Wednesday, November 29, 2006

More Carp Info!

These are outtakes from the Yankees/Mets comparison of 1b prospects.

Carp is the most complete first base prospect

The Mets have a pair of first baseman, Mike Carp and Nick Evans, both young prodigies with plus power potential and both have made tremendous strides in the development of their defensive game around the bag.

The Mets have sluggers like Brett Harper (36 home runs in 2005), Mike Carp (17 home runs in the Florida State League this past season), and Nick Evans (15 home runs in low-A ball). But outside of those three, only Binghamton's Michel Abreu (17 home runs in double-A) has a chance of sniffing the 20 home run plateau. Junior Contreras has some power potential, but many scouts are extremely down on his poor conditioning and not only doubt his ability to remain at first base, but question whether or not he has the work ethic to reach even the upper minor league levels.

Hitting For Average: Listed at 27-years old, many doubt the Mets' Michel Abreu's age, prompting some to even speculate the Cuban is already in his thirties. While he can really rake the baseball with the best of them, he isn't a legitimate prospect. Outside of Abreu, the only Mets' first base prospect many scouts consider a good bet to hit for a high average at the big league level is Mike Carp. Carp has made marked improvements in cutting down his strikeouts and taking the ball to the opposite field. While he hit .287 as one of the youngest positional players in the Florida State League, there are some scouts who believe Carp is primed for a David Wright-like breakout sometime soon. Nick Evans also worked very hard on improving his approach at the plate, but he simply doesn't walk enough to project as a high average hitter. Brett Harper has shown to be a high average
hitter, but his sub-par defensive ability at first base has many questioning whether or not he'll remain at the position.

Defense: The Yankees had a clear advantage over the Mets defensively at first base a year ago, but with the rapid defensive progression of Mike Carp and Nick Evans, that gap is quickly closing. Once projecting as an average first baseman, Carp worked tirelessly on his agility, even taking ground balls at shortstop this past season to work on his footwork and hands. The hard worked paid off as he was voted the Best Defensive First Baseman in the Florida State League.

Like Carp, Evans also worked extremely hard to become a complete first baseman. He too dramatically improved his range and footwork around the bag and he has improved his stock as a result. But outside of Carp and Evans, the Mets don't really have
another solid defensive first base prospect.

Overall Potential: Among all the first base prospects in both the Mets' and Yankees' farm systems, Mike Carp is the only safe bet to project as an everyday big league first baseman. His offensive ceiling is nearly as good as Eric Duncan's, and with his defensive prowess, he's easily the most complete first base prospect.

The Yankees' Eric Duncan and the Mets' Nick Evans not only are behind Carp projection-wise, but both have enough defensive shortcomings at first base to open up enough speculation that they may have to move to another position down the road. Duncan's offensive potential should keep him in the mix and the same could be said of Evans.

Highest Ceilings: Mike Carp (Mets), Eric Duncan (Yankees), Nick Evans (Mets), Gerardo Rodriguez (Yankees), Angel Fermin (Yankees)

Best Power: Shelley Duncan (Yankees), Brett Harper (Mets), Eric Duncan (Yankees), Mike Carp (Mets), Nick Evans (Mets)

Best Average: Michel Abreu (Mets), Cody Ehlers (Yankees), Mike Carp (Mets), Eric Duncan (Yankees), Gerardo Rodriguez (Yankees)

Best Defense: Kevin Smith (Yankees), Mike Carp (Mets), Cody Ehlers (Yankees), Kyle Larsen (Yankees), Nick Evans (Mets)

August 9th, 2006

1B Mike Carp: What a difference a year has made for the young left-handed slugger. While nobody questioned his legit Major League power potential, there was some nay-sayers in regards to his ability to hit for a high average and even more critics of his defensive play at first base. Carp, who just turned 20 at the end of June, had only hit 11 home runs in the Florida State League - a notorious pitching friendly league – through his first 107 games. But with a .295 average during that time and now widely regarded as one of the elite defensive first baseman in the league, Carp is gaining national recognition as a quickly evolving prospect.

August 16th, 2006

St. Lucie report: Carp cleaning up

St. Lucie first baseman Mike Carp is enjoying one of his hottest stretches of the season, sparking the Mets' offense with four multi-hit games, a home run and seven RBI over the past week. The 20-year-old Carp is batting .295 with 12 home runs and 73 RBI in 118 games for St. Lucie, numbers that have risen with a strong start to his August.

Regularly serving as the Mets' cleanup hitter, the left-handed batting Carp is batting .320 with two homers and 10 RBI through 14 games in the season's fifth month, following a scorching July in which he batted .349 with four home runs and 20 RBI.

On Friday, Carp went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI against the Vero Beach Dodgers, a contest the Mets won, 6-3, in heroic fashion when Caleb Stewart slugged a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning. Carp followed that performance on Saturday by helping the Mets overcome a 5-1 deficit after six innings, stroking two hits - including a two-run double - as St. Lucie rallied for seven late runs to topple Vero Beach.

Ranked as the Mets' No. 5 prospect coming into the 2006 season by Inside Pitch Magazine, Carp helped out in a pair of losses to Clearwater on Monday and Tuesday. He went 2-for-3 with two RBI in Monday's 7-3 loss to the Phillies and hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 8-5 defeat. His 73 RBI are the most of any farmhand in the Mets system, leading Hagerstown's Nick Evans by nine.

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