Top 20 PRE-SEASON Mets Prospects in Review
This is the PRE-SEASON list. That means it was generated BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED and that the grades were PRE-SEASON. Anyone complaining about the grades based on 2006 performance will be smacked up the side of the head with a Rob Stratton autographed bat..
1) Lastings Milledge, OF, Grade A-
.289/.408/.481 with 11 steals in 65 games for Triple-A Norfolk, .233/.287/.419 for the Mets in 24 games. Impressive power/speed potential but still working on his strike zone judgment. It was much better this year in Triple-A but major league pitchers exploited him.
2) Mike Pelfrey, RHP, A-
Combined 2.45 ERA with 103/28 K/BB in 16 starts between Class A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton. 2-0 in his first two major league starts. Doing just fine.
3) Anderson Hernandez, SS, C+
Hitting .246/.288/.293 with 12 steals for Norfolk. 6-for-41 (.146) for the Mets. Lack of any power is the major problem here.
4) Brian Bannister, RHP, C+
2-0, 2.89 in five starts for the Mets. Rehabbing from a hamstring strain.
5) Carlos Gomez, OF, C+
Hitting .261/.325/.390 with 20 steals for Binghamton. Good speed and tools, not much power, poor plate discipline.
6) Emmanuel Garcia, SS, C+
Hitting .317/.404/.390 in 20 games for Kingsport in the Appy League. Small sample but a good start.
7) Brett Harper, 1B, C+
Hit .338 in 19 games for Binghamton before shoulder injury. Status unclear.
8) Fernando Martinez, OF, C+
Hit .333/.393/.504 in 32 games for Class A Hagerstown before hurting his knee. Returned to action last night and should be OK in the long run. Pre-injury numbers are certainly good.
9) Robert Parnell, RHP, C+
3.92 ERA with 64/27 K/BB in 67 innings for Hagerstown. Doing OK, not spectacular but not terrible.
10) Phil Humber, RHP, C
Recovering from Tommy John surgery, is 2-1, 3.12 in five starts for St. Lucie. Looks good so far, raise his grade back to B- for now and then higher if this continues.
11) Alay Soler, RHP, C
2-3, 6.00 in eight starts for the Mets, with control problems. Combined 3-0, 1.45 in nine starts between St. Lucie and Binghamton in the minors, 55/12 K/BB in 50 innings. His command was good in the minors.
12) Jeff Keppinger, 2B, C
Hitting .300/.353/.359 for Norfolk, was traded to the Kansas City Royals yesterday. Can hit for average and make contact, lacks power.
13) Mike Carp, 1B, C
Hitting .276/.380/.402 for St. Lucie. 19 doubles but just 7 homers resulting in a weak SLG. Good walk rate helps his OBP however.
14) Ryan Coultas, SS, C
Hitting .126/.169/.135 in 40 games for St. Lucie. UGH.
15) Matthew Durkin, RHP, C
Just 5 innings in the Gulf Coast Rookie League so far, with 7 strikeouts and 7 walks. Health and control are major issues.
16) German Marte, RHP, C
2.94 ERA in 52 innings for Hagerstown, 53/18 K/BB. Relief sleeper to watch.
17) Shawn Bowman, 3B, C
Hitting .252/.311/.387 for St. Lucie. I'm glad I never really got on the Bowman bandwagon.
18) Nick Evans, 3B, C
Hitting .263/.326/.463 with 15 homers for Hagerstown. Showing good power, but a first baseman now, which reduces his potential future value.
19) Jon Niese, LHP, C
9-6, 3.51 in 19 starts for Hagerstown, 106/50 K/BB in 97 innings. A personal favorite. If he can improve his command a bit more, he can break through next year in a big way. Watch him.
20) Evan MacLane, LHP, C
Combined 10-6, 3.75 in 20 starts between Binghamton and Norfolk. Finesse lefty type who might be a Quadruple-A guy.
Milledge and Pelfrey are a nice combo at the top. Humber can rejoin them soon if his elbow holds up, and Fernando Martinez could be the best of all if his knee is OK. After that it thins out quickly. There are some guys with tools like Carlos Gomez, but most of them are held back by a weak approach at the plate. Watch sleeper lefty Jon Niese next year for major improvement. He is a projectable lefty that I really like intuitively.