The New York Mets the last few years have been quite mediocre with their play on the field. On the other hand their farm system has improved headlined by a crop of power pitchers. Sandy Alderson really has done a great job building a farm system with high end talent as well as depth. This is my version of the Mets top 20 prospects. I am not a scout by any means, just a fan with an interest in prospects. Most of the stuff on this list comes from stuff I have read from knowledgeable sources such as John Sickels, Baseball Prospectus, or anyone but Keith Law really. I also watch quite a few minor league games. Again I'm not a scout so feel free to take my opinion with a grain of salt. I will also try to put grades on the current and future tools of each of this players. I will do control for pitchers and not command because I feel that it is tough to rate someone's command without watching them a lot and control can be derived from walk rates. For those who are unfamiliar with the 20-80 scouting scale 80 is elite, 70 is well above average, 60 is above average, 50 is average, 40 is below average, and 30 and 20 are poor. Some say that 60 is plus but personally I think there are two grades between average and plus. For example Matt Harvey has an 8 fastball, Giancarlo Stanton has 8 raw power, Miguel Cabrera has 8 hitting ability, Clayton Kershaw has an 8 curveball etc. So here it goes!
1) Noah Syndergaard RHP
Born: August 29, 1992(Age 21) Mansfield, Texas
Height: 6'6" Weight: 240
Stuff: Fastball 70/80, Curveball 60/70, Changeup 50/60, Control 55/65
The man, the myth, the legend. They call him Thor and I'm not arguing cause Syndergaard is huge, blond, andlook like a Cyborg. In short, he's a monster. Syndergaard has an arsenal of pitches headlined by a plus fastball which routinely sits 94-96. Sometimes, as it did in the playoff start, his fastball can sit in the 96-98 range and touch triple digits. His fastball maxed out at around 101 mph in the playoff start including a 100 mph bullet(his final pitch was a curveball that made me wet myself) on his final fastball of the night. Syndergaard complements his fastball with a curveball that is close to being a true plus pitch. Syndergaard's curveball made huge strides throughout the year and he credited part of the development of his curveball to the Blue Jays teaching him a slider last year to speed up his arm. (Did someone say RAmen?) His changeup is a developing pitch and it should be at least an above average pitch in the future. Unlike a lot of young power pitchers Syndergaard throws a lot of strikes as his walk rates indicate.
Season in Review: Syndergaard began the season in Advanced A St. Luice. He had an extremely impressive stay there as he posted a 3.11 ERA(2.60 FIP) along with a 9.05 K/9 as well as a 2.3 BB/9. However, Syndergaard really impressed upon his promotion to Double A Binghamton. As one of the youngest pitchers in the Eastern League, Syndergaard could definitely be forgiven for not dominating right away, but he did just that. Through his first 10 starts Syndergaard posted 1.54 ERA. His 11th start after extra rest was one to forget and brought up his ERA but Syndergaard was incredible in his time in AA. His 11.5 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 is pretty ridiculous considering his age and level.
Outlook: Syndergaard is the best Mets prospect. He is an incredible talent and should be up to help the Mets sometime in 2014. He should start next year in Triple A Las Vegas where he should have the chance to work on his changeup.
Ceiling: Matt Harvey
Floor: Roger Clemens(but less of an asshole)
2) Travis d'Arnaud C
Born: February 10, 1989(Age 24) Long Beach, California
Height: 6'2" Weight: 195
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Drafted 37th by the Blue Jays in the first round of the 2007 MLB draft.
Tools: Hit 50/60, Power 50/60, Run 30/30, Arm 60/60, Field 50/60
d'Arnaud was sent along with Syndergaard to the Mets in the RAmen deal. He has had problems staying on the field, but he has shown that he can be an extremely good player when healthy. d'Arnaud is a solid hitter with a line drive and generates power with his plus batspeed. He has good arm strength and is a good defender. The one part of his defensive game that stands out is definitely his pitch framing as has been highlighted many times on Amazin' Avenue.
Season in Review: d'Arnaud lost a lot of his season due to a foot injury but he was brilliant once again in Las Vegas posting a .304/.487/.554 line(176 wRC+) in 78 plate appearances. He was promoted to the Major Leagues on August 17, 2013 and had a solid debut going 0-2 with 2 walks. Overall, d'Arnaud was less than spectacular with the bat in his brief Major League debut, but he showed a good attitude as well as an amazing ability to frame pitches and work with pitchers. d'Arnaud was no doubt learning the ropes after a frustrating injury, so it is not a surprise that he struggled a hit with the bat. However, d'Arnaud did hit .333 over his last 10 games and he did post a horrible BABIP so he did show signs of having an idea at the plate.
Outlook: d'Arnaud will enter 2014 as the Mets starting catcher and him turning into the player that scouts project will be a huge help to a Mets lineup that was punchless in 2013.
Ceiling: Mike Piazza
Floor: Buster Posey
3) Rafael Montero RHP
Born: October 17, 1990(Age 23) Higuerito, Banica, DO
Height: 6'0" Weight: 170
Signed January 20, 2011 by the Mets
Stuff: Fastball 60/70, Changeup 50/60, Slider 40/50, Curveball 40/50, Control 60/70
Montero has a decent amount of stuff with a two seamer at around 89-91 along with a four seamer at 92-94 touching 95 and sometimes higher. However, his amazing command of the pitch as well as the movement make his fastball play up. Montero's change up is a quality pitch with a good amount of fade. He throws a slider in the low-80's and a curveball in the high 70's but both of these pitches need work. Montero's amazing fastball command makes all his pitches play up and he has the ceiling of a number 3 starter. Given that this was just his second full season of pro ball he still has a chance to improve his offspeed stuff and raise the bar on his ceiling. Montero is a small pitcher but he has a clean arm action and repeats his delivery very well so that should help him stay injury-free.
Season in review: Montero had a tremendous season in the upper level of the minors. He began his year laying waste to Double A Binghamton posting a 2.43 ERA and an amazing 1.88 FIP. He also posted an incredible 9.72 K/9 as well as a microscopic 1.35 BB/9. After being promoted to Triple A Las Vegas Montero struggled a little but he righted the ship with a spectacular August and finished with a 3.05 ERA and 2.87 FIP in 16 games for the 51's. Those numbers in the hellhole that is Las Vegas and the PCL in general are amazing.
Outlook: Montero proved he was ready for the big leagues by making adjustments and finishing with an impressive final line in Las Vegas. He probably will be held back for the first month of the season to accrue an extra year or service time, but Montero should help the Mets at some point in 2014.
Ceiling. 6 foot? Right hander? Dominican? EL PEDRO!
Floor: Greg Maddux
4) Wilmer Flores INF
Born: August 6, 1991(Age 22) Valencia, Carabobo, VE
Height: 6'3" Weight: 190
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Signed: August 6, 2007 by the Mets.
Tools: Hit 60/65, Power 50/60, Run 30/30, Arm 60/60, Field 40/50
Flores' calling card is his hitting ability as evidenced by his career .290 batting average in the minor leagues. He hit .311 in Binghamton last year and followed that up by hitting .321 in Las Vegas this year. He has plus plus batspeed as well as a frame he is yet to grow into. His power began to show last year and he hit for even more power at Vegas this year. He may never be a 25+ home run hitter but 20 homers and plenty of doubles at his peak should be reasonable. Flores has slow feet and this limits his defensive ability. He is probably an average third baseman and a below average second baseman although he does have an above average arm so his bat will define what kind of player he is.
Season Review: Flores had a terrific season in Triple A Las Vegas. He got off to a slow start which was to be expected for one of the 5 youngest players in the league. However, he really turned it on and finished with a .321/.357/.531 line and 129 wRC+ at hitter friendly Las Vegas which is still very impressive given Flores' age. He was promoted to the majors and made his debut on August 6th. Flores got off to a good start as he hit .300 over his first 14 games. However, he re-injured his ankle and from that point on he was never the same as a hitter. He seemed to be in pain and it really showed as he was seemingly wincing with every swing he took. As a result Flores finished with a less than stellar line.
Outlook: Flores' overall season was positive as he had a big year for the 51's. His time in the Majors was hampered by an ankle injury but hopefully his ankle heals and he is able to show that he can play second base next year in the event that the Mets do trade Daniel Murphy. Flores has shown that he is done with the minors and he has value to the Mets either has a trade candidate or an infielder.
Ceiling: Jeff Kent
Floor: John Olerud
5) Cesar Puello OF
Born: April 1, 1991(Age 22) La Romana, DO
Height: 6'2" Weight: 195
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Signed: July 2, 2007 by the Mets
Tools: Hit 50/60, Power 50/60, Run 60/60, Arm 70/70, Field 50/60
Puello is the toolsiest prospect in the Mets system. He has plus plus batspeed as well as a lot of strength. He can hit for average and power. He is an above average runner and his outfield arm is probably the best in the Mets system. With his speed and arm Puello should develop into an above average defensive right fielder.
Season in Review: Puello had always been prospect who intrigued with his vast array of tools. He had shown flashes of his talents before this season but he finally put it together this year. As a 22 year old in the Eastern League Puello hit ..326/.403/.547 with 16 homers and 24 steals in 377 plate appearances. That translates to an extremely impressive 163 wRC+. The biggest knock on Puello was his plate discipline as his high OBP was fueled by his propensity to get hit by pitches. However, before being suspended for Biogenesis Puello had shown signs of improved plate discipline as he hit an absurd .353/.471/.485 with 13 walks and 26 strikeouts in 68 at bats. This came after a first half where he walked 16 times in 263 at bats. His Biogenesis involvement may raise questions about his season but when you consider that he hit 4 homers last year, 0 in April of this year, and that Biogenesis shut down September of last year. I believe that he used PED's to recover from injuries last year and this year was a case of a prospect putting his amazing ability together.
Outlook: 2014 will be a huge year for Puello as he has to prove that his performance this year was unrelated to PED's. Should he do that, he should get a chance to play for the Mets next year. He is a tremendously exciting player with his tools. Rated the most exciting player in the Eastern League by Baseball America, Puello can put on a show anywhere in the field. If Puello can continue to improve his plate discipline the sky is the limit for him.
Ceiling: Vladimir Guerrero
Floor: Yasiel Puig
6) Brandon Nimmo OF
Born: March 27, 1993(Age 20) Cheyenne, Wyoming
Height: 6'3" Weight: 185
Bats: Left, Throws: Right
Drafted 13th by the Mets in the first round of the 2011 MLB draft
Tools: Hit 50/60, Power 40/55, Run 50/55, Arm 50/50, Field 50/60
Nimmo has plus batspeed which is why he was drafted where he was despite any high school baseball experience. Nimmo is projected to be a player who can hit for average and power as he fills out. Toby Hyde, who covers every Savannah home game, thinks that Nimmo can stay in center field which increases his value. Nimmo was a 70 grade runner when he was drafted but reports after the draft was that he was a fringy runner. Nimmo can run pretty fast when he gets it going in the outfield but he is slower on the bases. He also has yet to learn how to steal a base which leads to his low stolen base totals in his pro career so far. Nimmo has a good assortment of tools, especially for a player who is projected to stick in center field.
Season in Review: On the surface, Nimmo's 2013 season looks like a disappointment as he did not hit for any power and struck out a lot. His average and OBP were very solid. Nimmo, however, suffered a hand injury after an April in which he batted .322/.421/.433(which included a 1-27 skid after the hand injury). He hit the DL for about a month and even when he came back it took him about two months to recover. Toby Hyde noted that Nimmo did not trust his hands and was unable to barrel up many balls due to his injury. However, August came and Hyde noted that Nimmo appeared to be fully healed and was looking more like the player we saw in April. Indeed, Nimmo batted .324/.473/.412 in August. Nimmo's overall season was not a complete failure as he was young for the league and still a very raw player. In fact a .363 wOBA and 127 wRC+ were good numbers and showed that Nimmo was very good at getting on base as his .397 OBP showed. Furthermore, Nimmo was also hampered by Historic Grayson Stadium which is one of the toughest ballparks in the minors. Nimmo hit .302/.421/.403 on the road.
Outlook: Nimmo showed in 2013 that when healthy he could hit and get on base with the best of them. However, he has to cut back on his strikeouts(which he did a bit in August) and develop more power. Hopefully he can start some putting more performance on the board with a healthy season in the Florida State League. I still believe Nimmo's power will come as he is lacking neither in size or batspeed and, well, F=ma right? Even if the power never comes Nimmo's on base skills can make him a valuable player as a center fielder who can bat leadoff especially in today's game where OBP is considered nearly twice as important as slugging. Oh yeah, and Nimmo is also a really easy guy to root for if you have ever heard him in an interview.
Ceiling: Mike Trout with less speed
Floor: Paul O'Neil
7) Dominic Smith 1B
Born: June 15, 1995(Age 18) Los Angeles, California
Height: 6'0" Weight: 185
Bats: Left, Throws: Left
Drafted 11th by the Mets in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft
Tools: Hit 50/70, Power 40/60, Run 40/40, Arm 60/60, Field 60/70
Sweet Swingin' Dominic Smith was the best prep hitter drafted and was arguably the best pure hitter in the entire draft. I have an unhealthy obsession with Dominic Smith's swing. It is absolutely gorgeous and if Jason Parks had to put a label on it would probably call it #wet, and it definitely makes me #wet. Alright, salivating aside Smith's swing is gorgeous and personally reminds me of Robinson Cano's. This swing projects him to be a plus hitter. He gets a decent amount of loft and has yet to fill out so he could be an above average power threat by the time it's all said and done. Smith can play right field as he has a strong arm which touches 92-94 off the mound but he projects to be a near-elite defender at first with that arm and soft hands. He also has a plus makeup as one GM said he was one of the best interviews that GM had ever conducted.
Season in Review: Smith rocked and rolled in his pro debut batting .301/.398/.439 between the GCL Mets and Kingsport Mets. His plate discipline was amazing to see as he walked 26 times and struck out only 37 times in 173 at bats. Scouting reports on him were universally positive with BP saying he projected as a middle of the order bat. BA also said that Smith had the potential to be a plus hitter with plus power and gold glove defense at first. That said, Smith seems to have a slight mechanical issue with his swing. His pre-draft videos show that he sometimes tends to be out on his front foot when he hits the ball. That is an easy fix by pro coaches and even with that mechanical issue Smith still squares everything up cause he is a damn good hitter with a pornographic swing.
Outlook: I desperately want Smith to be sent to Savannah to start next year as he appears to have the hitting chops and plate discipline to do it. However, he will be 18 for two and a half months of next year so he is very young and may well start in Brooklyn after extended Spring Training. Smith won't be a 40 homer hitting slugging first baseman but a .300 hitting 20-25 homer hitting first baseman with plenty of doubles and gold glove defense is his ceiling right now. Didn't we used to have a first baseman like that many years ago? Here's a little video of Smith so you can get as #wet as I do.
Ceiling: First base version of Ken Griffey Junior
Floor: 2000 Todd Helton
Did I mention I like his swing?
8.) Dilson Herrera INF
Born: March 3, 1994(Age 19) Cartagena, CO
Height: 5'10" Weight: 150
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Signed August 20, 2010 by the Pirates
Tools: Hit 40/50, Power 40/55, Run 60/60, Arm 50/50, Field 50/60
Herrera was received in the Marlon Byrd trade and he is a decent prospect. He has solid tools around the board including a lot of batspeed. For a small guy, he has a lot of pop with 40 extra bats this year in Lo-A. His swing has some mechanical issues, and he would be much better served simplifying things and trusting his batspeed. Herrera is an above average runner although he has yet to perfect the art of stealing bases. He is also projected to play above average defense at second base.
Season in Review: Herrera started the season in the Pirates system in Lo-A in the South Atlantic League. Playing for the West Virgina power, he hit .265/.330/.421 and posted a 116 wRC+ which is a very solid line for a 19 year old in the South Atlantic League. He also had some serious home road splits which were very weird. Despite almost identical k/bb numbers, Herrera's OPS on the road was .866 and was .625 at home. That is very odd. Herrera was solid upon moving to Savannah after the trade as he batted .316/.417/.316 in 19 at bats with the Sand Gnats.
Outlook: Herrera had a very solid season with a .750 OPS in the South Atlantic League as a 19 year old. He projects as an above average second baseman which is a valuable commodity in today's game. However, there may be room for more because if Herrera can clean up his swing and limit his strikeouts he may have a higher offensive ceiling. His home/road splits are also really weird and can't be explained other than he had a really low BABIP at home. Herrera figures to be with Port St Luice next year and hopefully he has a breakout year.
Ceiling: Joe Morgan
Floor: Daniel Murphy with MOAR SKILLZ
9.) Steven Matz LHP
Born: May 29, 1991(Age 22) Stony Brook, NY
Height: 6'2", Weight: 192
Drafted 72nd by the Mets in the 2nd round of the 2009 MLB draft
Stuff: Fastball 60/70, Changeup 60/65, Curveball 50/60, Control 50/60
Matz and another guy later down in this post probably have the best stuff on this list besides He Who Blots Out The Sun. This was Matz's first full year due to Tommy John as well as various setbacks. However, he has the highest ceiling out of any Mets pitcher in the system besides He Who Blots Out The Sun. Matz has premium stuff especially for a left hander. He has a two seam and a four seam fastball. The four seam sits 93-95 and touches the upper 90's. That is outstanding velocity for a lefty. His changeup, as Toby Hyde notes, is well on its way to becoming a plus pitch. Matz began the year but him and Frank Viola decided to morph it into a curveball later in the year. Matz's curveball has the potential to be an above average pitch. Matz's health is his only concern as he has the stuff to be an impact starting pitcher.
Season in Review: Matz's stuff was too much for A ball hitters as he dominated Lo A Savannah posting a 2.62 ERA, 7.3 h/9, and 10.2 K/9. His control was also much better than expected as he walked 3.18 walks per 9 innings. Matz was otherwordly in the South Atlantic League playoffs as he won both clinchers for the champion Sand Gnats. Matz threw a combined 12.2 innings of scoreless ball with 17 strikeouts in the playoffs.
Outlook: Based on talent and ceiling, Matz would probably be number 2 or 3 on this list. His stuff is that good. However, Matz still has to show he can stay healthy. Hopefully he has a healthy season next year at Advanced A St Luice with a probable promotion to Double A Binghamton. If he can succeed there, his prospect stock should soar as the number of lefties with his stuff in the minor leagues can probably be counted on one hand. Matz making the majors would be a feel good story given his injury history so having the ceiling of a number 2 starting pitcher only adds to that.
Ceiling: Sandy Koufax except good for 16 years and not 6
Floor: Clayton Kershaw
10) Michael Fulmer RHP
Born: March 15, 1993(Age 20) Oklahoma City, OK
Height: 6'3", Weight: 200
Drafted 44th by the Mets in the 1st round of the 2011 MLB draft
Stuff: Fastball 60/70, Slider 50/60, Changeup 40/50, Control 45/55.
Fulmer is a prototypical pitcher with a big workhorse like frame. He also has a fastball which sits in the mid 90's and can touch 97 or 98 miles an hour. Fulmer's slider also shows promising potential. Fulmer's changeup lags behind these two pitches and the development of this pitch will determine whether Fulmer will be a cog in a major league rotation or a reliever. Fulmer's delivery is a bit messy and this leads to inconsistent control. Fulmer has a high effort delivery and he uses more arms than legs which leads to inconsistent finishes and release points.
Season in Review: Fulmer lost most of 2013 to a meniscus injury suffered in Spring Training. He returned and made 2 dominant starts with the GCL Mets. Then he moved on to Advanced A St. Luice where he made 7 starts before being shut down with bicep tendinitis. In those 7 starts Fulmer posted a 3.44 ERA, struck out 29 batters in 34 innings, and allowed just 24 hits in those 34 innings, showing that he still had the stuff that had made him a top Mets prospect going into to 2013. His control was spotty which was to be expected for a pitcher coming off a long layoff.
Outlook: Fulmer will probably start off in St. Luice which is fine considering he will be 21 for all of next year. If he performs he should get the call to Binghamton sometime during the season. Fulmer is an intriguing prospect with a number 2/3 workhorse ceiling so lets hope he has a healthy 2014 and continues to develop.
Ceiling: Matt Harvey
Floor: Max Scherzer
11) Kevin Plawecki C
Born: February 26, 1991(Age 22) Carmel, Indiana
Height: 6'2", Weight: 205
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Drafted 35th by the Mets in the 1st round of the 2012 MLB draft
Tools: Hit 50/60, Power 40/50, Run 30/30, Arm 50/50, Field 50/60
Plawecki is a contact hitter who has a solid line drive swing. He has a very good eye at the plate and doesn't strike out much. He has the reputation of being an advanced hitter and projects to hit for a high average at the major league level. He doesn't project to hit more than 10-15 homers due to his average batspeed, but that is fine for a catcher. Defensively Plawecki's only concerns are about his arm as the rest of his catching game is solid. Plawecki has the ability to be an above average catcher at the mlb level which is a very valuable commodity.
Season in Review: Although Plawecki spent all of 2013 in A ball as a 22 year old, the results were very encouraging nonetheless. Plawecki started 2013 by demolishing Lo-A Savannah to the tune of .314/.390/.494 which equates to a 152 wRC+. Plawecki was not as good upon his promotion to Hi-A St. Luice but he still posted a 131 wRC+. The most impressive thing about Plawecki's season was his outstanding 42/53 BB/K ratio. That suggests that he has what it takes to hit for average at the highest levels.
Outlook: Plawecki should get the chance to prove his worth at the upper levels of the minors in 2014 as he is slated to start in AA. If Plawecki shows the same line drive tendencies and plate discipline his stock as a prospect will soar because players who can potentially be an above average catcher have a lot of value due to the weakness of the catching position in both the minors and majors.
Ceiling: Pudge Rodriguez
Floor: Yadier Molina without the bad stuff and with less mole-rat looks
12) Gabriel Ynoa RHP
Born: May 26, 1993(Age 20) La Vega, DO
Height: 6'2" Weight: 158
Signed November 19th, 2009 by the Mets
Stuff: Fastball 55/65, Changeup 50/60, Slider 40/50, Control 60/70
Ynoa has a fastball that sits around 90-92 and can touch 93 or 94. The pitch should be an above average one in the future that would play up because of his easy delivery, outstanding command, and movement. However, Ynoa is all about physical projection so if he fills out he should add a tick to his fastball which could make it plus pitch. Ynoa also has two secondary pitches, a changeup which has the chance to be a good pitch, and a sweepy slider that at the present time doesn't project to be any more than an average pitch due to its inability to miss bats from Ynoa's 3/4 delivery. Ynoa is only 20, so there exists plenty of opportunity for Ynoa to up his fastball velocity and to improve his secondaries. Ynoa's current profile reminds me a lot of Rafael Montero, but Ynoa could have a higher ceiling if he fills out. Nevertheless, scouts have told Toby Hyde that they see 3 big league pitches in Ynoa. Ynoa is also said to have a great feel for pitching and mound presence.
Season in Review: Ynoa was the Sterling pitcher of the year so obviously he had a great season. Pitching the entire season for Single A Savannah, Ynoa posted a 2.72 ERA as well as a 2.88 FIP. He also struck out 7 batters per 9, held batters to a .238 clip, and posted a minuscule 1.1 BB/9. All of this led to an outstanding 1.02 WHIP. Ynoa also posted two great starts in the playoffs as he and Steven Matz led the Sand Gnats to the South Atlantic League championship.
Outlook: At this point, Ynoa projects to be a Montero-esque pitcher and a league average starter. He has solid stuff along with amazing control. That is obviously a great thing to have, but if Ynoa fills out he could be even more. Ynoa is an exciting pitching prospect and he should begin 2014 in St. Luice. Ynoa really put himself on the map this year so hopefully he can continue his upwards trajectory in 2013.
Ceiling: 6'2" Dominican, Good control...No Pedro...LOS DOC
Floor: Don Pedro
13) Jacob deGrom RHP
Born June 19, 1988(Age 25) in De Leon Springs, Florida
Height: 6'4", Weight: 185
Drafted in the 9th round by the Mets in the 2010 MLB draft
Stuff: Fastball 60/70, Curveball 40/55, Changeup 40/50, Control 45/60
deGrom looks like a major league pitcher with a lean and athletic frame. deGrom's bread and butter is a hard sinking fastball which sits 92-95 and can touch higher. His secondary stuff is behind right now, as he recently scrapped his slider for a curveball. While deGrom is 25, he was a shortstop most of his life before converting to pitching. He also had Tommy John surgery so 2013 was just his second year pitching in pro ball. deGrom has mid rotation upside if he can improve his offspeed stuff but it is far more likely that he pitches in the back end of a bullpen with his power sinker in the near future.
Season in Review: deGrom had a solid year in the upper levels of the minors. His ERA at Binghamton was 4.80 although his FIP was a far more respectable 3.70. deGrom was then promoted to Las Vegas and he got off to a strong start but faltered down the stretch most likely due to fatigue. deGrom threw 147.2 innings this year as opposed to 111.2 last year. deGrom posted a 3.56 FIP in Vegas as well as a 2.63 K/BB ratio, both of which are very strong in the hostile environment in the PCL. deGrom is not a strikeout pitcher as his secondary stuff is below average and his fastball generates a ton of ground outs.
Outlook: deGrom has really skyrocketed through the Mets system as he has pitched in 4 levels in 2 years. Since deGrom is relatively new to pitching, there is hope that he can improve his offspeed stuff and stick as a starter. However, it is more likely that he pitches out of the 'pen for the Mets next year and develops into a good hard throwing backend reliever. Definitely not bad for a 9th round pick.
Ceiling: Matt Harvey
Floor: Justin Verlander
14) Amed Rosario SS
Born: November 20, 1995(Age 17), Santo Domingo Centro, Dominican Republic
Height: 6'2", Weight: 170
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Signed July 2, 2012 by the Mets
Tools: Hit 30/60, Power 40/60, Run 55/50, Arm 60/60, Field 50/50
Rosario is THE bonus baby as he got the highest signing bonus the Mets have ever given to an amateur international player at 1.75 million(surpassing the 1.3 million given to Fernando Martinez). He has good tools across the board and it all starts with the bat. Rosario has excellent batspeed and excellent future power potential. BA thought very highly of him as they rated him the number 1 prospect in the Appalachian League and said he had star potential. Rosario has a long swing and some mechanical issues that he has to clean up, but as BA noted, he can already drive the ball to the opposite field like a man(as you will see in the video). Rosario has a lanky athletic frames and scouts are hoping that he can stick at shortstop because he definitely has the arm. Even if he doesn't, his offensive ceiling is high enough to play at third or a corner outfield spot. If you're thinking Wilmer Flores, don't. Rosario is more athletic and Flores was assumed to move off short. Rosario has also been lauded for his excellent makeup(NO MOAR MILLEDGEZ).
Season in Review: Kingsport stats don't matter that much and they matter even less when the player in question is the equivalent of a high school junior. Rosario hit .247/.279/.358 so he showed off good power potential with a .111 ISO and 15 extra base hits in 212 at bats. Rosario held his own with the bat so that is the most important thing to see here.
Outlook: Unless Omar Minaya becomes GM, Rosario will start 2014 at Brooklyn as one of the youngest players in the league. He doesn't have to light the world up in the box scores because the most important thing an 18 year old can do is to learn and develop although it would be nice if Rosario hits .300/.350/.550 and raises massive TRAID value. Rosario has a very high ceiling; the ability to hit .280 with 20-25 homers is rarely seen in shortstops and Rosario has that kind of potential. Should be fun to watch, but for now be content with this short video in which you see Rosario field and hit(including an oppo taco).
Ceiling: Alex Rodriguez except no birdseed ballsack because of steroids
Floor: Derek Jeter with MOAR POWER MOAR DEFENSE
15. Gavin Cecchini SS
Born: December 22, 1993(Age 19), Lake Charles, Louisiana
Height: 6'1", Weight: 180
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Drafted 12th by the Mets in the first round of the 2012 MLB draft
Tools: Hit 40/60, Power 30/45, Run 55/55, Arm 55/55, Field 50/55
Cecchini doesn't have a single standout tool but he has the potential to be an above average MLB shortstop. He has a smooth righty swing which should lead to an above average hitter as well as gap power. Or at least that is what everyone is hoping for. Cecchini is a plus makeup guy and will stick at shortstop so those are two good things. As some of you may know, I love Cecchini as a prospect and thought he was a great draft pick. It also didn't help that Jason Parks recently said that besides Byron Buxton, Javier Baez and Lucas Giolito had the highest ceilings in the minor leagues. But whatever, Cecchini has the potential to be an above average shortstop and that is still a great return from a draft pick.
Season in Review: Cecchini spend 2013 in Brooklyn. He was injured for part of the season but still managed a 19 game hitting streak culminating in a .273/.319/.314 line. A 94 wRC+ is definitely acceptable for a 19 year old in the New York Penn League. Cecchini showed a good hit tool, but did not show much in the ways of power or walks which is to be expected of a 19 year old. On the brighter side he also did not strike out much.
Outlook: Cecchini will start 2014 in Savannah where hopefully he can improve and start moving through the system. The Mets at the present do not have any semblance of a starting MLB shortstop much less an above average one and Cecchini being that would be an appreciable tonic.
Ceiling: Honus Wagner
Ceiling: Pete Kozma
Floor: Brandon Crawford
16) Luis Mateo RHP
Born: March 22, 1990(Age 23) Nizao, Peravia, DO
Height: 6'3", Weight: 185
Signed May 11, 2011 by the Mets.
Stuff: Fastball 60/65, Slider 60/70, Changeup 40/50, Control 55/65
Mateo is one of my favorite pitching prospects. Unfortunately, he underwent Tommy John surgery which will sideline until next June or July. Like I said earlier, he and Steven Matz have the best mortal-stuff in the Mets system. Mateo has a perfect pitcher's frame along with a fastball that sits in the 92-95 range and touches higher. His slider is the best in the Mets system. Thrown in the upper 80's, Mateo's slider can be thrown for strikes, and he can also break it out of the zone. Mateo's changeup is a work in progress, but he has above average control. If Mateo comes back healthy and improves his changeup he has serious ceiling as a high end starter. If not there is still the potential for a dominant reliever who would feature two 70 grade pitches out of the bullpen. It all depends on Mateo being healthy after his surgery.
Season in Review: Mateo made one healthy start in 2013(his first: a dominant performance for St. Luice). However, his second start was a spot start in Binghamton and he injured himself then. After that he tried to return but ultimately had to go under the knife for Tommy John surgery.
Outlook: Mateo has the chance to be an impact starter by the end of 2015 if he comes back healthy. However, due to his age and injury, he may also be a reliever, albeit a very good one. Mateo is an exciting prospect so we can only hope he returns as good as new.
Ceiling: Doc Gooden with El Slidero instead of Lord Charles
Floor: Taller righty Billy Wagner.
17) Domingo Tapia RHP
Born: December 16, 1991(Age 21) Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, DO
Height: 6'4", Weight: 186
Signed December 16, 2009 by the Mets
Stuff: Fastball 70/80, Changeup 50/60, Slider 40/50, Control 40/50
Tapia is an enigma. Based on results he would not be on this list but his pure stuff is too good to pass up. He has an awesome pitchers frame as well as the best fastball in the Mets system. He has two distinct fastballs: A two seamer in the mid 90's with crazy movement and a four seamer that routinely touches the upper 90's. His changeup is also an excellent pitch with good armspeed and good velocity differential. Tapia's slider is a work in progress as he struggles to get on top of the pitch at times due to his low 3/4 arm angle. The biggest problem with Tapia is his control. He had a disastrous 2013 and that was mainly due to him walking 5.6 batters per 9 innings!
Season in Review: Tapia's 2013 was a disaster. He had a good 2012 although he ran out of gas in the second half. Tapia walked 2.7 per 9 in 2012 which is excellent for a young pitcher with huge raw stuff. However, that walk rate more than doubled in 2013 which lead to a 4.62 ERA. Tapia showed he still had stuff as scouts noted that his fastball was about has tough to hit as a bowling ball. Tapia struck out 7.9 per 9 innings, allowed just 87 hits in 101 innings and gave up just 3 home runs so his heavy stuff was clearly there. All of this led to a decent 3.84 FIP but unless Tapia drastically improves his walk rate he will be ticketed for the bullpen.
Outlook: Tapia may repeat in St Luice but with the glut of arms going there such as Ynoa, Matz and Cessa, Tapia may be ticketed for Double A Binghamton. Tapia will have to prove that he can cut down on the walks in order to remain a serious starting pitching prospect. A lot of things in Tapia's profile such as his breaking ball and control scream reliever, but the Mets will not give up on a player with the raw stuff and talent that Tapia has. hopefully Tapia reigns his command in next year, improves his breaking ball, and moves into the top 10 on this list. If not he can probably be an awesome reliever with his elite fastballs and good changeup but Tapia will have to throw strikes no matter what.
Ceiling: Nolan Ryan
Floor: Fernando Rodney 2012
18) Jayce Boyd 1B
Born: December 30, 1990(Age 22) Cantonment, Florida
Height: 6'3", Weight: 185
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Drafted 200th by the Mets in the 6th round of the 2012 MLB draft
Tools: Hit 50/60, Power 40/55, Run 40/40, Arm 40/40, Field 50/60
Boyd's calling cards are his hit tool and strong eye at the plate. He has a smooth swing which leads to a lot of contact. He may never have big power, but there should be plenty of doubles wherever he goes. Boyd is pretty much confined to first base due to his weak arm and slow feet. Because of this, his bat will have to be good in order for him to be a starting MLB first baseman. He may not have the power of a traditional first baseman, but Boyd is a good fielder and projects to be an MLB average first baseman.
Season in Review: Boyd had an excellent year. Much like Kevin Palwecki, he started in Lo-A Savannah where he hit an absurd .361/.441/.494 with an absurder .430 wOBA and a ridiculous 171 wRC+. After the move to St Luice, Boyd was not as good but he was still good with a .292/.372/.421 line and a 128 wRC+. Boyd, like Plawecki, posted an impressive 1:1 walk to strikeout ratio over the course of the year so that suggests that he has the plate discipline to succeed at the highest levels.
Outlook: Boyd will start next year in Binghamton. In case you haven't noticed, Boyd is a very similar hitter to Kevin Plawecki. Here the only difference is that Plawecki's bat is plus for a catcher while Boyd will have to reach his full potential for his bat to be average or above average at first. That being said Boyd can hopefully move quickly through the system and at the worst should be a Josh Satin type. That ain't bad for a 6th rounder.
Ceiling: Keith Hernandez
Floor: John Olerud
19) Cory Mazzoni RHP
Born: October 19, 1989(age 24) Evans City, Pennsylvania
Height: 6'1", Weight: 190
Drafted 71st by the Mets in the 2nd round of the 2011 MLB draft
Stuff: Fastball 60/60, Slider 45/55, Splitter 45/55, Control 50/60
Mazzoni has a good fastball which sits in the 90-94 range and touches 95. There were reports that he was throwing 97 this year in Binghamton so that is a good sign. However, Mazzoni's fastball does not feature much movement, stopping it from being a plus offering. His secondary stuff is unimpressive but serviceable as Mazzoni features a slider and a splitter both of which are about average. His control is an asset as he has a smooth delivery and repeats it well. Mazzoni's size and lack of high end offspeed stuff likely make him a reliever as the potential for his fastball to play up in short stints is intriguing.
Season in Review: His 4.36 ERA may not show it, but Mazzoni had an excellent 12 starts for Double A Binghamton. He posted a sterling 2.60 FIP, belied by 2.6 BB/9 and a 10.1 K/9. Mazzoni was shut down, however, due to an injury so he didn't have the opportunity to finish the season.
Outlook: Mazzoni probably isn't a starter, but he has the potential to be a good hard throwing reliever as soon as Mid to Late 2014.
Ceiling: Felix Hernandez
Floor: Koji Uehera 2013
20) Luis Cessa RHP
Born: April 25, 1992(Age 21) Cordoba, Veracruz, MX
Height: 6'3", Weight: 190
Signed by the Mets in June, 2008
Stuff: Fastball 50/60, Changeup 50/60, Curveball 40/50, Control 55/65
Cessa has a solid arsenal. His fastball sits in the low 90's and can touch the mid-90's. His changeup is a solid pitch and he has good feel for it. Cessa's curveball lags behind his other two offerings although it has some potential. Cessa has a good pitchers frame so there is some hope that there may be something left in the tank in terms of projection. If not Cessa will most likely be a backend starter or a middle reliever if his offspeed stuff fails to deliver. Cessa was also signed as an infielder so he is relatively new to pitching which is promising given his age and results.
Season in Review: Cessa had a fantastic year as part of the dominant Savannah pitching staff. He had a 3.12 ERA, 2.83 FIP, and an outstanding 8.6 K/9 and 1.3 BB/9. His strikeout numbers were very encouraging considering he struck out just 5.5/9 in Brooklyn in 2012. I mean any time a guy posts a 6.53 K/BB there is hope for him as a starter.
Outlook: Cessa should start in the crowded St. Luice rotation. A promotion to Binghamton would not be ridiculous considering he will turn 22 a month into next year. Hopefully Cessa develops, fills out, improves his stuff and turns out to be a diamond in the rough!
Ceiling(THIS IS A JOKE): Matt Cain
Alternate Ceiling: RA Dickey
Well that's it folks! My rendition of the top 20 New York Mets prospects. Once again, I'm not a scout but I watch quite a few minor league games and read a lot about the minor leagues so I fancy myself as having some idea about prospects. But if need be, feel free to take my opinion with a grain of salt, but keep in mind that I spent a ton of time working on this. Kudos if you read through this whole thing cause it was pretty long. I mostly mean this as a platform for discussing our farm system so feel free to sound off in the comments below. Try to avoid petty squabbles like "Oh Cecchini's hit tool is more of a 30(although you can say that)" or "Player X has 50 grade #rig not 55". Before we leave, a few more things: