Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
What better time than this month to update the Mets prospect list.
Missing will be some keys names… Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Kevin Plawecki) are gone because they are currently playing in Queens. Others, like Dilson Herrera, have had their time in the sun this season and are back in the minors.
I stay away from most of the players on the rookie teams because it’s impossible to project their future at this point in their professional baseball life.
These are just my opinions and, as you will see, they change over time.
1. (2) OF Michael Conforto – This one was easy this month. Everyone is Conforto crazy lately and why not. He easily represents the closest thing the Mets have to a real time power prospect. I’d still like to see a few more home runs out of him, especially at the AA level, but his number this year at both St. Lucie and Binghamton have been very impressive (even though he's currently in a slump). Right now, it looks like the only way he will not be the number one prospect for this team is when he graduates to Queens.
2. (--) SP Rafael Montero – Technically, Montero isn’t a prospect anymore, but, until he’s off the disabled and wearing a uniform in Queens every day, he makes my list. You all know how high this guy is on both my and Stephen Guilbert’s list. I truly believe the Mets would have no problem making a trade this year and giving up with one of their ‘Big Four’ if Montero was healthy this year; however, it looks like it’s going to take the rest of this year to give him the time to return on opening day 2016.
3. (1) 2B Dilson Herrera – Herrera drops from my top prospect down to number three though I still believe he will be the future starting second baseman on this team for many years to come. He did not hit well (82-AB, .195) though he did fair better defensively on the field (223-1-IP, 2-E, .985). Frankly, I just don’t think he was ready mentally playing for a team that was consistently booed by their home fans even though the team has been in first or second place all season. The safety of Las Vegas should do him wonders for the remainder of the season.
4. (6) OF Brandon Nimmo - Nimmo has once again fought off some minor injuries and has pounded out a decent year in AA-Binghamton. I remember him being on the same Savannah team with Kevin Plawecki and the only reason he’s not in Queens now is his multiple trips to the disabled list. My guess is he will be ready to compete for the 25-man squad in camp next spring along with his buddy, Michael Conforto. It should be an interesting camp.
5. (14) SS Amed Rosario – Rosario represents the best defensive skills on shortstop in the system. He’s having a fair season at the plate for St. Lucie, but the important thing is he’s only 19 years old this season. Yes, he has a long way to go and many of you might think I have him a little high on this list, but I truly believe that Rosario will become a major trading chip that will bring a future power bat to this team.
6. (16) 1B Dominic Smith – Smith has quickly bounced back on my list, having an outstanding season (hitting .343 in the last 30 days). He’s also doing all this at the tender age of 20. His slugging percentage has risen this year from .338 last year for Savannah to .419 this season for St. Lucie; however, he’s only had six home runs in 901 minor league at bats over three seasons. Hopefully, this will increase as he continues to grow.
7. (21) OF Wuilmer Beccera – Beccera has bounced up and down on my list and it’s his turn this time to soar into the top 10. Remember, many of our prospects have graduated, thus, it’s easier getting here. He’s only 20 years old and hitting close to .300 for a full season team. More important, his eight home runs so far this season (.465 slugging percentage) is a very decent Sally League number and shows the power potential this kid has. Next year, St. Lucie… 2017, Binghamton… and then, who knows? For now, he needs to work his way back off the disabled list.
8. (12) SP Marcos Molina – Molina may be on the disabled list, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a prospect anymore. He went down with an elbow injury and the Mets did announce that they were evaluating him for Tommy John Surgery, but we never did get any final word on that. Either way, he’s done for this season and we’ll see him some time next year… when he’s 21 years old.
9. (17) SP Michael Fulmer – Fulmer moves back up into the top ten after finally becoming 100% healthy and putting up some quality numbers for Binghamton. He seems to be getting stronger every outing and I see him finishing this season testing the waters in Las Vegas.
10. (19) SP Casey Meisner – This already has been a great year for Meisner, who has pitched lights out for Savannah (12-starts, 7-2, 2.13, 1.30). After two St. Lucie starts he's 2-0, 2.84 there.Meisner is 20-years old and defines what the word prospect represents.
11. (23) C Ali Sanchez - We featured Sanchez for the first time on this list in the off-season. He’s an ex-2013 bonus baby that signed for $690,000. So far this season, he’s putting up numbers I’ve never seen before from a Mets minor league catcher. It’s a very small sample; however, remember that he did hit .303 last year for the DSL team in 175 at-bats. 18-years old. Right now, he's hitting .444.
12. (13) RP Akeel Morris – In the end, the Mets did a great disservice to Morris by promoting him directly from St. Lucie to Queens. Things like that just don’t work out, especially young pitchers that have never been thrust into a pressure cooker situation like that. In the long run, it did get him the promotion he deserved to Binghamton.
13. (9) RP Jack Leathersich – ‘Leather’ is another of those guys that I’m just not sure if he qualifies for a prospect anymore. Still, I’m going to keep him on the list for now. It may take him awhile to get another call up what with all the walking wounded that are scheduled to return to Queens this year (Jenrry Mejia, Vic Black, Jerry Blevens). We’ll see.
14. (10) RP Paul Sewald – The 25-year old has had a magical pro career since graduating as a 4-year senior in 2012 (10th round). Over 121 innings pitched for five teams, he’s 11-5, 1.82. 0.99, 173-IP, 201-K. He’s currently pitching in the Pan American games (on loan) and an all-star selection as the Binghamton closer. Sewald will pitch someday in the majors. It’s only a question where.
15. (11) RP David Roseboom – Roseboom has already earned a promotion from Savannah (24-games, 3-0, 1.15, 0.80) to St. Lucie, where he is now currently going through the conversion to a higher level of expertise. I really like this former 17th round pick (2014) who has only one downside, his 23-year old age. Like Sewald, ‘the Boomer’ will pitch in the majors, though it may turn out to be for another team than the New York Mets.
16. (--) SP Ronald Guedez – Guedez is the one rookie level pitcher that has cracked my top 20 this time. He signed with the Mets in July 2014 for a $170,000 bonus and hit the ground running from there. He’s only given up one earned run so far ‘this season’ (very small sample) and I really add his name here just as an excuse to introduce him to all of you. Remember the name.
17. (18) SP Rob Whalen – Whalen was one of those high-risk, high reward high school picks (2012-12th round) who has pitched excellent umbers through four Mets levels in an equal amount of seasons. He needs to be fast tracked to Binghamton so we can see what we truly have here. Still, only 21-years old.
18. (--) SP Robert Gsellman – Gsellman put up quality numbers for Savannah last year (20 starts, 2.55) and started out strong for St. Lucie this season (8 starts 1.76, 0.94. He’s now trying to work it out at the critical AA level but he still deserves to be on this updated list.
19. (22) SS Milton Ramos – how would you like to have Matt Reynolds, Gavin Cecchini, Amed Rosario, and Luis Guillorme playing ahead of you on the four full season teams and seven bonus baby shortstops out of Latin America right behind you in rookie ball? Ramos is a 2014 third round pick that is hitting very well right now for Kingsport. Sadly, he’s going to have to wait his turn and hopefully (playing this year at 19) he will still be young enough to be considered for Queens.
20. (15) SS Luis Guillorme – Guillorme has always been accredited for his defensive skills; however, he has definitely held his own offensive throughout the season in Savannah. I have no idea how he’s going to work past the SS logjam ahead of him, but his age (20) will help.