Today we continue our summer reviews of the pre-season Top 20 Prospects lists with the New York Mets.
This is a review of the pre-season list.
It is not a new list.
These are the pre-season grades.
1) Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Grade A-: 16 starts in the majors with good success, 3.01 ERA with 106/22 K/BB in 99 innings, 88 hits. Can’t beat that. One of the best young pitchers in the game.
2) Steven Matz, LHP, Grade B+: Outstanding in Triple-A (2.19 ERA, 94/31 K/BB in 90 innings, 69 hits) and was excellent in first two major league starts before going on DL with torn lat.
3) Dilson Herrera, 2B, Grade B+: Outstanding in Triple-A (.347/.394/.534), not so outstanding in the majors (.195/.290/.317). Still just 21 years old. Bright future in my view.
4) Brandon Nimmo, OF, Grade B/B+: Hitting .276/.358/.367 between Double-A, Triple-A, and a few rehab games in High-A. Gets on base at a strong clip, still not much home run power.
5) Kevin Plawecki, C, Grade B: Hitting .232/.284/.300 in the majors, 12 walks, 48 whiffs in 203 at-bats. Will hold roster spot with defense, I think the hitting will improve over time.
6) Rafael Montero, RHP, Grade B: Rehabbing shoulder injury.
7) Michael Conforto, OF, Grade B: Hit .297/.372/.482 between High-A and Double-A, promoted to majors and is hitting .250/.359/.438 in first 10 games. He is a year ahead of where I thought he’d be but I love the bat, would have him as a B+/A- now.
8) Marcos Molina, RHP, Grade B-/B: 4.41 ERA with 32/8 K/BB in 33 innings in High-A, hurt elbow and now rehabbing in rookie ball. Obviously we need to see how he recovers.
9) Amed Rosario, SS, Grade B-/B: Hitting .263/.306/.368 with 15 walks, 58 strikeouts in 319 at-bats in High-A. Not much with the bat yet but just 19 years old, defense is drawing strong reviews. High ceiling.
10) Jhoan Urena, 3B, Grade B-: Hitting .231/.282/.308 between High-A and rookie ball rehab. Struggling on defense as well, but trying to make big jump from NY-P last year to FSL this year. Age 20, still has time but I had him ranked too high.
11) Gavin Cecchini, SS, Grade C+: Good year with the bat, hitting .313/.372/.442 in Double-A, still playing shortstop every day although glove hasn’t lived up to expectations from earlier in his career.
12) Dominic Smith,1B, Grade C+: Hitting .307/.351/.423 with 30 doubles, five homers, 26 walks, 68 strikeouts in 388 at-bats. Making progress, shows gap power but not classic first base homer production.
13) Cory Mazzoni, RHP, Grade C+: Traded to Padres at end of spring training, has 3.97 ERA with 46/12 K/BB in 34 innings in Triple-A but hit hard in big league trial (22 runs in 8.2 innings). Should get another bullpen chance.
14) Robert Whalen, RHP, Grade C+: Traded to Braves, has 3.36 ERA with 61/34 K/BB in 83 innings in High-A, 72 hits. Still a C+ type prospect, potential back-end starter or bullpen arm.
15) L.J. Mazzilli, 2B, Grade C+: Hitting .250/.324/.316 with 23 walks, 40 strikeouts in 228 at-bats in Double-A. Missed first 50 games serving drug suspension, not having a good year at this point.
16) Cesar Puello, OF, Grade C+: Lost season due to back injury.
17) Wuilmer Becerra, OF, Grade C+: Very good season in Low-A, hitting .294/.346/.446 with eight homers, 11 steals, 25 walks, 80 strikeouts in 350 at-bats, quite good at age 20 in this park and league. Could use more patience but makes contact and power is developing. Stock up.
18) Jack Leathersich, LHP, Grade C+: Promising bullpen arm on Triple-A disabled list last two months, had 2.31 ERA with 14/7 K/BB in 12 inning major league trial. Not much to prove in minors if healthy.
19) Gabriel Ynoa, RHP, Grade C+: Good inning-eating campaign in Double-A, 3.66 ERA with 67/24 K/BB in 128 innings, 124 hits. Throws strikes and stays healthy, but strikeout rate is rather low for my comfort.
20) Casey Meisner, RHP, Grade C+: Traded to Athletics, 2.56 ERA with 94/38 K/BB in 119 innings between Low-A and High-A, 106 hits. A fine campaign, stock moving up.
Farm system rebuilding effort is bearing fruit for the first place New York Mets. Many key assets are home-grown including the anchors of the pitching staff in Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Jon Niese, and closer Jeurys Familia. Erik Goeddel, Hansel Robles, and Rule 5 acquisition Sean Gilmartin have all played roles in the bullpen. There is enough depth that injuries to prospects like Brandon Nimmo, Cesar Puello, Rafael Montero and Steven Matz did not result in doom for the system, while still retaining enough talent to trade promising pitchers Michael Fulmer, Luis Cessa, Robert Whalen, John Gant, and Casey Meisner for stretch run reinforcements.
Players with rising stock include Triple-A bat Matt Reynolds, who should make a solid utility player, and outfielder Wuilmer Becerra mentioned above. Reliever Akeel Morris was promoted directly from High-A to the majors. He walked three men in his first big league outing and was then dispatched to Double-A but with better command he can be a solid bullpen piece. Right-hander Robert Gsellman has been an efficient inning-soaker in High-A and Double-A.
Assets from the 2015 draft include two intriguing bats, outfielder Desmond Lindsay (.310/.412/.448 in rookie ball) and third baseman David Thompson, who isn’t hitting that well yet in the NY-P (.241/.281/.361) but who had an excellent spring from the Miami Hurricanes.