I took this photo on a humid night in Binghamton last June. Josh Stinson was pitching, and it was Boy Band Night. Not many fans showed up due to threats of rain.
I was so glad I went, because I finally got to see one of my favorite Stanford boys in person. (See his Cardinal stats here and please laugh at his goofy roster photo.) Ratliff ended up having an insanely good night, going yard twice, if I recall correctly. I fell in love with his swing. It's a thing of beauty.
The problem is, of course, that the Mets have plenty of outfielders at present. A player like Ratliff has to contend with Duda, Nieuwenhuis, and, of course, people like Pagan, Bay and Beltran at the Major League level to make it. Now, we obviously know that all of these people are pretty darn talented. What are we to do with Ratliff? He was drafted in 2008, so he's advancing fairly quickly. The question is whether or not we bump him up to Buffalo at some point this year. Nieuwenhuis is already there - he made it late in the season last year. I almost feel like he needs to be the one who dictates that by playing well and forcing the Mets to make the move. I don't know how much attention they're paying to him since there's significantly less buzz about Mets prospects than there is about, say, Red Sox prospects, but based on the way he played in Binghamton this past season I feel like they should at least start keeping a closer eye on him. He certainly has the talent - I saw it when I watched him playing at Stanford - and it's just a question of whether he gets the recognition for it and continues to have seasons like he did in 2010.
Oh, and if you want to see my video of his swing, you can do that here.