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Top 25 Mets Prospects for 2016: 15-11

Our prospect series continues with the five prospects who just missed making the top 10.

Gabriel Ynoa's improving beard game
Gabriel Ynoa's improving beard game
Chris McShane

Previously: 25-2120-16

15. Marcos Molina, RHP

Height: 6'3", Weight: 188 lbs
DOB: 3/8/95
Acquired: IFA, 2012
2015: GCL Mets: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K; High-A St. Lucie: 41.1 IP, 49 H, 26 R, 21, ER, 11 BB, 36 K

Molina got the aggressive assignment we all were hoping for to start 2015, skipping Low-A entirely and jumping right to High-A. It was the right decision, and Molina rewarded it by striking out nearly a batter an inning over his first six starts while also displaying excellent control as evidenced by his walking just one batter in five of those six outings. Unfortunately for everyone, Molina was shut down with an elbow injury after that sixth start and evaluated for Tommy John surgery. And although he was prescribed rest and ended up making three more starts for St. Lucie in August, he was again shut down and ultimately had Tommy John surgery. He'll now miss the entire 2016 season, making Molina something of an enigma. He came into the season as our ninth ranked prospect in what was then a loaded system. He has a low-to-mid 90s fastball that he can spot to either side of the plate as well as a hard slider he can command. His curve is his third pitch and is usable. It was a unique skill set given his age and level. But this was always the risk with Molina. His mechanics were high-effort on the arm, utilizing very little of the lower body. Fortunately, Tommy John surgery is not a death knell for prospects these days, and barring any setbacks, I suspect Molina will find his way into our top 20 next season as well due to his enormous potential.

14. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP

Height: 6'2", Weight: 160 lbs
DOB: 5/26/93
Acquired: IFA, 2009
2015: Double-A Binghamton: 152.1 IP, 157 H, 70 R, 66 ER, 31 BB, 82 K

2015 was a disappointing season for Ynoa, at least relative to expectations and potential. His 12.9% strikeout rate was bottom ten among all qualified Double-A pitchers, and his 4.12 FIP also ranked towards the bottom. And yet, many of the reasons to like Ynoa remain. He still features a low-90s fastball that he can pair with an already major league quality changeup. The problem is that he didn't do the two things he needed to do this season to take a step forward: miss bats with his fastball and develop the slider to a workable level. The slider isn't good, and it almost seemed as though he was being forced to throw it given how often he was going to it during a late season start I watched. It could be that his poor results were a function of forcing the issue with the slider, and if that's the case then hopefully it will pay some dividends this season. There's still a major league starter upside here, and it's why he ranks inside the top 15.

13. Jeff McNeil, 3B, 2B, SS

Bats/Throws: L/R
Height: 6'1", Weight: 165 lbs
DOB: 4/8/92
Acquired: 12th round, 2013 draft
2015: High-A St. Lucie 529 PA, .312/.373/.382; 6.6% walk rate; 11.2% strikeout rate; Double-A Binghamton 16 PA, .200/.250/.200; 1 BB, 2 K

Unlike Ynoa, who is probably about 20-25 pounds heavier than his listed weight, Jeff McNeil's 165 pound listing is likely accurate. His slight frame shows up in his stat line, too; his .071 isolated slugging percentage was among the lowest in all of High-A. That said, there's a lot to like about McNeil. He can hold down short for you in short stints and has enough arm to play third. His best position is probably second base, but his meal ticket to the majors is going to be his versatility and contact ability. He doesn't strike out much and has very good hand-eye coordination, which has led to some fairly high batting averages thus far in his career. He doesn't walk much either, so if you're thinking about making a Daniel Murphy comp you're on the right track. The issue now is that he isn't able to drive the ball due to his lack of strength, and unless that changes without hurting his defensive profile, it's a platoon utility guy ceiling.

12. Matt Reynolds, SS

Bats/Throws: R/R
Height: 6'1", Weight: 205 lbs
DOB: 12/3/90
Acquired: 2nd round, 2012 draft
2015: Triple-A Las Vegas 496 PA, .269/.321/.402; 6.5% walk rate; 18.8% strikeout rate

Reynolds is another player with a likely utility player ceiling and many, myself included, thought he would realize that ceiling in 2015. Instead, he floundered, hitting about ten percent worse than league average in one of the most hitter-friendly leagues in all of the minors. Reynolds is a tough one to peg. He doesn't show much ability to draw a walk, strikes out a fair bit, and doesn't hit for power. He has posted some obscene BABIPs at other stops in the minors, indicating an ability to drive the ball. His shortstop defense is adequate, and he can bounce around to second and third if need be. There's a lot to like here, but 2016 is likely a make-or-break year for Reynolds because it's hard to see him keeping his 40-man spot throughout the season if he isn't able to add value to the major league club, or at least provide an acceptable level of depth.

11. Milton Ramos, SS

Bats/Throws: R/R
Height: 5'11", Weight: 158 lbs
DOB: 10/26/95
Acquired: 3rd round, 2014 draft
2015: GCL Mets: 39 PA, .194/.256/.222; Kingsport: 179 PA, .317/.341/.415; 3.5% walk rate; 17.9% strikeout rate, aggregate

Ramos was billed as one of the best defensive shortstops in the draft the year the Mets selected him in the third round, but that didn't seem to be the case this year. He still can handle the position but it's much rawer than expected and would do well with a full season of reps. The bat was a pleasant surprise, displaying good bat speed and more power than you would expect, although his approach is definitely an area to be worked on. It's likely Ramos will begin the year with a full season assignment to Low-A Columbia, which will be a good test for his approach and defense.