We'll start our position-by-position wrap at catcher.
There's a sense in which it's difficult to write about minor league catchers for what I'll call the Mike Nickeas effect: any catcher with enough catch and throw skills can reach the big leagues. Nickeas, now 28, has actually seen action in 26 games in the big leagues in the last two years for the Mets, predictably "hitting" .190/.239/.254 for an OPS+ of 37. Yeah, 37! And yet, he's there. His batting performance was not aberrant: he hit .232/.326/.321 in 1111 PA over parts of six AA seasons and .211/.275/.296 in 412 PA over parts of four AAA seasons. So anyway, the lesson is that sometimes, nay often, defensive skills will take a catcher to the big leagues. Hitting "enough" is really just hitting occasionally.
MLBJosh Thole hit .268/.345/.344 good enough for a .202 wOBA, which was 23rd among the 26 catchers who accumulated 300 or more plate appearances in 2011. Given that he's cheap, I'd be surprised if the Mets went out and signed a catcher this off-season. Still, given that none of the advanced defensive metrics like him much at all, catcher is certainly an area ripe for upgrade.
Will Ronny Paulino be back?
What's coming up on the farm? That's the next post.