Since the end of the season last Wednesday, Mets fans were left with the unsatisfactory options of rooting against the Yankees or rooting for the various Mets alumni who are on playoff teams this year.
Today, we’ve got a third unsatisfactory option: we can root from a distance for potential future Mets playing in the Arizona Fall League.
Each year, all 30 major league teams select a half-dozen minor league prospects and send them out to Arizona where they play for one of six teams. Some teams send their best prospects – Bryce Harper made his professional debut in the Arizona Fall League. Other teams send players who could benefit from additional playing time for one reason or other.
The Mets are contributing players to the Surprise Saguaros, and I recognize two names: outfielders Darrell Ceciliani and Cesar Puello. I saw Ceciliani play for the Cyclones a couple of seasons ago. This year, injuries limited him to just 23 games with the St. Lucie Mets. Puello is currently on the Mets’ 40-man roster, but has yet to play above the Single-A level. Plate discipline is a concern: in his second year with St. Lucie, Puello struck out in 23 percent of his plate appearances and walked just seven times.
In the Saguaros 5-3 loss to the Peoria Javelinas this afternoon, Ceciliani went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. None of the other Mets prospects played.
I also recognize one other name in the box score, Boston Red Sox outfielder Bryce Brentz. He does have a tie to the Mets organization. With the Mets well out of the race in August 2009, Omar Minaya traded Billy Wagner to the Boston Red Sox for Chris Carter and a minor leaguer. The move was essentially a salary dump. Boston allowed Wagner to leave via free agency at the end of the season and received the Atlanta Braves’ first round pick in 2010 and a supplemental selection at the end of the first round. They used that pick, the 36th overall, to take Brentz.
Brentz spent most of the 2012 season with the Portland Sea Dogs in the Double-A Eastern League. He hit .296 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, and an .833 OPS. He’s two years younger than Matt Den Dekker, who hit .274 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI and a .779 OPS with Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Buffalo this year.
If I was out in the right part of Arizona and could make the Arizona Fall League start times fit in with my work schedule, I bet I’d be really into it. Since I’m not, I’ll check on the Mets prospects from time to time and go back to rooting for Davey Johnson to earn another World Series ring.