Sure, it may have been several years ago, but Joaquin Arias was once a top prospect in the Texas Rangers organization and may turn out to be more than just a utility infielder for the Mets in 2010 and 2011. With 20-year-old Ruben Tejada proving to be overwhelmed at the plate and Luis Castillo proving to be Luis Castillo, New York has no clear solution at second base for the rest of this season or next. Like everyone else I am hopeful that Tejada’s offensive skills will catch up to his defensive prowess, but rushing his development is obviously not the answer.
I’m not sure the offseason will be enough time for Tejada to make the next leap and while we can sit back and remain hopeful there is nothing wrong with compiling some viable alternatives. Alex Cora is gone and after he committed an error on a routine grounder off that bat of Omar Infante, I am convinced that Luis Castillo‘s defense gets worse with every passing game. When you consider the fact that Jose Reyes is not healthy, where does that leave New York ‘up the middle’ the rest of this season and 2011? The answer is simple; it leaves them ‘thin’. Nobody is going to mistake Arias for Elvis Andrus but heading into 2007 Baseball America had the now 25-year-old listed as one of the Ranger’s top 10 prospects:
Mets fans know as well as anyone that being a top prospect does not guarantee success at the big league level, but Arias is not short on potential. If you really want to know just how high people once were on this kid once upon a time, check out T.R. Sullivan’s article on him from mlb.com (click here). Sure, that was then and this is now, but the Mets still see a lot of positives in Arias and according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, assistant GM John Ricco had this to say about the former Ranger:
He’s a young middle infielder who we have good reports on. He played for Ken Oberkfell last winter, he’s a guy...TO READ THE REST OF THIS POST HEAD TO METSZILLA.COM BY CLICKING HERE: