New York Mets Top 20 2012 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review
Continuing with our reviews of the Top 20 pre-season prospect lists, we stay with the National League and examine the New York Mets. Remember, this is a pre-season list. It is not a new list.
This list was originally published December 27, 2011.
The next team on the list is the Seattle Mariners, followed by the San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Miami Marlins to finish up.
1) Matt Harvey, RHP, Grade B+: 3.68 ERA with 112/48 K/BB in 110 innings for Triple-A Buffalo, 97 hits. Has fanned 18 in his first 11 major league innings. Looks good to me, still see him as a number two starter.
2) Zack Wheeler, RHP, Grade B+: 10-6, 3.26 with a 117/43 K/BB in 116 innings for Double-A Binghamton, 92 hits, only two homers allowed. Developing quite nicely, will be ready for the majors sometime next year, number two starter potential.
3) Jeurys Familia, RHP, Grade B: 5.18 ERA with 93/64 K/BB in 106 innings for Buffalo, 113 hits, 1.61 GO/AO. I still like his stuff and physical potential, but command continues to hold him back. Still plenty of time to improve at age 22.
4) Brandon Nimmo, OF, Grade B: Borderline B-. .271/.390/.429 with 29 walks, 50 strikeouts in 170 at-bats for short-season Brooklyn in the New York-Penn League. Started slowly but has been hot lately, .395/.447/.628 in last 10 games. Strikeout rate is high but the tools are obvious.
5) Cesar Puello, OF, Grade B-: I was really uncertain about this guy. Hitting .245/.308/.374 with 10 steals, five walks, 42 strikeouts in 155 at-bats for High-A St. Lucie in an injury-plagued campaign. Still has plenty-o-tools and using his speed better but plate discipline is awful.
6) Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF, Grade B-: .252/.315/.376 with seven homers, 25 walks, 98 strikeouts in 282 major league at-bats. I think he can do better than this, but strikeouts/contact/batting average may always be an issue.
7) Jenrry Mejia, RHP, Grade B-: Tommy John recovery in progress, 3.64 ERA with 36/21 K/BB in 59 innings at three levels, most of it in Triple-A, 2.21 GO/AO. Expect him in the bullpen mix next year.
8) Reese Havens, 2B, Grade B-: Borderline C+. .223/.353/.359 with 52 walks, 93 strikeoutsu in 273 at-bats for Binghamton. Still has patience and power, but the constant trips to the doctor seem to have robbed his game of some life. Turns 26 this fall.
9) Wilmer Flores, 3B, Grade B-: Borderline C+. .284/.330/.450 with 14 homers, 29 walks, 47 strikeouts in 391 at-bats split between High-A and Double-A, no slippage in performance at higher level. Playing all the infield positions except shortstop. Turns 21 today. His power is gradually improving and he maintains a low strikeout rate. Still an intriguing prospect for me.
10) Cory Mazzoni, RHP, Grade C+: Borderline B-: 3.20 ERA with 79/26 K/BB in 113 innings between High-A and Double-A, 112 hits. Efficient, throws strikes, but strikeout rate is lower than ideal and he doesn't get enough grounders for that not to be a caution flag. Still, a good season.
11) Michael Fulmer, RHP, Grade C+: 2.58 ERA with 82/33 K/BB in 91 innings for Low-A Savannah, 69 hits. Some command issues, but has very good stuff and is performing well in full-season ball at age 19. I like him.
12) Jordany Valdespin, 2B-SS, Grade C+: .289/.329/.430 in Triple-A, .260/.289/.496 with seven homers, five steals, three walks, 24 strikeouts in 123 major league at-bats. Physical talents are obvious and promising, but so is his rawness.
13) Phillip Evans, 2B-SS, Grade C+: .247/.333/.360 with 21 walks, 27 strikeouts in 178 at-bats for short-season Brooklyn. Good feel for the strike zone, transition to full-season ball next year will prove interesting. Has played very well on defense.
14) Cory Vaughn, OF, Grade C+: .241/.355/.451 with 18 homers, 57 walks, 100 strikeouts, 16 steals in 377 at-bats for High-A St. Lucie. Showing more power this year, nice combo with the speed, draws walks but elevated strikeout rate could mean a problematic transition to Double-A next year.
15) Darin Gorski, LHP, Grade C+: 4.09 ERA with 90/41 K/BB in 110 innings in Double-A, 102 hits, 17 homers. Not terrible but didn't duplicate his A-ball dominance, and at age 24 he needs progress to stay in the picture.
16) Collin McHugh, RHP, Grade C+: 2.41 ERA with 65/17 K/BB in 75 innings in Double-A, 3.75 ERA with 49/21 K/BB in 50 innings in Triple-A. Now 25, still has sleeper potential if he can lower the walks more.
17) Domingo Tapia, RHP, Grade C+: 3.47 ERA with 73/25 K/BB in 86 innings in Low-A, 68 hits, 2.83 GO/AO, zero homers allowed. I like this guy, live arm, tons of ground balls, tough to hit. Breakthrough potential.
18) Akeel Morris, RHP, Grade C+: I felt he was a breakthrough guy, not a breakdown guy, 11.72 ERA with 29/15 K/BB, 32 hits allowed in 25 innings for Kingsport in the Appalachian League.
19) Danny Muno, SS, Grade C+: .274/.372/.409 with 33 walks, 37 strikeouts, 13 steals in 215 at-bats for St. Lucie. Looks like a utility guy to me.
20) Juan Lagares, OF, Grade C+: .280/.333/.388 with three homers, 34 walks, 74 strikeouts, 19 steals in 418 at-bats for Binghamton. Looks like 2011 was more of a BABIP-fluke than a real breakout, but he could still find a place on a bench.
21) Logan Verrett, RHP, Grade C+: 3.04 ERA with 73/10 K/BB in 77 innings split between Low-A and High-A. Throwing strikes. I don't believe he'll be seriously challenged until he reaches Double-A.
Like every system there are some disappointments and some injuries, but the Mets have fewer than many teams and most guys on the list have performed in line with expectations. Harvey and Wheeler is a heckofa punch at the top, and I still think Familia will be useful in some role. Josh Satin and walking medical bill Zach Lutz are older prospects but can be useful role players. Bronx native shortstop T.J. Rivera has had a good year in A-ball. Aderlin Rodriguez has slammed 20 homers in A-ball at age 20, but is still raw and has hit just .229 since moving up to High-A. Still, he's made progress.
Josh Edgin has looked good in the bullpen. Minor league lefty reliever Jack Leathersich has fanned 123 in 75 innings in A-ball.
The 2012 draft brought in promising high school infielder Gavin Cecchini for a below-slot bonus, the second year in a row that the Mets have dipped into the prep ranks for their first pick. They were unable to sign second round pick Teddy Stankiewicz, but I think Purdue catcher Kevin Plawecki is better than he's shown in the NY-P so far. Tomas Nido, Logan Taylor, and Stefan Sabol are some sleeper names from the draft class to watch next year.