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Article:Searching for Catchers in the Mets Farm System

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Since the beginning of the new year over at http://213milesfromshea.metsblog.com I have been looking through the Mets farm system for future catchers. I am going to highlight two of those players here. (Both of these players are from previous posts over at my blog):

 

Baseball America sees Francisco Pena as the Mets catcher of the future. Pena was signedon July 9th, 2006 and is the son of Tony Pena. When he signed with the Mets he was only 16 years old. During that time, people were saying that he was the best catching prospect to leave the Dominican Republic in a long time. In 2007, he played professional ball for the first time and his stats were as follows:

103 G, 367 AB, 77 H, 12 2B, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 1 SB, 24 BB, .210 BA, .263 OBP, .283 SLG, .547 OPS

With 17 extra base hits, 22% of his hits here for extra bases. (To put into perspective, last season 37% of Wright's hits were for extra bases, 23% of LoDuca's hits were for extra bases). Milb.com, in there season review article, blames Pena's lower than expected numbers on the level of minor league play. They feel the Mets might have rushed him by placing him in low A (Savannah Sand Gnats) ball. Jonathan Mayo, the author of that article, says " Here's hoping he can learn from adversity because he was given a healthy dose right off the bat."

Statistically speaking, Jason Jacobs, the catcher and DH for the Cyclones last summer, had the best year offensivly. It will be interesting how he is placed next year because power wise, he did well at his level but probably is not ready for a jump to St. Lucie. Pena is not ready for a jump to St. Lucie as well. Before looking at further analysis, lets look at Jason Jacobs' stats:

Jason Jacobs (age 23) has had two seasons in the Mets farm system so far. (Last year being his first full season). In 2006, he was drafted in the 20th round and was the 604th overall pick. In 2003, 2005-06 he played for University of Georgia. Each of those three seasons, his BA increased, .279, .286, .331.Overall, his slugging increased from .465 in 2003 to .496 in 2006. His homers and RBI's also increased in each of those seasons.

For the Cyclones in 2006, in 45 G and 138 AB, he posted a .217 BA and .312 SLG with 30 H, 7 2B, 2 HR and 14 RBI's.

In 2007, in 66 G and 238 AB, he posted a .273 BA and .487 SLG with 65 H, 11 2B, 12 HR and 46 RBI.

When compared to Pena's statistics, Jacob's are a lot better. Jacob is also 5 yeats older than Pena and has a lot more buzz around him than Jacob has. Personally I would like to see Jacob take some at-bats at a higher level, he was an allstar last year and it is time for him to move to the next level. With Pena's BA last year (.210), he should probably stay at low-A. How about trying Jacob at St.Lucie for the first part of the season, if it isnt working, he can go back Brooklyn when they start in June. (I prefer not to drop him and give him a season in A+ ball). Or try them both out as platooning catchers at Savannah, and the worse of the two goes to Brooklyn once their season starts.

For the complete look at catchers I did can be found here:

http://213milesfromshea.metsblog.com/blog/_archives/2008/1/1/3441833.html

A list of the majority of the mets farm system catchers are on that list.


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