Friday, July 13, 2012

N.Y. Mets ~ The Ghosts of METropolis; Where Are They Now?

From the desk of:   HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

NEW YORK METS:   Where Are They Now?

Where are they now?  In some cases, we may not want to know.

The former highly touted Mets' prospect, Scott Kazmir recently signed with the expansion Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.  In hindsight, the trading of Kazmir for what's his face Victor Zambrano turned out to be a non-issue.  Perception wise, the trade was derided as one of the worst in the Franchise's history.  Upon the fan base learning the news he was traded, the transaction was immediately compared to the trading away of Nolan Ryan for an equally useless player.  And for a few years at least, his left arm was golden and full of strikeouts.  Then injuries sort of ruined everything.

Scott Kazmir was part of the last class of Mets' prospects to graduate and have an impact at the major league level, before the Mets' minor league system effectively came to a grinding halt under Steve Phillips for the first time since the mid nineteen-sixties.  It was then Omar Minaya was assuming control of the club and charged with restocking the system.  Along with Jose Reyes and David Wright, Omar and the Mets had three very promising youngsters with which to move forward with.  Or so we thought.

Many, if not everyone, blamed the trading of Scott Kazmir on then pitching coach, Rick Peterson.  What he ever saw in Victor Zambrano, he must have seen through bloodshot eyes because Zambrano was an abject failure.  And so was Peterson for that matter, because he felt he could fix Zambrano in five mintues.

In other Atlantic League transactions, remember Mets' prospect, Tobi Stoner?  He was a 16th round pick in the 2006 amateur draft.  He played in the Mets' system from Brooklyn to Buffalo.  He made his MLB debut in 2009.  Tobi now pitches for the Somerset Patriots Baseball Club in New Jersey.  Over 2009-10 however, he only managed five appearances.  He spent the 2010 season back in low to mid-level ball.  Then Sandy Alderson cut him prior to the 2012 season.

Timo Perez very recently followed another recently signed former Met, Armando Benitez, to the Long Island Ducks, where the Amazin' Buddy Harrelson serves as coach and part owner; not to mention he is also a League founder.  But yes, that Timo Perez; the outfielder who suffered a brain-lock on second base against the Yankees in the 2000 World Series and was thrown out at home as a result.  He scores there, and the series might have gone very differently.  If you need a better memory of him, he caught the last out to clinch the 2000 National League Championship.  And yes, again, he joins Armando Benitez, the infamous former Mets' fire balling closer who never managed to lock-down and save a big win.  He was the Mets version of Trevor Hoffman, who just threw a little harder, and made us suffer all the same with big blown save, after big blown save.  At the most inopportune times, Armando Benitez surrendered game winning home runs high and far into the New York nights.

And for our last - Where are they now former Met, we shift to another independent circuit; the Canadian/American Baseball League, where a big former Brooklyn Cyclones favorite, Jonathan Malo, is playing for the Quebec Capitales BBC.  Like Tobi Stoner, Malo was a Mets' prospect since he played with the Brooklyn Cyclones and all the way through to his days with the Buffalo Bisons.  Jonathan Malo was selected by the Mets in the 40th round of the 2002 amateur draft, then again in the 48th round of the 2003 June draft.  Malo spent the years 2005 through 2011 toiling in the Mets' system.  He never touched dirt at Citi Field.  After the 2011 season, like Tobi Stoner, Sandy Alderson cut him.  In fifty games this season for Quebec, Jonathan Malo is batting .285, with eight home runs, and thirty-nine RBI.


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