Mets fans should avoid falling too deeply in love with the prospects
By Tim Boyle
Many New York Mets fans are counting on the prospects to save the franchise in the near future. Is their love a little too deep?
In years like this, it’s easy to break up with the major league players and start romancing the fellas in the minors. The New York Mets have been so bad this year, many fans are filing for divorce from their favorite big leaguers and hoping to find a younger significant other to fill the void.
We no longer enjoy Todd Frazier‘s company. Yoenis Cespedes is never home, leaving us feeling cold and alone. We feel distant from the bullpen and we’re positive the Jay Bruce we originally married has become a different man.
Indeed, it’s an odd year for the Mets. Our affection has turned to the minor leaguers. Will they reciprocate?
Peter Alonso is the main love interest in 2018. The first base prospect has smashed his way into our hearts with home runs. Playing for a franchise without any obvious solution at first base in the near future, it makes sense why Mets fans would adore him so much. After all, Lucas Duda is one of the best at the position in this franchise’s history and he’s not even very good.
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We’ve already had a glimpse at Jeff McNeil in the major leagues. The results have been rather promising. Before we “say yes” and tie a ball and chain to our feet and his, it’s important we all temper our expectations of everyone.
Yes, McNeil has hit well. Alonso has also hit well for most of the year with the exception of a slump in Triple-A. Other promising minor leaguers, such as David Peterson, are having good seasons. This doesn’t mean we should build around them. A major league player is always more valuable than a prospect. A prospect is someone we believe will become a good player. Like most beliefs, humans get them wrong often.
I get the sense many Mets fans have made the leap to assume all of their best minor leaguers will become MLB stars. They’ve clung to the idea of waiting patiently until the kids are MLB ready rather than getting better quicker.
For instance, those who didn’t enjoy my idea of targetting Jose Abreu this offseason were mostly unhappy with trading away any of the young kids. It’s understandable. Abreu is older and far nearer to retirement.
The argument I see from this group seem to want younger players on the roster. Who, though? How many young players are available that can already play?
The mistake the Mets made this past offseason was changing the roster exclusively via free agency. They ignored the trade market. Through those means, it’s possible to add players on the right side of 30 who still have talent. This means moving young players with a future for ones with a present.
For the first time in the history of sports, fans are more accepting of tanks, rebuilds, and regular losing seasons. In just about every sport, it’s one way to go from the bottom to the top.
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Those Mets fans who show undying admiration for the franchise’s prospects may soon realize their affair with the unknown isn’t as romantic as they wished it would be.