The Mets signed pitchers Jeremy Hefner and Garrett Olson and catcher Lucas May today. All three appear ticketed for Buffalo, but one note on May:
With Reno this season, the righty hitting May actually fared much better against right-handed pitchers than against lefties. But for much of May’s Minor League career, he has been pretty great against southpaws. Check it out, these are his year-by-year pre-2011 lines against left-handers:
2005 – Low-A (106 PAs): .176/.208/.324
2006 – Low-A (142 PAs): .275/.348/.486
2007 – High-A (158 PAs): .365/.394/.643
2008 – AA (121 PAs): .250/.306/.482
2009 – AA (76 PAs): .388/.461/.716
2010 – AAA (122 PAs): .339/.410/.642
The only thing I can find about May’s defense is this note in John Sickels’ Top 20 Dodgers prospects for 2010, which mentions that May’s defense is “still an issue.” And May converted to catcher before the 2007 season after playing shortstop and outfield in his first professional seasons. So he’s probably not Crash Davis back there, in terms of experience or staff-handling ability or whatever.
But if the Mets don’t want to tender a contract to Ronny Paulino for whatever reason, and they don’t want to enter 2012 carrying Mike Nickeas’ bat on the roster, maybe May sneaks his way onto the team? All the above listed samples are tiny, but it appears likely he’s capable of hitting lefties in a platoon role. And if his defense has improved with experience, maybe he’ll prove to be a cheaper version of what the Mets hoped for from Paulino.
Or, more likely, he’s the second coming of Dusty Ryan. But hey, I saw Dusty Ryan hit some pretty awesome home runs in Spring Training.