I agree with Cooper that if Thole's defense is not good enough to start at catcher, he's a tweener, whose offensive profile doesn't play at first at all. On the other hand, I have Thole in my Mets top 10 now. I'll also point out that with the relative decrease in the importance of stealing bases to offensive production around the leaguein the last twenty-five years, the Mets could live with a catcher who doesn't have a Pudge-like arm. Lets play a game, construct a reasonable Mets top 10 without Thole.
JAYPERS (IL): Josh Thole has been very consistent thus far this season. Is he in your Mets' Top 10 prospects list if you had to put one together today?J.J. Cooper: I couldn't put him in my personal Top 10 yet because I'm still worried about where he plays in the big leagues. On the one hand, the man can hit, and that's the most important tool there is. But on the other, there are still concerns about where he'll play in the big leagues. He ranks near the bottom of the Eastern League in caught stealing percentage (31.5 percent) and he's still working on framing pitches. If he can't catch well enough to be an everyday catcher, he doesn't really have a clear full-time position. He doesn't have the power (one home run this year with a career high of five) to play first base, especially for a big-market team like the Mets, and he's too slow to be an outfielder. He may end up as a very useful lefty hitting backup catcher who can play some first, but his lack of a profile means he still has an uphill battle for a starting job.
Jack Bauer (We'll see): Where's Ike Davis? He hit .333 with 2 HR, 1 2B, 4 BB and only 3 K. He's leading the Florida State League in XBH and Total Bases and is near the top of the leaderboard in just about every stat. Where's the love?J.J. Cooper: Dropping 24 references won't work on me like it will on Callis—try Top Gear references for me, but I'll answer anyway. Ike was on the short list this week, although he was a little ways from making the photo. But he's having a very solid year and has done a good job of putting last year's putrid start behind him. But he is a good example of how it's worth remembering when some first or second-round pick goes out and stinks up the joint in short-season ball this year that it isn't time to write them off. Prospects can be gassed or otherwise struggle in their first pro season, just ask Chipper Jones.