For all the heat Omar Minaya got over the off-season, it is about time we give him some credit.
While it was definitely warranted to question him in the past, Minaya has overseen a farm system that has provided some quality players for the big league team this season. I am talking about first baseman Ike Davis and starting pitchers Mike Pelfrey and Jonathon Niese.
Ike Davis has solidified first base for the Mets, a position that has not seen a full season of production since 2006.
Carlos Delgado never picked up his play in 2007 and while he went on a tear the latter half of 2008, his bat was pretty much non-existent the first half of the season. With the injury to Daniel Murphy the 2010 season was looking like much of the same with journeymen Mike Jacobs and Fernando Tatis splitting time at the position.
Luckily for the Mets, Davis hit well enough in Spring Training and the start of the season for the AAA Buffalo Bisons that there was little resistance to calling him up. While he is barely hitting .260 on the year, he has still provided power with 7 home-runs, great defense, and most importantly—hope for the future.
Pelfrey has flat out dominated from the start of the season. I do not think it is a stretch to say that I feel more confident when he takes the mound than when Johan Santana does. Pelfrey has gone 9-1 on the season with a 2.39 ERA. He has given the team half of the 1-2 punch they need, and gives the team loads of confidence every time he takes the mound.
Finally there is Niese. He came up last season and pitched pretty well, but suffered a nasty hamstring injury during his third start in the majors. The fear was he would not be able to recover enough to warrant a spot in the rotation to start the season.
That fear was put aside early as he pitched so effectively during Spring Training that Jerry Manuel put him in the second spot following Santana. During the season Niese has managed to keep the optimism going with a stat-line that reads: 3-2 3.61 ERA 45 K/ 19 BB. To follow that up, Niese had only one blemish in his last start, a double in the third inning. Despite that hit, Niese was perfect in a complete game effort where he shut-out the Padres.
Since David Wright and Jose Reyes were called up years ago, the Mets have failed to add impact players to their big league team.
This is Pelfrey’s third season, but following last year his career did not look promising.
While it has only been a few months, at this point it looks like Minaya has done a better job with the farm system than anyone has given him credit for. Not to mention the great acquisitions of Angel Pagan, Rod Barajas, Henry Blanco, Hisanori Takahashi, and RA Dickey.
Give Minaya a little bit of credit.