While Tim Tebow’s invite to spring training seemed to garner more attention than other true prospects, the Mets have some interesting pieces on the farm.
Desmond Lindsay, OF
This entire series has avoided putting Top 10 prospects on the list, but Lindsay is certainly a prospect all eyes should be on in 2018. That’s primarily because it’s tough to figure out just how “top prospect” he is.
Lindsay is tough to gage because he simply hasn’t showed much on a consistent basis yet. He injured a hamstring in 2016, which was what was expected to be his full-season debut and then tore up the New York-Penn League once he returned. Last season, he got off to an atrocious start, but seemed to right the engine as the calendar turned to July. That’s where his season would end, cut short once again.
I unfortunately only saw Lindsay twice early in the season. He slashed .190/.320/.356 in the first half, so to say it was bad is an understatement. But watching Lindsay in batting practice, there just seems plenty to like.
Lindsay can barrel up the ball and put it to every field in the process. He’s quick as well, and shows a power and speed combo that make him a borderline five-tool type of player with top of the line athleticisim. He does have some swing and miss issues, but he also has a lack of reps against full-season ball pitching. Freshly 21, Lindsay needs to throw together a season of at least 350 at bats to show that he can handle the load. Once he can to that, we’ll see what he’s really got.
Corey Oswalt, RHP
Oswalt had a breakout season in the Eastern League for the Rumble Ponies (still a fantastic name). Our own Ricky Keeler did a solid profile on Oswalt late last summer, and it’s certainly worth the read. There, he described his pitch arsenal:
As for his pitch arsenal, Oswalt has a fastball that can reach up to 95 miles per hour along with a curveball, slider, and a changeup. While the strikeouts haven’t come in bunches, he does do a good job pitching to contact. Since May 25, he’s given up a total of three home runs (all solo).
There are certainly question marks with Oswalt. He was older for the Eastern League, now 24 after being a seventh-round draft pick back in 2012. He doesn’t possess swing-and-miss stuff, which makes him somewhat hittable, but he has shown an ability to keep walks low, never walking more than 2.68-per-nine in his career. Despite a bunch of contact, he has also limited damage by being an extreme ground ball pitcher.
Oswalt doesn’t have the elite ceiling many former Mets prospects had, but if his 2017 was for real, he’s showing he could provide some sneaky value in the very near future.
Ali Sanchez, C
Tomas Nido has stolen most of the thunder the past few seasons, and deservedly so. He struggled in Double-A after a breakout in 2016 in the Florida State League, but then handled a small sample size of big league pitching very well.
That said, where Nido is known for a good arm, Sanchez is probably the better overall defensive catcher in the system. Where Nido’s bat has been generally good, Sanchez’s has been almost invisible. He struggled adjusting to Short Season ball offensively in the New York-Penn League in 2016. His first go in full-season ball was cut short at the end of July.
Still 21, Sanchez has yet to play over 56 games in a season. His defense makes him one to watch, but hopefully he can get a full season and put the hand injuries behind him. His bat was never expected to be amongst the elite, but if he can become just an average hitter, he may be a future big leaguer with a long career as a reliable backup.