I am now committing what seems to be sacrilege on Mets blogs today. Actually advocating the possible trading of Rafael Montero, the next big thing in Mets stardom. We all know Montero's merits. The guy has a 2.51 ERA and a 1.016 WHIP in 3 minor league seasons covering 7 levels in those 3 seasons. Yet here's a question for you: Why with all that success is he still not even a top 50 guy? Scouts are scared off mostly by his frame. Montero has to be rounded up to 6'0 tall and isn't exactly pushing the weight limit either. While there do not seem to be the concerns over his delivery, which is smooth, as there is with Mejia there are still scouts pushing him as a future bullpen piece.
But of course as Mets fans we all feel he is underrated and will be the next star. Why? Is it that the Mets have had such good luck with Harvey and Wheeler? That they have a past of all prospects turning in to gold?
The Mets have an issue at SS. That part is clear. There is no one on the 40 man capable of starting for any MLB team at SS and none coming for at least 2-3 more years pending Gavin Cechinni and Ahmed Rosario. Signing Drew to a 1 year contract doesn't speed up that process nor does it look like he interested in that to start with. There aren't a lot of SS on the market and the two main ones who are, do have flaws. Fraklin of the M's has been called a true 2B by many but has this in his profile:
Ranked Baseball America #53 prospect after the 2010 season
Ranked Baseball America #77 prospect after the 2011 season
Ranked Baseball America #79 prospect after the 2012 season
This is also a guy who in his rookie season more than held his own at the plate. While scouts may doubt his defensive ability, possibly the same scouts sending Montero to the pen, they do not doubt his bat. There's a secret here, the Mets offense is missing some bats.
The 2nd SS famous to this discussion was "a Dbacks SS" but now has real name attached. Didi Gregorius is a 23 year old SS that is often labeled as a defensive whiz. (Been a while since we had one of those). Many were surprised to see him throw out a .705 OPS last season a little over 100 games and 400 PA. For those that champion that Arizona is such a hitters park, he actually hit better on the road, of course we are talking a small sample size for both.
Both of these guys are available. Both teams are heavily scouting the Mets. Both teams want a SP. Yet across Mets blogs everywhere, Montero seems to be too much to give up for either. It appears that based on scout rankings that while Montero may edge one here, another edges him somewhere else. Can we go solely by scout rankings? Of course not. However, have any of us seen enough of Franklin or Gregorius to make a judgment either? I keep reading that the Mets should only trade Montero for an elite player? How do we come to that conclusion? Because you have basically made him off limits. Would you trade Wheeler for a guy who's highest BA ranking was in the 60's? What makes us think that other teams would? You aren't getting Tulo, Stanton, or Cargo for just Montero and some filler pieces, he is the filler piece at this point.
Perhaps after the 2014 season Montero's value will be much higher and you can trade him for a better piece, if it's available. But for now we watch Ruben Tejada and think about 2015 again.