As noted previously, the Mets farm system has been diminished by 9 (yes 9) significant minor league pitcher trades in 2015 along with several key promotions. But the cupboard is still not bare, folks. Here are my prospects, #41 thru numero 45.
41. NABIL CRISMATT: He went 6-1, 2.90 in 12 games, with a 1.03 WHIP and a inning. Clearly, Crismatt had a fine short season. Teammate Tom McIlraith, who missed my Top 50, had a great year too, at 6-1, 1.74, but the 20th round RHP McIlraith struck out just 34 batters in 58 innings in the low minors, making me view him more cautiously than Nabil. Maybe top 50 for Tommy Mac next year.
42. BLAKE TAYLOR: this highly drafted lefty, acquired from the Pirates along with Zach Thornton for Ike (and Tina) Davis, showed some promise before succumbing to what virtually every pitcher on the planet, it seems, succumbs to these days – Tommy John surgery. Still quite young, I’d like to see how he rebounds from that in 2016 before accelerating him up the list.
43. TJ RIVERA: ALL HE DOES IS HIT. A .320 lifetime hitter: I did an article where I showed his stats in the minors were unusually similar to those of Jeff Keppinger who had a solid major league career (mostly not with the Mets) after coming out of the mets minors. Could use more pop, but more than that, could use an opportunity to play in the big leagues. Lots of promising minor league infielders made it tough to figure where to position TJ in the top 50. He can probably hit in the bigs now. And he ought to be higher on my list – one could make the case that he is better than, say, a Danny Muno.
44. ZACH THORNTON: Aalso acquired in the Ike Davis trade, he pitched well in AAA relief, considering the difficulty of pitching in Vegas (4-4, 3.94, 64 games, 55 Ks in 61.2 IP). Seems to be a AAAA pitcher, until and unless he can prove otherwise - but he is close to being a big league pen guy. Maybe he shows up in 2016.
45. ALBERTO BALDONADO: I thought to myself, I have just got to get an 0-7 pitcher in here. Anthony Young wholeheartedly agreed. So I added Alberto in at #45. But while his record was a stinky 0-7, the Sand Gnat had a 1.91 ERA in 38 games with 9 saves and a delightful 74 Ks in 56 IP (11.9 per 9 IP). A hard throwing guy who intrigues me for 2016. After all, maybe he got all those losses out of his system and he’ll never lose again. It should be noted that his #’s are similar to those of Beck Wheeler’s in Savannah in 2013, and he has found higher levels more challenging.
My last article had #'s 46-50, Ivan Wilson, Scarlyn Reyes, Beck Wheeler, PJ Conlon, and (tied for #50) Matt Bowman and Tyler Pill.
Stay tuned as I roll out the top 40 of my Top 50, 5 dudes at a clip.