With Jose Reyes pulling a LeBron and heading to Miami to play shortstop for the revamped Marlins, the Mets find themselves devoid of a leadoff hitter, a sure fielder and an all-star. Reyes was considered to be the heart and soul of a team that always seemed to be missing one piece.
Given the free agent class in shortstops beyond Reyes, Jimmy Rollins, Yuniesky Betancourt and Rafael Furcal, it is highly unlikely that the Mets will sign an outsider, or for that matter, trade for one. Fortunately for them, they do have a system completely stockpiled with middle infield talent.
Let's find out who could likely replace Reyes.
Ruben has the most experience out of the major league candidates. He has filled in for Reyes when he was hurt in 2010 and '11, and seems to be the most likely candidate heading into 2012.
Ruben is a slick fielder like his predecessor, but isn't a great hitter. While he can run, it would seem hard to seriously consider him to be the new leadoff hitter. Expect him, should he win out, to hit low in the order.
It's very likely that we haven't seen the last of the two biggest misfits on the Mets roster: Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner.
With Murphy likely to play second for the foreseeable future, despite his awkwardness, it's likely Turner will battle for the shortstop position. Turner can hit for contact, like his predecessor, and can play almost any infield position.
In addition, he was a Rookie of the Month back in May.
Back in 2008, when Havens, as a shortstop, was drafted 22nd overall out of South Carolina, the Mets brass had every intention of using him as a second baseman to form a double-play combination with Reyes. Unfortunately, that never happened, and Havens never came up.
With Reyes gone and Havens promoted to the 40-man roster, he will have a chance in spring training to compete for the shortstop position. Havens is a good hitter and will get every chance to play.
The only thing to watch out for is Havens' injury history; however, when he is healthy, he plays very well.
Wilmer Flores is the top position prospect in the Mets organization. He can hit, run, field, basically do anything. He even played for the World team in the All-Star Game in 2009.
Before Reyes left, it was difficult finding a spot for Flores to play. Many recommended that he'd be an outfielder; others, a second baseman. With Reyes out of the way, Flores has a chance to flourish, and like Havens, he will be given every chance to start in spring training.
Satin is a former first team All-American from the University of California. His amazing minor league performance over the summer earned him a spot on the September roster. While he didn't prove much in September, he could have a chance to try and make the club in spring training.
Satin, however, is a second baseman by trade and may encounter some Murphy-like adjustment problems. Nonetheless, he is a dark horse heading into the spring, and with the hitting power that scouts gushed about over the summer, expect Terry Collins to give him more than a cursory glance.