2004 Mets' Minor League Player of the Year

Take a look with the NYfansonly.com writers to see who the better minor league players were in the 2004 season. This list is not about who the better prospect is or who will be the better major leaguer. This list is based soley on what they did in the 2004 season. Each writer lists their top five and then expands on their selections (and other notes) below.

In a closer than expected race, RHP Yusmeiro Petit edged out Jamar Hill for the NYfansonly.com 2004 Mets' Minor League Player of the Year. Petit finished the voting with 15 total points while Hill garnered 12 points, barely edging Victor Diaz who finished with 11 points. Lastings Milledge finished fourth in our voting with 9 points while Ian Bladergroen cracked the top five with 5 points. See the voters comments below.

Rank

Patrick Teale

Bobby Vangelatos

Mark Healey

Dan Goldberg

1

Yusmeiro Petit

Yusmeiro Petit

Jamar Hill

Victor Diaz

2

Jamar Hill

Lastings Milledge

Victor Diaz

Blake McGinley

3

Ian Bladergroen

Jamar Hill

Lastings Milledge

Yusmeiro Petit

4

Lastings Milledge

Ian Bladergroen

Yusmeiro Petit

Craig Brazell

5

Victor Diaz

Victor Diaz

Ambiorix Concepcion

Aarom Baldiris



Patrick Teale

For me, Yusmeiro Petit was an easy choice for "Mets Minor League Player of the Year" after he dominated in just about every start he made this past season. Pitching in Kingsport last season, Petit baffled hitters all the way up to the AA-Eastern League this season and was one of that league's youngest players. He was simply the most dominant Mets' minor leaguer in 2004 (not named David Wright). After Petit, Hill, Bladergroen, Milledge, and Diaz all had more impressive seasons than the other pitchers I selected in the voting.

Bobby Vangelatos

1. SP Yusmeiro Petit: Petit appears to be the next young pitcher rising in the organization. Unlike the past pitchers, the hype has not caught up to him yet because he does not throw in the mid or high 90's. Evan MacLane who was teammates with Petit in Cap City described his stuff as "invisible" and many hitters who have faced Petit can agree with that assessment. Petit has proven himself in every level of the minor league so far, and in a small sample it appears he can handle AA as well. A case can be made that not only is Petit the minor league player of the year (which is a certainty) however is the #1 prospect in the organization. Despite a blister problem in his final start of the season with Binghamton, Petit has been injury free and fans can expect to see him in a New York Mets uniform by late 2005-2006.

2. OF Lastings Milledge: The next 4 players in this list will all be position players, and all of them were part of the Capital City Bombers. Three of these players are outfielders and all with power potential, something the Mets farm system has lacked over the past several years. Milledge is one of those players. The 2003 first round pick has certainly lived up to his on the field expectations so far, and has not caused any trouble off the field. Milledge had a spectacular 2004 season with the Bombers and got a taste of St. Lucie. It appears that the Mets have plans to fast-track Milledge in their system and if his next 2 years are as successful as his 2004 season, fans will have a five tool outfield prospect to get excited about.

3. OF Jamar Hill: Hill came into his own in 2004 with a breakout performance. He finished the season strong to make his batting average look respectable to go along with his solid power numbers (.272 26 89). Hill is another potential five tool outfielder the Mets system has lacked. In the last several years the Mets have developed a philosophy of moving players with equal potential up in the system simultaneously, to build team unity, and it appears Hill and Milledge are on this path together. Their 39 home runs, 147 RBI's, 43 stolen bases and 43 doubles certainly provide a bright spot for the organization.

4. 1B Ian Bladergroen: Ian is the only position player who is not an outfielder on this list, however fits in with the rest of the group in profiling well for his position. In Ian's case the first base slugger certainly began to earn himself some recognition this year, and still makes my Player of the Year list, despite missing half of the season with wrist surgery. In 72 games, Ian hit 13 homers and drove in 74 runs to go along with his .342 batting average.

5. OF Victor Diaz: Diaz completes the list as being the third power hitting outfield on this list, and the fourth power hitting position player on this list. Acquired from the Dodgers in July of 2003, Diaz has proven he is a hitting machine, and 2004 was no different for him in Norfolk slugging 24 home runs and driving in 94 runs.

Mark Healey

You can see my comments on the hitters in our 2004 NYfansonly.com Mets' Minor League Hitter of the Year article.

Yusmeiro Petit - The 19-year-old Venezuelan began this year with Cap City, going 9-2 in 15 starts with a 2.39 ERA, striking out 122, while walking just 22 in 83 innings. At St. Lucie, he posted a 1.22 ERA, 62 Ks and just 14 walks in 44 innings. He was promoted again, this time to Binghamton, finishing 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA, 16 K's and five walks in 12 IP before his season ended with a blister. Throws his fastball in the 88-92 range, while an improving changeup and curveball gives him three pitches he can locate with ease. Lots of scouts doubt his stuff,, size and durability, which of course, means he'll be doing much of the same next season. The early taste of AA sould help him next year...unless of course he's dealt at the deadline to Jamie Moyer when the Mets are 15 games out. Great kid, great future.

Dan Goldberg

You can see my comments on the hitters in our 2004 NYfansonly.com Mets' Minor League Hitter of the Year article.

Yusmeiro Petit. He had a 2.39 ERA in Cap City and a 1.22 ERA in St. Lucie. You could flip him with McGinley but I gave Blake the nod because he has performed on higher levels and will probably be in the majors sooner. Petit pitched very well in two of his three starts at AA. He was cruising in the playoffs, pitching four shutout innings, when he had to leave the game due to a blister. He also pitched the last two months of the season without giving up a homerun. Petit had a dominant season and should have another. He is only 19 years old, which makes him even more attractive.

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