New York Mets Top 20 in Review
Remember, this was the Pre-Season List.
1) Yusmeiro Petit, RHP
Went 9-3, 2.91 in 21 starts with 130/18 K/BB for Double-A Binghamton. Was hit hard in three Triple-A starts, but did better in the playoffs. No real change in his status: he remains very intriguing. Sabermetrically, there is a lot to like here, although traditional scouts still harbor some doubts about whether his stuff will hold up in the Show.
2) Phil Humber, RHP
Went 2-6, 4.99 in 14 starts for Class A St. Lucie, then blew out his elbow and had to have Tommy John. Obviously a disappointment. After what happened to Humber and Tigers farmhand Kenny Baugh, will teams start backing off of Rice pitching prospects due to overuse concerns?
3) Lastings Milledge, OF
Hit .302/.385/.418 for St. Lucie, then .337/.392/.487 after being promoted to Double-A. Milledge still has some flaws, namely mediocre plate discipline and sloppy baserunning at times, but his tools really stand out, and his skills are coming along. I gave him a Grade B in the book, but in retrospect that was too low and he should have been a Grade B+ even without this year's data to look at. I would rank him as the best Mets prospect now rather than Petit.
4) Gaby Hernandez, RHP
Pitched well for Hagerstown in the Sally League, going 6-1, 2.43 in 18 starts, but slumped after being promoted to St. Lucie (5.74 ERA in 10 starts). He remains a very intriguing prospect and I think he'll figure out the advanced levels quickly enough.
5) Victor Diaz, OF
Hit .257/.329/.468 with 12 homers in 89 games for the Mets. This is in line with expectation, and I think he will improve further in time.
6) Alay Soler, RHP
Cuban defector, missed entire season due to visa foul-up, but expected to pitch in '06.
7) Aarom Baldiris, 2B-3B
Hit .275/.341/.416 with 11 homers and 35 doubles for Binghamton. Did OK, pushed into double-digit homers for the first time, but his prospect status has slipped. He has to take another step forward in '06 or he will get buried in this system.
8) Ambiorix Concepcion, OF
Hit .251/.289/.413 with 15 homers for Hagerstown. Decent power, but his poor 22/136 BB/K ratio in 521 at-bats is a red flag. Concepcion has good physical tools, but his skills are still quite rough.
9) Matt Durkin, RHP
3.79 ERA with 79/54 K/BB in 76 innings for Hagerstown. Durkin has good stuff, reflected in his K/IP, but his walk rate is too high, and he will definitely need better command at higher levels.
10) Brian Bannister, RHP
Solid season in Double-A/Triple-A, combining for 13-5 record and 2.74 ERA, 142/40 K/BB ratio. He doesn't have a blazing fastball, but he throws strikes and knows how to pitch, projecting as a back-end rotation starter or long reliever.
11) Jeff Keppinger, 2B
Hit .337/.377/.455 in 64 games for Triple-A Norfolk, before going down with injury. Keppinger is similar to David Eckstein.
12) Jamar Hill, OF
Hit .252/.326/.414 with 15 homers, 13 steals for St. Lucie. Some power and speed potential, but handicapped by mediocre plate discipline (47 walks, 151 strikeouts in 456 at-bats) and contact problems.
13) Jesus Flores, C
Venezuelan catcher, hit .216/.250/.339 in 82 games for Hagerstown. He hit a lot better in rookie ball in '04, but his weak performance this year raises significant doubts about his bat.
14) Shawn Bowman, 3B
Hit .221/.282/.429 with 17 homers, 22 walks, 110 strikeouts in 87 games of an injury-shortened season. I am not impressed with him at all, although scouts still like his athleticism. The only positive sabermetric marker is his age. At 20 he has time to get better, which is good because he has a lot of things to work on.
15) Blake McGinley, LHP
3.43 ERA in 84 innings for Norfolk, 69/21 K/BB. Decent season in the high minors. He might make an effective LOOGY down the road.
16) Angel Pagan, OF
Hit .271/.333/.395 with 20 doubles, 10 triples, eight homers, 49 walks, 111 strikeouts in 516 at-bats for Norfolk. Outside chance of earning a bench job eventually, but unlikely to become a regular. His skills just aren't strong enough.
17) Evan MacLane, LHP
Finesse lefty, went 8-5, 3.20 with 91/15 K/BB in 112 innings for St. Lucie, then 3-2, 4.14, 48/9 K/BB in 59 innings for Binghamton. MacLane's margin for error is small, but his track record so far is pretty good.
18) Brett Harper, 1B
Combined for 36 homers between St. Lucie and Binghamton, hitting .275. Harper sacrificed batting average for power this year. His strikeout rate is high (85 Ks in just 67 games in Double-A) and personally I want to see more out of him. His career could go any number of directions from this point.
19) Wayne Lydon, OF
Hit .244/.313/.340 with 42 steals for Binghamton. Lots of speed, but offers little else.
20) Vince Cordova, RHP
Went 8-9, 4.01 in 25 starts for St. Lucie, 110/26 K/BB in 141 innings. Curveball artist with good control. If he handles Double-A well, he could end up being similar to Brian Bannister, but like Bannister he doesn't have a big margin for mistakes.