It's prospect ranking season once again, and that means we owe you our annual Amazin' Avenue top 25 Mets prospects list for the upcoming season. As usual, the minor league staff has come together to produce a very strong, well-rounded aggregate list for your consideration. Every morning for the next week or so we'll review each installment, replete with 2014 statistics, commentary from the staff, and perhaps the best collection of images of Mets prospects on the web.
Also, as in years past, I encourage each and every reader to feel free to share his or her views. Share your rankings. Tell us why you agree or disagree with our rankings, or just share an opinion. In any case, the free flow of Mets minors information, in both directions, is the lifeblood of our little community, which I'm happy to say is as vibrant and knowledgeable as ever. But enough puffery;let's rank some Mets prospects!
25. Akeel Morris, RHP
Photo: Jessica Rudman
Selected by the New York Mets in the 10th round of the 2010 amateur draft out of Charlotte Amalie High School in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Steve Sypa says:
"Morris relies on his fastball a bit too much, and his breaking stuff needs to be refined. Despite being in the system for a few years now, many forget that the Virgin Islander had very little baseball experience before he was drafted. Developmentally, Morris lags behind a bit, but could be a late bloomer."
24. Jeff McNeil, 3B
Photo: Bryan Green
Selected by the New York Mets in the 12th round of the 2013 amateur draft out of Long Beach State University.
|St. Lucie (High-A)||58||207||31||51||66||8||2||1||13||22||25||2||2||.246||.329||.319||.648||1.27|
"The 2013 draftee out of Long Beach State has been a nice find, showcasing a strong approach at the plate to balance out the general lack of tools that left the one-time Cape Cod League batting champion on the board until the 12th round. His patient approach and underrated hit tool from the left side, not to mention serviceable speed on the basepaths, provide some value here. That said, despite a bit more punch than expected, the offensive package does not profile well at third base. Fortunately, the undersized McNeil (6'1", 165 lbs) played second and even some short in college and his best shot is to use that defensive flexibility while transitioning more to the middle infield. If he can make that happen, McNeil has an outside shot as a utility player, much in the same way Danny Muno is hoping to break in."
23. Rob Whalen, RHP
Photo: Chris McShane
Selected by the New York Mets in the 12th round of the 2012 draft out of Haines City (Fla.) High School.
|GCL Mets (Rookie)||0||1||1.29||3||2||0||0||0||0||7||4||1||1||0||0||2||0||10||.160||0.86||1.2|
"In a system less stocked with pitching talent the 21-year-old's strong performance would probably get more attention. In short, Whalen's strong command of the bottom of the zone and subsequent tendency for weak contact is his meal ticket. A stocky build (6'2", 200 lbs) doesn't scream projectability, but he currently works a good two-seamer in the low 90s -- touching 94 MPH -- and features an excellent swing-and-miss curve. While the profile may trend toward a bullpen role as he ascends, it will be interesting to see what happens if Whalen sharpens his changeup."
22. Matthew Bowman, RHP
Photo: Chris McShane
Selected by the New York Mets in the 13th round of the 2012 draft out of Princeton University.
|Las Vegas (AAA)||3||2||3.47||7||6||0||0||0||0||36.1||38||15||14||1||0||9||0||32||.268||1.29||2.08|
"The undersized righty (6', 165 lbs) without a single plus offering will never be mistaken for a staff ace. That said, his mastery of a broad, broad repertoire paired with spot-on command has served him well thus far and is a skill set that is intrinsically overlooked -- more so in this pitching-rich system. The big question with this profile is always the same: Gee or Schwinden? Maybe it's because I feel burned by the last such occurrence (i.e., Collin McHugh), but when I see the uniformly strong whiff rates, even better walk numbers, the serviceable fastball velo, numerous well-developed secondary offerings, and, importantly, the excellent ground ball trends that are more McHugh than Schwinden -- or Gee for that matter -- it all adds up to a nearly-ready, back-of-the-rotation starter to me. A second extended test in Vegas will tell us a lot."
21. Casey Meisner, RHP
Selected by the New York Mets in the 3rd round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Cypress Woods (TX) High School.
Photo: Chris McShane
"It wasn't an eye-popping season in Brooklyn for the 2013 third-rounder, who remains a little more hittable than one generally likes in short-season baseball. That said, even with a fastball velocity baseline of roughly 90 MPH he missed plenty of bats and featured excellent command, making the relatively unlocked projectability of a 6'7" monster all the more tantalizing. He'll turn 20 this season so it would be nice to start seeing him pop mid-90s more consistently than he has thus far, though the current iteration will play just fine at the next couple levels."
*Statistics via MiLB.com