Met’s Top 10 Prospects of Mack’s Mets

We polled the writers of Mack's Mets and tallied the responses. After a bit of quick math we came up with a cumulative top 10 Met Prospects. I took some time to write a little bit about each of the guys that we as a group think of as the TOP 10 Met Prospects right now.

#1) Full Name: Matthew Harvey

Born: 03/27/1989

Position: SP

Highest Level: AA

Why He’s #1: The Met’s top draft pick in 2010 wasted no time in 2011 establishing his place on the future major league franchise… or in the hearts of Met fans. Harvey came to the Mets with a healthy dose of concerns from scouts. Sometimes… scouts worry for no good reason. Harvey annihilated the Florida State League before moving on to Binghamton and the Eastern League. AA… was a reality check for some of the eager Harvey fans. However he did seem to find his footing in AA after his first couple starts. Matt seems destined for the front end of a major league rotation and if he can take the next step in AA he could be ready to fulfill his destiny as soon as 2012.

#2) Full Name: Zachary Harrison Wheeler

Born: 05/30/1990

Position: SP

Highest Level: A+

The Harvey vs. Wheeler debate rages on. Wheeler’s stuff is slightly better… Harvey already pitched well in AA… Wheeler is over a year younger… Harvey’s got less issues to overcome… Do you know why Harvey PROBABLY ranked higher on this list? It was made by fans… not scouts. Met fans love Harvey because he was ALWAYS ours. We have a special attachment to players our team drafted that go beyond things like an extra MPH or the fact he could fill out his frame more.

Back to Wheeler, he is a stud talent who could be a Cy Young candidate when he reaches his ceiling. He’s got absolutely filthy stuff that will translate into swings, misses and eventually wins. Now… when the Mets got Wheeler there were also a small mound of concerns about his control. His BB/K ratio on the San Francisco affiliate was basically 1 : 2. When he got to Port St. Lucie… apparently he decided he’d show a bit more control. In his 6 games with the Mets he managed a ratio of 1 : 6. Wheeler is likely to be held all year in the minors regardless of his progress in 2012, but he is sometimes projected to be a candidate for the 2013 rotation.

#3) Full Name: Jenrry Manuel Mejia

Born: 10/11/1989

Position: SP/RP

Highest Level: MLB

If not for an injury, Mejia would be part of the major league rotation and not on this list. Because of his set-back, he won’t even likely start the season on time. When Mejia returns from Tommy John surgery, the Mets will send him to AA or AAA and see how he does. There is plenty of talk about him switching into the bullpen and potentially closing in 2013 but we should all wait and see what he does when he returns in June (or so) of 2012. The Mets are likely to let him try to start when he does. If he takes off in the minors it won’t be a long stay for him (assuming there is room in the major league rotation).

#4) Full Name: Jeurys Familia

Born: 10/10/1989

Position: SP

Highest Level: AA

The pitcher who had the best season for the Mets in the minors is ranked fourth on the list. Familia was brilliant in 2011, exceeding the projections people had begun to form after a disappointing 2010. My favorite thing about Familia is that he was statistically solid across the board. He didn’t give out a ton of hits or walks, he had a K/9 over 9.0 and his BB/K ratio was better than 1 : 3. There is very little to complain about. Still… the general opinion on Familia is that he’s the weakest of the Big 4 (which isn’t exactly an insult) because his breaking pitches are less refined. Like Mejia he’s rumored to be bullpen bound eventually but as he’s the farthest developed player of the Big 4 who’s healthy he’s likely to get the first shot at the majors in 2012.

#5) Full Name: Brandon T. Nimmo

Born: 03/27/1993

Position: CF

Highest Level: R

Based on pure raw talent, the Mets selected Brandon Nimmo with their first round pick this season. Nimmo was an interesting choice as he didn’t get the chance to play High School baseball (I think buffalo outnumber people in Wyoming). Nimmo has speed and a big frame that projects to build power. He’s also got a sweet swing that won’t need too much fiddling with to get him to succeed. Beyond what scouts see in his body, it’s hard to judge him from his brief couple of games in the Gulf Coast League. You can bet he’ll be under a microscope in 2012.

#6) Full Name: David Reese Havens

Born: 10/20/1986

Position: 2B

Highest Level: AA

If Reese were not injured 50% of the time he’d be a major league second baseman by now. As it is… with a tremendous injury history he’s still on course to compete for the role by the middle of 2012. That assumes Reese is healthy… which we can NEVER assume. His glove has never been the story, but when you have a decent eye, are capable of hitting over 15 home runs a season and consistently post an OPS over .800… people can overlook your glove-work. That isn’t to say he’s bad in the field, it’s just not his greatest gift. Met fans will likely need to pray for health for him in 2012 if he’s ever going to make the Major League team.

#7) Full Name: Jordany V Valdespin

Born: 12/23/1987

Position: 2B/SS

Highest Level: AAA

Valdespin was a major surprise in 2011. Sure, a lot of us knew the name, but we didn’t all know all the great things he was capable of. Jordany is a physically gifted player. He has lots of speed, a good dose of power and a quick swing. In the field he shows good range and a reasonable arm. What he lacks… is patience and training. The Mets have pushed him all over the diamond from second to short, never knowing where he fit best. 2011 was again a year where he split positions. Right now, Jordany has a VERY real chance of making the pros to start the season if Reyes is no longer on the team. His low walk rate will simply hold him out of the leadoff spot.

#8) Full Name: Aderlin Rodriguez

Born: 11/18/1991

Position: 3B

Highest Level: A

The Mets don’t have many prospects like Aderlin Rodriguez. He’s a big guy with a big bat and a LOT of power. 17 HRs in Savannah is no small feat and if his power manages to take an up-tick in 2012 with a move to Port St. Lucie his stock will take an up-tick with it. The question with Aderlin is where he’ll play. He’s managing at 3rd base at present, but his range and glove work are definitely not among the best. That could mean a switch to 1st base which… based on his power numbers… would work out just fine. It will be interesting to see if his position gets switched now that he’ll be sharing the field with Wilmer Flores.

#9) Full Name: Wilmer Alejandro Flores

Born: 08/06/1991

Position: SS*

Highest Level: A+

Let us address the 800 pound gorilla in the room. NO, Wilmer Flores will never be a major league short stop. He doesn’t have the range for it. Let us also note that he DOES have a solid arm and good hands, so to say he could ONLY EVER PLAY FIRST… is a bit over-blown. With that out of the way let’s talk about a player who HAD been at the other end of this list a year ago. Was Wilmer’s year that bad? No. His year wasn’t that bad. A .269 Avg and 81 RBI isn’t BAD by any stretch. People simply expect more from Flores’ bat. It’s drawing ever closer to the point where he needs to show he’s developing power and can hack it at the major league level. Where Wilmer plays in 2012 is anyone’s guess. The Mets could throw him back out to play short stop, they could slide him to 3rd, push him into the corner outfield or even try him out behind the plate. Met fans still have faith in Wilmer and look for him to make strides in 2012.

#10) Full Name: Kirk Robert Nieuwenhuis

Born: 08/07/1987

Position: CF

Highest Level: AAA

Captain Kirk is a fan favorite before he ever gets announced in Flushing. The coaches review his work ethic and drive as second to none and his results have been really good. Still… he can’t shake the tag that he’s an over-achiever who may not cut it in CF long-term. The issue there is his numbers (which roughly translate to a .280 hitter who clubs 15 HRs and steals 15 bases) don’t measure up in the corner outfield spots. Nieuwenhuis is looming in the shadows behind Angel Pagan and Jason Bay and could be called upon as early as opening day if his spring goes well. He ended the year hurt so perhaps that’s a bit too much optimism, but Kirk should see Citi Field in 2012.


Charles said...

Cool post...concerning Kirk, I think people know he'll probably never be a star. I think they'd just rather watch Angel or Bay get the boot, and hope Kirk with give them a little more energy. Flores...I think the time has come. He's a man now. He's been playing pro ball for a long time, they've had to protect him from the rule five draft and he's still only in single A. This year is make or break. Hopefully, he's been chomping on his wheaties. This year, these players just need their health. If healthy, their abilities will take them to the next level.

Mack Ade said...

It will a crime if this post isn't linked by Matt.

Mack Ade said...


The Captain is going to start off slowly this spring. There's no reason to rush him since he's not in Queens' plans until 2013.

Recent pick ups of dat Canadian guy and Vinnie Bachagaloop will fill up the spring training lineups.

Kirk will finish the year in Queens.

David Groveman said...

@ Charles, the fact with Captain Kirk is the effort is there and he's succeeded at the highest farm level. So... he deserves his chance and Met fans elevate his prospect value a bit because of this.

@ Mack, there have been a lot of top 10 prospect posts on a lot of boards. I would understand this not being re-blogged much.

David Groveman said...

2012 is a year for the prospects.

Charles said...

I never said to rush him anywhere. I just said that alot of fans know he's probably not a future franchise star, but because of the mets current outfield, Kirks arrival is much anticipated.

Charles said...

Also, and this its great, his stats have gotten increasingly better with every promotion through the system. A fact that Paul Depodesta has stated, and singled out as intriguing.

Anonymous said...

If we're talking about outfield prospects I can't believe Cesar Puello hasn't been mentioned. The newest member of our 40-man roster

Michael S. said...

I think Kirk is going to surprise people. I don't think he'll become a star but I think he will become a productive regular.

Puello has tools but the production hasn't been there. Lagares is a similar player and put up good numbers this year.

Mack's Mets © 2012