Hi Mack, great site. You talk about ‘potential’… what players in the system still haven’t reached theirs?
What a great question.
First of all, like most teams, the majority of minor leaguers are far past their potential. You have to remember that most players drafted past the 20th round are just picked to fill in the rosters in the organization. There’s a limit to signing money so you just can’t keep spending like a drunkard sailor.
Here’s some on my list (no particular order):
OF Cesar Puello – Scouts evaluate prospects using the term ‘tools’. Puello possesses all of them. What he hasn’t done was stay healthy or put it all together. I’ve written about him a number of times being the scout’s favorite Mets outfield prospect. That gets you signed, but doesn’t get you to the majors. What does is production and Puello has the God given talent to make it big. I’m not sure where he will start the season in 2013. He really needs to be held back in St. Lucie where it will be easier for him to get off to a good start.
OF Jordany Valdespin – I guess ‘Spin’ isn’t an infielder anymore. What he remains is a very talented ballplayer that refuses to allow those around him to teach him how to execute his talents. This is as wild as a wild card can get and the sad part is he could be a star for a team that desperately needs a shot of adrenalin in the outfield. His antics have basically made him untradeable and his coaches at all levels have washed their hands of him. He may be the most talented player in the organization, but I don’t think we’ll ever see the kind of player he could be.
OF Cory Vaughn – I just wrote about him the other day about this. Like Valdespin, he has all the tools to be great. All he has to do is put it together. This is not a bad attitude but some around him have told me that he just gets too emotional sometimes. Very streaky. There are times that pitchers simply can’t figure out how to get a ball past his bat. He continues to have one glaring deficiency and that’s his unconventional swing. Vaughn refuses to adjust it and, frankly, he needs a new hitting coach to read him the riot act. He was second in the league last year for St. Lucie in home runs. That’s not shabby. Do the same in Binghamton next spring and THAT will impress me.
C Blake Forsythe – Forsythe was a favorite of mine when he was drafted. He had a killer sophomore year in college, but injuries cut his numbers (and his draft potential) as a junior. I considered him a steal when the Mets picked him, but so far, nothing has happened. There just seems to be a jinx hovering over the Mets when they draft catchers. He gets one more chanced this season at the critical AA level.
P Brandon Moore – Moore has done little wrong when he’s on the mound. The problem is he can’t seem to prevent from being suspended for control substances. He’s been busted twice, which means he has tested positive at least three times. This is like the Lindsay Lohan of the Mets organization. Frankly, I’m surprised he hasn’t been cut; however, like I said, the boy can pitch.
OF Gilbert Gomez – Gomez signed with the Mets with all the bells and whistles top international prospects come with. He’s played well, but he’s yet to show the kind of numbers scouts projected for him. One of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, he’s still very young and still learning the game. Gomez has serious untapped potential.
OF Brandon Nimmo – It’s far too early to be critical of Nimmo and no one deserves to have this much pressure put on his back. Nimmo was projected to be a sup-1 pick in the draft, and, if he was picked there, everyone would be thrilled with him. Instead, he goes early in the first round and we come to find out his high school didn’t even have a baseball team. Look, nothing against Nimmo, but how can a team risk their first pick this way? This is 1000% potential especially since he hasn’t played a full season yet. I sure hope for his sake he gets off to a good start in Savannah.
P Akeel Morris – Morris is a fallen prospect with a ton of potential. 2012 was just a miserable season for him and it cost him a future as a starter in the Mets organization. He still throws one of the top fastballs in the organization, but it lost the ability to hit the zone last season. The pressure is off him now. He’s still very young and can rebound as either an 8th inning reliever or a closer.
SP Steven Matz – The king of potential. His best day was the day he signed with the Mets. Ironically, his problems have not been when he’s on the mound. His arm went kaput the first year and fizzled again last season while he was basically unhittable for Kingsport. Another high school player who has time on his side, but there are so many good starters ahead of him right now in the system. I see him starting for Brooklyn, if his arm is sound.