Tom Brennan - TOP 25 METS' PROSPECTS # 25 MILTON RAMOS
My take on the TOP 25 METS' PROSPECTS SERIES starts with SS Milton Ramos clocking in at # 25. Tomorrow, #24, the next day # 23, all the way down to #1 on February 25. Hope you read them all.
Before I go the Route of Ramos, "da rules is da rules, bro." The MLB rules as to who is still a rookie prospect and who is not are as follows:
A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or seasons, he has (a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the period of 25-player limits.
So guys like Seth Lugo, who tossed over 60 innings last year, are not in my Top 25, while guys like Gsellman and TJ Rivera are still technically in prospect status..
Back to Milton Ramos, a 5'11', 180 3rd rounder out of high school in the 2014 Draft.
He is touted as a glove wizard but, unlike Teddy Roosevelt, carries a light stick, which sounds like the description of 2015 South Atlantic League MVP SS Luis Guillorme (powerless Luis may in fact belong in the TOP 25, but his hitting fell off in 2016, and a hitting shortstop is a far more valued shortstop in today's game. In that regard, I often wonder if Bud Harrelson would have made it in today's game).
In today's game, you can field all you want, but hitting is hugely important when a team only carries 13 position players - defensive wizard alone is not enough - which is why SS Amed Rosario is so highly thought of. He does O and D in spades and has a bigger frame. Ramos, at the same age as the excelling Rosario, played in mid-A Columbia and hit just .220/.292/.273 in 400 plate appearances. Not good.
Ramos, who seems to have only average speed, will have to do a lot more to convince me that he is more than the next Wilfredo Tovar, who has gotten all of 18 major league at bats. Weight room, fellas. Instead of "Great field, no bat", you need to get to "Great field, decent bat."
There is a lot of very decent talent below my Top 25, so on this first day of listing my Top 25 prospects in ascending order, let me add in my 26-35 guys, ever-so-briefly:
26. Jeff McNeil - the infielder missed all but 3 games in 2016, or he'd have been in my Top 25. I see in Jeff a promising future MLB utility player.
27. Kevin McGowan - 6'5", 235 righty impressed with 84 IP, 83K, 2.35, 1.09 stats in 2016. Can he replicate in 2017?
28. Ricky Knapp - righty was 13-5 in A and AA, but 0-1, 5.50 in 18 Vegas innings. Overall, though, 13-6, 2.69 in 164 IP, the second straight strong year for the 2013 8th rounder. A case clearly could be made for him in the Top 25.
29. Matt Oberste - Matt is older than Dom Smith by a few years, and has shadowed Smith's journey up the minor league rungs...but I am not sure there is enough bat or glove there for a major league career.
30. Harol Gonzalez - little righty pitcher tore up Brooklyn in 2016, second only to ace Tom Szapucki; is he up for real success at higher levels? We'll see.
31. Ben Griset - the righty reliever excelled for St Lucie in 2016 (4-2, 1.80, 1.03 WHIP, 66 K in 60 IP). Can he continue to impress? Lots of guys falter starting at AA.
32. Eudor Garcia - a good lefty hitting 3B who missed 50 games due to performance enhancements. Also injured in 2016, so he played only 162 games for Columbia the past 2 years.. He needs to stay healthy and show if he is the real deal in 2017. 4th rounder in 2014.
33. Nabil Crismatt - the 22 year old righty is 16-8, 2.56 in his career, with 239 Ks and just 50 walks in 221 innings. Lots of that was in the DSL, so let's see what he can do in a full season of A ball.
34. Andrew Church - 2nd rounder in 2013 has really struggled to stay healthy, with only 228 IP in 4 years, but he was 7-4, 2.92 in 15 starts in 2016, his first good season. Needs to replicate at higher levels.
35. Ricardo Cespedes - 18 years old, fine CF, 6'1", 200, and he hit great, including a scorching 10 game finish. But he has exhibited very little power so far, and only modest SB results. I may be a lot more excited in 2017 if he goes to Columbia and continues to stroke and add some pop.
Yes, you guessed correctly: No LJ Mazzilli and no Jhoan Urena in even my Top 35 - sorry gents, you both hit terribly in 2016. Hopefully a wonderful 2017 will be had by each of you.
Also, other than DSL juggernaut Andres Giminez in my top 25, I shied away from guys in the DSL, such as Greg Guerrero. Next year, buddy.