METS PROSPECT TOP 50 by Tom Brennan
The Mets likely had the best (or at least a top 5) minor league system in 2015, but traded 9 of the organization's best minor league pitchers, all of whom are likely to have some sort of major league success, and promoted Syndergaard, Matz, Verrett, Conforto, Robles and Plawecki in 2015. Great organizational systems yield dividends, and those dividends in 2015 got us to a long-overdue PENNANT!
Now, that sort of plundering, however advantageous to the mother ship in Queens, will set back any organization's minor league system going into 2016, and the Mets are no different. Talent is still there, but it has taken a hit. Having said that, let me lay out my top 50, 5 at a time, starting with the lowest ranked hombres in that list of 50:
46. IVAN WILSON: I lightened up on this 2013 3rd round stud, who struck out at imponderable levels until his time at Kingsport this year. He got the Ks down to 58 in about 165 at bats, a big improvement. He is far from fixed, and I am not optimistic, but a similar improvement in his strikeout rate in 2016 and we may be talking, folks.
47. SCARLYN REYES: he did not even start in the DSL until 2013, when he was 23; as a 25 year old in Savannah and St Lucie this year, he was 12-7, 3.52 in 2015, a remarkable jump – but he is older and has to keep up the momentum in 2016.
48. BECK WHEELER: the Jeff Beck Man has had his ups and downs in the minors, but in 2015, after a rough start, he ended up a fine 5-1, 3.38, K per inning in 43 relief appearances. Can the hard throwing righty, in the organization since 2011 and compiling 250 Ks in 199 career innings, take it to the next level successfully? Perhaps, but Beck, who turns 27 in 2016, needs to do more to break through to the bigs, as I would put Zach Thorton in the same boat, except Zach is closer to making the bigs.
49. PJ CONLON: the 2015 thirteenth round lefty has a very hard act to follow in 2016: himself. In Brooklyn, he finished with an ERA in relief of 0.00, and struck out 25 in 17 innings while allowing just 8 hits. Not sure how his stuff will play out at higher levels but he sure rocked the Penn League in his brief debut. It earned him a spot on my list.
50. TYLER PILL / MATT BOWMAN: I wanted to get them onto my list somewhere, so I tied them for my #50 slot. Tyler gets the edge over Matt in my mind due to his bat and also having gone 6-0 in AA when not being pounded in AAA.
But these two guys, good up through 2014 and more highly ranked, both slipped in 2015, and were an utterly miserable 9-23 in 223 combined AAA innings, allowing a staggering 167 runs. Reading that, I feel bad not giving the #50 slot to someone else, like Rainy Lara, or Logan Taylor, or Casey Delgado, or Corey Oswalt, all of whom had solid years as starting pitchers in the lower minors, but I caved, so Pill and Bowman stay in, in hopes 2016 will allow them to break through despite appearing to follow the track of former Met minor leaguer Mark Cohoon, who excelled in the lower minors but flamed out in the higher minors due to inadequate stuff.
NEXT TIME: my 41 thru 45 prospects.