Tom Brennan – TOP METS’ PROSPECTS 36-50


Tom Brennan – TOP METS’ PROSPECTS 36-50

I was bugged a bit about guys who showed real promise who did not make my recentTop 35 Met Prospects list.  Feeling guilty, you know.

Just a lot of very solid talent in the system these days. 
So I relented: let’s go down to my 36 through 50 and see if you don’t agree – there is a lot of talent even down there.

36. Luis Gullorme – the defensive wizard with very little pop won the Sally League MVP in 2015, and put up a solid .263/.332/.315 line with St Lucie in 2016.  Add some pop, make the majors.

37. Chris Flexen – the righty started for St Lucie 25 times in 2016, a great sign after Tommy John surgery slowed his career.  10-9, 3.56 ERA, 95 K in 134 IP.  Potential future MLB starter.

38. Corey Taylor – the corpulent, 5’11”, 245 pound 24 year old righty is 5-5, 1.77, and 20 saves in 23 games after his short 2015 and full season 2016, most recently tossing at St Lucie.  Future pen arm for the Mets or elsewhere is a reasonable assumption.

39. Ali Sanchez – the now-20 year old hit a Brooklyn team average .216, but has gunned down half the would-be base stealers in his career, a stellar selling point.  He is listed now at 6’1”, 200, so it is time to start hitting in Columbia in 2017, to vault him into the top 20.

40. Luis Mateo – the once mercurial rise stunted by a long battle with Tommy John, the soon-to-be 27 year old righty in his first full post-TJS year actually relieved well, mostly in AA: 4-2, 2.69, 52 K in 67 IP, but just 1 save in 5 opportunities.  He needs to get better in 2017 to keep the career window from closing.

41. Blake Tiberi – the 3rd baseman (3rd round 2016) almost deserves a medal for hitting .235 for a miserable hitting Cyclones squad – he did hit .256 the last 30 days too.  Has some pop, let’s see what a full season in Columbia brings.

42. Greg Guerrero – the SS with hitting in his DNA (right, Vladimir?) did all right in the DSL in 2016 as a 17 year old, hitting .247.  Not much to go on yet, and he was outshone in 2016 by Andres Giminez, but I’ll take a flyer on this bonus baby at # 42.

43. Jordan Humphreys – now 20, this hard throwing pitcher has 92 Ks in 87 IP with a 3.31 ERA career.  Get him up to Columbia, hopefully, and see how he does.

44. Merandy Gonzalez – any other year, he is higher on my list.  He had a very solid year starting for the Cyclones in 2016: 6-3, 2.87, 71 K in 69 IP.  Has to be full season Columbia-bound.  I’ll bet he is Top 20 next year.

45. Luis Carpio – well thought of young SS (without much pop) had an injury plagued 2016.  Let’s see if he can surge in the list in 2017.

46. Colby Woodmansee – the SS for the Cyclones had a sold year, hitting .257 with some pop, but also fanned 75 times in 64 games, which is a red flag needing serious fixing.

47. Logan Taylor – big hard thrower who had an OK AA relief year, 3.99 ERA with 99 K in 86 IP.  Not good enough, needs the big stride forward in 2017.  Close behind him, and slightly out of my Top 50, is Tim Peterson, a man with similar K results but a little behind Taylor in terms of his climb thru the minors.

48.  Joe Zanghi – he needs to show if he can maintain his stellar 2016 results at higher levels in 2017.  For Brooklyn in relief in 2016, he tossed 29 IP, 1.23 ERA (easy as 1-2-3), and fanned 45.   24th rounder.

49. Jhoan Urena – a 3B guy whose poor hitting and defense has slid him down the list.  He needs a good hitting, solid defense year to reestablish himself.

50. Gary Cornish – the Brooklyn reliever was suspended for you-know-what at the end of 2016, so he will start 2017 late.  He did fan 44 in 25 IP with a 2.16 ERA, so I wanted to get him in the top 50, regardless.  Just…Say…No.

Sorry all you Champ Stuart, Lee Mazzilli, Al Baldonado and Blake Taylor fans – I do not believe in these guys’ chances to make the big show, so they are not in my top 50.  One fans too much, one has been too mediocre, one has been shaky in relief, and one has had control issues.  But what do I know – it’s what they know they counts.  Of the 4, maybe Blake Taylor gets it all together in 2017.  Matt Reynolds, whom I was very high on a year ago, had a weak Mets' brief debut in 2016 and a mediocre AAA season, so I left him out of the Top 50 - may he prove me wrong in 2017. 

Also not in my top 50 is first rounder Anthony Kay – as it seems 2017 will be over by the time his TJS is healed. I will wait until he throws his first minor league inning before adding him to the mix.

That’s it – onward to the 2017 minor league season. 

However, one more thing: on February 27, my preceding article (below) got sandwiched by a few others and few readers saw it, so I repeat it here, in case you missed it, so you can see my entire top 50:


So, 25 days (February 1 -25), 25 articles, and 25 top prospects listed below.  Missed any, feel free to find the past articles in the sidebar and read up on them.

Lots of fun to do, but what is the overall recap in my mind?

A lot of quality there - a real lot of quality.  Perhaps (and most likely likely) several stars in the group.

Starting pitcher-wise, 4 guys (Gsellman, Dunn, Szapucki, and Molina) with a chance to be real solid SP1 - SP 4 types.  Another guy in Conlon who may defy his relatively tame velocity and have real success in as a starter or reliever. 

Infield-wise, 2 very possible stars in Rosario and Smith, and perhaps Giminez in another few years.  Solid power hitting potential future 1B or 3B in David Thompson and Pete Alonzo.  A potentially very solid starting 2B in Gavin Cecchini.  Two possibly super subs in TJ Rivera and Philip Evans.

Potentially very good catchers in righty hitting Tomas Nido and lefty hitting Pat Mazelka.

Three possible future starting OFs in Nimmo, Lindsay, and Becerra, with Kaczmarski also a possibility.

And decent, if not fireballing, quality relievers with high success pedigrees in righty Paul Sewald and lefty Dave Roseboom.  

And some real good prospects in my next 10, and for that matter, my next 25.  One could argue that all guys in my 26-35 slots could have been in the Top 25.  Maybe some that didn't even make my Top 35.

I am a happy man thinking of that minor league pipeline.  The Mets are well-positioned to have capable call-ups when needed.  I wish them all career years and fine health in 2017.

1. SS Amed Rosario

2. 1B Dominic Smith

3. RHSP Rob Gsellman
4. OF Brandon Nimmo
5, RHSP Justin Dunn
6. LHSP Tom Szapucki
7. OF Desmond Lindsay
8. SS Gavin Cecchini
9. UTIF T.J. Rivera
10. 1B Peter Alonzo
11. LHSP PJ Conlon
12. MIF Phillip Evans
13. C Tomas Nido
14. OF Wuilmer Becerra
15. SS Andres Gimenez 
16. RHSP Marcos Molina
17. 3B David Thompson 
18. RHRP Paul Sewald
19. LHCL Dave Roseboom 
20. C Pat Mazeika 
21. RHSP Gabriel Ynoa (now with the O's)
22. LF Kevin Kaczmarski 
23. RHSP Ricky Knapp
24. OF Travis Taijeron 
25. SS Milton Ramos

No separate articles, but here is what I wrote in my February 1 article on my 26-35 guys:

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 - very, very young outfielder who hit very, very well in Kingsport in 2016.

C'est Finis, monsieurs et madames.  

Except for one thing....Smokin' Josh Smoker is not in these lists, but technically he is still a rookie like TJ Rivera.  Smoker just does not feel like a rookie to me, so I left him off.  I see him as a fireballing major league veteran.  Not a prospect.  Go get 'em, Mr. Smoker.


Adam Smith said...

Hi Tom. You can rank him wherever you want, but after that bat catching display yesterday, Luis Guillorme has moved up ten spots on my personal list. The entire dugout is diving and bailing and Luis never even flinched. Just reached up his hand, snatched the damn thing out of the air, and tossed it back to the hitter. He had it all the way.

Luis Guillorme may never hit enough to start in the bigs. But Luis Guillorme is a BADASS.

Thomas Brennan said...

Yep, Adam, after seeing that snag, Luis moved up 10 notches to 26

Mack Ade said...

Adam -


Also, Guerrero will be in the top 10 Mets prospects by the end of the season

Reese Kaplan said...

I'm rooting hard for my hometown PED abuser, Eudor Garcia. He had 5 HRs and 32 RBIs while hitting .280 last year in just over 200 ABs. Given health and a full 600 ABs it's conceivable he's be 15/90+ in terms of run production.

Thomas Brennan said...

Eudor Garcia, the human rake. Hope he has a breakthru year.

Thomas Brennan said...

How about my # 12, Philip Evans, so far. 2 homers, including a grand slam, and 2 supreme plays at 3B. He has made a real impact.

Reese Kaplan said...

He should buy a case of Reverse "Just For Men" to add some gray so Terry will notice him.

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, Phil Evans is young, and should be ready to pass Terry's muster in 5 years or so. He should get a Hollywood make up person to make him look 35 - he'd be starting opening day.

Adam Smith said...

If I did have to make one serious comment on the top 50 rankings, Tom, it would be that Champ Stuart deserves a spot. Yes, he K's like he's metered for wind power, but the kid has three big league tools. He's easily the fastest kid in the organization, he can (according to reports) play CF with anyone, and, for a burner, he has real power.

It's telling that the club sent him to the AZ fall league, and had him in big league camp this year. They like him a lot. He's only got one thing to fix (though admittedly, the ability to hit the ball is a pretty big "thing") and if he can do that, he's a big leaguer, and a valuable one. I say that's enough to get you into the top 50 in anyone's system.

Thanks again for doing these, they've been fun.

Thomas Brennan said...

Adam, I enjoyed doing all these articles. Thanks.

Champ Stuart hit low and fanned much...much too much. If he does not break out in 2017, I would suggest to him breaking out the Matty Alou tapes and try to emulate his game. That dude knew how to NOT fan and get on base...Champ's speed might make that work. Lots of bunts and bleeders...and 100 steals. I'll take it.

Richard Jones said...

I disagree with you on Anthony Kay. I get your reasoning. His career is starting out similar to Stephen Matz'. There is a chance he can become another Matz or better. He is a potential star. You have to go quite a bit up from 50 to find a potential star. He may never play a major league game but there are prospects in the top fifty who will likely never see a major leage game. He's a high risk but he also has a high ceiling.

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