Quinn wins the majority of vast 8 community votes.
Here is what I've been working on!
Rank - Name - Position - (2018 Rank) (2017 Rank)- (2016 rank) - (2015 rank) - (2014 rank) - (2013 rank) - (2012 rank)
1. Peter Alonso 1B (3)(12)(N/A)
2. Andres Gimenez INF (2)(9)(22)(NA)
3. Mark Vientos 3B (4)(NA)
4. Ronny Maurico SS (22)(NA)
5. David Peterson LHP (1)(NA)
6. Shervyan Newton 2B (DNQ)(DNQ)(NA)
7. Thomas Szapucki LHP (6)(4)(20)(NA)
8. Anthony Kay LHP (14T)(20)(NA)
9. Simeon Woods Richardson RHP (NA)
10. Luis Guillorme UTL (7)(17)(17)(DNQ)(DNQ)(NA)
11T.Franklyn Kilome RHP (NA)
11T. Tomas Nido C (11)(DNQ)(DNQ)(DNQ)(DNQ)(NA)
13. Desmond Lindsay OF (5)(6)(7)(NA)
14T. Adrian Hernandez OF (HR)(NA)
14T. Danial Zamora LHP (DNQ)(NA)
16. Tony Dibrell RHP (DNQ)NA)
17. Junior Santos RHP (NA)
18T. Jordan Humphreys RHP (16)(24)(DNQ)(NA)
18T. Walker Lockett RHP (NA)
20. Will Toffey 3B (NA)
21. Francisco Alvarez C (NA)
22. David Thompson 3B/1B (14T)(27)(29)(NA)
23. Carlos Cortes UTL (NA)
24T. Eric Hanhold RHP(DNQ)(NA)
24T. Gregory Guerrero 2B (20)(23)(24)(NA)
26. Ali Sanchez (DNQ)(HM)(14)(HM)(NA)
27. Ryley Gilliam (NA)
28. Christian James RHP (HR)(DNQ)(NA)
29. Freddy Valdez OF (NA)
30.Quinn Brodey OF (DNQ)(DNQ)(NA)
1. Juan Uriarte C (HR)(DNQ)(DNQ)(DNQ)(NA)
2. Mickey Jannis RHP (24T)(DNQ)(DNQ)(NA)
3. Raul Beracierta OF (DNQ)(DNQ)(DNQ)(NA)
4. Stanley Consuegra OF (DNQ)(NA)
5. Wagner Lagrange OF(HR)(DNQ)(DNQ)(DNQ)(NA)
To see 2018's results, click here.
To see 2017's results, click here.
To see 2016's results, click here.
To see 2015's results, click here.
To see 2014's results, click here.
To see 2013's results, click here.
To see 2012's results, click here.
|Number||AA Community||AA Writers||AA Steve||AA Lukas||AA Kenny||Fangraphs||Prospects 1500||Baseball Prospectus||MLB.com|
|1||Peter Alonso||Peter Alonso||Peter Alonso||Peter Alonso||Andres Giminez||Peter Alonso||Andres Giminez||Andres Giminez||Peter Alonso|
|2||Andres Giminez||Andres Giminez||Andres Giminez||Andres Giminez||Peter Alonso||Andres Giminez||Peter Alonso||Peter Alonso||Andres Giminez|
|3||Mark Ventos||Mark Ventos||Mark Ventos||Ronny Mauricio||Mark Ventos||Ronny Mauricio||Mark Ventos||Ronny Mauricio||Ronny Mauricio|
|4||Ronny Mauricio||David Peterson||David Peterson||Shervyvan Newton||Ronny Mauricio||Mark Ventos||Ronny Mauricio||Shervyvan Newton||Mark Ventos|
|5||David Peterson||Ronny Mauricio||Tony Dribell||Mark Ventos||David Peterson||Shervyvan Newton||Shervyvan Newton||Mark Ventos||Shervyvan Newton|
|6||Shervyvan Newton||Shervyvan Newton||Anthony Kay||David Peterson||Franklyn Kilome||David Peterson||Simeon Woods- Richardson||David Peterson||David Peterson|
|7||Thomas Szapucki||Luis Guillorme||Shervyvan Newton||Luis Guillorme||Anthony Kay||Simeon Woods Richardson||David Peterson||Franklyn Kilome||Simeon Woods Richardson|
|8||Anthony Kay||Thomas Szapucki||Luis Guillorme||Stanley Consuegra||Thomas Szapucki||Thomas Szapucki||Thomas Szapucki||Thomas Szapucki||Anthony Kay|
|9||Simeon Woods Richardson||Franklyn Kilome||Luis Santana||Thomas Szapucki||Shervyvan Newton||Anthony Kay||Adrian Hernandez||Anthony Kay||Thomas Szapucki|
|10||Luis Guillorme||Anthony Kay||Ronny Mauricio||Stephen Villines||Simeon Woods- Richardson||Desmondy Lindsay||Anthony Kay||Simeon Woods- Richardson||Franklyn Kilome|
|11||Franklyn Kilome||Ross Adolph||Franklyn Kilome||Simeon Woods- Richardson||Luis Guillorme||Francisco Alvarez||Frankyln Kilome||Luis Santana||Desmond Lindsay|
|12||x||Simeon Woods Richardson||Thomas Szapucki||Ross Adolph||Desmond Lindsay||Franklyn Kilome||Tony Dribell||Ross Adolph||Junior Santos|
|13||Desmondy Lindsay||Luis Santana||Ross Adolph||Franklyn Kilome||Ross Adolph||Will Toffey||Desmond Lindsay||Jordan Humphreys||Francisco Alvarez|
|14T||Adrian Hernandez||Desmond Lindsay||Daniel Zamora||Luis Santana||Adrian Hernandez||Carlos Cortes||Carlos Cortes||Tomas Nido||Freddy Valdez|
|15||x||Tony Dribell||Bobby Wahl||Will Toffey||Jordan Humphreys||Adrian Hernandez||Will Toffey||Junior Santos||Andrian Hernandez|
|16||Tony Dribell||Eric Hanhold||Eric Hanhold||Francisco Alvarez||Ali Sanchez||Junior Santos||Freddy Valdez||x||Will Toffery|
|17||Junior Santos||Stephen Villens||Stephen Villines||Freddy Valdez||Luis Carpio||Walker Lockett||Raul Beracierta||x||Jordan Humphreys|
|18T||Jordan Humphreys||Adrian Hernandez||Desmond Lindsay||Adrian Hernandez||Eric Hanhold||Sam Haggerty||Jordan Humphreys||x||Tony Dibrell|
|19||x||Stanley Consuegra||Ryley Gilliam||Eric Hanhold||Tony Dribell||Tony Dribell||Stanley Consuegra||x||Gavin Cecchini|
|20||Will Toffey||Jordan Humphreys||Simeon Woods- Richardson||Desmond Lindsay||Luis Santana||Christian James||Jeremy Vasquez||x||Carlos Cortes|
|21||Francisco Alvarez||Will Toffey||Daison Acista||Jordan Humphreys||Will Toffey||Ryley Gilliam||Ali Sanchez||x||Ryley Gilliam|
|22||David Thompson||Daniel Zamora||Junior Santos||Anthony Kay||Juan Uriarte||Gavin Cecchini||Jaison Vilera||x||Ryder Ryan|
|23||Carlos Cortes||Bobby Wahl||Harol Gonzalez||Adonis Uceta||Chris Viall||Nick Meyer||Francisco Alvarez||x||Stephen Villines|
|24T||Eric Hanhold||Ali Sanchez||Matt Winaker||Matt Blackham||Patrick Mazeika||Ryder Ryan||Christian James||x||Eric Hanhold|
|25||x||Francsico Alvarez||Chris Viall||Christian James||Stanley Consuegra||Jordan Humphreys||Junior Santos||x||Daniel Zamora|
|26||Ali Sanchez||x||x||x||x||x||Chris Viall||x||Christian James
|27||Ryley Gilliam||x||x||x||x||x||Walker Lockett||x||Patrick Mazeika
|28||Christian James||x||x||x||x||x||Joe Cavallaro||x||Ali Sanchez
|29||Freddy Valdez||x||x||x||x||x||Stephen Villines||x||Quinn Brodey
|30||Quinn Brodey||x||x||x||x||x||Gavin Cecchini||x||Luis Carpio|
|31||x||x||x||x||x||x||Eric Hanhold||x||Nick Meyer*
|50||x||x||x||x||x||x||Bryce Montes de Oca||x||x|
|HR||Juan Uriarte||x||Bryce Hutchinson||Hansel Moreno||Carlos Cortes||Stanley Consuegra||x||Hansel Moreno||x|
|HR||Mickey Jannis||x||Franklin Parra||Adonis Uceta||Joe Cavallaro||Freddy Valdez||x||Stanley Consuegra||x|
|HR||Raul Beracierta||x||Jaylen Palmer||Matt Blackham||x||Ali Sanchez||x||Jaylen Palmer||x|
|HR||Stanley Consuegra||x||Juan Uriarte||x||x||Juan Uriarte||x||x||x|
|HR||Wagner Lagrange||x||x||x||x||Wildred Astudillo||x||x||x|
|HR||x||x||x||x||x||Bryce Montes de Oca||x||x||x|
*MLB.com updated their top 30 to reflect Alonso, no longer as a prospect. Everyone moved up one spot and they added Nick Meyer as the new #30. I am going to put Nick Meyer as #31 because we are still including Alonso, but obviously they think he is next in line.
Best of the Rest (with comments from the website that ranks them the highest)
Adonis Uceta RHP (23 by AA Lukas) -
Signed by the Mets as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, Adonis Uceta was little more than organizational depth for most of his professional career. An underdeveloped two-pitch starter who posted forgettable numbers, the right-hander was moved to the bullpen in 2017 and saw his career take off. Pitching mostly for the Columbia Fireflies but getting in a few games with the St. Lucie Mets and ending his season with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Uceta posted a sub-2.00 ERA in almost 60 innings, allowing only 34 hits and striking out more than a batter an inning. The 24-year-old began the 2018 season with the Rumble Ponies and posted a 4.26 ERA in 25.1 innings before having his season effectively end in early June due to injury.
Uceta has a live arm, with a fastball that sits in the mid-to-high-90s. As a starter, his fastball sat in the low-to-mid 90s, but his transition to the bullpen has allowed him to really air the pitch out, though his mechanics are not exactly max effort. He complements the fastball with an above-average changeup that sits in the low-to-mid 80s, one of the best in the minor league system. He rounds out his repertoire with a slider, but despite throwing from a low 3/4 arm slot generally conducive to sliders, Uceta’s is a below-average pitch.
Bryce Hutchinson RHP (HR by AA Steve) -
In his final year of high school, Bryce Hutchinson transferred from Spruce Creek High School to DeLand High School, where his father was hired as baseball coach. Recovered from a broken hamate bone that limited him the year before, the right-hander helped lead the Bulldogs to the District 2-9A Championship, going 8-1 with a 1.08 ERA and 81 strikeouts. Drafted by the Mets in the 12th round of the 2017 MLB Draft, Hutchinson waited until late June to decide whether or not he was going to sign with the Mets or attend Mississippi State University, a college he felt a connection to due to the presence of the newly-hired coach Gary Henderson. He decided to forego college, signing with the Mets for a $360,000 bonus, making his professional debut in mid-August and throwing limited innings for the 2017 season due to his high school workload and a handful of injuries and set-backs that took their toll on his mind and body. The 2018 season was supposed to be his real foray the professional baseball world but the right-hander underwent arm surgery over the off-season. He was not expected to pitch at all, but Hutchinson worked and rehabbed his way back and was able to salvage the season, making his season debut in July and pitching 20.0 innings.
Standing an imposing 6’6" and weighing 245 lbs., Hutchinson’s fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s and currently tops out at 95 MPH. In addition to its above-average velocity, the pitch also late running action. He complements it with a sharp low-to-mid 80s slider with late drop, a developing curveball in the high-70s/low-80s, and a developing mid-80s changeup. Of his secondary pitches, the slider flashes being a better than average pitch, while his curveball and changeup are still developing and need to be refined further. He is generally able to repeat his mechanics and command his pitches well, but his velocity sometimes backs up as he loses his release point when his big body gets out of sync.
Cesar Loaiza LHP (37 by P1500) -
Loaiza demonstrated during the DSL that he has rotation upside as a tall lefty with a repeatable, smooth delivery. He was moved stateside during the season due to his 33% K rate and limiting baserunners. Loaiza has projection with the frame at 6’3″ 165lbs, and is one that I really like, along with Junior Santos, to be a breakout candidate in the next year and a half.
Chris Viall RHP (23 by AA Kenny) -
Chris Viall attended Soquel High School in Soquel, California and over the course of his time playing varsity baseball there, posted a 1.79 ERA in 152.1 innings pitched, allowing 88 hits, walking 65, and striking out 200. The San Francisco Giants drafted him in the 39th round of the 2013 MLB Draft but he elected to honor his commitment to Stanford rather than sign with them. In his three years as a Cardinal, the big right-hander went back-and-forth between the starting rotation and the bullpen, primarily being used as a middle reliever with spot starts sprinkled in here and there. In his three years at Stanford, Viall posted a 4.80 ERA in 98.0 innings, allowing 96 hits, walking 72, and striking out 68. The Mets selected him in the 6th round of the 2016 MLB Draft and the right-hander signed with the team for the slot value of $250,500. He was assigned to the Kingsport Mets and posted a 6.75 ERA in his first professional season, allowing 18 hits, walking 17, and striking out 27. The right-hander underwent offseason elbow ulnar disposition surgery and had a delayed start to the 2017 season. When he finally suited up, he wore a Cyclones jersey and posted a 3.42 ERA in 26.0 innings, allowing 17 hits, walking 14, and striking out 31. The 22-year-old was promoted to the Columbia Fireflies for the 2018 season and had an up-and-down season thanks to various injuries that plagued him throughout the year, including a strained shoulder that intermittently made his shoulder numb and ulnar pain flare-ups. All in all, Viall posted a 4.75 ERA in 66.1 innings, having his season end prematurely in early August due to snapping tricep syndrome. He allowed 61 hits, walked 41, and struck out 94, giving him a 12.8 K/9 rate, the highest among all Mets minor league starters with at least 50 innings pitched.
Standing an imposing 6’9" and weighing 230 pounds, Chris Viall is an intimidating pitcher. He throws from a 3/4 arm slot. Like many tall pitchers, Viall has had problems with the consistency of his mechanics. He utilizes a high leg kick, but his leg lift is sometimes high and sometimes half-hearted, leading to weight and momentum imbalances almost immediately in his delivery. His is inconsistent in where he plants his landing leg, sometimes planting it down and facing his catcher and sometimes planting it down pointing towards the on-deck circle. These minor things throw off his weight and balance distribution, giving him trouble repeating his release point, causing his control to suffers and his velocity to periodically diminish. His fastball is his bread-and-butter, a pitch with movement that ranges 92-98, sitting 94-97 MPH. The pitch has, at times, topped out in triple-digits, though as a starter, Viall obviously has to pace himself. Thanks to his height and the length of his arms, Viall’s fastball has angle and appears even faster to hitters, as he gets good arm extension and the ball has less distance to travel. He complements the pitch with an 81-86 MPH power curve and a circle change with decent fade and tailing motion. His curve is his best and primary secondary pitch; while he has a good feel for the change, he does not feature it much during in-game action.
Franklyn Parra LHP - (HR by AA Steve) -
Parra did not pitch professionally last season, but there’s a lot to like about the young left-hander. His fastball straddles 90 MPH and his body has room to fill in and add velocity. He shows the makings of a curveball and slider, and with some additional development should be able to throw either, or both. Perhaps most importantly, he’s a local kid, having moved from the Dominican Republic to Long Island and was rocking a Mets jersey under his gown when he graduated from Copiague High School this past June.
Gavin Cecchini UTL - (18 by MLB) -
Cecchini's father, Glenn, is a longtime high school coach in Louisiana who also served as USA Baseball's 18-and-under national team's manager, and his brother, Garin, is a longtime pro who has big league time. Gavin, the Mets' first-round pick in 2012, made a steady climb through the Minors en route to his big league debut in '16, then returned to the Majors in 2017, appearing in 32 games. A revamped swing with an emphasis on driving the ball in the air had Cecchini poised for a breakthrough performance in 2018, and he was swinging the bat well in Triple-A until a bone bruise on his right foot in May landed him on the disabled list for nearly fourth months.
With his above-average bat-to-ball skills, Cecchini has a strong track record of barreling up the baseball while maintaining low strikeout rates. Hitting for power will never be a part of his game, though he impacted the ball more consistently in 2018 after adding leverage to his swing and improving his point of contact. Defensively, Cecchini has been a bit enigmatic. He'll show an above-average-to-plus arm at times, more than enough to play shortstop, but he's had enough trouble making accurate throws that he is now primarily a second baseman, where he is solid defensively.
The Mets designated Cecchini for assignment during the offseason, but kept him in the system after he went unclaimed on waivers. He no longer looks like a future everyday player, but all the ingredients are there for Cecchini to provide value as a utilityman in the big leagues.
Harol Gonzalez RHP (23 by AA Steve) -
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2014, Harol Gonzalez was one of the most exciting storylines in the Mets minor league system in 2016. Having shown a bit of promise in the Appalachian League in 2015 thanks to his stuff and personality, the undersized right-hander began realizing some of that potential as the 2016 season progressed, and by the time the year was over, had one of the most statistically dominant seasons in Brooklyn Cyclone history. He ended the season with a 7-3 record, posting a league-leading 2.01 ERA in 85 innings, walking 18 and striking out a league-leading 88. His stuff looked sharper and his fastball faster when he was promoted to the Columbia Fireflies in 2017 but the numbers trended in the wrong direction, as he posted a 3.53 ERA in 137.2 innings, most of them in Columbia but a handful in St. Lucie. He began the 2018 season with St. Lucie and seemingly righted the ship, posting a 2.82 ERA in 73.1 innings there, allowing 62 hits, walking 19, and striking out 59. After being promoted to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies midseason, things fell apart, and the right-handed posted a 7.79 ERA in 52.0 innings in the Eastern League, allowing 79 hits, walking 17, and striking out 30.
Gonzalez’ fastball has fringe-average velocity, sitting in the low-90s, but it has life and the right-hander has excellent command of it, able to hit his spots in all four quadrants of the strike zone. He pairs it with a 11-5 curveball, slider, and changeup. Of the three, his changeup is his most effective pitch. Nothing in his pitching arsenal projects to be better than average, leaving Gonzalez with a wide array of weapons but no true out-pitches.
Jaison Vilera RHP (22 by P1500) -
The Venezuelan righty has impressed at every stop in his development, and the 192 IP sample of his sub 2 ERA for his career is mighty interesting to go along with the ability to limit contact. Vilera had a blistering four game scoreless streak (26.2 IP) this year, which is simply masterful. Vilera doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but his pitchability and strike-throwing ability maximize his fastball-slider-changeup arsenal.
Jaylin Palmer UTL (HR by AA Steve) -
A recent growth spurt transformer Jaylen Palmer from a scrawny, 5’5", 150-pound undersized middle infielder into a 6’3", 195-pound athlete. As a junior, he hit .308/.439/.371 in 28 games for the Holy Cross Knights and hit .286/.511/.476 in 24 games this past season. The Mets drafted the native New Yorker in the 22nd round of the 2018 MLB Draft and the two sides agreed to a $200,000 signing bonus, $75,000 above the unrestricted $125,000 cap for rounds 11 and later that does not get factored into a team’s draft bonus pool. The 17-year-old was excellent in his professional debut, hitting .310/.394/.414 in 25 games with the GCL Mets, walking 8 times, striking out 27 times, and stealing 5 bases in 7 attempts.
Palmer is extremely athletic, and his 6’3", 195-pound frame may still have room to grow. He uses a toe tap as a timing mechanism, and his swing is smooth and flows well. Thanks to above-average bat speed, the youngster has a surprising amount of power potential in it. He is able to stay back on pitches and swing at the last moment. With the glove, he is a strong defender. He has good range and possesses a strong, accurate arm. If his body continues growing and he loses some of his quick twitch muscle and agility, he may be forced to move into the outfield, but until then, he has all of the tools to handle shortstop or the hot corner. If moved to the outfield, Palmer has above-average speed, which should help him hunt down fly balls.
Jeremy Vazquez 1B (20 by P1500) -
Vasquez came on very strong in 2018. The first baseman has a short, pretty swing from the left side that can generate power. Vasquez opened the season with an eye-popping 29 game on base streak, a testament to his mastery of the zone and prowess in the box. Vasquez can develop into a five hole batter at peak, and will have to keep delivering at the dish given his defensive position as a 1B only at present. If he could get a shot as a left fielder, that would be a great indicator of the organization’s faith in finding his bat a place in the lineup.
Joe Cavallaro RHP (28 by P1500) -
Cavallaro, like Christian James, made a AA spot start but played the rest of the year in A ball. Cavallaro is more movement over power arm, featuring a low 3/4 arm slot which helps his sinker/slider/changeup mix play up. Cavallaro was an All Star in Columbia, and just kept on rolling after he was promoted to A+ St. Lucie.
Jose Moreno RHP (38 by P1500) -
Serving as the Kingsport Opening Day starter in 2018, Moreno’s big fastball and curveball have great separation and a solid foundation of his swing-and-miss arsenal. Moreno’s heater can touch 100 MPH, which will play in any role moving forward in his development. While Moreno dealt with an elbow injury this season, his electric arm is one to watch next year, likely his first taste of full season ball in Columbia
Matt Winaker OF (24 by AA Steve) -
The son of a Stanford alum, so it only made sense that Matt Winaker also attend the school after graduating from high school. He spent three seasons as a Cardinal and hit a cumulative .278/.393/.422 while primarily playing first base. He was selected by the Mets in the 5th round of the 2017 MLB Draft and was signed for $280,000, slightly under the slot value of $307,800. He began his professional career in Coney Island and hit .268/.402/.282 in 21 games for the Cyclones, all at first base. He was assigned to the Columbia Fireflies for the 2018 season and was their most consistent outfielder, hitting .254/.370/.433 in 121 games.
Winaker has a smooth, level "Stanford swing", though as the 2018 season progressed, his launch angle increased as he added more loft to it, increasing his power output. Though he played first base for the majority of his collegiate career, as well as in his 21 games with the Cyclones, Winaker is athletic and profiles much better in the outfield. He has enough speed to give him roughly average range, though his route taking skills could stand to improve.
Michael Paez UTL (43 by P1500) -
Paez gets a bump in his ranking for a Florida State League All-Star nod, but most significantly due to a December Twitter post that he is beginning to learn the catcher position. Adding to his position versatility will only help his chances of contributing in a utility role in the majors: he played primarily 3B in St. Lucie, but also made appearances at both SS and 2B. I can see Paez being a solid contributor as a 3rd catcher and utility infielder who can also be a platoon partner and pinch hitter who hits well against LHP, a valuable skill set for a National League squad.
Nick Meyer C (23 by FB) -
Meyer is a pretty straightforward prospect, easier to project with fewer unknowns that the teenage prospects in this area of the list. Meyer is an accomplished defender, with a plus arm and at least above average defensive ability. He has some pop (45 raw power, game power below that) and is a solid athlete, but there isn’t much impact with the bat. He leans more contact-oriented in his approach, but often won’t make consistent hard contact, with some timing, pitch recognition, and plate coverage shortcomings at present. He seems likely to reach the upper minors and with some improvement, would get on a 40-man roster and get at least some big league time. If he can improve a little more offensively, then he could carve out a solid career as a backup.
P.J. Conlon LHP - (did not qualify on any list - AA Best of the Rest) -
Drafted in the 13th round of the 2015 MLB Draft, PJ Conlon became the first Irish-born player to play in the majors since Joe Cleary in 1945 when he made his MLB debut this past May. Prior to making his big league debut, he climbed up the minor league ladder, generally posting good numbers at each level. After making his major league debut, he was sent back down to the minors and claimed by the Los Angeles Dodgers. His time on the West Coast was brief, as the Mets reclaimed Conlon off of waivers a few days later.
At 5’11", 190 pounds, PJ Conlon wouldn’t be the smallest pitcher to ever play professional baseball, but it certainly puts him at a disadvantage. His lack of standout tools is concerning, but his three-year track record of nothing but success speaks for itself. His fastball is fringe-average even for a lefty, sitting 87-90, topping out at 91 MPH. He throws a wide assortment of other pitches, including a two-seam fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup, with the latter grading average-to-above-average and the others fringe-to-average. His long, slingy delivery from a high-3/4 arm slot has helped give his pitches downward sink, giving Conlon a strong groundball rate. Aware of his limitations, Conlon does what he can to maximize his below-average stuff, making sure to throw strikes, pitching backwards, and studying hitters and trends.
Patrick Mazeika C - (24 by AA Kenny) -
An 8th round draft pick out of Stetson University in 2015, Patrick Mazeika has done nothing but hit over most of his professional debut. In his first year as a professional, he hit .354/.451/.540 in 62 games with the Kingsport Mets. In 2016, he hit .305/.414/.402 in 70 games with the Columbia Fireflies. In 2017, he spent the majority of his season playing with the St. Lucie Mets and hit .287/.389/.406 in 100 games there. Mazeika finally ran into a wall in 2018, hitting .231/.328/.363 in 87 games with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
The 25-year-old has a nice, smooth swing. Though it is a bit lacking in plane, he is able to put a jolt in the ball thanks to slightly above average bat speed and leveraging his lower half. In the past, that power was more line drive double power than anything else, but his power potential has grown over the last few seasons, setting new career highs in home runs over the last two years. Defensively, Mazeika is still a work in progress. He has shown quick exchanges and slightly above-average pop-up times, but his arm is below average. In addition, he does not move that well behind the plate and does not receive or block balls as well. If he is unable to improve enough to stay behind the plate, first base is likely the only other position he will be able to handle, but because of his lack of over-the-fence power up to this point, the left-hander may also be a tough fit there as well.
Ryder Ryan RHP (22 by MLB) -
Ryan was viewed as a better position prospect than a pitcher as a high school senior, even though he could pump a mid-90s fastball. He passed on signing with the Indians as a 40th-round pick in 2014 and honored his commitment to North Carolina, where he struggled at the plate and made only one appearance on the mound before leaving the team in 2016. The Indians took Ryan in the 30th round that June, signing him for $100,000, then dealt him to the Mets a little more than a year later in exchange for Jay Bruce. He excelled at Class A Advanced St. Lucie early in the 2018 season, earning Florida State League All-Star honors along with a promotion to Double-A.
Ryan shows power stuff out of the bullpen. He'll sit at 95-96 mph and touch 98 with a riding fastball that he pairs with a low-to-mid-80s slider that has a high spin rate and earns above-average grades from scouts. He also has a changeup, but it's a distant third pitch that he seldom throws. After issuing 3.6 walks per nine in his first full season, Ryan made strides with both his control and command in 2018 while trimming his walk rate to 2.5.
The gains Ryan made with his breaking ball and overall feel for pitching last season bode well for his chances of reaching the Major Leagues as a middle reliever capable of working multiple frames.
Stephan Nogosek RHP (46 by P1500) -
Nogosek may be a big leaguer reliever, but the impact may be limited to the middle relief core if his control flatlines (20 IP, 21 BB at AA in 2018). Like Blackham, Nogosek pitched in the Arizona Fall League, where he put up a WHIP over 2 in 7 IP, walking 6 and allowing 9 H in a relatively small sample.
Stephen Villines RHP (10 by AA Lukas) -
Stephen Villines was a four-year letter-winner for the El Toro Bulls, his high school team, but he generated very little buzz. With no MLB clubs calling, and no Division I NCAA colleges showing any interest in the high school reliever, he all but finalized arrangements to enroll at Saddleback Community College. A friend of a friend happened to know Coach Price of the University of Kansas, and put the two in contact. Price liked what he saw of Villines, and offered him a baseball scholarship to attend. Villines agreed, and the right-hander went on to attend the University of Kansas instead. In his first season in a Jawhawk uniform, the freshman was immediately thrust into a position of importance. Villines was given the closer role when injuries forced Coach Price to juggle his pitching staff around, and the right-hander took the bull by the horns, saving eight games and ending the season with a 1.50 ERA in 48.0 innings, the sixth best single-season ERA in the history of the baseball program at the University of Kansas. He would pitch there for three more years, going undrafted in his junior year in 2017, and ended up posting cumulative 2.45 ERA in 194.1 innings, allowing 179 hits, walking 40, and striking out 180. His 40 saves set a new all-time saves record at the University of Kansas, and were just one shy of the Big-12 conference record of 41 set by Huston Street. The Mets drafted Villines in the 10th round of the 2017 MLB Draft and signed him for $10,000, well below the $132,300 slot value.
The right-hander began his professional career with the Kingsport Mets but was quickly promoted to the Brooklyn Cyclones after a handful of games. Villines was utterly dominant in Brooklyn, posting a 1.89 ERA in 19.0 innings, allowing 13 hits, walking 1, and striking out 30. He began the 2018 season with the Columbia Fireflies, but by the end of the year was knocking on the door of the major leagues, pitching for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. For the year, he posted a 3.11 ERA in 66.2 innings, allowing 46 hits, walking 13, and striking out 96.
The lanky right-hander throws from a distinct low slot, lower than traditional sidearmers but higher than traditional submariners. The unconventional angle makes it difficult for hitters to pick up on the ball. His fastball velocity is well below average for a right-hander, sitting in the mid-to-upper 80s, but it gets significant arm side run thanks to his arm slot. His slider, which sits in the low-to-mid-70s, has sharp bite, and his change-up fades down and in to right-handed hitters. All three of his pitches elicit plenty of swings and misses and cause poor contact, resulting in weak ground balls. Despite the unconventional mechanics, Villines is able to throw all of his pitches with almost pinpoint control; in 94.0 professional innings, he has walked 14 batters.
Yoel Romero UTL (32 by P1500) -
Romero fulfilled a minor league manager’s dream by being a versatile defenseman all over the field in 2018. Romero saw slight increases to both pull side and opposite field hit percentages in 2018, a sign that he is both turning on balls and able to drive the ball the other way. Romero had more BB’s than K’s up until the last month of the season, so approach is trending up for the youngster in both strike zone management and going with what the pitcher is giving him.