In the second part of this weeks Around The League series, Eric Simon from Amazin' Avenue answers a set of questions regarding the New York Mets, their impressive pitching prospects and the future of Jose Reyes. You can read Part I of the interview here.
TNB: With Zack Wheeler, Jenrry Mejia, Matt Harvey, and Jeurys Familia developing fast in the minors, and Jon Niese and Dillon Gee establishing themselves as legitimate major league pitchers, where will the Mets pitching rank in five years?
Amazin' Avenue: With any luck it'll rank higher than it does now! What any GM or head of player development will tell you is that you've done pretty well if one of those four — Wheeler, Mejia, Harvey, Familia — develops into a great pitcher or if two develop into above-average starters. I like Niese a lot as a mid-rotation lefty while Gee's upside is as a back-end innings-eater. Projecting young arms is nearly a total crapshoot, so your best bet is to stockpile high-end talent and hope that the percentages work out in your favor.
TNB: How would you grade the performance by Terry Collins in 2011, a year in which the Mets went 77-85 and finished in fourth place in the NL East.
Amazin' Avenue: Collins was fine. He's not a master tactician, but few managers are. He bunted less than Jerry Manuel so that was certainly an area of improvement over his predecessor. I might quibble with him a bit on lineup construction or bullpen use, but he's rarely infuriating and the players seem to like him so that's about as much as you can ask out of most skippers.
TNB: Is it time for the Mets to move on from Jose Reyes?
Amazin' Avenue: Not in a general sense, no. He's homegrown, considerably talented, reasonably young, a fan-favorite, and usually quite productive at a a position which is nearly always offensively challenged. If the Mets can sign him to a fair contract I think they should. If Reyes is looking for more than five guaranteed years at $20 million per season, then there probably isn't a fit and the Mets should look elsewhere.
TNB: People tend to forget that Ike Davis was one of the top hitters in the league before going down with an injury in early May. What is the ceiling for the young first baseman?
Amazin' Avenue: A fine defensive first baseman with power and patience? The ceiling is Mark Teixeira-ish, I'd say, but let's not conflate "ceiling" with "probable outcome" because Davis still has plenty to prove.
TNB: Mets GM Sandy Alderson has shown that he's not willing to break the bank open for free agents like Omar Minaya was. That being said, who will be the biggest signing for the Mets this off-season?
Amazin' Avenue: I still think it'll be Jose Reyes, but if not him, I don't expect the Mets to sign anything resembling a superstar this offseason. Maybe Jonathan Broxton?