Prospect Pulse: Stock Rising

Fernando Martinez Has His Stock On The Rise

Each month throughout the 2006 season, InsidePitchMagazine.com will keep our subscribers up to speed on which players have their prospect stock on the rise and which are falling. With the 2006 minor league season set to begin play on Thursday, we take a look at seven prospects who have their stock rising.

Carlos Gomez: Our long-time subscribers know we've had Gomez on our radar since he broke in with the Gulf Coast League Mets and Kingsport Mets in 2004. Hitting just a combined .281 that year with one home run allowed him to sneak by most prospect followers despite 17 doubles and 17 home runs in just 57 games. In fact, his somewhat pedestrian numbers (aside from 94 stolen bases in 235 minor league games) have hidden him in obscurity up until the Mets decided to have him skip St. Lucie this upcoming season and start him in AA-Binghamton. Whether or not the fans believe he's legit, or if publications like ourselves or Baseball America think he's legit, is moot. The Mets know what they have in Gomez and they consider him one of their top prospects.

SS Jose Coronado: Falling into the 'Carlos Gomez' category of a player who is much better than his stats reveal is Jose Coronado. The Venezuelan native has hit just .270 with 4 home runs and has been caught stealing more times (10) than he has been successful (8) in is short career. As a matter of fact, Coronado, who won't turn 20-years old until the second week of the 2006 season, has not amassed more than 71 at-bats outside the short-season leagues. But yet the Mets are so impressed with his defensive skills and his offensive potential they are going to have him start the new season in the Florida State League with the St. Lucie Mets. Coronado is another example of why you can't judge a prospect by his numbers.

Shawn Bowman: Showing up to camp with 20 extra pounds of muscle and with his back feeling better than ever, Bowman is primed for a breakout year. Averaging 18 home runs per year over the last two seasons, despite averaging less than 400 at-bats per year, Bowman's stats haven't accurately portrayed his potential. Ticketed to begin the year with the St. Lucie Mets, Bowman has played drawn the respect of fellow Mets' prospects in Spring Training. Nick Evans, slated to be Hagerstown's starting first baseman in 2006 and having played against St. Lucie this Spring, believes Mets' fans don't realize what they have in Bowman: "His ceiling is truly unlimited".

Hector Pellot: Somehow the rumor has circulated among Mets' fans that the Mets were reaching when they tabbed the Puerto Rican second baseman in the fourth round of the 2005 MLB Draft, insinuating that he is very overrated despite not playing one official game in a Mets' uniform yet. Whether or not it is true - and from every indication we've gotten outside the organization, it isn't - Pellot made a huge impression on the Mets in Spring Training. The Mets knew they had a special defensive player and speed prospect in Pellot, but it his power potential that has turned many heads in Florida this Spring. Hector Pellot, prematurely labeled as overrated, has been overlooked to the point where he is seriously underrated.

Fernando Martinez: Martinez, who has yet to play an official game in a Mets' uniform as well, is an intriguing prospect already. Some publications have decided to rank Martinez among the top Mets' prospects already, sight unseen. While it is their prerogative to do so, the rankings haven't equaled the early reports on his abilities. With one publication ranking him 10th and another ranking him 7th in the Mets' farm system, Martinez has already shown enough talent to rival the potential of any Mets' prospect. A sweet-swinging lefty who signed for $1.4 million last summer, the 17-year old Martinez is a special prospect, prompting one Mets' prospect this Spring to claim, "He's worth every penny the Mets paid him".

Mike Carp: Showing up to camp with more muscle mass despite looking much more agile, Carp has been vastly overlooked by some prospect followers because his high strikeout totals. Carp continues to impress the Mets' brass with his raw left-handed power, continually depositing home runs during batting practice this Spring while showing improved defensive ability and quickness around first base. With 23 home runs in the equivalency of one full minor league season, Carp's power potential is special. Throw in the fact that he'll play more than half of the 2006 season at 19-years old - one of the youngest players in the Florida State League - the sky is the limit for this budding slugger. Overlooked by many, Carp's stock is clearly on the rise just on the merits of how he reported to camp in great shape.

Matthew Lindstrom: Written off by many because of his dreadful numbers a year ago (2-5, 5.40 ERA, and 55 walks in 73 1/3 innings), the fact is Lindstrom pitched the entire season with a stress fracture in his pitching arm. His arm hurt with every pitch he threw in 2005 and he has reported to camp not only fully healed, but finally ready to assume the position he was destined to fulfill. The 'starting pitcher' experiment appears to be over and he seems ticketed for the bullpen full-time in 2006. Pitching pain free for the first time in over a calendar year, Lindstrom could turn many heads in 2006. His stock, unfairly fading in some critics' eyes, is definitely on the rise heading into the new season.

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