It takes at least four or five years to validly assess the success or failure of a prospect list. Four years ago the Mets had just turned over their front office, the new crew inheriting a farm system with some decent material in it but not considered among the elite in the game.
Here is the Mets prospect list from the fall of 2010, the Top 20 Mets prospects entering 2011 in other words. You can find the original article by clicking this, but we will post the list, the original comments, and the current outcome right here.
New York Mets Top 20 Prospects for 2011 (published October 2010). Original comment in italics
1) Wilmer Flores, SS, Grade B+: He's coming around with the bat. How fast will the new regime push him, and what position will he play long-term? RESULT: Took time but he's still only 24 and looks like he will be a solid asset going forward.
2) Jenrry Mejia, RHP, Grade B: I'm concerned enough about his health to lower his grade a notch, but I still like him. Not a technical rookie due to service time, but under the innings limit and people ask about him. RESULT: Saved 28 games in 2014 but lost job due to injuries and PED use. Failed a second test and now under 162-game suspension.
3) Matt Harvey, RHP, Grade B: Love the power arm, but lingering questions about his command keep him from higher grade at this point. RESULT: Harvey had just been drafted and had no professional experience at this stage. At the time there were some concerns about his command but he ironed that out quickly and was dominating the majors within two years.
4) Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B, Grade B-: I am very impressed with his power but concerned about defense and reports of bad work ethic. RESULT: Shaky strike zone judgment has kept him confined to the minor leagues, now in the Mariners system.
5) Fernando Martinez, OF, Grade B-: Stock is starting to slip. Still young, still has potential, but development hampered by injuries and poor handling by previous front office. May need change of scenery. RESULT: Played with Mets and Astros but never got his career on track, frequent injuries.
6) Cory Vaughn, OF, Grade B-: Tools are excellent. If he maintains the improved approach he showed in the NY-P, he'll blossom. RESULT: Bat fizzled at the highest levels and I was over-rating his tools in any event. Released after hitting .210 in Triple-A this year.
7) Juan Urbina, LHP, Grade B-: Highly projectable but a long way from the majors. Grade is somewhat aggressive but I like what I hear about him. RESULT: Scouting reports were strong at this point; that changed quickly, stuff went backwards, numbers were always poor and that turned out to be the true indicator over the word of mouth reputation.
8) Reese Havens, 2B, Grade C+: Would rank higher with at least a B- or a B if he could stay healthy. RESULT: Couldn't stay healthy.
9) Lucas Duda, OF-1B, Grade C+: Older prospect, turned on the power this year, should be a useful bat. RESULT: Turned into a very useful bat due to his power; one of my favorite sluggers currently.
10) Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF, Grade C+: I think he'll be a useful fourth outfielder but if he can refine his skills further he could be a decent starter. I originally had him at 14 on this list, but looking at it again that was too low. That said, he's got some weaknesses with contact that have to be addressed. But he's younger and more athletic than Lutz and needs to rank ahead of him. RESULT: Fourth outfielder. I should have stuck with my initial impression though.
11) Zach Lutz, 3B, Grade C+: A third base version of Duda; lots of power, other skills marginal. RESULT: Has hit well in Triple-A but injuries have held him back.
12) Cesar Puello, OF, Grade C+: Others may rank him higher due to speed and tools. Very young, fast, lack of power is a concern, many similar players have failed and something is making me cautious here. RESULT: Crushed Double-A in 2013 but otherwise disappointing, gained some command of the zone but hasn't hit well after PED suspension.
13) Jeurys Familia, RHP, Grade C+: Still like the arm, could bloom if control sharpens up again. He's actually a sleeper again. RESULT: Excellent major league closer.
14) Armando Rodriguez, RHP, Grade C+: Scouting reports point to mediocre stuff, but excellent statistics. RESULT: Became a successful relief pitcher in the Mexican League, which isn't easy really. At age 27, he could still wind up in a big league pen eventually.
15) Sean Ratliff, OF, Grade C+: Was Double-A breakout genuine or a fluke? Has always had power, but strikeouts held him back. RESULT: Struck in face by a foul ball in 2011 and was unable to resume his career.
16) Albert Cordero, C, Grade C+: Sleeper catching prospect features good glove, power, but needs to tighten strike zone. RESULT: Can't hit, still hanging around upper minors as a defense-oriented reserve.
17) Matt Den Dekker, OF, Grade C+: I think he can be a good fourth outfielder. RESULT: Fourth outfielder.
18) Darrell Ceciliani, OF, Grade C+: Younger and faster than Den Dekker and Nieuwenhuis, but less polished. RESULT: Hit well in Triple-A, still a potential fourth outfielder.
19) Jefry Marte, 3B, Grade C+: Improved slightly and very young. RESULT: Solid Triple-A bat, now in Tigers system, didn't hit well in first trial in majors but still just 24.
20) Mark Cohoon, LHP, Grade C+: Finesse lefty could reach majors in '11. RESULT: Didn't have enough stuff to get past Double-A competition.
21) Dillon Gee, RHP, Grade C: He can eat up innings but I think his ceiling is limited. RESULT: Some success as an inning-eating major league starter.
OTHERS: Kyle Allen, RHP; Manuel Alvarez, RHP; Eric Campbell, OF-3B; Robert Carson, LHP; Jose De La Torre, RHP; Ryan Fraser, RHP; James Fuller, LHP; Erik Goeddel, RHP; Kai Gronauer, C; Brian Harrison, 3B; Brad Holt, RHP; Vincente Lupo, OF; Steve Matz, LHP; Elvis Sanchez, 3B; Josh Satin, 2B-1B; Robbie Shields, SS; Justin Turner, 2B; Jordany Valdespin, INF.
OTHERS: Steve Matz makes an appearance there and Justin Turner has turned out well. Jacob deGrom had just been drafted in 2010 and had been hit hard in rookie ball so he wasn't on the radar at the time.
At the time, this list was harshly criticized by some folks who follow the Mets closely, with complaints that players like Puello, Ad-Rod, Urbina, Fernando Martinez, and the fourth outfield cadre were being unfairly graded due to my obvious anti-Mets bias. No list is perfect but overall I am pleased with how it turned out.
And I don't hate the Mets; I rather like them actually. It's YOUR team I hate.