Last week Jonathan Mayo released his 2013 Mets top 20 prospect rankings over at MLB.com. Mayo's rankings are one of the last major lists to be released as ranking season begins to come to a close. Additionally, though certainly calibrated differently than our own, his rankings are always interesting in that he's usually for a surprise or two.
My only complaint with Mayo's lists is that he doesn't often give the reader a ton of insight into how or why he places players where he does. On the surface, it always tends to read like a weird hybrid of a value sheet with some personal bets tossed in. As an example, at the very least I've enjoyed hearing people's rationale for d'Arnaud or Wheeler on top and in this case we don't
I've summarized Mayo's top 20 with our own 2013 top 20 alongside for reference. Below, you'll find comments on some of the picks I found most noteworthy (Note, player names on the right-hand side link to the AA Top 50 profiles):
- Mayo has always been a Familia fan, placing him in his top five each of the last three years. I like that ranking; sometimes evaluators lose sight of a player's past accomplishments when they stall a bit -- as Familia did in Triple-A in '12. Obviously the latest season is always the most important when analyzing a player, but that doesn't mean it's the only season. Obviously I don't like the reliever light the organization has cast him in of late, but it's important to note that he could easily be an impact player for the Mets this season, something many players on this list may never do.
- New additions or not, it's a little awkward to see Michael Fulmer drop two spots (Mayo ranked him no. eight in 2012) coming off a season where he posted a 2.74 ERA as one of the youngest pitchers in all of full-season baseball. Not to mention the fact that he flashed high-90s velocity and a wipeout slider.
- The same can be said for Domingo Tapia, who climbed only one spot after a season where he showcased perhaps the most dominant fastball in the entire system while posting a career high strikeout rate (8.39), the second-best FIP in the SAL (2.68), and the very best groundball rate in the league (2.65 GB:FB). I loved what Luis Mateo did in 2012, but based on age and context I'd say both Tapia and Fulmer belong ahead of him.
- Interesting to see how aggressive he was with Hansel Robles. I tabbed him as no. 28 in our own rankings, though I could have easily been swayed to go a little higher. All the way up to 13? Maybe not; however I have made mention of the fact that in the absence of a ton of data I'm finding it more prudent to take cues from the organization, who has more data than anyone. And in this case, the Mets surprisingly added Robles to the 40-man in December.
- Still holding onto the Puello love, keeping him in the top 15. I just can't do the same, with the increasingly severe fundamental flaws in his game combined with an increasingly shaky injury history. Obviously you can't disregard him completely based on a top flight toolbox; however, other outfield names like Vaughn, Lagares, and even Becerra take more precedence for me at this point.
- Obviously I'm a fan of the Tovar ranking. I've made it no secret that I felt the 21-year-old defensive whiz was being overlooked in most major rankings this offseason. However, in making the case for a defensive whiz whose floor is already that of an impact defender, I found it hard not to reward Matt den dekker a bit as well -- which Mayo did not.
- Matthew Reynolds at no. 18 represented the largest spread between our two lists (I placed him at no. 34). I can see the logic behind the ranking: He was solid in his professional debut despite a very agressive assignment to full-season ball. Additionally, if he can handle short -- like the club clearly thinks he can -- his strong all-around skillset would move fast. However, for me the all-around game still only maxes out as a future utilityman and considering his sub-par hit tool he has to do more before I give him a great shot to get there.
- The common theme I'm noticing throughout Mets prospect rankings this winter is the lack of love for Aderlin Rodriguez. Clearly his is a profile that comes with some flaws -- namely lots of swing-and-miss and almost a complete lack of defensive value. Still, he was a 20-year-old who was quite young for the SAL yet by most measures still batted about 25% above league average last season. Not only that but he continued to feature the kind of premium power that is rarely seen in the Mets system, posting an outstanding 200+ ISO across two power-suppressing environments (Savannah & PSL). Not to be lost in all this was the fact that he was also able to boost his walk rate while keeping the strikeouts under control. With all of the talent that has emerged in this system of late it's fair to keep him out of the top 10-15 but based on the potential for a middle-of-the-order bat alone I just don't see placing guys like Puello above him.