The best Mets position prospects I saw this year: #6 Jared King

Jessica Rudman

The countdown of the best Mets prospects we saw in 2013 continues with this year's 5th round pick out of Kansas State, Jared King.

Disclaimer (because someone will ask why a player I didn't see isn't on this list): This is a ranking of the best Mets prospects I saw in person this year. This is not a comprehensive Mets prospect list. I did not see Las Vegas, St. Lucie or the GCL team this year. If a player is not on the list, it is most likely because I did not see him. Otherwise, all rankings are consistent with how I would order the players within the Mets system. Oh yeah, and I am not a scout.

6. Jared King, OF

5'11", 208 lbs

Bats/Throws: S/L

Age: (as of Opening Day 2014) 22.5

Acquired: 5th round, 2013

2013: 264 PA, .266/.365/.347, 49 K, 35 BB for Brooklyn (SS-A)

Date(s) seen: 7/7/13 vs. Lowell Spinners (BOS)

8/24/13 and 8/25/13 @ Vermont Lake Monsters (OAK)

The short of it: The newest entry into the ledger of 'my guys,' King profiles as a potential everyday outfielder based on his defensive tools and advanced approach at the plate

The long of it: Man oh man, do I like Jared King. Yeah, he had a day in my last look at him up in Vermont, but even the first time I saw him, I thought he was the steal of the Mets draft. Good defensive outfielder, gets good breaks on balls, strong routes, made a spectacular play against Lowell, but also made a long run for a ball in Vermont look routine. Athletic, but fringe-average speed probably limits him into left field as an everyday guy, although I do think he could play some center if he develops into more of a fourth OF type. Almost all my looks at him at the plate were as a left-handed batter. Hands are a bit busy during setup, but he gets everything into place in time and can drop the barrel on pitches down in the zone. He has a strong approach and even looks good at the plate when he's taking a pitch. Tough to see him getting a ton of home run pop out of the swing, but I think he'll get on base enough and show enough glove to make up for not having the pop you'd expect from a corner outfielder.

The projection: Average major league leftfielder

Risk Factor: High. No track record in full-season ball, potential tweener skillset, could be more of a 4th OF type, post-draft performances tends to be volatile and more difficult for me to evaluate.

What’s next: Like Mazzilli, I see King as a player who could probably hack it in the Florida State League in 2014 if the front office wanted to be aggressive with him. And unlike Mazzilli, there's no one really blocking him from a spot there. Still, I think King breaks camp with the Sand Gnats next Spring. King would be my pick to have a Plawecki-type breakout.

What I'll be looking for in 2014: A step forward with the bat in his first full professional season, though I expect Historic Grayson Stadium will hurt his numbers if he does end up in Savannah.

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