The Mets have announced their minor league player and pitcher of the year. Outfielder Brandon Nimmo and shortstop Amed Rosario will share the player award, while left-handed starter P.J. Conlon earns pitcher of the year honors.
Rosario had a fantastic season, starting the year at the High-A level and batting .309/.359/.442, good for a 132 wRC+. That performance earned him a mid-season promotion to Double-A Binghamton, where he continued to mash with a .341/.392/.481 line (142 wRC+) as one of the youngest players in the league. Some of that improvement came from an insane .433 BABIP, and Rosario’s strikeout rate climbed after the promotion, indicating he still needs some work. Regardless, the Mets’ heir apparent at shortstop rocketed up to 18th and 15th on Baseball America’s and Baseball Prospectus’s midseason lists, respectively.
Nimmo’s season wasn’t quite as impressive as Rosario’s, but the 2011 first-round pick still posted strong results. In his time at Triple-A, Nimmo batted .352/.423/.541 (159 wRC+) with eleven home runs in 444 plate appearances, great numbers even with the usual Las Vegas caveats. Perhaps most importantly, Nimmo seemed to finally work out of some of the passiveness he’s been labeled with over the years, cutting his walk rate by 6% as his overall offensive production improved. While his brief major league time was not impressive (57 wRC+), he seems set to emerge as a platoon or bench option for the Mets next season, with a chance to work himself into more playing time down the line.
P.J. Conlon is by far the least heralded of these three prospects but is in no way undeserving of recognition. The native Irishman was a 13th round pick in 2015 (draft profile here) out of the University of San Diego. Leaning mostly on his excellent changeup, Conlon dominated Single-A with a 1.84 ERA, then got even better after a promotion to High-A with a 1.41 ERA. He doesn’t strike a ton of guys out (K/9 below 7.5 at both stops this season), but throws strikes and induces a ton of weak contact on the ground. Realistically, his lack of plus stuff and small frame will limit him to a back-end starter type (there are very few Kyle Hendricks-type pitchers, so don’t get your hopes up), but even that is excellent value from a 13th round selection.