Those Unprotected

Friday, the Mets added seven players to their 40-man roster, thus protecting them from the Rule Five Draft this winter.  Who was left unprotected?

Friend of the blog Chris W., who comments here as theperfectgame, has the complete list here.  I’m just going to discuss a few player who might have been close.

Brad Holt
– Selected at #33 overall in the 2008, Holt blew through Brooklyn in 2008 and St. Lucie in 2009, but just has not had any success in double-A. Over three seasons in AA, he’s run a 6.09 ERA, and walked 5.1 batters per nine while fanning 7.1. The days of his blowing batters away with 93-95 mph heat are gone.
Odds he gets picked: Slight

 

Collin McHugh
McHugh was one of the most pleasant surprises in the Mets organization in 2011. Promoted from St. Lucie, where he had a 6.31 ERA at the end of May, McHugh struggled for a month in double-A before finishing the season with a ten-pack of dominant performances. From July 16 through the end of the season, McHugh, in nine starts and one relief outing, was second in all of AA with a 1.45 ERA (9 ER/56 IP). He fanned 65 batters and walked just 13 while allowing opponents to hit .198.
He won’t overpower hitters, but works off a fastball that this year, was firmer than in years past, sitting around 90 mph, a curveball, a cutter (that looks like a slider) and change-up. McHugh doesn’t have a plus pitch, but he throws strikes, and understands how to set up hitters. Also, he writes well.
I suspect that the Mets felt more comfortable leaving McHugh off the 40-man roster after a rough performance in the Arizona Fall League when he ran a 6.91 ERA and gave up 42 hits in 27.1 innings. Even so, he fanned 24 batters and walked 11 in the AFL. In his last two starts, McHugh seemed to adjust again. Over his final 10 innings, McHugh fanned six, walked four, and yielded three runs, two earned on nine hits. Fair or unfair, that will be the Mets, and the other 29 teams, most recent impression of McHugh before the rule 5 draft.
Odds he gets picked: Moderate. McHugh doesn’t have the big fastball that teams often look for out of Rule 5 candidates.

 

Jefry Marte
On his final play in the Arizona Fall League, the 20-year old Marte broke his wrist. Even though the Mets are confident he’ll be ready for Spring Training, that alone probably removed him from any other team’s consideration. Well, that and the fact that he hit .248/.313/.346 in 131 in St. Lucie in 2011.
Odds he gets picked: Nearly zero.

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