All indications point to an open competition for the Mets starting 2nd base job. While Luis Castillo and Daniel Murphy will be in the mix as well, lets look at possibly the options on the minor league side of the competition. Brad Emaus and Justin Turner should both get an opportunity to showcase their talents during spring training. Let’s look at their career minor league numbers, and compare the two.
|’08 – FSL (A+)||22||473||143||34||3||12||60||56||.302||.380||.463||11.0||10.3|
|’09- EL (AA)||23||505||128||28||2||10||59||69||.253||.336||.376||10.2||11.9|
|’10 -EL/PCL (AA/AAA)||24||445||129||32||3||15||81||69||.290||.397||.476||15.2||12.9|
|’06 -PIO (RK)||21||231||78||16||3||6||23||38||.338||.411||.511||8.7||14.4|
|’09- IL (AAA)||24||387||116||28||0||2||34||37||.300||.362||.388||7.7||8.4|
|’10 -IL (AAA)||25||396||125||30||1||12||33||51||.316||.374||.487||7.4||11.5|
Looking at their numbers, we can draw some conclusions in this comparison. Emaus’ high doubles totals tell me that there should be an increase in his HR totals as he matures. Emaus also has the advantage in BB% and K%, yet Turner has a higher OBP%. Turner also has shown he consistently hits .300 every year, while showing decent power.
Turner’s weakness is in his defense. He lacks the range of an ideal second baseman, but has the ability to play both 3rd as well as some SS. Emaus on the other hand, does not provide any ability to play SS, but can adequately handle 2B as well as 3B. Neither of these guys has any speed, so their bats are what gives them the opportunity to play everyday.
I got a chance to breakdown Emaus’ swing here, and I came away very impressed. My gut feeling is that Emaus will have the early edge in camp to win the job. Mets Assistant GM, J.P. Riccardi drafted Emaus in Toronto, and knows him pretty well. The Mets used their first Rule V draft pick on Emaus, so he must stay on the roster all year. If not he must be sold back to Toronto.
To me Turner is more of a utility guy than Emaus, mainly because of his lack of an everyday defensive position. Turner has more value to this team, by being able to play multiple positions, as well as a pinch hitter of the bench. Emaus profiles as more of a true everyday 2nd baseman, and his power potential exceeds that of Turner’s.
While Emaus is no slam dunk to win the starting job, because the Mets took him in the Rule V draft tells me the organization will give him every opportunity to win the job. Look for this to be one of the most competitive position battles in Mets camp.