As noted in my first “Top Prospects” article, I am doing it a bit differently than other Prospect Prognosticators. Mine are in 2 groups:
· A top 20 list of guys who are closing in on the big leagues. Guys who could help us in the near future or be trade bait.
· A top 10 list of lower minors guys who likely won’t show up until 2017 or later.
In my top 10 list of down-the-road Mets prospects, there are those guys I really think at least 5 could be impact major leaguers. Months ago, I referred to these lower minors guys as Guppies, furiously swimming upstream towards that big pond in Flushing, Queens, which has been more of a swamp in recent years.
My Top 5 from that group are my GUPPY SQUADRON LEADERS.
For this group, I started with my #1 guy and go to #10.
In my first article, Vol. 1, I picked Marcos Molina as my # 1 Guppy Squadron Leader # 1. Who is # 2?
I applauded the choice of Mr. Conforto in the first round of the June 2014 draft. I badly wanted a hitter, because the Mets' record of drafting dynamic hitters in their history has been...well, less than dynamic. And far too many Mets teams (some recent) have stunk up the joint offensively. And because the Mets minor league system has arguably been the most flush with pitchers of any franchise in baseball, a hitter made tons of sense.
Nonetheless, I recently read that Aaron Nola, the 2014 draft's #7 pick, might be in the Phil's rotation for most of 2015. At the end of the 2013 season, with the jam up of teams jockeying for draft slots, I advocated for the Mets to compete in game # 162 with just its rookies, no veterans, to maximize the odds of losing that last game.
Had they lost that one, the Mets get the 7th slot, and perhaps pick Aaron Nola. While the Mets system is flush with pitchers, another top line starter like Nola would have made trading off stud prospect pitching for a top notch, ready to go offensive stud far less guilt-panged.
But enough what ifs. We got the 6 ’1”, 210 lefty slugger Conforto, who still appears to be an excellent pick. I see in him a solid outfielder who should hit for average, display moderate power, and be valuable in terms of run production. Solid defensively too, even if he is not a speed burner.
In the seasons ahead, based on his .331/.403/.448 output in Brooklyn, I foresee him bypassing Savannah and starting out in St Lucie in 2015, having just turned 22.
Conforto will in my opinion split 2015 between Lucie and Bingo and hit .300 with 30 doubles and 20 homers.
· On to 2016, I can see an early start in AA and most of the season in AAA putting up similar #'s.
· Then a late season call up to the Mets. Where he will:
· Help us win the 2016 pennant with a key hit or 2. And be the:
· Opening day left fielder in 2017.
Nice to think about....a guy who might hit .300 with 30 doubles and 20-25 dingers yearly for the Good Fellas in Queens.
That makes him my Guppy Squad Commander #2. Next article: top lower minor prospect #3.