It's mid-term time for baseball so it's time to dish out some grades. Now instead of going through each player and giving them the customary A, B, C, D, or F, we're categorizing them into 3 levels: high honor, honor roll, & summer school. Here it is:
High Honor Roll
The most obvious selection to the high honor is Mike Pelfrey. I can't say enough about this kid's performances over the last two months and I'm almost scared to because I don't want to jinx him, but just imagine where the Mets would be if we traded him for Santana?
Ryan Church is on the high honor roll because when he played this season he was arguable the best hitter in the lineup. I like this guy's attitude, his work ethic and he's got a rocket for an arm. I desperately hope he comes back full strength because he might just be the corner outfielder we're hoping to trade for.
I'm also going to put Jose Reyes & David Wright on the high honor roll. Now these guys haven't been perfect and both have struggled mightily this first half, but look at their production. Wright is batting .288 with 17 homers and 70 RBI. Reyes is batting over .300 with 10 triples, 10 homers, 20 doubles and 30 stolen bases. That's high honor roll numbers, but we expect even more from them both in the second half.
Johan Santana makes the honor roll. He almost made high honors, but you can't put a guy on the high honor roll who gives up the first grand slam to an AL pitcher since the Hoover administration. Still Santana has pitched really well, but been lacking run support. I expect another 9 wins from Santana in the second half.
Aaron Heilman was headed for summer school until he started doing some extra credit and has amazingly turned his season around. I was ready to bury this guy or ship him to Japan for Benny Agbayani. That's why I'm not a GM. Heilman looks really good, but he still needs to prove this is not a fluke by keeping up his performance level in the second half.
Lastly, the Super Subs make the honor roll. The Super Subs include the likes of Damion Easley, Fernando Tatis, and Ramon Castro. It seems that every time these guys are called upon they come up big. None of these guys are true starters, but each of them has had their valuable moments in the first half and won big games solely on the basis of their bats. Without them the Mets would still be under .500.
Honorable mentions for honor roll: Carlos Delgado (I can't put him in summer school based on his hitting the last few weeks, but I really, really wanted to)
By show of hands, who misses Luis Castillo? What are the Mets missing when he's out of the lineup? A limp? That's pretty much it.
Carlos Beltran needs a little summer tutoring. Sure he's been hitting for power of late, but the guy is not consistently performing. His average is down. His RBI production is down. I expect the Carlos Beltran of 2007 every year, but it seems like he's off every other year. The Mets need Beltran to get 35 homers and 125 RBI to make a run in September.
Other summer school notables: Marlon Anderson (he's done), Moises Alou (he's done), Pedro Martinez (he's done)