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Interweb: Mets' Top Prospects

Last week, the inimitable Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus unveiled his Top 10 prospects of the Mets' system. Here they are:

Excellent Prospects

  1. Fernando Martinez, cf
  2. Philip Humber, rhp
  3. Mike Pelfrey, rhp
Very Good Prospects
  1. Carlos Gomez, of
Good Prospects
  1. Alay Soler, rhp
Average Prospects
  1. Jon Niese, lhp
  2. Kevin Mulvey, rhp
  3. Mike Carp, 1b
  4. Deolis Guerra, rhp
  5. Joe Smith, rhp
KG's biggest complaint is a common one about the Mets' system: they are extremely top-heavy, but the talent falls of a cliff very quickly and there is very little depth to speak of. This isn't necessarily an awful thing, as I'm pretty sure most clubs would take a top-three as talented as the Mets' in lieu of a more evenly-distributed top-ten that may not feature a single superstar prospect.

Over at Mets Minor League Report, Toby Hyde caught up with KG to ask him some follow-ups to his list. I was going to do this myself but Toby saved me the trouble. There's plenty of good stuff in the interview, including this comment RE: studs versus depth:

You're absolutely right. Drafting and player development is not about providing fillers or average starters, it's about providing cheap impact talent

Martinez, Humber and Pelfrey could be swapped around quite a bit, and I would imagine that most Mets' prospect lists would feature those guys at the top in some order, with the occasional Carlos Gomez sprinkled in the top-three for variation. Humber is perceived to have a higher ceiling than Pelfrey, though Pelfrey has better mechanics and may be more likely to achieve longevity in the big leagues.

Everybody is impressed with Martinez, especially considering that he is already playing full-season ball and he just turned 18 in October. He will likely start the season in High-A St. Lucie but could see AA Binghamton before the season is out depending on how his development progresses.

Alay Soler at #5 should tell you something about how hard it was just to find ten guys to fill out this list. Jon Niese and Deolis Guerra are both nice looking pitchers with plenty of room to grow. Niese just turned 20 and Guerra won't turn 18 until April.

Mike Carp is an interesting prospect. He's still only twenty, even though I feel like I've followed him for the past four seasons. He has put up some nice offensive numbers, but he has had some problems against lefties (he is a lefty) and he is probably going to have to improve substantially if he's going to make it as an everyday first-baseman. He could be a Mike Jacobs-type hitter. The biggest problem with first base prospects is that they really have to hit because they aren't going to add much defensively and their glovework is only going to get worse as they age. Most hitters start off somewhere else in the field -- third base, outfield, etc. -- and eventually shift to first base because they are no longer adequate enough defensively to play anywhere else. Carp won't have the luxury of a leftward shift on the defensive spectrum.

I look forward to the other prospect lists that should emerge in the coming weeks, including that of SBNation cohort John Sickels, who is apparently already sick of looking at Mets' prospects.