Posted by Thomas Brennan at 12:00 PM
TOP 50 PROSPECTS: #21 THRU 25 – Tom Brennan
A minor league system that in 2015 promoted several, traded many, had several prospects run into the Tommy John buzzsaw, and saw a few guys go from prospect to suspect. Leaving a diminished, but still solid, minor league system prospect-wise.
(See website sidebar for list of my #26-50 dudes, covered in prior articles.)
Today, here’s my #21 thru #25:
21. JACK LEATHERSICH: Jack was on the verge of moving from prospect to post-prospect major leaguer when he got sent back down as a roster maneuver, overused by Wally Backman in a 57 pitch outing, and felled by a Tommy John elbow - so just as he seemed poised to clear the major league hump, he has a huge setback. I am leaving the strikeout machine at # 20, but one would presume he’ll miss much of 2016.
22. ROB GSELLMAN: a big 13th pick out of high school in 2011, the RHSP had a super start for St Lucie in 2015, going 6-0, 1.76 in 8 starts. On to AA for the 22 year old, and he stayed solid at 7-7, 3.51, but managed only 49 Ks in 92 innings there. I do not like to project relatively low K guys very high, but he had a heck of a year, and perhaps should be higher on my list. Hoping for a big 2016 for Rob.
23. CHRIS FLEXEN: a 14th round pick out of high school in 2012, Flexen pitched really well until – broken record – he needed Tommy John surgery in 2014. He returned and pitched some great games for Savannah in 2015, including an 8 inning start on August 21 where he allowed 4 hits, no runs or walks, and fanned 10. I am very much looking forward to seeing a healthy Flexen move up the charts in 2015.
24. PAUL SEWALD: he is to relief pitchers what TJ Rivera is to hitting. He should be nicknamed The Man Who Does Nothing Wrong. The Mets' 10th round selection in 2012 went 3-0, 1.75 for Binghamton, with 24 of 25 saves, an 0.86 WHIP, and 56 Ks in 51 IP. For his career, in 4 years, every one with a sub - 2.00 ERA, he is 11-5 in 192 IP, 227 Ks, 0.97 WHIP, 47 of 49 saves. Who could do better? He is guy who studies opposing hitters closely and strives to work ahead in the count. What keeps him from being a Top 5 Mets prospect is a fastball that tops out at 91. Next stop Vegas, and surely the majors should not be far behind.
25. GABE YNOA: He had a mediocre year in 2015, and went 9-9, 3.90, but just 82 Ks in 152 IP (4.8 per 9 innings). Let’s hope he can ramp up the performance and Ks in 2016. Possible back end rotation or pen guy, unless the Ks can jump a lot. Hard to pick him over Rainy Lara, who I did not even squeeze on my list (likely a mistake on my part).
6 articles covering my #21 to #50 candidates; 4 more to go for Top 20.