#10 – 2B Reese Havens

#10 Reese Havens

Bats/Throws: L/R

Height/Weight: 6’1”/195 lbs

Acquired: 1st rd 08 (South Carolina)

Born: 10/20/86 (Sullivan Island, SC)

2009 Rank: 6

Why Ranked Here: Havens has the chance to be an above average offensive force at second base.  Havens’ 14 homers led all Mets infielders in 2009 and were good enough for sixth in the FSL, where hitting for power is very difficult.  Havens entered pro ball with a funky swing he had adopted in college where his hands started very low.  He’s given that up for a much simpler swing that has really started to work well for him.  In the video below of his swings from the Arizona Fall League, note how short he has become to the ball.  With his strong forearms, when he squares a ball up, it goes.  Havens also improved his strike zone control in 2009, walking in almost 13% of his plate appearances, while cutting his strikeout rate under 20%.  In the Arizona Fall League, the Mets began playing Reese Havens at second base where his range and arm have a chance to be above average.

2009: Havens finished 2009 with the same batting average (.247) as he had in the NYP the year before, thus, he was the same player.  Ok, that’s a dirty lie.  However, for the second straight season, injuries limited his playing time, as a hamstring injury cost Havens much of June and helped hold him to 97 games played.  It all seemed to come together for Havens in August when he hit .282/.386/.473 with 5 HR.  He finished up the year with a scorching end to the AFL season.

Dr. Pangloss Says: The median number of HR hit by 2B of NL teams last year was 11.5.  Havens has above average power for the position which, combined with his plate discipline will make him an above average contributor at the Keystone.

Debbie Downer Says: The Injury Bug continues to bite Havens and he never finds the fields enough to hold a starting job in the big leagues.  Or his strikeout rate balloons at the upper levels, killing his batting average.

Projected 2010 Start: Binghamton 2B

MLB Arrival: 2011

There are 11 comments

  1. theperfectgame

    Unrelated:

    I’m trying to put together a database tracking Rule V eligibility and option year usage for players of interest in the Mets organization. Why? Well, initially, because I wanted to fully understand the implications of players like Ike Davis, Jenrry Mejia, and Ruben Tejada breaking camp with the Mets and I couldn’t find the info anywhere else. Also, I’m kind of a baseball dork. But lets be honest, if you’re reading the comments section of a minor league baseball blog, you’re kind of a baseball dork, too.

    Anyway, according to the info I could find, OF Darrell Ceciliani (#25 in Toby’s Top 41) was born on June 22, 1990, drafted by the Mets on June 10, 2009, and signed two weeks later on June 24, 2009. Per wikipedia, players signed prior to their 19th birthday are given 4 years of Rule V draft protection, whereas players signed on or after their 19th birthday are given 3 years of Rule V protection. Is it possible that the signing date listed on mets.com is wrong? Am I misunderstanding the rule? Is there any reason at all that the Mets would have opted to sign him at age 19 years and 2 days with 3 years of protection when they could have had him 3 days earlier at age 18 years and 364 days with 4 years of protection? The only potential explanation I could think of was that Ceciliani’s agent was perhaps trying to use the birthday as leverage, but I don’t see what benefit it would be to Ceciliani to forfeit a year of protection. I mean I know that ultimately it probably won’t matter, but it just strikes me as unnecessarily wasteful.

    1. Toby Hyde

      Here’s to baseball dorks! It’s possible that the signing date on Mets.com is off, but I doubt it. I’ll check Ceciliani’s signing date when I get my hands on a Mets media guide in the next few weeks.
      And no, there’s really no reason from the Mets perspective to sign him after his birthday. For the player, there’s a decent incentive to sign after his B-Day: the 40-man roster. When the Mets put him on the 40-man roster to protect him from the rule 5 draft, he gets a nice little raise and some union benefits, even if he’s still in the minors.

      1. theperfectgame

        Yeah, I guess that’s a pretty good point. I suppose I’ve been focusing more on the Mets perspective. And I guess the player doesn’t necessarily care if he gets selected in the Rule V draft. Heck, that has the potential to pay even more than just being on the 40-man. I’d be curious to know how that negotiation went, though, whether he held out past his birthday intentionally, or if there was an offer to sign before his B-Day for a little more $$, or if there was some sort of understanding that he wouldn’t sign until after his B-Day that the Mets were aware of when they drafted him.

        But I’m pretty sure that info probably won’t be available in the media guide…

        Oh well, like I said before, it probably won’t ultimately matter.

    2. NateW

      The wiki info is old. As of the last CBA they changed the rule and added one more year for everyone before they are rule 5 eligible.

      But to your point, I think its tough to sign someone that quickly after the draft unless there is complete agreement right away. But I wonder if the Mets FO was even aware of the birthday when trying to work out a deal.

      1. theperfectgame

        Nate, I think the wiki info is up to date. I may have not relayed it as clearly as possible. But when I said 4 or 3 years of Rule V protection, I meant 4 or 3 Rule V drafts worth of protection, which is the equivalent of 5 or 4 seasons worth. For example, Ike Davis was signed in 2008. He was protected from the ’08 Rule V and the ’09 Rule V, and, provided he doesn’t get added to the 40-man roster, he’d be protected from the 2010 Rule V, but be eligible for the 2011 unless he was placed on the 40-man. Ceciliani will be eligible in the 2012 Rule V, which follows the 2012 season (his 4th with the Mets), however if he had been signed 3 days earlier, he’d be protected in that one and not be eligible until the 2013 Rule V (after his 5th season with the club).

        Is that your understanding of the current eligibility rule?

      2. theperfectgame

        Then why did the Mets call up Thole last September? Under the rules as I understood them, Thole was drafted and signed at age 18 in June 2005 and as a result was protected from the Rule V draft in December 2005, 06, 07, and 08 (i.e. he was protected for the 2005, 06, 07, 08, and 09 seasons). He had to be added to the 40-man roster prior to the December 2009 Rule V draft (after the 2009 season).

        Do you agree with this, or are you saying that Thole would have had protection from the Rule V draft held in December 2009? If not, could you please elaborate.

        This is the text currently on wikipedia:

        “Players are eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft who are not on their major league organization’s forty man roster and:

        – were signed at age 19 or older and have been in the organization for four years; or

        – were signed at age 18 or younger and have been in the organization for five years.

        The exemption periods were extended by one year in October 2006 as part of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The change took effect immediately, exempting many players from the 2006 Rule 5 draft even though they had been signed in some cases more than four years before the new agreement came into effect. Prior to the rule change, players were exempt from the first two or three Rule 5 drafts held after their signing (regardless of the year they were drafted), rather than from the first three or four Rule 5 drafts after their signing.”

        Was there a CBA after the 2006 one that extended the protection periods an additional year?? I hope I’m not coming off as a dick, I’m just trying to understand the rule, and I thought I had it. And you seem to be a guy who knows his stuff. Thanks.

      3. NateW

        oh! I did not see that you were referring to the season differently than the drafts themselves. That is the only way we were seeing it differently.

        I had never thought of it that way.

      4. theperfectgame

        Okay, good. That’s what I thought.

        It’s like the Oscars. What I mean is that if I were to ask you which movie won Best Picture in 2009, there are two reasonable answers: “Slumdog Millionaire”, which won the Best Picture of 2009, and “No Country For Old Men”, which won the Best Picture award in the 2009 ceremony.

        Similarly, if you say that the 2009 MLB season ended when the Yankees won the World Series, then the Rule V draft we just had would be the 2010 Rule V draft. If, however, you label that Rule V draft by the year in which it took place, it would be the 2009 Rule V draft.

        I guess the takeaway from all this is that I need to be more careful when navigating a semantic minefield or I may end up in The Hurt Locker. High five for bringing it all the way around? Anyone? Fine…

        Anyway, thanks for the help.

      5. Toby Hyde

        Well played. I watch too much baseball to see every movie, even every Oscar nominated movie, but I really liked both Slum Dog and No Country. Guess I better catch up and see Hurt Locker in the next few weeks before the season begins…

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