New York Mets: 4 Prospects Who Should Make Opening Day Roster
The Mets top prospects can bring some excitement to Citi Field this season. Photo is credited to Ballparkofamerica.com
The New York Mets' front office faces the ultimate dilemma—selling tickets now verse being competitive in the future.
While the fan base has shown they are fed up with mediocre veterans playing pivotal roles, the front office has been inclined to bring up their prospects later rather than sooner. This is the opposite of the Omar Minaya days, when he ruined a few different players' careers by calling them up at a young age.
If there's one hope for the future, it lies in the top prospects the Mets have in their farm system. Some are closer to contribute than others, so the fans may see an influx of these young phenoms as soon as the Mets make their inevitable free fall to the bottom of the standings.
Here are four players that could contribute to the Mets if Terry Collins were to put them on the Opening Day roster.
No. 4: Jordany Valdespin
Valdespin had a phenomenal 2011 season and is ready to contribute. Photo is credited to metsblog.com
Valdespin can play a number of positions, primarily used at shortstop and second base at the Double-A and Triple-A level.
When Andres Torres went down with a calf injury this spring, manager Terry Collins experimented with Valdespin in center field, and he responded by displaying his terrific athleticism.
Athletes like Valdespin can't be wasted in the minor leagues when they can be contributing at the big league league. Additionally, Valdespin is not extremely young, he will begin the season at 24 years of age.
Despite the fact that he was sent down to Triple-A to begin the season, Terry Collins would've been better off using Valdespin as his super utility player.
No. 3: Darin Gorski
Darin Gorski should be a viable lefty out of the pen for Mets at some point this season. Photo is credited to mets360.com
The Mets had one viable lefty coming out of the bullpen before Tim Byrdak tore his meniscus, causing him to miss the early portion of the season.
In his place, the Mets manager decided to use Daniel Herrera. While it may seem like an inspiring story that a 5'6" pitcher defied all odds to make the big leagues, Mets fans will not feel so jubilant if he can't get Ryan Howard or Jason Heyward out late in a game.
In 2011, Darin Gorski compiled an 11-3 record with a 2.08 ERA. While that was at High-A St. Lucie, he has shown great command, as can be seen by his 4.93 K/BB ratio.
Gorski is 24 years old and is ready to contribute to the Mets, who will be looking for a dominant lefty specialist at some point in the season. He should have been that guy beginning Thursday.
No. 2: Kirk Nieuwenhuis
Kirk Nieuwenhuis is entering his fourth season with the Mets organization and will be on the big league team before season's end. Photo is credited to mets360.com
His name might not be easy to remember, but Nieuwenheis sure can play. The center fielder is entering his fourth season with the organization, and has proven he can hit Triple-A pitching.
Nieuwenheis displays strong outfield skills and can be a quality center fielder at the big league level. He has had some nagging injuries that have limited his development somewhat, but, if he can stay at full strength, he will certainly see action this season at Citi Field.
Terry Collins could have used him as a fifth outfielder, especially with the limited range of the Mets' outfielders this season.
No. 1: Jeurys Familia
Jeurys Familia has flashed ace potential and can help the Mets this season. Photo is credited to metsblog.com
Of the Mets' three big-time pitching prospects—Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey, and Jeurys Familia—it's the Dominican-born right-hander that's the closest to contributing at the big league level.
Familia is ranked just behind Harvey as the top prospect in the system, and has drawn rave reviews from members of the organization. He will be with the big league club before the end of the season.
Familia's stuff has never been an issue, rather his command.
In 2010, he averaged 5.1 BB/9, limiting his ceiling as a prospect. In 2011, that number was cut drastically to 3.1 as his K/9 remained near 10.
Familia is still young, but he displayed his poise during Spring Training action, and could have assisted the Mets' bullpen immediately.