Who’s Forgetting about Fernando?

At ESPN 1050′s website, Rich Coutinho wonders if Fernando Martinez has been forgotten.  The answer, quite plainly is no.  The Mets aren’t committed to Jeff Francouer past 2010 if they don’t want to be.  Carlos Beltran’s deal is up after 2010 and he’ll miss at least a month of 2010.  If Gary Matthews Jr. is the answer, you’re asking the wrong question.  At least around here, no one’s forgotten about Martinez.

No one’s forgotten about Martinez at Project Prospect either where Adam Foster has him ranked as the 10th best prospect in baseball.  I think that’s a little high for Martinez, but it’s Adam’s list, not mine.  Jon Niese checks in at #48.  I also think it’s weird that Yonder Alonso checks in at #17 and Ike Davis misses the list.  Adam and I have been over this Alonso vs. Davis discussion before, and I can understand ranking Alonso ahead of Davis, but ranking him that far ahead requires a lot of faith in Alonso.

There are 7 comments

  1. Crazy Eddie

    Beltran is signed through 2011. I think if he has decent success this year, he could be a trade candidate next offseason if he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause. Pure baseless speculation on my part though.

    1. Toby Hyde

      Doesn’t bother me. I can see the argument for Niese over Mejia if Foster doesn’t believe Mejia will be a starter in the end, but think Niese will be a #3 and this season.

      1. adamfoster

        As always, thank you for the link Toby.

        I know it’s probably not a popular opinion around these parts, but we think there’s a good chance that Mejia’s future is in the bullpen. That’s why he didn’t make our top 50.

        Ike Davis has WAY more power than Alonso. They’re just very different types of hitters. We prefer Alonso’s elite contact bat and patience to Davis’ low-contact, high-power approach.

        I’m also expecting Davis’ BABIP to fall about .075+ points from where it was in Double-A in the feature. While he didn’t waste many at-bats with infield flies last year, he hits a lot of fly balls. So even with his strong line-drive abilities, I expect him to have a batting average closer to .260 in the bigs than .300. As your videos show, Davis had sweet bat speed. I worry about how he tends to shift onto his front foot early, though — this doesn’t bode well for his ability to hit advanced breaking balls.

        It appears to me that Davis is able to generate a good amount of his power by keeping his hands back then unloading through the ball. While I like the upper-body resistance, this does elongate his swing. Pair that with his early shifting and I don’t see him becoming a better contact hitter anytime soon.

        I could be wrong, but I think Davis will have a difficult time adjusting to Triple-A. He’s going to see a lot of good breaking balls and face guys who can locate with multiple offerings. He has passed plenty of tests in a short period of time, though. Maybe we’re undervaluing him and overvaluing Alonso. We’ll see :).

        As for Martinez, I think too much weight has been put into his injuries. Yes, he has yet to play a full season. But his injuries haven’t been related — to my knowledge — and they’ve all been types that many baseball players experience. It’s not like he has defunct wrists or anything. I don’t get why so many people feel comfortable playing doctor with him. As far as I’m concerned he’s no bigger long-term injury risk than a typical prospect at this point. And that’s probably why we value him more highly than a lot of sources.

  2. Michael Diaz

    The upside for Mejia is obviously greater, but with Niese his floor is much higher than Mejia’s. That’s probably the reasoning behind omitting Mejia, and, like Toby said, there are still questions whether or not Mejia will be a starter in the end.

  3. acerimusdux

    A couple of other recent rankings worthy of note:

    http://www.baseball-intellect.com/new-york-mets-farm-system-overview-2010/
    http://baseballnumbers-diamondfutures.blogspot.com/2010/01/team-16-new-york-mets.html

    The first of those, by Alex Eisenberg, is interesting because Alex is one of the better guys out there approaching things from a scouting point of view. There may be other guys out there beaking down video on prospects, but I don’t think too many of them have degrees in Kinesiology.

    The second, I don’t even know who this guy is, but he seems to be one of the few out there who understands how to approach prospect analysis properly using statistical analysis. I see way too many people trying to apply things learned at the MLB level to players in low A ball, which generally doesn’t work. The approach described at that website is generally the correct one. Take a sizable database, normalize data (express all variables in terms of their standard deviations), and then run regressions to see what numbers, ratios, or formulas actually have had significant correlations with future performance. The results there looks pretty impressive to me.

  4. Toby Hyde

    And Adam, thanks for dropping by and sharing your knowledge.
    I totally agree with your thought process on Mejia: if he’s not a starter, he’s not a top 50 guy. I still think he’s got a chance to figure out that curveball and improve his command enough to be a starter. If he doesn’t, he’s a bullpen arm.

    You nailed Davis’ BABIP – that is, very high in AA. Even if he hits .280, with an average to better walk rate, plus power and plus defense at first, I’ll take that profile over Alonso’s contact and strike zone control. As I tweeted to you, Alonso’s swing is pretty. Still, Davis’s has more natural loft. Davis and Alonso had very similar walk rates in both the FSL and AA at 11%, but I didn’t realize how far out in front Alonso is on contact, while Davis whiffed way more. Davis struck out in 20% of his PA in the FSL, and 25% at AA, while Alonso was at 12% and 14% for the same two levels. Monster difference here folks.

    I’m not going to try to talk you out of your affection for Fernando (we all suffer from some Fernando love around here), but will point out that as Will Carroll at Baseball Prospectus likes to say, “staying healthy is a skill too.” It’s one Martinez clearly has yet to master. It doesn’t mean he won’t, he just hasn’t yet.

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