Kingsport Mets Position Prospect Review

The Kingsport Mets finished the 2004 season at 32-36, powered primarily by their hitting. We will look at the peripherals stats of these batters, those that accumulated a minimum of 100 at-bats with Kingsport and did not collect 100 at-bats or more at another level. Kingsport had their fair share of intriguing hitting prospects this past season, including a couple that have a chance to be "special" prospects in the Mets' farm system.

Rafael Arroyo - C

Drafted in the 26th round of the 2004 draft out of Cal-State Los Angeles, Arroyo's 2004 successful professional debut with Kingsport was very much unexpected. Despite not hitting one home run in 135 at-bats in college this past season, Arroyo went deep six times for the K-Mets. Another oddity, Arroyo struck out 26 times while walking just twice in college this past season, but then drew 30 walks and struck out just 35 times for Kingsport. His excellent peripheral stats are somewhat of an enigma when you consider his college career and his smallish stature (he's just 5'8" and 175 lbs). Arroyo should do the catching for the Cyclones in 2005 and it'll be interesting to see if he can repeat the same success.

Level

Team

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB/PA

XBH

AB

R

Kingsport

.258

.425

.460

.195

37.5

124



Jabe Bergeron - 1B

Making his professional debut in the Mets' farm system this past year as an undrafted free-agent signing, Bergeron is a big, powerful kid at 6'3" and 230 lbs. He clubbed 10 home runs in less than 200 at-bats this season and was a lot more patient upon his call up to Capital City, a very good sign. After drawing just four walks in his first 28 games with Kingsport, Bergeron became Barry Bonds-like in Columbia, drawing 18 walks in 23 games for the Bombers. Overall, an excellent season of peripheral numbers for the first-year pro. Jabe should be with Hagerstown in 2005 for some more seasoning.

Level

Team

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Capital City

.292

.440

.569

.200

47.6

72

R

Kingsport

.291

.318

.476

.037

26.7

103



Marcos Cabral - 2B

Drafted in the 31st round of the 2002 draft out of Broward Community College, Cabral repeated a stint with Kingsport in 2004 after an inauspicious professional debut with Kingsport in 2003 (.198-0-9). Cabral is a patient hitter that has good gap power. Cabral, who should be in the mix at 2B for the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2005, has an outside shot at playing for Hagerstown to begin 2005.

Level

Team

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB/PA

XBH

AB

R

Kingsport

.267

.356

.388

.115

32.3

116



Felix Cerda - 1B

Used as Kingsport's primary 1B, Felix Cerda had a disastrous professional debut for the K-Mets in 2004. Only Wyrick struck out more than Cerda on Kingsport (although Wyrick had 98 more at-bats) and that .205 slugging percentage is not a misprint. He's a lock to head back to Kingsport next season to see if he can change things around. He's a non-factor at this point.

Level

Team

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB/PA

XBH

AB

R

Kingsport

.167

.238

.205

.088

15.4

156



Jesus Gamero - LF

After struggling in his professional debut in 2003 with Kingsport (.196-0-3 in 13 games), Jesus Gamero responded very well after being sent back to Kingsport this past year. Gamero posted excellent numbers across the board, including a team-high .323 batting average. You'd like to see a little more patience at the plate, but Gamero has the look of a gamer. He could follow the career pat of Ambiorix Concepcion and go to Brooklyn in 2005 after a very successful season in Kingsport.

Level

Team

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB/PA

XBH

AB

R

Kingsport

.323

.395

.472

.075

26.9

161



Travis Garcia - SS/3B

Selected in the 21st round of the 2003 draft out of Iona College as a shortstop, Garcia's a player that just wants a little stability at this point. After playing for 4 different teams in 2003 (Iona, Kingsport, Brooklyn, Capital City), Garcia played for three teams in '04 (Kingsport, Brooklyn, and St. Lucie). Not only is Garcia moving between teams, he's moving between positions...playing 23 games at SS for Kingsport and 24 games at 3B. He finished second on the Kingsport team in home runs (9) and RBI (36) and he's an extremely patient hitter.

Level

Team

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB/PA

XBH

AB

R

Kingsport

.310

.373

.532

.086

35.8

171



Carlos Gomez - RF

A free agent signing out of the Dominican Republic, Gomez quickly turned scouts' heads in his professional debut season in two stops between the Gulf Coast League Mets and Kingsport Mets. Gomez showed signs of greatness but did not manage to put up the power numbers people had projected for him, even in his rookie year. With solid numbers across the board, the one glaring warning sign is his reluctance to take a walk. Gomez will have to improve on his patience and selectivity, and if he does, he's got the look of a "special" prospect in the Mets system. He won't turn 19 until December!

Level

Team

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB/PA

XBH

AB

R

Kingsport

.287

.333

.427

.032

34.9

150

R

Gulf Coast

.261

.300

.370

.021

41.7

46



Horace Lawrence - OF

Originally drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 33rd round of the 1998 draft, Lawrence did not make his professional debut until last season when he was signed by the Yankees to play in the NY-Penn League with Staten Island after a short stint in the independent Frontier League. After not showing much at all with the SI Yanks (.211 with 12 RBI in 26 games), the Mets took a flyer on Lawrence and signed him as a free-agent this past off-season. And at least in two stops of Rookie ball, Lawrence looked like a world beater. Lawrence, who turns 24 in January, was quite old for both the Gulf Coast League and the Appalachian League. So while his peripherals were gaudy, we'll have to wait and see if he can have any success in A-ball before we get too excited about him.

Level

Team

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB/PA

XBH

AB

R

Kingsport

.362

.429

.581

.103

31.6

105

R

Gulf Coast

.339

.391

.468

.061

23.8

62



Josh Petersen - 3B

An undrafted free-agent signing after a successful tryout with the Mets back in June, Petersen had a pretty solid professional debut with Kingsport in 2004. Petersen, who won't turn 21 until January, held his own playing with some older players and drafted players. His .101 walks per plate appearance gives every indication of the type of patient hitter he is and is a good sign of things to come. Petersen has good gap power that could develop into a good power hitter as he matures. He could possibly be manning the hot corner for the Cyclones in 2005 after a good debut this past year.

Level

Team

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB/PA

XBH

AB

R

Kingsport

.253

.341

.371

.101

29.8

186



Seth Pietsch - OF

Pietsch was selected as the Mets' 8th round pick of the 2003 draft out of Oregon State University and played for both Kingsport and Brooklyn last season where he did not make a good enough impression to avoid the Appalachian League again in 2004. However, Pietsch responded very well upon his call for more seasoning at Kingsport, hitting a team high 11 home runs. Pietsch also led the team in triples, RBI, and runs scored while showing good patience at the plate. Despite his size (just 5'9"), Pietsch is actually very strong and quick (stole nine bases for K-Mets). After turning 23 in September, he's going to have to be tested at higher levels soon to see what he can do. There's a chance he'll be in the outfield mix in Hagerstown next season.

Level

Team

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Capital City

.229

.293

.371

.054

25.0

35

R

Kingsport

.291

.371

.529

.096

36.7

206



Russ Triplett - OF

An undrafted rookie free-agent signing, Triplett was fantastic in his professional debut with Kingsport this past season. Triplett, playing 3B and 2B for the K-Mets, led the team in doubles with 13 and managed 20 walks in 52 games...both very good stats for an undrafted free-agent. Triplett probably has played his way into the Mets' future plans, possibly as a utility prospect much in the same mold as Andrew Wilson of the Capital City Bombers. He's an intriguing prospect currently.

Level

Team

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB/PA

XBH

AB

R

Kingsport

.288

.363

.379

.092

26.3

198



Joshua Wyrick - CF

The Mets' 11th round draft pick in the 2004 draft out of Porterville College, Wyrick gives the Mets another speedy centerfield prospect. Wyrick was pretty good in his debut, but also led the club in strikeouts with 53, all from the leadoff spot. He led Kingsport with 13 stolen bases while getting thrown out seven times. His peripherals were fine, but turning 23 years old in March, Wyrick is old for the Rookie leagues. The problem is he didn't play himself into the outfield mix in Hagerstown next season. It'll be interesting to see where Wyrick lands...our money is on him playing CF for the Cylcones next season.

Level

Team

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB/PA

XBH

AB

R

Kingsport

.287

.338

.402

.059

23.3

254



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