Prospect Performance Meter: End of April

Noah Syndergaard is coming off of his best start of 2013. - (Photo Credit: Chris McShane)

With a month of baseball in the books, let's get a pulse check on some of the Mets top minor league talent.

A month into the season the Mets farm system is generally on the uptick. With an overall record of 52 and 39, the affiliates have been largely successful thus far. More importantly, many of the club's top prospects are performing—specifically, the impressive wave of pitching talent, aside from a notable lull at the very top.

Note, performance indicators—meaning green and red arrows—correlate to a player's recent performance, not necessarily any movement in rankings. Additionally, for the first couple of months we'll obviously just skip short-season players like Gavin Cecchini and German Rosario.

Prospect This Month Comment
Zack Wheeler, RHP We know the stuff is already there, but with nine walks over his last 9.1 innings the command still has a good amount of catching up to do before he's ready for the show. Still, as soon as he strings together 3-4 strong starts he'll be knocking on the door.
Travis d'Arnaud, C Suffered a non-displaced fracture in his left foot back on April 17th, which should keep him out for eight weeks. Bummer.
Noah Syndergaard, RHP After a three-inning, eight-run clunker back on the 18th, the 20-year-old has righted the ship with 13 scoreless innings and 11 strikeouts over his last two starts.
Michael Fulmer, RHP Back on the mound tossing rehab innings in extended spring training after spring training surgery for a torn meniscus.
Domingo Tapia, RHP
Started the season unevenly but he's been on a roll of late; currently top three amongst starters in the FSL in opponent average, swinging strike rate, and ground ball rate.
Wilmer Flores, 2B
Still hasn't blown up in the high air of Vegas but the 1:1 BB-to-K rate and the lowest strikeout % amongst Triple-A hitters (under league average age) are harbingers of good things to come.
Brandon Nimmo, OF
After a red-hot start, the 20-year-old has recently cooled down to the tune of a .205 average over his last ten games; more troublesome is his .133 mark in 15 appearances against lefties.
Rafael Montero, RHP
He's on pace to reach 100 strikeouts before he reaches ten walks. He's been so good that it's actually shocking when he walks more than one batter in a game, as he did in his last start. Regardless, he's been arguably the best pitcher in the Eastern League and is beginning to generate murmurs of a direct trip to Queens at some point in '13.
Jeurys Familia, RHP
Had good success as the 51s closer, walking a single batter in five scoreless innings. Unfortunately hasn't been able to replicate that performance in his latest call-up, walking three batters in four so-so major league innings.
Luis Mateo, RHP
Left the game during his Double-A debut with elbow soreness, he's currently on the DL and rehabbing down in St. Lucie. Too bad as scouts were really beginning to come around on his ability to be an impact rotation piece long-term.
Jacob DeGrom, RHP
Opened a lot of eyes with an eight strikeout gem in his Double-A debut; however he's found the row a lot tougher to hoe ever since, allowing nine runs over his last ten innings with as many walks as strikeouts (5) over that span. It'll be tougher to justify a rotation spot once Mazzoni returns if he doesn't shape up.
Kevin Plawecki, C
Batted .417 with a pair of homers in his last ten games. What's more, he's limiting the strikeouts and beginning to boost that walk rate. The 22-year-old is just too advanced for the SAL; though with the tandem of Maron and Cordero both requiring reps in St. Lucie, is it too hasty to start thinking about a jump directly to Double-A?
Wilfredo Tovar, SS
He's going to have to get some kind of hot to counteract the anemic offensive performance he's put up thus far, batting .184 with just four extra-base hits.
Aderlin Rodriguez, 1B/3B
While he's still hitting below the Mendoza Line -- and .225 over his last ten -- Rodriguez is beginning to shows signs he's breaking out of it. He (finally) notched his first two walks of the season last week and he's blasted three homers and a barrage of doubles since we last checked in on him.
Cory Mazzoni, RHP
He's been on the DL since April 15th with elbow neuritis; though he's reportedly back on the mound and throwing again. Should be interesting to see what happens in the B-Mets rotation when Mazzoni and Mateo are back to full strength.
Gabriel Ynoa, RHP
Hasn't blown anyone away with his 3.38 ERA thus far; however he continues to rack up the strikeouts while limiting opposing hitters to a .213 average. Some feel that Ynoa is the cream of the Savannah pitching crop.
Phillip Evans, SS
.182 average with two lonely extra-base hits in 22 games plus very unsteady glovework at short does not a top prospect make.
Jack Leathersich, LHP
How long can the zero ERA persist, especially as he continues to walk nearly a batter an inning? I suppose about as long as he strikes out almost two an inning to mitigate it; Leather Rocket boasts the highest swinging strike rate of any pitcher (under league average age) in the Eastern League.
Cory Vaughn, OF
Vaughn has been the same player as always -- showcasing plenty of secondary skills -- except now with with a strong batting average (.299). But there are cracks if you look hard enough as his characteristically high strikeout rate is well above career high levels (25.6%) while the nice average is buoyed by an unsustainable .380 BABIP.
Juan Lagares, OF
After batting .346 with three homers through 17 games out in Vegas, the club realized that he's a better option right now than Kirk Nieuwenhuis and called him up. He's batted .125 in limited exposure thus far.
Steven Matz, LHP
The 21-year-old is certainly looking the part of a top pitching prospect with a 1.96 ERA and 21 strikeouts versus six walks in his first four starts. At this point we really just need to see how his arm reacts to a starter's workload.
Rainy Lara, RHP
One of only two pitchers in the SAL in the top five in both strikeout rate and walk rate. Recent first-hand reports have been so-so, but the results demand some attention as a legit prospect -- albeit one in Low-A.
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