I was asked to do a prospect list. I used to call this ‘The Keepers’. I don’t any longer.
I follow the basic John Sickels formula… anything that starts with an A is someone I project becoming a full time major league player. A ‘B’ gets you a part time position, while a ‘C’ means you have some work to do.
One thing in advance… most of the Mets top prospects are already in Queens. In addition, Matt Harvey has graduated.
That being said, here’s my list:
1. RHSP Zack Wheeler – A – Wheeler is a true ‘A’ prospect that is already projected to be a ‘safe’ SP2. I think he goes all the way and passes Matt Harvey as the team’s SP1 in 2015. His ETA is still debatable, but my guess is July 1st, with Travis d’Arnaud sitting next to him on the plane. Can’t wait.
2. C Travis d-Arnaud – A- -as you read above, I don’t have the Mets rushing d’Arnaud to Queens at the end of April. 2013 will not be the ‘Year of the Mets’ and I’d rather keep him behind, make sure he is 100% healed, build the numbers in Nevada, and catch the future of this team (Wheeler, Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia). The only reason there is an ‘A-minus’ rating instead of a pure ‘A” is to make sure his health is 100%. This is the real deal.
3. RHSP Noah Syndergaard – A- -a pure bonus and a bonfire SP2 candidate that can easily slip into the SP3 role for the Mets in 2015. An electric fastball with sink, but I expect the Mets pitching instructors to work the entire 2013 season with him, developing his secondary pitches. For that reason alone, expect him to stay in St. Lucie for the season.
4. 3B Wilmer Flores - B+ - Flores ranks this high based on what he has already done with a bat in his hand. He currently projects as a future 25-80 bat, but could wind up as a DH due to his lack of speed and defensive ability. Still, his hitting talent will make him an attractive part of a trade package in the 2013-2014 trading period.
5. RHSP Rafael Montero - B+ - Montero turned a lot of heads in Savannah last season and continued his talented pitching at the A+ level. He will start off there again this season but should finish the season at the critical AA-Binghamton level. His ETA could be as early as the 2014 all-star break.
6. SS Gavin Cechinni - B - last year's first round pick had a disappointing pro-start last year, but scouts say this kid is the real deal and projects out as the future Mets second baseman someday. We'll see.
7. RHSP Luis Mateo - B – signed three times as an international free agent using two different names and two different ages… throughout this, his talent continued to shine through on the mound. Pitched DSL in 2011 (13-starts, 6-1, 63.0-IP, 80-K) and Brooklyn in 2012 (12-starts, 4-5, 2.45, 73.1-IP, 85-K). So far, so good. Watch for the 23-year old to bump to St. Lucie in 2013.
8. RHSP Domingo Tapia - B - Tapia pitched the entire 2013 season in Savannah (6-5, 3.98,L 108.2-IP, 101-K).He throws a mid-90 fastball with heavy sink and is now topping off at 99, but what I love is the "89 MPH change-up". Massive raw talent.
9. RHSP - Michael Fulmer – B – high school control pitcher that showed tremendous poise in Savannah last year. I’m not sure if there is any room for all these guys some day in Queens but Fulmer will pitch somewhere in major league baseball.
10. LHRP - Jack Leathersich - B - outlaw K/IP ratio so far... 14.9 K/9... can't be sustained; however, he will pitch 2013 as a 23-year old and could find himself in Queens by the end of the 2014 season
11. OF - Brandon Nimmo - B - frankly, we still don't know much about this kid other than the fact that the guy that picked him for the Mets quit less than 30 days later. Got off to a slow start in Brooklyn and since he never played any high school ball, there’ not much to draw upon here.
12. RHP – Jenrry Mejia – B- - Mejia is falling simply because the Mets don’t seem to have the confidence in promoting him to Queens. His 5-yr. minor league stat line is 16-14, 2.95, but he’s 1-6, 4.91 in the majors. The Mets need to slot him SP2 behind Wheeler in Vegas and leave the kid alone for the season. Maybe he can hop a ride to Queens on the Wheeler plane.
13. OF – Vincente Lupo - B- - Normally I don’t recognize people only at the DSL level, but you have to respect a start like this: .343/.500/.608/1.108. He was born like yesterday so it’s hard to say what we have here, but I’m sure he’s coming stateside and the entire ST press corp will be trying to get a look-see come March.
Beyond this, there are three level of ‘C’ players.
The ‘C+’ are mostly the kids that have some growing to do. They seem to have the most talent with a chance to grow, but there are multiple levels for them to excel in. – Jake deGrom, Gabriel Ynoa, Rainey Lara, Luis Cessa, Hansel Robles, Julian Hilario, Jeff Walters, Adam Kolarek, TJ Chism, Kevin Plawecki, Gilbert Gomez, Eudy Pena
The ‘C’ level have a chance to become part time major leaguers but seem more destined to take on a AAAA role in the future. – Logan Verrett, Jeurys Familia, Darin Gorski, Marcos Camerena, Danny Muno, Juan Centeno, Phillip Evans, Aderlin Rodriguez, Cam Maron, Matt den Dekker, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Cory Vaughn, Darrell Cecilliani
And then there are the ‘C-‘ players, who are hanging on by a thread. – Steven Matz, Elvin Ramirez, Reese Havens, Cesar Puello