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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 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.

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.