Sunday, February 10, 2008

Tatis and Harper at first.....

I expressed yesterday and for most of the off-season my concern about the depth at firstbase. Today Joel Sherman reporting for Fox Sports believes that Fernando Tatis could be looked to as the right handed power bat and back-up to Delgado. Tatis was once a budding prospect who was traded for players like Royce Clayton, Todd Stottlemyre, Dustin Hermanson and Steve Kline ( seperate deals but in both he was the center piece). Tatis spent nine major league seasons in the majors in which he compiled a lifetime BA of .260. After several injury plagued years he took two years off to spend time with his family, he returned in 2006 with the Orioles and has been in AAA with the Mets since 2007. Looking over several Zeph's news articles he was praised for his professionalism, work ethic and clubhouse presence. While primarily a third baseman he has played every position on the field except catcher (approx. 10 MLB gms. at first) and I believe he played some first with New Orleans last season. Last year with the Zeph's he hit .276 with 21 HRs, 31 doubles (.485 slg.) with 8 stolen bases.

Aside from 56 at-bats for Baltimore in 2006, Fernando Tatis has not played in the majors since 2003. Nevertheless, the Mets have invited him to spring training and would love to have a righty bat to potentially serve the role Julio Franco once filled - pinch-hitter/caddy to Carlos Delgado.source Fox sports

Brett Harper's status is unclear, on January 11, 2008 it was reported by Rotoworld that Harper had signed with the Giants on a minor league deal with a spring training invite, in fact it's still listed that way. But on Feb. 7, 2008 the Zeph's have a news article discussing Harper's uncoming year in the Mets organization. The article goes on to dicuss Harper moving to the outfield if he stays in Binghamton to make room for now healthy Carp. His coaches believe he's ready for New Orleans and think offensively he could hit in the major ( defense limited). Not sure if he backed out of the Giants deal or something is being miss reported, I hope he's still in our system.

While coaches and scouts know what he offers at the plate, what he can do in the field is more unknown. Harper filled in for Mike Carp at first base when he went down with an injury early in the year, and even spent time in the outfield so Oliveras could keep his bat in the lineup when Carp returned. He does have good hands to plate first base, but his limited agility and quickness
leaves many to wonder how he could fit in the National League.

Nevertheless, Harper should continue to receive his chances as long as his health and production remain. The question now exists, where does he go from here? Oliveras believes for him to take his career to a new level, it may be time for him to move beyond Binghamton.

"I won't speak for the organization because it is their decision to make, but to me, he could be a Major Leaguer right now because of his bat. He's got the attitude and he knows how to hit. He's been in Binghamton a long time now, and he knows what he's facing in this league; he proved all that he's going to here. It will be interesting to see what they do with him next season" he said. source