Graffanino to Mets?

Did you know that Baseball America scouts and ranks 12 year-olds?  That’s kind of weird.  I learned this after reading that Austin Jackson, a Yankees outfield prospect, ranked at the top of his age group when he was 12.  They should’ve been scouting my age 11 season.  I was the leadoff hitter for the Foxes and posted an OBP over .500.  I could lay a mean drag bunt despite well below-average speed to first base.  The third baseman knew it was coming but still couldn’t throw me out.  But even then, my makeup was in question with all the rampant womanizing.  My vices got the best of me and I was out of baseball by age 15.

On to the trade rumor.  A source has given me some more info on the Mets’ second base situation.

The Alfonso Soriano rumors have died down now that he’s decided to give left field a try.  Good for him.  The Mets see Jeff Keppinger as more of a utility man, and they are a little wary of throwing Anderson Hernandez to the wolves without a little more seasoning in the minors.  Kaz Matsui‘s injury might keep him out more than a few weeks, perhaps as long as two months.  Enter Tony Graffanino, a Minaya favorite.

If Boston’s demands drop a bit, the teams might be able to strike a deal.  The Mets might be willing to part with one of the following three pitchers.  The following info is from Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook.  Thought you might like a little background.

Matt Lindstrom is a 26 year-old right-handed reliever with "the most explosive arm in the system."  His heater is the best among Mets’ minor leaguers, occasionally touching 100mph.  How come this dude is still in Double A then?  He’s two years behind because of a Mormon mission.  The problems:  his fastball is straight, he doesn’t have a secondary pitch, and he has some mechanical issues.  He didn’t have a great 2005 season and is now ranked as the 26th best Mets prospect after a #10 ranking the year before.

Henry Owens is ranked 29th in the system and was a Triple A Rule 5 pick.  The former catcher has good heat but questionable breaking stuff…he’s a reliever entering Double A and will turn 27 soon.  He and Lindstrom are the two best relievers in the Mets’ system according to BA.

Jason Scobie led the Mets’ minor leagues with 15 wins in 2005.  He’s entering his age 28 season, and seems to have a handle on Triple A despite a strikeout rate barely above 5 K.9.  He’s 8th among starters on the Mets’ minor league depth chart, so he’s not exactly a hot commodity.

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