This tier of prospects are loosely defined as B+ to C+ prospects. They still encompass a wide range, from bench guys and relievers (den Dekker, Vic Black) to far far away starting caliber players (Flexen, Cecchini). As with the prospects a tier above these guys, most of the names on this list are pitchers. Each of these guys have significant flaws, question marks, and/or are extremely far away (thus… so much could happen that ranking them higher is unjustifiable)
16. OF Matt den Dekker (AAA Las Vegas): .296/.366/.486/.852, 53 for 179, 34 runs, 8 2b, 4 3b, 6 HR, 38 RBI, 20/46 BB/K, 8/9 SBs; (MLB New York): .207/.270/.276/.546, 12 for 58, 7 runs, 2b, HR, 6 RBI, 4/23 BB/K, 4/5 SBs
den Dekker is reputed as an elite defensive center fielder, as we saw in spring training as he made a series of highlight reel catches, culminating in his breaking his wrist on a circus catch, causing him to miss half the season. den Dekker, as a hitter, is prone to striking out way too much, limiting his ability to hit for average, especially in the majors, where pitchers will take advantage of his free swinging self.
However, den Dekker ALSO has a tendency to struggle initially with a level, then repeat it the next season and smash it to pieces (see 2011 AA (.235/.312/.426/.738 in 272 ABs) 2012 AA (.340/.397/.563/.960 in 238 ABs); 2012 AAA (.220/.256/.373/.629 in 295 ABs) 2013 AAA (.296/.366/.486/.852 in 179 ABs). den Dekker is likely going to open 2014 back in Las Vegas and should be the first callup in case of injuries (or when Chris Young is traded).
I would say den Dekker’s floor is a backup outfielder in the Endy Chavez mold, while if he were to iron out his swing-and-miss tendencies (at least a little) he could profile as a legit starting center fielder who hits .240/.300/.450 or so with outstanding defense (and would probably be a 4-5 win player doing that). Long term with the Mets, a Lagares/den Dekker platoon could prove to be cheap and highly effective.
17. RHRP Victor Black (AAA Indianapolis): 5-3, 2.51 era, 38 G, 17 SVs, 46.2 IP, 28 H, 15/13 R/ER, 2 HR, 21/63 BB/K; (MLB New York): 3-0, 3.71 era, 18 G, SV, 17 IP, 17 H, 7 ER, HR, 6/15 BB/K
Obtained in SandydaGod’s trade with the Pirates, Black is a late inning bullpen arm who features an explosive mid 90s fastball which he combines with a power slider to generate tons of strikeouts. Black has a history of control problems, and right now, he’s inconsistent with his control and command.
18. RHSP Chris Flexen (R Kingsport): 9-1, 1.95 era, 3.18 FIP, 12 GS, 74 IP, 58 H, 18/16 R/ER, 6 HR, 15/65 BB/K, 0.99 WHIP, 1.82 BB/9, 7.91 K/9
Flexen is a high upside play who is light years away, but at the same time, could come VERY quickly if things come together. Right now, he’s coming off a great season in advanced rookieball, and features a five pitch mix, a fastball in the low to mid 90s touching 95, then a cutter, slider, curve and change. His curve is in the mid 70s, while his other 3 offspeed pitches are all in the 81-86 range. He significantly cut down on his walk rate from 2012 (4 per 9), while slightly increasing his K rate (7.31 to 7.91)
I’m hoping Flexen opens 2014 in Savannah, which would be an aggressive assignment for this front office, but coming off the season he had, it wouldn’t be that far fetched, in my opinion. Right now, Flexen profiles as a mid rotation starter, but there exists the possibility he can add some velocity, tighten up his arsenal, and end up as top of the rotation material, but that’s wayyyy down the road, and the best case scenario.
19. RHRP Jeurys Familia MINORS: 9 ip, 8 h, 2/1 r/er, 3/7 bb/k, 1 era; MLB New York: 10.2 ip, 12 h, 5 er, 2 hr, 9/8 bb/k, 4.22 era
I can basically copy/paste most of my writeup about Vic Black, and it would be just as appropriate for Familia. Familia has a mid to upper 90s fastball, backs it up with a slider, and shows spotty command at best. In my opinion, he would best be served going to Las Vegas to start 2014 (though it would burn his final option), and pitch as their closer or setup man.
20. RHRP Jeff Walters (AA Binghamton + one outing w/Vegas): 55 G, 2.47 era, 2.16 FIP, 58.1 IP, 52 H, 16 ER, 2 HR, 16/64 BB/K, 1.17 WHIP, 2.47 BB/9, 9.87 K/9
Walters features significantly better command than Vic Black and Jeurys Familia, but the price for that is a fastball a few ticks below the other two, but still way more than enough for the back of the pen at 93-96. Walters is another late inning relief prospect that the Mets have, he features a fastball/slider combination as well,
21. RHSP Rob Whalen (R Kingsport): 3-2, 1.95 era, 2.14 FIP, 13 GS, 78.2 IP, 56 H, 28/17 R/ER, HR, 18/79 BB/K, 0.94 WHIP, 2.06 BB/9, 9.04 K/9
Lets get this out of the way first. Whalen is an amazingly interactive person on Twitter, he responds to messages if you’re not an idiot, he engages in idle chat, he’s a normal person, he’s really chill, he just happens to play in our farm system. And oh yeah – he’s one of us. He is a Mets fan trying to live out all of our dreams (nightmares?) – playing for the New York Mets.
OK, that’s out of the way. Onto my thoughts. Whalen is a big dude, 6’2/200, even at age 20 (which he turns at the end of this month), which means he’s likely done filling out, adding velocity, etc… and depending on who you listen to, he ranges anywhere from 89 to 94 on the fastball, sits 89-91, has a slider as his out pitch, spotty changeup, and working on a curveball. He had a great season at age 19 for Kingsport, and hopefully ends up in the Savannah rotation to open 2014.
I don’t feel he’s got the same upside that a Chris Flexen does, despite Flexen also being totally filled out (6’3/215). I feel Flexen has more of a chance due to his arsenal, but Whalen’s upside, in my opinion, is a mid rotation workhorse (think Dillon Gee). Someone who will keep you in the vast majority of games, pitch deep into games, and just be a steady rock, nothing flashy, but extremely valuable.
22. RHSP Luis Cessa (A Savannah): 8-5, 3.20 era, 2.76 FIP, 22 GS, 135 IP, 142 H, 56/48 BB/K, 12 HR, 20/126 BB/K, 1.20 WHIP, 1.33 BB/9, 8.40 K/9
Cessa’s a relatively unknown name, he’s a converted infielder who can reach the mid 90s with his fastball. He’s relatively new to pitching as well, and this one’s more of a upside lotto pick as he advances through the system refining himself. He had a very good season at age 21 for Savannah, and should be on track to open in St. Lucie.
23. RHSP Casey Meisner (R GCL)1-3, 3.06 era, 10/4 G/GS, 35.1 IP, 31 H, 17/12 R/ER, 10/28 BB/K
Meisner is a giant Texan string bean (6’7/190) who already touches the mid 90s, and with a lot of room to fill out, and a terrific debut in the GCL, there’s a whole lot to like here. His secondaries are a curve and change, with the curve showing the promise of being above average down the road. Odds are good Meisner won’t be in Savannah next year, but his great debut could earn him a spot in the Brooklyn rotation , which would be a very aggressive assignment for a 19 year old.
24. SS Gavin Cecchini (A- Brooklyn): .273/.319/.314/.633, 53 for 194, 18 runs, 8 2b, 14 RBI, 14/30 BB/K, 2/5 SBs
I’m not a big fan of Cecchini, and I never have been. This ranking is pretty much all about his draft positioning, and pre-draft scouting reports. I don’t even have too much to say about him. He should be able to stick at shortstop, and at least be league average with the bat, which amounts to a ‘win’ as a draft pick in general, but far from the upside you’d want from the 12th overall selection.
25. RHSP Erik Goeddel (AA Binghamton): 9-7, 4.37 era, 25 GS, 134 IP, 135 H, 72/65 R/ER, 14 HR, 58/125 BB/K
Goeddel’s future is likely in the bullpen, where he can use his mid 90s fastball to it’s greatest potential, as opposed to sitting 91-93 or so as a starter. However, he didn’t have a bad season at all in Binghamton’s rotation, and looks set to open 2014 in Vegas, and likely be up earlier than Syndergaard/Montero if we need a starter (those 2 are higher upside/we care more about service time/Rule 5 with them). Goeddel is likely either a backend of the rotation starter, or a middle reliever.
26. RHSP Luis Mateo 11.2 IP, 16 H, 8 ER, 2 HR, 6/13 BB/K
Mateo’s continuing history of arm injuries culminated in TJS after just 11 innings this year, and when he comes back, it’s likely he will be converted into a relief role. He features, reportedly, one of the best fastballs in the system, which should only be enhanced by moving to a short role.
27. OF Darrell Ceciliani (AA Binghamton): . .267/.321/.377/.698, 115 for 430, 62 runs, 17 2b, 6 3b, 6 HR, 44 RBI, 31/38 SBs, 30/109 BB/K, 6.44% BB rate, 23.39% K rate
Ceciliani’s upside is that of a 4th outfielder who will play good defense, hit a bit and steal you bases. He had a very good 3 month stretch (4/27-7/24) this season where he hit .323/.369/.478/.847 in 251 ABs, although with a .410 BABIP. There’s a small chance he could emerge as a starting caliber outfielder, and he will be opening 2014 in Vegas, which is a hitter’s haven, so we shall see.
28. RHSP Domingo Tapia (A+ St. Lucie): 3-9, 4.62 era, 23 GS, 101.1 IP, 87 H, 60/52 R/ER, 3 HR, 63/89 BB/K
Tapia had a miserable season as a starter, with a near 6 bb/9 torpedoing his performance. His future appears to now be more set as a reliever, albeit one who hopefully has an easier time throwing strikes, and will be more in the upper 90s then he was as a starter. I’m hopeful the Mets move him to the bullpen and send him to Binghamton for it, but they may keep him starting (which would be a mistake in my opinion)
29. RHRP Gonzalez Germen (AAA Las Vegas): 3-3, 5.52 era, 35 G, 4 SVs, 44 IP, 47 H, 29/27 R/ER, 7 HR, 11/51 BB/K; (MLB New York): 1-2, 3.93 era, SV, 34.1 IP, 32 H, 15 ER, HR, 16/33 BB/K
Middle reliever ceiling, serviceable in the majors. Showed good stuff, and decent poise in his 34 ML innings.
30. OF Jared King (A- Brooklyn): .266/.365/.347/.712, 59 for 222, 32 runs, 15 2b, HR, 21 RBI, 35/49 BB/K, 5 SBs
King was our 5th round pick in this past draft, a tremendous steal for us considering he was reportedly a mid 2nd-3rd round talent. This would be a helium guy to watch in 2014, he could rampage up the rankings and end up inside our top 10 by this time next year. He’s got good upside for a college player, and is expected to hit for a decent average, and decent power, and some people think he can play/stick in center field, while other people think he’s a long term left fielder. Either way, I would expect him to open 2014 in St. Lucie playing left field due to Brandon Nimmo’s presense.