Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd we’re back for another season! Hello everyone, and welcome to year number 7 of MetsProspectHub. I’ve said this before, but this blog/site has been on a downward spiral since mid 2009 when it became hazardous to people’s health to continue following the Mets. However, the fire has been rekindled in my soul, I’m extremely excited about where we are, and most importantly, where we’re going. There are SO many under the radar prospects ready to break out this season. I’ve highlighted a few below, but there’s even more in the lower levels who aren’t on this list, who will likely jump onto the list by season’s end. So without further ado, here we go:
MetsProspectHub’s Top 30 Prospects
Preseason 2013: Released March 15th, 2013.
Tier A: Expected to be stars in the major leagues
1. RHSP Zack Wheeler. Split 2012 between AA Binghamton and AAA Buffalo.
12-8, 3.26 era, 25 GS, 2 CGSO, 149 IP, 115 H, 59/54 R/ER, 4 HR, 59/148 BB/K
ETA: Mid 2013
Obtained via trade in 2011, Wheeler has gained significant traction in his season and a half in the organization, rising to the forefront of a very pitching deep system to be one step away from the Majors. He features a fastball which routinely sits in the 94-97 range and touches higher velocities, and has two breaking pitches, a very good curve, and a slider. His changeup lags behind his other two offspeed pitches. Should open 2013 in Buffalo for a variety of reasons (16 walks in 33 AAA innings, service time, Super Two status, and to allow his changeup to improve)
2. C Travis d’Arnaud (Dar-No). Spent 2012 at AAA Las Vegas (Blue Jays)
.333/.380/.595/.975, 93 for 279, 45 runs, 21 2b, 2 3b, 16 HR, 52 RBI, 19/59 BB/K (PCL Alert)
ETA: Mid 2013
Obtained via trade in the 2012 offseason for RA Dickey, d’Arnaud vaults right to the top of many people’s prospect lists, and on the other lists, he’s slotted in second. Either way, d’Arnaud is an elite catching prospect, and should be in the majors shortly. There are some injury concerns attached to him, though, he tore up his knee last year and missed over 80 games because of it, and also has some previous history of back issues, both alarming for a catcher. However, the Mets feel he’s healthy, and ready to go. He should open 2013 in Vegas, and make it to the majors roughly at the same time as Zack Wheeler.
Tier B: Very good prospects. High upsides, but flawed in some way and/or undeveloped
3. RHSP Noah Syndergaard. Spent 2012 in Lansing (Midwest League – BlueJays)
8-5, 2.60 era, 27/19 G/GS, 103.2 IP, 81 H, 41/30 R/ER, 3 HR, 31/122 BB/K
ETA: Early to mid 2015
Syndergaard was the second major piece acquired in the RA Dickey trade, and he’s got massive upside, he could very well be in Tier A at this time next season. Syndergaard flashes a fastball with plus velocity, questions surround his curveball. He has superior control, and needs to find some consistency with his secondaries, but if he does, he will fast become a total monster of a pitching prospect, in the same ilk as Harvey and Wheeler. He should open 2013 in St. Lucie and, in my opinion, has a very good chance to spend significant time in AA Binghamton.
4. RHSP Michael Fulmer. Spent the season with mid-A Savannah
7-6, 2.74 era, 21 GS, CG, 108.1 IP, 92 H, 37/33 R/ER, 6 HR, 38/101 BB/K
ETA: Early to mid 2015
Fulmer will be setback somewhat with a torn menicus, but it shouldn’t delay the start to his season by too much. He’s got significant upside, but, like Syndergaard, needs to work on his secondaries. Fulmer doesn’t (as yet) throw as hard as Syndergaard, he’s more in the 92-94 range, but make no mistake, Fulmer has high upside, conservative guess would be a #3 starter. I think, in my opinion, he also has a very good chance to spend significant time in AA Binghamton.
5. IF Wilmer Flores. Split 2012 between AA Binghamton and AAA Buffalo.
.300/.349/.479/.827, 148 for 493, 68 runs, 30 2b, 2 3b, 18 HR, 75 RBI, 38/60 BB/K
Flores has been around precisely forever, and yet… he’s entering his age 21 season. That’s right, Wilmer is exactly half a season behind David Wright when Wright was trekking through the system. Wilmer finally conquered St. Lucie in 2012, and then excelled upon promotion to Binghamton, punching his ticket for a 2013 assignment to Las Vegas, where he (hopefully…) will be manning second base exclusively, because if he could handle that position with his offensive upside… it would be a HUGE boon to the Mets. Either way, he should RAKE in the great hitter’s enviroment in Vegas.
6. OF Brandon Nimmo. Spent 2012 in Brooklyn.
.248/.372/.406/.778, 66 for 266, 41 runs, 20 2b, 2 3b, 6 HR, 40 RBI, 46/78 BB/K
Long way away, had a very good season for a lefty batting teenager in the NYPL. Should open 2013 in Savannah, important to see how he cuts back on his strikeouts (.293 K rate). Only was 1 for 6 in SBs, athleticism in question.
7. RHSP Jenrry Mejia (yes, I still consider him a prospect). Split 2012 between AAA Buffalo and MLB New York.
3-4, 3.54 era, 26/10 G/GS, 73.2 IP, 75 H, 38/29 R/ER, 4 HR, 24/39 BB/K
Should open 2013 in AAA Vegas as a starter. Not entirely beyond the realm of belief that the combination of Omar/Jerry/Warthen ruined Mejia forever, but… hopefully he can rise above the terrible disservice he was done in 2010, and fulfill that amazing promise he once had as a ToR starter. Keep in mind, in my opinion, Mejia has yet to truly conquer AA ball, his numbers combined there since 2010 are nothing short of horrible. I still can’t fathom what kind of ‘logic’ was used by our lackofbraintrust in 2010.
8. RHSP Rafael Montero. Split 2012 between mid-A Savannah and high-A St. Lucie.
11-5, 2.36 era, 20 GS, CG, 122 IP, 96 H, 37/32 R/ER, 6 HR, 19/110 BB/K
Montero exploded onto the scene in 2012 with a dazzling display of command and stuff, walking just 1.40 per 9 innings, while striking out 8.11 per 9. He should, even after just 8 starts in St. Lucie, open 2013 in Binghamton, and there is a very good chance he ends in Vegas and is poised to be in the majors no later than mid 2014.
9. RHSP Domingo Tapia. Spent 2012 in Savannah
6-5, 3.98 era, 20/19 G/GS, 108.2 IP, 92 H, 55/48 R/ER, 2 HR, 32/101 BB/K
Not the dazzling command of Montero, but Tapia makes up for it with slightly better stuff, and an imposing 2.65 groundout:flyout ratio, 4x as good as Montero’s. Tapia is a flamethrower who repeatedly touched triple digits last season, and if the whole starter thing doesn’t work out, his floor is a very good middle reliever. Will open 2013 in St. Lucie, and might end in Binghamton.
Tier C: Solid prospects. Either they’re too far away, or their upside is limited to bullpen/bench/not elite starter. Most prospects can be found in this tier.
10. RHSP Collin McHugh
11. RHSP Gabriel Ynoa: I’m VERY high on Ynoa, I debated sneaking him into the top 10, but that’s a bit too crazy, even for me. If you want a breakout candidate for 2013, this is your guy.
12. RHSP Luis Mateo
13. 1b/3b Aderlin Rodriguez: Watch. Out. I have this feeling he’s going to just completely EXPLODE this year.
14. RHSP Jacob DeGrom: Another very good breakout candidate. Should easily get 15+ starts in Binghamton.
15. LHSP Darin Gorski
16. RHSP Hansel Robles
17. SS Phillip Evans: Yes, I like Evans better than Cecchini. Dude played really well at age 19 in the NYPL (before a late season horrific slump knocked his OPS into the .600s)
18. SS Gavin Cecchini
19. C Kevin Plawecki
20. OF Matt den Dekker
21. RHSP Erik Goeddel
22. RHSP Cory Mazzoni
23. RHSP Tyler Pill
24. SS Wilfredo Tovar
25. OF Cesar Puello
26. C Camden Maron
27. RHSP Chris Flexen
28. OF Alonzo Harris
29. OF Gilbert Gomez
30. LHSP Steven Matz
31. RHSP Akeel Morris
32. RHSP Miller Diaz
33. C Tomas Nido
34. RHSP Andrew Massie
35. RHSP Corey Oswalt