I recently did a post
that listed the Mets international amateur free agent signings this past year. What I haven't been able to do was a listing of the Mets international amateur free agent signings from last year but there are 2 signings from 2011 that have begun to draw attention. They are RHP's, Luis Mateo
and Rafael Montero
.The 22 yr old Mateo was recently ranked the 5th best prospect
of the New York-Penn League by Baseball America. He led the Penn league in strikeouts (85) was 2nd in WHIP (0.90) to fellow teammate Hansel Robles
and posted the 9th best ERA (2.45) in the league and yet on his team that was 3rd best behind Hansel Robles
( 1.11) and Gabriel Ynoa
(2.23).The 21 year old Montero has moved quickly through the organization since signing last year. He was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week
between the period of August 6-13. He went through a stretch of 8 starts where he struck out 56 batters over 50 2/3 innings. He later was named the 2012 Sterling Organizational Pitcher of the Year
. Montero with his combined record between Savannah and St Lucie finished the season with the 4th best ERA in the organization (2.36) and 3rd in wins (11).As the Mets look forward and hope that arms from the Intl. front like Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia play a positive role in turning the franchise around the continued successful growth and development of those younger arms down on the farm will be just as key if the Mets are ever to truly right the ship.Some of the more notable signings on the International Front the last 2 seasons.
Note: Ismael Cruz was Director of International Operations for 6 years (2006-2011) some of his most notable signings were Ruben Tejada, Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Wilmer Flores, Jordany Valdespin, Aderlin Rodriguez, Juan Lagares and Juan Urbina. He left last November to become the Toronto Blue Jays Special Assistant, Latin American Operations. The Mets soon after promoted Chris Becerra to Director of International Scouting in his place.