MAJORING ON THE MINORS: TOP 30 PROSPECTS – JHOAN URENA - VOL.5 – Tom Brennan
By now if you read my first four Top Prospects articles, you know that I approach it a bit differently - 2 lists:
· 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.
I start with the Top 10 List of Down-The-Road Mets Prospects.
I further sub-divided and ranked the 10 into the top 5 and the next 5.
My Top 5 from I refer to as my GUPPY SQUADRON LEADERS. Guppies headed towards possible future stardom. Budding rock stars.
Here’s my Guppy Squadron Leader List So Far:
# 1 - Marcos Molina
#2 – Michael Conforto
#3 – Amed Rosario
#4 – Dominic Smith
Today, add to that list #5:
Conforto's young Brooklyn teammate rounds out my top 5 guppy squadron leaders. He may just be the heir to King David's throne at 3B in 2018 or 2019.
Because Wright is, if healthy, not going anywhere anytime soon, the Mets can be more methodical in the pace of their level-by-level promotions of Urena than they will be with say a Conforto or Nimmo.
Urena played all season in Brooklyn at age 19, and is 6’1”, 200. After a a DSL debut at 17, where he put up solid .279/.330/.405 stats, he impressed in 2013 in the GCL with a .299 average in 47 games. On to Brooklyn in 2014, and he nudged it up to the magical mark, .300, with a healthy .356 OB% and an up-trending .431 slug. Also a healthy 47 RBIs in 75 games. And remarkably, .300 vs. righties and .300 vs. lefties. That switch hitting stuff really seems to be working for him.
I could see Urena putting in a full year in each of the 4 levels above Brooklyn from 2015-18. My sense is he'll have plenty of time to carve out a major league ready hit tool with decent pop by then, and have amped up his glove work to major league average or better.
Will Wright be plugging along like Chipper Jones by that time, or a shell of his former self by then, like Ken Griffey Jr was once injuries started taking their toll on him? Time will tell. Heck, maybe the NL will have a DH by then, making it easier to have him and a new 3B in the lineup.
Too far out to prognosticate Wright’s status with any accuracy, and Urena may also fall short. He could be a 30 double, 20 HR, .300 hitter type...or not approach that. But early indicators are very promising. 2015 in a full season league should make it a lot clearer as to what we have in Mr. Urena.
So that is pick # 5, and Vol. 5. On to the next 5 lower minor prospects in articles in the days ahead. Who will they be? Stay tuned in.
What do you think of my lower minor top 5? Any suggested changes?