Breakdown of the Lucas May, Mets Signing


On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be much to “breakdown” about Lucas May, a catcher who has just 39 PA’s to his name–in 2010–and produced a mere .189/.205/.216 line at that. But at a second glance, the 27 year-old who smacked 25 HR at Single-A in 2007 could have some intrigue to him after all.

Lucas May was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 8th round of the 2003 draft. After two unimpressive seasons at Rookie-Ball and Single-A, the right-handed hitter shined in 2005, posting an explosive .273/.332/.493 line with 18 HR, 82 RBI, 76 R, and 14 SB in 497 PA’s at Single-A. The 22 year-old was then promoted to Advanced-A the following season, and saw his homerun total increase by almost 40%, swatting 25 dingers while producing a .256/.313/.465 line with 89 RBI, 81 R, and 5 SB in 554 PA’s. May didn’t fare well in his first taste of Double-A in 2008 (.230/.294/.403 line with 13 HR, 54 RBI, and 54 R in 441 PA’s), but he did improve in his second time around in ’09, posting a .306/.390/.468 line with 6 HR, 32 RBI, and 32 R in 277 PA’s.

2010 proved to be a very important year in May’s career. The 25 year-old catcher finally advanced to Triple-A (.296/.352/.496 line with 11 HR, 45 RBI, and 47 R in 260 PA’s), but was also dealt mid-season with Elisaul Pimentel to the Kansas City Royals for veteran outfielder Scott Podsednik. May didn’t skip a beat despite the trade, finishing-up 2010 with a .275/.362/.516 line and 5 HR, 13 RBI, and 14 R in 105 PA’s for Omaha. But even though his Triple-A season concluded, the Royals decided his Minor League production warranted a September call-up to the show. May didn’t do much with his audition, posting a forgettable .189/.205/.216 line in 39 PA’s, but surely he would get another chance in the future.

Apparently, the Royals thought otherwise. After swatting a meager .176/.263/.329 line out of the gate at Triple-A, the Royals dealt the 26 year-old to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Andrea Pizziconi. May improved his season with a .270/.363/.479 effort, but his seasonal .238/.330/.427 line wasn’t particularly “exciting.” The Diamondbacks granted May free agency, and left him exposed to every franchise.

On December 12, 2011, the penny-pinching New York Mets threw May a life-saver. The catcher doesn’t appear to have much of a chance to crack the Opening Day roster–with both Josh Thole, Mike Nickeas, and possibly Rob Johnson ahead of him–but Lucas May is hardly a “lost cause.” The 27 year-old has performed well at every Minor League level, and has exhibited good pop and solid on-base skills for a catcher. Considering the guy was only given 39 PA’s two seasons ago in the Major Leagues, Lucas May hasn’t exactly been given a chance to show-off his talents. Assuming the trio of Mets catchers do not blow the pants off the front office, there’s always a chance Lucas May could making an appearance or two in Flushing this coming season.

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  • TommyPierce

    I would agree that May has little chance of making the Majors out of ST. I do think his bat has some potential, although how much seems up for debate since the Mets are his 4th organization. What concerns me, however, is his defense. He, much like our own Josh Thole, is a fairly recent convert to catching, having begun his professional career as a SS of all things, then moved to the OF before LA converted him to catching in 2007. That’s only 4 full seasons of catching at the professional level, which is only one year more than Thole. And we all know how Thole has struggled behind the dish in the majors. Learning to catch isn’t the easiest thing in baseball to do, especially for a guy who’s been in pro ball 3 years before converting. Maybe May is a quicker learner than Thole, who knows, but my guess is that May’s value will be completely tied to his bat in the future. But, he is only 27 and still may be able to show he can hit enough to play in the Majors for the Mets.

  • TommyPierce

    I would agree that May has little chance of making the Majors out of ST. I do think his bat has some potential, although how much seems up for debate since the Mets are his 4th organization. What concerns me, however, is his defense. He, much like our own Josh Thole, is a fairly recent convert to catching, having begun his professional career as a SS of all things, then moved to the OF before LA converted him to catching in 2007. That’s only 4 full seasons of catching at the professional level, which is only one year more than Thole. And we all know how Thole has struggled behind the dish in the majors. Learning to catch isn’t the easiest thing in baseball to do, especially for a guy who’s been in pro ball 3 years before converting. Maybe May is a quicker learner than Thole, who knows, but my guess is that May’s value will be completely tied to his bat in the future. But, he is only 27 and still may be able to show he can hit enough to play in the Majors for the Mets.