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New York Mets Top 20 Prospects

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Mr. Petit is not Petite.

  1. Yusmeiro Petit, RHP, B+
  2. Phil Humber, RHP, B+ (grade change)
  3. Lastings Milledge, OF, B
  4. Gaby Hernandez, RHP, B
  5. Victor Diaz, OF, B-
  6. Alay Soler, RHP, B-
  7. Aarom Baldiris, 2B-3B, B-
  8. Ambiorix Concepcion, OF, C+
  9. Matt Durkin, RHP, C+
  10. Brian Bannister, RHP, C+
  11. Jeff Keppinger, 2B, C+
  12. Jamar Hill, OF, C
  13. Jesus Flores, C, C
  14. Shawn Bowman, 3B, C
  15. Blake McGinley, LHP, C
  16. Angel Pagan, OF, C
  17. Evan MacLane, LHP, C
  18. Brett Harper, 1B, C
  19. Wayne Lydon, OF, C
  20. Vincent Cordova, RHP, C
This doesn't look like a strong system right now, although a lot of that is circumstantial. The graduations of David Wright and Jose Reyes, and the ill-advised (lunatic) trade of Scott Kazmir skimmed the cream off the top of the system last summer.
Statheads love Yusmeiro Petit, while traditionalists still can't figure out why he is getting anyone out. I give him a B+, but in the big picture I think he's in the middle rank of that category. On my overall Top 50 pitching list, he ranks at 21 going into spring training, certainly promising but not as sure thing just yet. I understand the doubts of the traditionalists, but the numbers can't be ignored at this point, even if some statheads are a bit too enthusiastic.
I've moved Humber from his too-low book grade of B to B+ for this list, on the basis of positive early reports. He has better stuff than Petit and a higher ceiling, but I want to see some pro numbers before pushing him to the top.
Lastings Milledge has the best physical ceiling of any player in the Mets system, but is still relatively unrefined as a hitter. Even slight improvements in his plate discipline would move him to B+, but it hasn't happened yet. I fully recognize that the Grade B rating may be too low for him, and it will certainly annoy traditionalists.
As high school pitchers go, I love Gaby Hernandez. If he stays healthy, he could be at the top of the list next year.
After him, you start getting into grades with a large amount of uncertainty. Cuban defector Alay Soler is hard to grade at this point, so I'll give him a B-, something of a default/analyst-is-a-chickenshit grade. Ambiorix Concepcion has a higher physical ceiling than Aarom Baldiris, but I want to see if he can handle the strike zone at higher levels before moving him ahead.
The big mass of Grade C guys are all pretty much interchangeable, so don't worry too much about their exact position on the list. There is a mixture of talented-but-raw-tools guys like Jamar Hill with polished-but-not-hot-prospect players like Bret Harper or Vince Cordova. The best of the polished guys is Jeff Keppinger, but there is no place for him to play right now.
As usual, feel free to comment and point out errors or other stupidities.

UPDATE: I added Shawn Bowman to the list. Many scouts love him due to his youth and athleticism, but I'm very concerned about his plate discipline. His Grade C will rise substantially if he improves that.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Posters on various Mets boards seem shocked at the Grade B rating for Milledge. Please remember that Grade B is a COMPLIMENT coming from means the guy is likely a future regular. I love Milledge's athleticism and ceiling, but he still has issues with breaking balls and strike zone judgment. Until he proves he can handle the zone, I'm going to be cautious about him.