With all the Cliff Lee rumors swirling around, all the baseball “experts” make it sound like the Twins can just have Lee if they wanted by offering a package centered around catching prospect Wilson Ramos.
Yet for the Mets they HAVE to include Jenrry Mejia, because Fernando Martinez is not a strong enough centerpiece for a deal. Now, I fully understand why everyone would want Mejia to be the centerpiece of the deal, but I cannot fathom why it is people feel Ramos is strong enough to be the main piece and Martinez is not.
I think if you just take a look at their stats it is pretty obvious that not only is Martinez worthy of being the main part of a deal like Ramos he is also a better prospect than Ramos.
So despite playing at a higher level and putting up stats that are equal, if not better than Ramos at a younger age, Martinez is being viewed as an inferior prospect. Not only that, but one of the biggest knocks on Martinez is that he has spent so much time in the minor leagues without being able to crack into the majors, but Ramos has been down on the farm even longer.
It is also not like Ramos has been injury free throughout his minor league career spending time on the DL in 2008 and 2009.
Take a look at prospect guru John Sickels’ rankings of the two prospects over the last couple of years:
2010 – 4) Wilson Ramos, C, Grade B-: Power and defense are positives, main question is weak walk rate.
2009 – 3) Wilson Ramos, C, Grade B : Good glove, strong bat.
2008 – Not ranked
2010 – 3) Fernando Martinez, OF, Grade B+ : People are now too negative on him. The guy was the equivalent of a college sophomore last year. If a college sophomore got drafted and hit .290/.337/.540 in Triple-A, people would be drooling over him. He’s made significant progress refining his tools. My main concern now is health and durability, which keeps him from ranking higher.
2009 – 2) Fernando Martinez, OF, Grade B+: Still extremely young, though at some point he’s got to produce better than he has. You can flip him with Flores if you prefer the guy closer to the majors.
2008 - 1) Fernando Martinez, OF, Grade B+ :.292/.332/.420 for Double-A Binghamton. Production improving, plate discipline still an issue, still very young.
It is also important to keep in mind that Sickels is a Twins fan, so there is reason to believe he is sometimes a bit biased towards their prospects—as he should be—and yet Martinez has always been ranked higher and going into the year he actually agreed with me that F-Mart is taking unnecessary criticism.
Wilson Ramos was impressive during his brief stint in the majors early this year, but ever since going down to the minors he has been awful. I think Ramos is a great prospect and worthy of being included in a deal for Lee, but so should the “Teenage Hitting Machine.”
Not to mention, if the Mariners really want a closer, Josh Thole is a pretty decent player who while he may not have the power or defense of Ramos hits for a higher average and has way better plate discipline. A deal of Fernando Martinez/Josh Thole/two more prospects, probably Kyle Allen and someone, or F-Mart/Reese Havens/and a pitching prospect should be enough to get a deal done for Lee.
Any more than that and I would be a little upset with what the Mets traded.