And no, it’s not who you think it is. Though I don’t feel as violently about Tim Tebow as many of you. Sure, it’s a PR stunt, but a lot of positivity surrounds that guy. Where he goes, people seem to have a good time. There’s something to be said for that. Just not right here.
This is about baseball. As great as the Tebow story can be, he’s not a part of the New York Mets’ future. The biggest part of that future recently arrived in the form of top prospects Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith.
As promised by Mets’ brass, Rosario and Smith were up soon after the trade deadline. Rosario is one of baseball’s top prospects and ranked sixth overall by John Sickels coming into the season.
Smith’s stock has ebbed and flowed and MLB.com has him 41st overall. At first base, his development of power has been long awaited but if he ends up more like Eric Hosmer (though Hosmer has seen his home runs rise since 2016) than Edwin Encarnacion, it’s still a win.
The next wave to set eyes on Flushing consists of a lot of arms. Two have unfortunately fallen victim to Tommy John surgery.
Thomas Szapucki was a hot name in 2016 and continued to enhance his stock this season before getting shut down after 29 innings.
Anthony Kay, the club’s first-round pick in 2016, signed about $800 thousand under slot due to troubles about his elbow. Still netting a cold $1.1 million, he ended up having the anticipated elbow surgery.
Robert Gsellman broke out last season and was a key Major League contributor for the Metropolitans. After a sparkling 2.42 ERA in seven starts last season, 2017 has been treacherous to the 23-year old. His 6.16 ERA and WHIP over 1.6 are currently on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.
Where Kay was a first round compensation pick (for Daniel Murphy; whoops), Justin Dunn was the top selection. New York selected the Boston College product 19th overall and many immediately pegged him for the bullpen long-term.
In the meantime, he’s starting and performing with mediocrity in High-A. On the bright side, he’s given up three runs or less in three of his last five trips to the mound.
After the highly anticipated call-ups of Rosario and Smith, the remainder of the Mets farm system is lousy with arms. The Major League club has a bounty of high-level pitchers that never seem to pitch. Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler are oft-injured and Noah Syndergaard (outside of a Game of Thrones appearance) has suffered a tumultuous and lost season, leaving poor Jacob deGrom all alone.
Reinforcements are present in their farm system but outside of Gsellman are not going to do much for the big league club before 2019.
The system is arm heavy but there are some bats worth mentioning.
2012 first-rounder Gavin Cecchini hasn’t made the dreams of scouts come true and at this point we’re just betting on whether he or brother Garin returns to the bigs first. If Gavin fulfills his destiny with the Mets, he’ll play second base opposite Rosario.
Andres Gimenez and Gregory Guerrero are a pair of 18-year old shortstops to watch. Gimenez has a powerful hit tool and Guerrero, nephew of Vladimir (and therefore cousin of top Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Jr.), also projects well but has fallen behind the eight ball to Gimenez this season.
Tomas Nido and Patrick Mazeika are another pair of intriguing prospects who share a position. Both catchers, Nido is more about the glove while Mazeika can rake but doesn’t field the position like the former.
There are of course others and for a full rundown of the top 20-plus Mets prospects, check it out here. For now, let’s enjoy what the system has bore. The arrival of Rosario and Smith has all of baseball excited.