John from Albany - The Alternative 50 Mets Prospects, Numbers 50-46.


First a disclaimer: In putting this list together, I gave more credit to players I have seen play.  I also have tried to highlight players that others have not put on their lists, especially Tom and Mack.  Some may be a surprise.  Hence, I refrained from using the word “Top Prospects”.  If a player has shown flashes or excels in one area, and no one else is talking about them, they might have made the list over others that show up on all the other lists.  Hopefully, it will give awareness to some of the “other guys” in the Mets minors.  With prospects, you never know.  For every sure thing there are the Jeff McNeils of the world that go from unknown to All-Star.  With that in mind I start with -

#50: Braxton Lee – Center Fielder, Bats Left, Throws Right.  Braxton, the Mets December 2018 Minor League Rule 5 pick from the Marlins, turned 26 in August.  Last year, he showed excellent skill in centerfield including a great arm.  Splitting time last year between Binghamton and Syracuse, he hit a combined .271 with a .342 on base average and a .357 slugging percentage.  For his career, he only has played 8 games in the majors, going 3 for 17 for the Marlins in 2018.  In this day and age where players now strikeout more than get hits, Braxton has more career minor league hits, 568, to career minor league strikeouts, 422 (believe it or not, that is rarer than it should be).  That, and his defense, puts him on my list.  He will probably be the starting centerfielder in Syracuse, and should there be an injury or injuries in Flushing, an option to come up and contribute. 

#49: Antoine Duplantis – Left Fielder, Bats Left, Throws Left.  2019 12th round draft pick from Louisiana State; Antoine played mostly left field and led off for Brooklyn hitting .237 BA, .286 OBP, .294 SLG, 20 RBIs, 5 SBs, 46 hits, 12 walks, 31 Ks.  He has good speed and runs the bases well, as I saw him go first to third in a game when the defense was shifted and third base was not covered, later scoring on a wild pitch.  He tripled in the tying run and scored the winning run in Brooklyn’s championship game.  A good defender, Antoine had 153 putouts, 16 assists, and just one error. 

#48: Frank Valentino – Right Handed Starting Pitcher.  The Mets signed the West Islip native in 2019 as a non-drafted free agent.  After graduating from the New York Institute of Technology, Frank pitched in the Pacific Association in 2018 and went 4-3 with a 2.10 ERA in eight starts in 2019 for Florence in the Frontier League. Frank made 11 starts for Brooklyn last year but none bigger was the last game of the regular season against the Staten Island Yankees.  With first place and a playoff appearance on the line, Frank pitched 5.1 innings giving up just one hit, two walks, and one run, with 9 strikeouts.  For the year, Frank was 2-4, with 63 Ks and 13 walks in 58 innings with a 3.41 ERA. What I like most about Frank?  His low walks per 9 innings, 2.02; his Ks per 9 innings, 9.78; and low Home Runs per 9 innings, just 0.47. 

#47: Ranfy Adon, B-R/T-R; Outfield; Signed out of the Dominican in October 2014, Ranfy was one of the fastest players on a fast Brooklyn team last year.  Ranfy stole 11 bases while playing all three outfield positions.  If Ranfy did not start the game, he would be the first player off the bench to pinch run.  Ranfy had a big homerun and the walk-off double to give the Cyclones a 4-3 win in the deciding game against Hudson Valley in the first playoff round. Then in the first game of the Championship series, with a man on first and the game tied 0-0, Ranfy doubled in the eighth to put runners on second and third.  The two runners scored on sacrifice flies as Brooklyn won that game 2-1. In the regular season Ranfy hit .270, with two homers and 13 RBIs.  Though his numbers haven’t shown it yet, Ranfy has speed and power, and is fun to watch.  This is the type of player I look forward to seeing when I go to a game.  I hope he continues to develop. 

#46: Joe Genord – B-R/T-R; 2019 9th round draft pick from South Florida; First Base.  Joe led the Brooklyn Cyclones team with 44 RBIs (third in league) and 9 HRs (tied for fifth in league).  Joe struggled getting hits at home, hitting just .140 in Brooklyn while .266 on the road for a .206 total average.  Joe has tremendous power.  I saw him pull a ball down the left field line in Troy that had to go close to 450 feet in about five seconds.  A bullet.  Joe hit 5 home runs the first three weeks of the season and was hitting over .300.  Then pitchers figured out that you can’t throw him a fastball anywhere near the inside part of the plate.  From then on it was lots of off-speed pitches on the outside of the plate.  Through it all, Joe still had the ability to drive in runs even when he made outs.  He had six sacrifice flies.  In the first playoff game, Joe hit a pop up to the infield that the Hudson Valley catcher did not handle.  Genord never stopped running and wound up on second base later scoring on a single. Sorry, this day and age, plays like this make a player stand out.  Remember former number one Mets Prospect Fernando Martinez hitting a pop-up that landed in fair territory as he watched it fall and was tagged out?  It is his hustle, his power, and his ability to get runs home on outs that puts Joe on this list for me. 


nickel7168 said...

Thanks for doing this...esp.50 players. I take everyone's lists
like this and compile a consensus from the 8 lists I have...I like the results I get each year...it feels all inclusive.

Tom Brennan said...

An interesting 46-50, John...

My recommendations and observations for these 5 to continue their climb:

Braxton and Duplantis - add some bulk this off season - both have hit few, if any, career HRs in an era where hitting homers is virtually essential. Jeff McNeil did it b at least in part by adding 30 pounds of muscle - so can they. If you can't hit HRs, do whatever you have to (bunt, HBP) to get on base.

Valentino - just keep plugging - a solid first year to build on.

Adon - he has a good physique and height - probably add 10 pounds of muscle this off season - it would help if he faced some lefties too, as almost all his ABs in 2019 were vs. righties.

Genord - get out of Brooklyn - those home #s in part tell me that he struggled there as a power hitter.

LongTimeFan1 said...

John From Albany.

Thanks for doing this. Nice to get info and video on players we don't hear enough about. I, for instance, completely forgot about Braxton Lee who is terrific athlete I was happy Mets acquired last offseason.

In last day or two I was wondering who would comprise the AAA outfield, be available for call up if needed. We're very thin in upper minors position player options. Very thin. No projected impact players other than Gimenez.

In piecemeal AAA outfield, Lee provides CF option. Quinn Brody could be another although probably more suited for corner.

Mack's Mets said...

Thanks Nickel, Tom, and Long Time. I agree that the Mets are "thin in upper minors position player options". I can see why they have waited to add minor league free agents. I had no idea until the A's grabbed Jason Krizan in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft that minor league free agents were eligible in that draft. The Mets had just recently signed him to come back to Syracuse. I also would not have dealt for Jake Marisnick but signed Juan Lagares to a minor league deal and took whoever had the better spring training, Juan or Braxton, North. I am hoping that Rajai Davis and Danny Espinosa come back to Syracuse this year. I also think that Sam Haggerty may very well pass through waivers and return to Syracuse. So far, Syracuse has signed two other minor league free agents, outfielder Jarrett Parker who hit 24 homers in the PCL last year and Infielder Max Moroff who has hit .251 in 8 seasons in the minors.

Anonymous said...

Albany John:

Thank you for the Mets MiLB player update above in your article. I concur with you about outfielder Braxton Lee. I was a little bit surprised that he wasn't given a coffee last season with the big club. He might make for a nice four or five soon, then be given his shot in the not too distant future.

With Nimmo and now Lee, I probably would not go after Marte being that his recent injury was so completely undisclosed by the Bucs. This to me is sort of a red flag. Most clubs disclose if not too severe an injury.

Instead of going after Marte, I'd sit pat and allow Brandon to show he is healed and ready to go, as I expect he will. Maybe use the remaining acquisition capabilities to acquire sound AAA players to rebuild there, which is needed.

Anonymous said...

With Betances Onboard

It's funny how one acquisition like Dellin Betances can make such a huge and important difference to a ball club. GM Brodie has been most masterful this off season and I am very encouraged by what he has done without breaking the bank in order to do it. Kudos deserved.

I look forward to the NY Mets Spring Training. Catchers and Pitchers in just six weeks or so. Should be a very memorable season for us Mets fans indeed.

Anonymous said...

Some rumor/speculation lately on the "possibility" of acquiring FA Boston Red Sox player Brock Holt, as a utility man.

Brock is a remarkable player on the Red Sox. He can play several positions (2B, SS, 1B, and OF), hit for an average, and is the biggest cheerleader and rally impetus a team could ever wish for really. The man exudes enthusiasm and maximum effort. But I get the overall impression that the Red Sox (and their fans) would like Brad Holt back in 2020, for these above reasons.

After having followed the Red Sox some this off season, I get the overall feeling that since 2020 is all about trying to get their ridiculous payroll back under control, that they might be looking for Michael Chavis to caddy for the leg retrial of Dustin Pedroia at second, while they may be thinking Bobby Dalbec would be a nice upgrade at first base. Both these two players would be be very beneficial to any team acquiring them if this is not so.

Sneak In

NYK finally got that they need to upgrade the center position with a monster superstar. However, with Karl Anthony Towns the knee injury thing could become a big concern going forward. Instead and if possible, I might check out a EuroLeague center (or two) as well.

Not unlike as in baseball, with having a really good catcher, the center position in the NBA drives the ship so to speak. For the NYK to see this now, they are right on the money, bingo. All the surrounding players will benefit by this one key move. Kudos there too.

Anonymous said...

On the Alzheimers Front

Big fan here of "Buddy and Tommy", them two are my boys from the "Summer of '69" and they will not be forgotten by me or any of us true NY Mets fans. Not ever!

There are a couple of new medications that they say can slow down the progress of this dreadful disease. They can easily be found and looked up online. But just now, I also read online that there is a lot of Alzheimer's disease research going on regarding the use of a spice from India/Asia we have all heard of called Turmeric and a chemical found within Turmeric called Curcumin, which has shown to have an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-amyloid property benefit. Although in an early stage of discovery, it may be worth looking into some.

Can research all this yourself at Alzheimer's Society online, Maximum Life Foundation, AD (Alzheimer's Disease), Biogen novel Alzheimer's drug, and Activebeat to name a few.

The studies that I am probably watching the closest are the ones involving Stem Cell Therapy of the damaged brain area due to Alzheimer's. Just have a feeling that this will be the one. Can go online to study yourself and see.

Mack's Mets © 2012