Pelfrey and Davis, Davis and Pelfrey. Whatever may become of the Mets’ season as summer turns to fall, there is the hope that at least — at least! — this year will be the year when Mike Pelfrey and Ike Davis become bona fide stars. Strasburg struck out 14 for the Nationals on Tuesday, fulfilling the expectations that come with being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft. The Mets took Pelfrey at No. 9 in 2005, and it wasn’t until this year that he has shown the sustained success they had envisioned.
Tuesday’s start against San Diego was typical of 2010 for Pelfrey: Nine innings, one run, five hits, no walks, six strikeouts. He ended up taking a no-decision — the Mets wouldn’t win until Davis’ walk-off blast in the 11th (more on that later). Yet Pelfrey’s performance still resonated. He’s allowed a total of three earned runs in his last four starts, dropping his ERA to 2.23, good for ninth in the insanity that is the pitching landscape of this season.
Last night, the Mets started an entirely homegrown infield, all 27 or under, with Pelfrey on the mound. Jose Reyes and Davis hit home runs. David Wright had a pair of hits. Pelfrey was awesome.
Fans always seem to appreciate young, homegrown players, and they’re right to: Young, homegrown players are both exciting and cost-effective.
These are exciting times for Mets fans. Whether by design or by accident, the Mets appear to be moving away from their familiar model of relying on over-the-hill acquisitions and toward a more organic winner.
That may or may not come this year, but those clamoring for the team to to trade a slew of prospects for the right to rent Cliff Lee or overpay Roy Oswalt should consider the Mets’ promising future. This is something I got at this offseason: For the first time in years, the Mets have numbers in the farm system. Not just one or two top-flight prospects and a pile of muck, but a whole group of young players in the high levels who appear likely to contribute to the Major League team.
Not all of them will pan out, but there’s no good way of knowing which ones will and which ones won’t, and no reason to trade away any of them in the name of this single season. The Mets should, as always, strive to compete every single year. And teams need to develop good young players to do that.
Sure, Oswalt and Lee are great pitchers and if either could be had for a steal, you know, cool. But neither guarantees the Mets a playoff berth, and so the team should be leery of jeopardizing its longterm health for a short-term fix.
Oh, and someone please make Jenrry Mejia a starter already. Good lord.