Friday, July 21, 2006

Mets Catching Up On Successor to PLD...

The Mets have had a long history of excellence behind the plate, from Jerry Grote to John Stearns; from Gary Carter to Mike Piazza; from Paul Lo Duca to- well, currrently it looks like either Jesus Flores or Francisco Pena will be the next one in line to join these men in wearing the Mets' "tools of ignorance"...some notes on both Pena & Flores:

From Baseball America, on Flores:

Mets catcher Jesus Flores has been playing well enough to impress his manager. That means a little more when said manager is Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter. Flores helped guide St. Lucie to the first-half title in the Florida State League’s East Division, providing the pop in the middle of the lineup while playing solid defense behind the plate. His 25 doubles are tied for second in the league.

Flores, a 21-year-old Venezuelan, also leads St. Lucie with 12 home runs, 49 RBIs and a .486 slugging percentage. “I think he’s a major league prospect, definitely,” Carter told the Palm Beach Post. “I think he’s still young and I think he’s still raw, but he’s come a long way.” Flores has certainly made a lot of progress since last year, when a broken thumb caused him to miss the first month of the season and he never got on track at low Class A Hagerstown, batting .216-7-42 in 319 at-bats. He started this season in similar fashion, hitting .197 in April before St. Lucie hitting coach Nelson Silviero asked Flores to try lowering his hands in his batting stance. Flores became more comfortable at the plate after the adjustment and stopped chasing as many breaking balls out of the strike zone.

From NYFS- New York Future Stars, on Pena:

Francisco Pena, the Mets recently signed 16-year-old, catching prospect will take batting practice tonight at Shea. The Mets signed the son of Yankees thirdbase coach Tony Pena last week to a signing bonus of $750,000. Reportedly he will make his debut this fall in the Mets Instructional league down in St.Lucie.

Pena, would certainly bolster the Mets minor league catching depth. Right now top catching prospect
Jesus Flores is having a resurgent year after struggling last season while recovering from a broken wrist. After Flores many of the catching prospects are stronger defensively right now then they are offensively.

A link to this article can be found here.

It sure looks like Flores is impressing the heck out of Carter, which is a great thing. It should be very exciting for Pena to take BP with the big leaguers tonight, and we hope it won't be too long before he's doing so on a regular basis. So much for our having no prospects behind the plate, huh?

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