Dear Mr. Hyde,Three things here: home-grown players/fan experience, Lutz and Peavey. And bonus points for addressing me as Mr. Hyde - something about that is funny to me.
when do you think Zach Lutz comes to the majors. He seems to be a hitter, but limited as a fielder. Besides , the 2 positions that he fields are taken with Key Mets. Is there a path to the Majors for him with the Mets. Also , are you surprised by Greg Peavy's dominance? Does this make you change what you deem his potential is?
Bte, I am very happy with all the home-grown players in the current Met line-up. I hope the Wilpons realize that seeing all the former farm players on the field makes the fan experience better.
1. The thing fans like most is winning.I think there is a small bonus when homegrown guys help produce those wins. However, the reality is that the only way to build a sustainable winner is through player development. This applies to the dynastic late 90s-early 2000s Yankees, the Phillies of the last half-decade (Utley, Howard, Rollins, Hamels, pitchers acquired in trade for prospects (Halladay)), the recent Rays teams and their ridiculous home-grown starters (Price, Shields, Hellickson) and on and on.
2. LutzTemper your enthusiasm a bit. I have no idea when Lutz will come to the Majors, other than it will be in 2012.The man can hit but, as you point out, he's limited defensively.
He's a high strikeout, high walk, high-power, guy off to a great start in AAA this year (.333/.419/.556) supported by an unsustainably high .439 BABIP. All the same, in his 303 career AB in AAA he's hit .304/.387/.521 with an 11% walk rate, 27% strikeout rate, extra-base hits in 10% of his plate appearances and a .393 BABIP.
He's primarily a third baseman, with 223 professional games at the position, although he's played a little first (31 games) in the minors. He would probably be a below average defender in the majors at third. I don't see especially nimble footwork or lightning quick hands. He could play the position, but just end up costing his team some runs if he did it everyday. Obviously, Lutz is not going to displace one David Allen Wright at third base anytime soon for the Mets. Nor, despite Ike Davis' slow start is he about to bump Davis from first in near future.
Two things to think about with Davis. I said he was the Met most overrated by the fanbase on the Mostly Mets Podcast on our season preview edition. I stand by that. His early season skid of 2012 (.136/.190/.288) is 16 games long while his early season assault on the NL in 2011 (.302/.383/.543) was just 36 games long. The two nearly cancel each other out, to the point where his short career numbers are nearly dead ringers for his 2010 production when he played 147 games and hit .264/.351/.440.
Also, Davis, who at 25 is still younger than Lutz, has a significant platoon split. He's OPSing .822 against RHP in his young MLB career and .699 vs. LHP with a .378 SLG. I'm sympathetic to the idea that 2012 is a learning year where the Mets as an organization figure out which young players (Davis, Tejada, Murphy, Duda, Thole and Nieuwenhuis to name only the position side) are part of the next championship team. Part of that is figuring out whether Davis can do better against lefties.
However, if at some point, winning games matters, Davis could use a platoon partner at first. This is where Lutz comes in. In his AAA career since 2010, he's hit .278/.412/.544 against lefties in 79 AB. Big sample? Nope, but it's all we have, and what we have is a guy with a .956 OPS vs. AAA lefties.
You know who else probably needs a platoon partner? Lucas Duda. In 394 Pa vs. RHP in the big leagues he's hit .276/.360/.500 but just .232/.274/.333 in 107 Pa vs. lefties with zero home runs.
A number of commenters have suggested in the last week or so that it's time for Lutz to start learning left field. There's nothing wrong with this idea - the more things a player can do, the more valuable he is. However, understand that Lutz is starting from scratch out there. Also, this is different from Jordany Valdespin, who's a fantastic athlete learning center. Lutz is not fast. In his minor league career, he is 1-for-6 stealing bases. His lone stolen base came back with St. Lucie in 2009. I suspect that, at best, he would end up being a below average defender in left field.
So where does this leave Lutz? Mashing at AAA until a corner infield opens up, or he learns to play left, or the Mets want some more right-handed pop off the bench or in a platoon in their lefty-heavy lineup.
3. PeaveyHis three-start line at AA: 14.1 IP, 14 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 11 K.
To be fair to Michael, he asked me about Peavey before he'd given up a run and was working on a 10.2 scoreless-innings streak to start the season, which was a pleasant surprise, if not a shock. Again, there's a song about baseball results in April.
I was disappointed in Peavey's performance numerically in the second half of 2011 for St. Lucie. In particular, his strikeout rate plummeted to 5.9 K/9 and he gave up well over a hit an inning.
So no, I'm not changing my mind on Peavey yet.