12/13/16

Tom Brennan - The Up and Comers

19 comments
Tom Brennan - The Up and Comers

Everyone has their top prospect lists...Top 10, Top 20, Top 50 and the like.  I'm quirky.

I thought I'd do an Up and Comers list, divided into 2 parts.  It would be the prospect players I am most interested in watching the progress of heading into 2017, split between guys who have been around for a while and those who still have not progressed as high as regular play at least at the AA level.  Here goes on my top 10 that I WANNA WATCH:

EXPERIENCED UP AND COMERS

1) Phil Evans - he is not my top prospect, nor anyone else's, but I am intrigued by a guy who, frankly, had not hit much for years, started out struggling again in St Lucie at the start of 2016, seemingly going nowhere...and then Jeff McNeil goes down for the season after 12 ABs, so light hitting Phil gets promoted to AA...and proceeds to win the AA batting title at .335, while adding some power.  So...one year wonder, or the start of a resurgent career?  Can't wait to watch.

2) Amed Rosario - ranked as MLB's # 11 prospect (and 15th on Fangraphs, making Rosario only their 6th highest ranked SS) started out terrific in A ball, then was just as terrific after his promotion to AA.  Can't wait to see what he does to dazzle us with an encore, in what could be in 2017 his last step before a long Queens career.

3) Gavin Cecchini - two straight fine hitting years, albeit with a lack of power, coupled with a gosh-awful SS error rate.  Will he hit, hit with more power, and drastically tighten up his defense at 2B in 2017?  Must-watch TV, if you ask me.

4) Brandon Nimmo - I hate to add him here, because after hitting nearly .380 in Vegas last year after a 10-55 start, and playing decently in limited time with the Mets, I'd hope he does not see a day in the minors in 2017.  The fact that he is not a Top 100 MLB Prospect is telling, so if he ends up in AAA at the start of 2017 due to an unresolved logjam, I will keenly watch for 2 things: a hot start and a doubling of his power game.  Add power, play more in the bigs.  Simple.

5) Dominic Smith - "Where's the power, where's the power?"  To all his clamoring critics, it started to show up in 2016.  May he hit .350 with 25 homers in Vegas in 2017.  And be the Mets' starting 1B in 2018.

UP AND COMERS BELOW AA:

1) Tom "Terrific" Szapucki - it is about time we had another Tom Terrific in this organization.  And, after all, I hear Tom is a terrific name.  This hard throwing lefty had a jaw dropping season in rookie ball until his back tightened in mid-August leading to an early summer vacation.  I'm hoping David Wright is not his idol.  Full season ball awaits, and here is hoping he drops more jaws in 2017.  He may be a fine and cheap replacement for a Wheeler or Harvey in the Mets' 2019 rotation.

2) Desmond Lindsay - the best hitter in Brooklyn last year, this guy looks like a future star in Queens, and we'll get a full season to watch him develop in 2017.  A bit early to project, but I hope he is a starting Mets OF by mid-2019.

3) Peter Alonzo - the slow footed Cyclones 1B was a hitting machine for average and power until he missed the last month with an injury.  Will he become that rarest of Mets' commodities in 2017, a prospect slugger who hits .300?  I hope so, and I'll be watching.

4) Justin Dunn - almost every 3 inning-limited outing for the Mets' 2016 first round pick was a strong one for Dunn with the Cyclones last year.   2017 in an full season league with less innings restrictions should give us a real read as to whether he turns into a good major league starter or fine bullpen arm.  Hopefully, we see him in Queens in 2018.

5) Wuilmer Becerra - will we see a healthy Becerra who was absolutely lights out in early 2016, or a guy still limited by injuries?  Hopefully the former, and we see a .300 hitting extra base hit machine in AA this year.

That's my Top 10 list of guys who I will watch most avidly in 201I.  

Two just barely out of the Top 10 are PJ Conlon, the not-so-hard throwing lefty who had a scintillating  pitching season in A ball last year...can he stay stellar in AA this year?  And Jeff McNeil, who had bulked up prior to 2016 to add power to his already fine hitting and fielding skills, but missed virtually all of 2016 due to a sports hernia.  Do we see a new and improved Jeff, or damaged goods Jeff in 2017?  Hopefully the former.

Keep watching.  They're up-and-coming.

19 comments:

Thomas Brennan said...

I did remember, but then forgot, to add Tomas Nido to my list. Another Tom Terrific.

Zozo said...

Great list buddy, but I am most excited to see David Thompson continue his RBI machine going.

Reese Kaplan said...

Be careful with the name game. After all, the Mets did have a top draft pick by the name of Reese....

Eddie Corona said...

Tom... I simply love talking about the young guys... So any article like these are great reads for me...
So Evan... Maybe just maybe he is D Murphy in the making but I wouldn't say I am interested in seeing how he progresses... More like looking forward to seeing if he surprises again...

Rosario, (like conforto)... We have so Few Rock solid position players Develop that when one come up with any promise they almost have to pan out... The fact that he is a top 12 talent in all of baseball make me hopeful... Praying he is our LINDOR... Honestly I am hoping he is our Nomar Garciaparra...

Cecchini has gone from me saying Bust to Hmmm...But as a 2B... What I liked was in an Extra inning game in September He was gritty... Hoping He could be a pesky type hitter... Grinder and tough out... Hoping A La Zobrist...

Nimmo Zero expectations... Hoping he can be a 250 hitter who could be our cheap 5th OF... There is value in that in the NL... But not what I want from a 1st round pick... Poor guy will never live that down... If he was a 3rd round pick we would be saying what a great value... Great job Sandy...

D smith... lets hope he is Olerud /Keith Hernandez.. Slick fielding and maybe batting champ material...
Don't think you'll see 30 Bombs but 320+ and 15 HR batting 5th can be a long career...

after naming all the guys everyone knows ...Now the fun...

Szapucki man i am excited about this guy... Hoping He make it impossible to stop him from moving up... the special ones make it to the Majors before 22-23...

Lindsay Don't know yet... read about all the tools... would be star in the making if he puts it all together... I am still on the fence...

Alonzo... dont know why I am so excited about him... Maybe I just liek the name (sounds like a star)
He's one of the newer guys I am totally jumping on...

Dunn too early to tell... I dont have a read either way...

Becerra we are all hoping for so we can say that Dickey trade was one of the Biggest Heist ever...

Honestly one Guys you didnt include that has me looking up all the time Is Gimenez... The international SS... I am hoping he is the guy who forces us to thinking of a Rosario / Gimenez combo at 3b/ss or ss/2b down the road...




Mack Ade said...

Eddie -

You write such long comments.

Are you ever going to write a post?

Thomas Brennan said...

Zozo, Thompson sure is intriguing - probably interchangeable with McNeil on my list - I want to see him hit for more average, but boy, he was an RBI machine last year.

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, you are clearly more talented than Reese Havens LOL

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

Calling Havens a bust isn't fair. He was hit in the face by a foul ball hit by one of his own teammates and his eyesight was never the same.

Mack Ade said...

Eddie -

Reports are that Smith has lost 20 pounds so far in the off-season and replaced it with muscle.

Thomas Brennan said...

That's right, Eddie, I echo Mack - you wrote an almost article right there. You need to do some.

I do know with Evans that he beefed up compared to when he was signed. He has to prove last year was no fluke - no team was willing enough with him to Rule 5 draft him. 2016 got him on the radar screen - now he has to increase his "blip" size on the screen in 2017.

Someone told me Cecchini printed out the article, read it, dropped it, picked it up quickly and crumbled it up, and then threw it wide of the garbage can.

Giminez - I thought of adding him, but want to see him against stronger competition first - hopeful, hopeful. Maybe Guerrero will Vladimir us in a few years, too.

I do think Lindsay will be special - as in possible future All Star MLB OF in about 4-5 years - just this gut on him.

Gary Seagren said...

here's a question to all of you....would you trade Conforto even up for Blackmon?

Gary Seagren said...

Still don't know why every ones so hung up on Smith hitting for power....you wouldn't be happy with a .290-.300-15-80 number with great D at first. I still think John Olerud was our least appreciated player by far and would have to take him over Keith if I picked my all time Met team.

Thomas Brennan said...

Gary, I don't necessarily think a guy has to hit a ton of homers to be a power hitter. If Smith can knock 40 doubles and 15 homers a season, that is good power to me if he is clutch and hits near .300. But I think we'll see a continued boost in his homer #'s. Of homers are huge contracts soon made, Shakespeare might say.

Thomas Brennan said...

Gary, on Conforto for Blackmon, at first blush one would say "do it." Blackmon clearly has superior speed and his #'s are strong - except when you look at home/away splits (.334 home vs. .261 away).

At 2nd blush, I'd still say yes - we are in Win Now mode and in 2017, Blackmon is more of a sure thing. he hits both lefties and righties equally well, and only 16 GIDP in 605 games. I'd vote Blackmon, who is still only 30 and coming off his best year. Now dial 1-800-alderson and tell Sandy to make it happen!

Mack Ade said...

One moment in history...

I had a sweet tea with Dominic Smith and his father in Savannah after the media day there prior to the season start. I went out of my way to give him a little 'lay of the land' opinion on why there are so few home runs hit out of Grayson Stadium (horrible summer humidity drives balls down before crossing the walls). I suggested to him to take the Matt den Dekker approach of spray hitting the gaps and not to worry about hitting home runs until he hits St. Lucie.

Yes, I do think he should be hitting more now but I could gladly live with Olerud/Hernandez numbers.

I would stick one more FULL season with Conforto. The Mets moved him too quick.

Reese Kaplan said...

I'd do Conforto for Blackman because he plays CF and also has speed.

bob gregory said...

Wouldn't the Rockies be looking to unjam their outfield by dealing off Blackmon?

Wouldn't they be more interested in someone other than Conforto?
Prospects? Or other position players? Or pitchers?
1st baseman maybe?

Mack Ade said...

Yeah, I just don't see a team with too many outfieders dealing for an outfielder.

Reese Kaplan said...

The Mets did when they acquired Jay Bruce :)

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