Friday, March 19, 2010

Where In The World Is Reese Havens?

Can someone PLEASE tell me where in the world is Reese Havens?

I was discussing the prospect today at lunch. A few years ago, I remember Joe Janish from Mets Today asking me about him in a Brooklyn Cyclones game I had attended. He was very excited about the prospect (no pun intended) of him playing for the Mets someday soon.

In the 2010 Mets Maple Street Press (read it!), Toby Hyde writes in "Mining For Gold" that Havens was rated sixth (between Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Ruben Tejada) out of 10 prospects. The write up suggested he had hamstring problems in 2009 and was expected to start the season in Binghamton AA. (He is also a natural SS, and it was noted that he was taking up 2B...arguably the quickest way to get to the Mets these days).

The closest article online about him came from a site called "Fonzie Forever," although it was written in January, it suggested that Reese Havens was a more promising player than Ike Davis.

We've heard all this hullabaloo regarding Ike Davis (all things considered, he *is* ranked first in Hyde's list), not to mention Jenrry Mejia, this spring. Judging by today's performance, it may be wise to say that Mejia will not make the trip up north in April. I totally agree with that. He is too young and basically, I think we will be ruining a future starter's chances of being a strong starter by screwing with his mechanics in the 'pen.

Since Jose Reyes will not be starting with the team in April, all the talk about his replacement at shortstop (besides Alex Cora, a guy with one foot in the proverbial grave and the other on a banana peel, as far as injuries go) would be Ruben Tejada. I have to admit, seeing his potential down in open workouts was exciting.

I guess my point is with the shortages on the team right now, and the lack of depth at the positions (especially in the infield), why isn't Havens in PSL this year or even a blip on the map? Were his hamstring problems *that* bad?

It is just surprising to me that a guy who potentially IS major league ready, is not even a consideration for a replacement for the first two weeks to a month of regular season ball.

Thoughts, peanut gallery family?


Joe Janish said...

as Jerry Manuel might say .... "that's a good question, no question" ....

Reese Havens played sparingly in the Arizona Fall League, and didn't play above "high-A" ball last year, so he's not considered "ready" just yet. In contrast, 19-year-old Ruben Tejada and Ike Davis both played extensively at AA last year, so the Mets have both ahead of Havens at this point. Additionally, the plan is to move Havens to 2B this year, because he doesn't quite have the range and arm of an MLB shortstop. Why the Mets insist on playing prospects at positions they don't project to play in MLB is anyone's guess; I would've moved him behind the plate almost immediately because he has good feet, athleticism, quick throwing release, and seems tough / not afraid of contact (all skills which will help him as a second baseman, btw).

Bottom line is the Mets simply don't see him defensively as an MLB shortstop, and his offense was encouraging but not outstanding.

2010 is a make-or-break year for Havens; how he develops offensively and adapts to 2B in AA this year will be the deciding factor in whether he is a "prospect" or a "suspect". I like him a lot so hoping for the former.

But to answer your question, the limited glove skills at shortstop combined with the so-so offense are the reasons he's not a factor in the shortstop competition. The only reason we're seeing Tejada is because he is, by default, the best defensive shortstop in the organization. But that's not because he's the next Ozzie Smith but rather because the Mets are embarrassingly thin at the position behind Jose Reyes.

Coop said...

I knew I could count on you for this, Joe. Thanks dude! Hope you're doing well...

pwc said...

Where is Havens now? He's not on any Mets affiliate roster.