Minor League Camp Photos

With the Major League squad facing a long bus trip to Kissimmee for tonight's game with the Astros, most of the players had the morning off and Mets Spring Training camp was handed over to the minor leaguers for a rare morning work day.

One of the biggest positives of the new Mets management team, particularly Jeff Wilpon and Jim Duquette, is there affection for and attention to the minor league operation, and both spent the bulk of the day wandering from field to field watching the kids run through drills and take batting practice.

Many of the organizations top hitting prospects have been here in St. Lucie for several weeks, some since the organization held a "step camp" for their top hitters beginning February 25th, and others who have been here since January's Mini Camp.

The players are hustling through the same drills the Major Leaguers ran through a couple of weeks ago, pitchers running drills to receive bunts and take throws covering first, infielders working on turning double plays, outfielders shagging flies, all as coaches start making evaluations and deciding which players will be at which levels for the upcoming season.

Many of the players now in camp will be here in St. Lucie through at least June, some with the Mets high A full season squad, and others through extended spring training which keeps players working until short season leagues start in June.

Additionally, the ranks of the minor league campers will swell as top prospects are culled from the Major League camp and added to the pool of talent. Scott Kazmir has already been told he will be reporting to the minor league side and others are sure to follow.

There is a renewed enthusiasm among the minor leaguers as the Mets have started to rely on their own system for a greater number of their Major League players and much of the talk in camp has been about accelerating top talents and pushing them through the system.

The players are all hoping for a healthy and productive camp and a chance to show their skills to the organization, in the hope that they will be promoted quickly through the system.

PHOTOS: J. Rodriguez, Eckert, Edwards, Byard, Paulk, Walker, Harper, Bowman, Rengel, Lambin, Team, J. Rodriguez, Maldonado, Shipp, Joseph(2), Meyers, Reaver, Scobie, Whealey, Saenz, Whealey/Lambin, Davidson, Malek, Lambin, King, Bowman, Davidson, Pagan, Harper, Rondon, Bladergroen, Cox, Bladergroen(2), Rios, Davidson(2), Wells, Miledge, McNab, Carter/Y. Garcia, Turay(3), Hill, Duquette/Morgan, Bladergroen, Saenz, Miramonte/Bannister, Salvo, King, Pinango, E. Rodriguez, Wendt, Caligiuri, A. Wilson(2), M. Glavine, Lambin, A. Rodriguez

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