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New York Mets Top 20 prospects for 2017: Mid-season review

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Reviewing the pre-season Mets prospect list. . .

MLB: All Star Game-Futures Game
Amed Rosario
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

We continue our mid-season organization reviews with a look at the New York Mets Top 20 Prospects from the beginning of 2017. The index for other team reviews can be found here.

THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST.

THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST.

THESE ARE NOT NEW GRADES.

This list was originally published January 12, 2017 and revised on February 11th, 2017.

1) Amed Rosario, SS, Grade A/A-: Age 21, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2012; performing very well in Triple-A at a young age with .329/.367/.473 line, 17 steals, 21 walks, 59 strikeouts in 368 at-bats; Las Vegas is boosting his power but he’s still hitting .305/.341/.432 on the road; the Mets are being cautious and that’s annoying some of their fans but I can understand the impulse to give him as much experience as possible; they used to promote their prospects too quickly.

MLB: New York Mets at Los Angeles Dodgers
Robert Gsellman
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

2) Robert Gsellman, RHP, Grade B+: Age 24, 13th round pick in 2011; struggled in majors with 6.16 ERA in 76 innings, 57/26 K/BB, 97 hits; not as good as he looked last fall but not as bad as he looked this spring; out with hamstring injury right now; disappointing but deserves more chances once healthy.

3) Dominic Smith, 1B, Grade B: Age 22, first round pick in 2013; hitting .337/.391/.526 with 29 doubles, 15 homers, 33 walks, 70 strikeouts in 403 at-bats; is this the long-awaited power surge? Hitting .342/.400/.572 at home, .333/.386/.486 on the road; PCL helps of course; my guess is that he’s made legitimate progress but not as much as the surface slash implies.

4) Thomas Szapucki, LHP, Grade B/B-: Age 21, fifth round pick in 2015; 2.76 ERA in 29 innings in Low-A, 27/10 K/BB; hurt elbow and had Tommy John surgery last week, too bad as he was making rapid progress.

5) Justin Dunn, RHP, Grade B/B-: Age 21, first round pick in 2016 from Boston College; 4.96 ERA in 85 innings in High-A, 63/38 K/BB, 91 hits; not a great year but has pitched better over his last few starts; still uncertain if he starts or relieves in long run.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at New York Mets
Brandon Nimmo
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

6) Brandon Nimmo, OF, Grade B-/B: Age 24, first round pick in 2011; .217/.353/.368 in 152 at-bats in Triple-A, .350/.450/.400 in 20 major league at-bats; missed time with knee injury and collapsed lung; no change in profile.

7) Desmond Lindsay, OF, Grade B-/B: Age 20, second round pick in 2015 from high school in Florida; hitting .220/.327/.388 with eight homers, 33 walks, 77 strikeouts in 214 at-bats in Low-A with two stints on disabled list; still showing power, patience, but contact issues; quite young of course.

8) Gavin Cecchini, SS, Grade B-/B: Age 23, first round pick in 2012; hitting .270/.316/.363 with 30 walks, 48 strikeouts in 366 at-bats in Triple-A; repeating the league and not doing as well as 2016; this is a pattern I’ve observed many times over the years, a guy performs well in Triple-A but doesn’t get a clear shot in the majors then plays less effectively in his second go around AAA.

9) Andres Gimenez, SS, Grade B-/C+: Age 18, signed out of Venezuela in 2015 for $1,200,000; jumping from Dominican Summer League in ‘16 to South Atlantic League in 2017, hitting .280/.333/.360 in 236 at-bats, very credible for age/competition level; very impressive glove and is just tapping into his hitting ability. High ceiling and stock up for me.

10) Tomas Nido, C, Grade C+/B-: Age 23, eighth round pick in 2012; hitting .248/.291/.378 with five homers, 18 walks, 35 strikeouts in 262 at-bats in Double-A; excellent defense, bat can and should improve.

11) Gregory Guerrero, SS, Grade C+/B-: Age 18, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2015 for $1,500,000; nephew of Vladimir Guerrero; hitting .225/.271/.275 in 80 at-bats in rookie ball, four walks, 15 strikeouts; feel he’s capable of better but Gimenez has moved well ahead on the depth chart.

12) Merandy Gonzalez, RHP, Grade C+: Age 21, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2013; 1.54 ERA in 99 innings between Low-A and High-A, 88/18 K/BB; throws strikes and can hit 97; stock up, don’t overlook or underestimate this guy.

13) Peter Alonso, 1B, Grade C+: Age 22, second round pick in 2016 from University of Florida; hitting .260/.323/.505 with 12 homers, 13 walks, 47 strikeouts in 208 at-bats in High-A; solid full-season debut, defense has been rough (11 errors) despite strong glove rep.

14) Wuilmer Becerra, OF, Grade C+: Age 22, originally signed by Blue Jays out of Venezuela, traded to Mets in the huge R.A. Dickey deal; hitting .256/.323/.331 with two homers, 12 steals, 29 walks, 100 strikeouts in 332 at-bats in High-A; with this many strikeouts he has to show more isolated power than he has thus far; certainly big and strong enough to do so but swing isn’t there yet.

15) Marcos Molina, RHP, Grade C+: Age 22, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2012; missed 2016 with Tommy John, has combined 3.17 ERA in 60 innings between High-A and Double-A with 47/15 K/BB, 55 hits; somewhat erratic but this is a recovery year.

Colorado Rockies v New York Mets
T.J. Rivera
Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

16) T.J. Rivera, INF, Grade C+: Age 28, signed as undrafted free agent from Troy University back in 2011; always hit in the minors and he’s hitting in the majors, too, .292/.333/.435 in 209 at-bats; don’t see any reason to think that he won’t keep hitting.

17) Josh Smoker, LHP, Grade C+: Older rookie at age 28, former first-round pick by Nationals back in 2007 but career was almost destroyed by injuries; 6.97 ERA in 31 major league innings, 36/18 K/BB; 39 hits; missed time with elbow trouble, upper-90s fastball from the left side will keep him in the picture.

18) Ricky Knapp, RHP, Grade C+: Age 25, eighth round pick in 2013 from Florida Gulf Coast University; son of former MLB pitching coach Rick Knapp; 6.69 ERA with 58/30 K/BB in 118 innings in Triple-A, 159 hits; finesse game worked great at lower levels but problematic in Las Vegas/PCL with no margin for error; stock down, although if I were another team I might target him for a cheap pickup since he might do better in a different context.

19) Luis Carpio, 2B-SS, Grade C+: Age 20, signed out of Venezuela in 2013; hitting .245/.317/.303 with 15 steals, 35 walks, 57 strikeouts in 330 at-bats in Low-A; switch to second base following 2016 shoulder surgery has gone pretty well, needs to show more strength with the bat.

20) Anthony Kay, LHP, Grade C+: Age 21, first round pick in 2016 from University of Connecticut; out with Tommy John surgery.

OTHER GRADE C+:
Kevin Canelon, LHP: Strong in High-A, 2.75 in 56 IP, 59/14 K/BB.
Ricardo Cespedes, OF: Hurt most of the year, hitting .221/.264/.221 in 68 at-bats in New York-Penn League on rehab assignment.
Andrew Church, RHP: 5.55 ERA in 110 innings between High-A and Double-A, 70/27 K/BB, 147 hits; ugly year after solid ‘16.
P.J. Conlon, LHP: 3.68 ERA in 115 innings in Double-A, 91/31 K/BB, nice year.
Phillip Evans, INF: Hitting .257/.324/.375 in Triple-A.
Chris Flexen, RHP: Just promoted to majors, click here for profile
Jordan Humphreys, RHP: 1.79 ERA in 81 innings between Low-A and High-A, 83/12 K/BB, breakthrough season but now on DL with elbow trouble.
Patrick Mazeika, C: Solid year, .287/.383/.415 in High-A.
Kevin McGowan, RHP: 4.31 ERA in 54 innings in Triple-A, 48/20 K/BB, not bad for context.
David Roseboom, LHP: 8.31 ERA in 17 innings in Triple-A, went on DL in May with significant foot injury.
Ali Sanchez, C: Hitting .231/.288/.264 in 182 at-bats in Low-A, strong glove but doubtful bat.
Logan Taylor, RHP: 3.96 ERA in 39 innings in Triple-A, 29/18 K/BB; went on DL July 2nd.

As with the other reviews, this is a review not a new list. I’ll answer any questions about these guys, other players in the Mets system, and 2017 draftees in the comments section.