The B-Mets are making their only visit to New Jersey this weekend, so I was happy to have the chance to watch prospects like Brandon Nimmo and Dilson Herrera in person. (Both patiently signed autographs for dozens of fans before the game, which was nice to see.)
To no one’s surprise, pitcher Zack Wheeler is at the top of the list. The rest of the list includes just three other players who’ve advanced to the Double-A level or above: infielder Wilmer Flores and pitchers Jeurys Familia and Cory Mazzoni.
Seven of the ten players are right-handed pitchers, with Flores, shortstop Gavin Cecchini and outfielder Brandon Nimmo the only position players ranked. Both Nimmo and Cecchini are still teenagers and neither has advanced above short-season ball yet.
As for Flores, Baseball America writes:
A lack of blue-chip position prospects clouds New York’s future lineup possibilities, however. Its best upper-level hitter is infielder Wilmer Flores, but he may not have enough power or defensive chops to profile as a long-term starter at any position.
It’s not pleasant to think about trading away a popular Cy Young Award-winning pitcher. But the holes in the Mets’ major league lineup and the lack of position player prospects in the minors make unpleasant decisions like this necessary.
I went to my first game at Richmond County Bank Ballpark, home of the Staten Island Yankees, on Sunday. I had fun, but in the future I think I’ll remember to eat before the game or wait to get something afterward.
It was easier to get autographs from the Cyclones in Staten Island than it is in Brooklyn, mainly because there are fewer people asking the road team. About 15 players and coaches signed cards for me, including the Mets’ top overall pick in 2011 Brandon Nimmo and 2012 first round selection Kevin Plawecki. Maybe in four or five years, we’ll see a few of the guys on this year’s Cyclones team at Citi Field.
The game was something of a disaster. Cyclones starter Julian Hilario couldn’t retire a single batter – the only out he was credited with came as a result of overly-aggressive baserunning by one of the Staten Island players. Brooklyn trailed 7-0 after one inning and never recovered. The only highlight was when Nimmo hit a two-run homer to prevent a shutout. The final score was 12-2.
I took the Staten Island Ferry out to the game, which was a fun experience in itself.
Due out this week – just ahead of Thanksgiving – is another Bowman release relying on Bryce Harper cards to drive sales. Unless you have great luck, you’re probably not going to find a Harper autograph in the packs that you open, so let’s focus on what else Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects offers.
As you’d expect, it contains the first fully-licensed cards of many of 2011’s top draft picks. For the New York Mets, this means cards of outfielder Brandon Nimmo (1st round), pitcher Michael Fullmer (1st supplemental), pitcher Tyler Pill (4th), outfielder Joe Tuschak (6th), and pitcher Matt Budgell (10th). Both Nimmo and Fullmer are included as part of the autograph checklist as well.
Unfortunately, while the Mets are well represented, none of the top four picks in the draft are listed on the set checklist. The absence of Seattle pitcher Danny Hultzen could be particularly notable next spring if he takes advantage of his chance to make the Mariners’ rotation.
The other component of the set is 110 major league rookie prospects, most of whom have been featured in other 2011 Topps products.
Hobby boxes are going for around $60, and promise one autographed card and the chance at a bonus autograph of a player from the USA Baseball 16U team. There are 24 packs per box, with 7 cards per pack: 2 Bowman cards, 2 Bowman Chrome cards, 2 Future and/or USA Baseball cards, and 1 parallel card.
With the holidays coming up, I don’t have money to be wasting on a box… but I’m somewhat tempted. I will try to pick up the Mets cards, though. Do you plan to collect the 2011 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects set?
Leaving aside the obvious fact that Reyes will have every day from Sept. 29th through sometime in February to rest and recuperate, what about the fans that decided that they would go to Wednesday’s matinee? The players, vendors, security and stadium personnel may very well outnumber them, but I guarantee you that everyone who shows up will be there to see Reyes try to win the batting title and play what could turn out to be his final game as a Met.