Mets' Havens Could Advance Quickly to New York





NEW YORK—As first baseman Ike Davis quickly made an impact for the Mets, and as Double-A righthander Brad Holt continued his progression toward the big leagues, the third of the Mets' high draft picks from 2008 was just beginning his move.

With the 22nd pick in that draft, New York selected Reese Havens as a shortstop out of South Carolina—right between Davis (18th overall) and Holt (33rd). He began playing second base in last year's Arizona Fall League, and he could move quickly through the organization at that position.

Havens, 23, joined high Class A St. Lucie on April 30 after missing a month with a strained oblique. If healthy—a big if after elbow problems in 2008 and quadriceps trouble last year—the Mets believe he has the potential to join Davis in short order.

"He looks fine," field coordinator Terry Collins said. "He's playing now. We're playing him a couple of days in a row, then DH'ing him so he continues to hit. I don't know how long he'll be (at St. Lucie). We want to get him to (Double-A) Binghamton."

The move to second should facilitate that.

"He looks great at second," Collins said. "He's athletic. If you can play shortstop, you can make the switch to second base. The double play is the hardest part, but he looks good.

"When you've got a shortstop who's got the contract our guy (Jose Reyes) has, and you've got a bat like Reese's, you find a place to get him in the lineup. His bat is going to play. Because he plays in the middle of the infield, he becomes a special guy."

While playing for St. Lucie last season, Havens hit .247/.361/.422 with 14 home runs in 360 at-bats. Through 26 at-bats this year, he was hitting .269/.345/.500 with a double, a triple and a homer, but also 10 strikeouts.

"We've got to get him playing time, make sure that he gets enough at-bats," Collins said. "If he does that, he'll be more comfortable at the plate and he'll move up."

METAMORPHOSES

• Low Class A Savannah jumped out to a South Atlantic League-best 18-9 record on the strength of experienced pitching —led by 22-year-old lefties Mark Cohoon and Jim Fuller—and a young offensive unit, featuring teenagers like shortstop Wilmer Flores, third baseman Jefry Marte and outfielder Cesar Puello.

Jordany Valdespin had been playing shortstop exclusively for St. Lucie after playing mostly second base a year ago. He was batting .300/.327/.480 with two home runs through 50 at-bats.