Mets Sign Corey Wimberly to Minor League Deal
It looks like the Mets may have found their new leadoff hitter…for Triple-A. The team inked Corey Wimberly to a Minor League deal, and plan to stick the utility man in the farm. Aside from Wimberly’s versatility (he primarily plays middle infield, but also has corner infield and outfield experience), the guy also knows how to steal a base (as he’s stolen 274 of them in 7 seasons).
Wimberly was originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 6th round of the 2005 draft. The then 21 year-old immediately made his mark, posting a .381/.427/.427 line with 1 HR, 22 RBI, 58 R, and 36 SB in 309 PA’s at Rookie Ball. The Rockies promoted the speedster to Advanced-A the following season, where he continued to hit and steal bases (.325/.404/.383 line with 2 HR, 24 RBI, 72 R, and 50 SB in 399 PA’s).
Double-A didn’t slow down Wimberly in 2007 (.268/.323/.348 line with 4 HR, 33 RBI, 63 R, and 36 SB in 404 PA’s) or 2008 (.291/.370/.345 line with 0 HR, 26 RBI, 65 R, and 59 SB in 449 PA’s), but his good play did attract the Oakland Athletics. The Athletics dealt outfielder Matt Murton to the Rockies in exchange for Wimberly, and stuck the utility player back in Double-A (his third stint at the level). Like his two previous Double-A seasons, the infielder displayed why he was ready for Triple-A pitching–hitting to the tune of a .296/.363/.350 line with 0 HR, 28 RBI, 56 R, and 21 SB in 336 PA’s.
The 26 year-old dominated Triple-A in 2010, arguably posting his most productive season with a .284/.373/.354 line with 3 HR, 57 RBI, 97 R, and 56 SB in 623 PA’s. Yet before the A’s could give Wimberly a chance to showcase his talents in the show, they dealt the 27 year-old to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011 for pitcher Ryan Kelly. Most likely due to his poor Spring Training (.212/.333/.212 line in 39 PA’s), the Pirates sent Wimberly back to Triple-A, denying him a deserved bench role in the Majors. Unfortunately, unlike his successful Triple-A campaign in 2010, the infielder/outfielder was slowed by a barrage of injuries and a cramped depth chart. The result? A .238/.288/.302 line with 0 HR, 11 RBI, 17 R, and 15 SB in just 189 PA’s.
Looking ahead to 2012, the now 28 year-old doesn’t stand much of a chance to garner his first cup of coffee unless he dazzles during Spring Training. Even though he plays a variety of positions–a potentially valuable asset for the Mets bench–he isn’t much known for his glove work. A guy like Omar Quintanilla might have a leg-up over him for this very reason. Regardless, Wimberly adds some interesting depth to Triple-A for the time being, and could finally get a chance if Daniel Murphy or Justin Turner fall to injury.