/.285/.338 as a 19-year old.

Notice that Ramon Pena is listed as a signing scout for Francisco Pena even though R. Pena wasn’t yet with the organization when F. Pena is supposed to have signed.

By definition, this the best of the group of international prospects.  However, it’s not a bad record as there’s certainly something for Mets fans to dream on in this group.

There are 8 comments

  1. NickM

    Some Cesar Puello love from BA in their top 10 Appy-League prospects:

    “With the caveat that there are questions about his makeup, Puello’s potential for five major league average tools affords him the benefit of the doubt for now. Signed by the Mets for $400,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2007, he’s a strong athlete with a solid 6-foot-2, 195-pound build and loose actions. He stole 15 bases in 20 attempts this season, and his plus speed rates as his best present tool.

    Puello starts with an unconventional stance—one manager likened it to him sitting in a chair—but he has a pure, righthanded line-drive stroke. The ball comes off his bat well, and he already has natural power to left field. As he learns to use the opposite field, he’ll be more effective at the plate.

    An aggressive player by nature, Puello showed an undisciplined approach at the plate, and some league observers questioned his maturity. His mindset works well in right field, where Puello charges balls with abandon and likes to show off his plus arm.”

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/league-top-20-prospects/2009/268917.html

      1. mark4212

        BA has had some major love of towards the end of the year in terms of Mets prospects. Most of the beginning of the year they had nothing nice to say, but everything flipped i’d say around mid-june, then all of a sudden you were reading positive things throughout BA about numerous guys.

      2. NickM

        yeah i noticed that too. i cant wait to see their Sally league top 20 prospects.. you could make a case for almost everyone in that savannah rotation (minus schwinden).

  2. acerimusdux

    Excellent couple of posts on the Pena firing, Toby.

    As an outside observer, with no ties or contacts in the Mets organization, it’s hard for me to believe either Pena or Bernazard were fired for anything related to their job performance in the areas you would think they would be responsible for. I’m also reading a rumor on another board now that Julio Franco may be out as a minor league coach (managed the Gulf Coast team).

    In Pena’s case, he came in mid 2006, then in 2007 produced a monster international class that included Mejia, Familia, Flores, Puello, Marte, Valdespin, Cuan, and Aldama. The next year, 2008, they went cheap after spending big on the draft, and as far as I know only gave out one 6 figure bonus, to Aderlin Rodriguez.

    I don’t mind the Mets cleaning house, but I’d like to know they are getting rid of the guys actually responsible for some of the incompetent decisions with the big league club. Matt Cerone on Metsblog has an interview with Mark Healy, who seems to blame Bernazard for the loss of much of the Mets upper level executive talent in recent years, especially Eddy Toledo, Gary LaRocque, and Jack Bowen. But other than Toledo, who is credited for signing both Fernando Martinez and Jose Reyes (amongst others), I’m not sure what those guys actually were responsible for here.

    What I would really like to know though, and have never seen reported, is who was responsible for wanting Rick Peterson fired and replaced with Warthen. By some accounts, Omar only agreed to fire Willie Randolph if he could also fire Peterson. Since we know Bernazrd was behind wanting to fire Randolph, it seems unlikely he was the one who wanted to fire Peterson. Another one I’d like to know is who was behind wanting to pay Oliver Perez $12M a year. Those are the guys I want purged from the organization for performance reasons.

    Regardless of the reasons though, it certainly seems as though the Mets have been left with something of a vacuum in upper level management. I doubt they could be expected to fill all of those holes internally, so hopefully they will be looking outside the organization for some proven upper level talent to fill those gaps.

    Finally, if Omar isn’t pulling the strings on all of this, I have to wonder who is. If there is really an internal power struggle going on, you have to ask who would have the power to undercut Omar to this degree, aside from Jeff Wilpon. And if it is Jeff Wilpon who is now in charge, I have to question whether all of this is really going to be leading to any improvement.

    1. NateW

      Petersen was the lone holdover from the Howe/Duquette era so its unlikely anyone really felt strongly about keeping him. That wasn’t so bad, but replacing him with Warthen was clearly a bad idea.

      Given how much was delegated to Tony B on the minor league side of things I would have to assume Omar is directly responsible for the moves affecting the big league club. Otherwise what is he doing? But yes, the extended network of bringing back Perez should be brought to task.

      1. acerimusdux

        A couple more gone:

        A pair of minor-league managers have been informed they won’t return to the organization in 2010, the Daily News has learned. Longtime big leaguer Julio Franco, who managed the Mets’ Gulf Coast League affiliate, has been dismissed. Also out: Double-A Binghamton manager Mako Oliveras, who was an ally of fired VP of player development Tony Bernazard.

        http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/2009/09/27/2009-09-27_mets.html#ixzz0SQqdIlOl

        No objection to cleaning house, but the real test is always finding the talent to fill all these vacancies. Whatever changes they are making at the top, I hope they don’t wait too long once the season is over.

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