Continuing our comparisons between the Braves and Mets farm systems, we take a look at the crop of…
New York Mets Top 50 Prospects
...including just a listing of the names of the players in the rankings! Basically read the rankings, talk about them on our subscribers forum here, and don't share any of the information anywhere else please.
1. RHP, Zack Wheeler - Acquired from the San Francisco Giants in the Carlos Beltran trade, all the power right-hander did in his first full season with the Mets was post a combined 12-8 record and a 3.26 ERA with 148 strikeouts in 149 innings pitched between Double-A Bingamton and Triple-A Buffalo. With a plus fastball that sits in the low to mid-90s, and two breaking pitches that flash plus potential, the scary part is he can still be so much better. A little more consistency down in the zone with his secondary pitches, and in particular in his changeup, and pitching a little more ahead in the counts and he could begin to tap his 'ace' type ceiling.
2. C, Travis D'Arnaud - Obtained from the Blue Jays this offseason in the R.A. Dickey trade, d'Arnaud could be exactly the type of impact catcher on both sides of the ball that the Mets have been seeking since the Mike Piazza days. He can do it all -- hit for average, hit for above average power, catch and throw really well, and even lead a pitching staff -- the only two negatives in his game are his lack of walks [although he is a patient hitter] and the fact that he has had some injuries over the years. If he stays healthy though, he could be the starting catcher for the Mets for many years to come and perhaps begin that era sometime later in 2013.
3. RHP, Noah Syndergaard - Standing 6-foot-7 and weighing 245 pounds, this former Blue Jays' first round pick has a Wheeler-like ceiling. He not only sits anywhere from 92-97 mph with good downhill plane with his fastball, but, despite some reports, both his changeup and curveball are above average big league pitches with long-term plus potential. He even shows great strike-throwing ability at a young age, giving him frontline potential starting stuff.
4. RHP, Michael Fulmer - The national pundits inexplicably don't seem very high on the 2011 first round pick despite already boasting a plus fasball-plus slider combination and having some tangible success in his first full season last year as a 19-year old in the South Atlantic League, including posting a 2.20 ERA in the second-half. The changeup definitely needs more work and he could use better fastball command going forward, but with a frame that could add a tick or two to a fastball that already tops out at 97 mph, he has a sky-high ceiling. Something to keep in mind -- he's three years younger than the #5 prospect.
5. RHP, Luis Mateo - To say the talented right-hander has been dominant in his first two professional seasons would be a huge understatement. He posted a 2.45 ERA for the Brooklyn Cyclones last season, struck out 85 batters in 73 innings, and walked just nine batters, thanks in large part to a plus fastball-plus slider combination. In fact, he arguably has the best slider in the entire organization. Those are the big-time positives. The negatives, however, include turning 23 years old before the start of the 2013 season and his changuep has a long way to go. There's a huge ceiling here but, signed later than most, he has a lot of work to do to make up for lost time.
6. RHP, Rafael Montero - If Mateo doesn't have the best slider in the farm system then a strong case could be made for this 22-year old. Like Mateo, Montero sports a low to mid-90s fastball and a plus slider, and he too can throw strikes with his eyes closed. At 6-foot and 180 pounds though, what he doesn't have is a lot of size and that, along with a developing changeup, could limit his big league impact to the bullpen. He has setup type potential and perhaps closing abilities, but a little Neftali Feliz-like, he could be a starting option if the changeup continues to get better.
7. RHP, Domingo Tapia - The Dominican native is yet another hard thrower for the Mets. In fact, sitting mostly in the mid-90s, a strong case could be made that he has the best fastball in the farm system. Everything about him is power, including his changeup which can hit as high as 88 mph on a given day. However, what he has in potentially great stuff, he is still working on maintaining his focus throughout the course of each start and he could benefit from learning how to slow batters' bats down more consistently.
8. 3B, Wilmer Flores - He hit a combined .300 with 50 extra-base hits between high-A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton last year, including 18 home runs, and still showed excellent strike zone discipline. He has really just started scratching the surface of his home run power potential too. While the offensive potential is pretty much a given at this point, his defensive game, which is okay at third, still remains a long-term question mark. He simply doesn't have the speed and agility to play anywhere other than third or first base long-term, two spots currently filled on the big league team for the foreseeable future.
9. OF, Brandon Nimmo - The 2011 first round pick out of high school in Wyoming had a solid season in Brooklyn last year, hitting just .248 but chipping in with 28 extra-base hits in just 69 games for the Cyclones. He has above average tools across the board, including pull-side power, patience at the plate, and overall speed. The left-handed batter does have some struggles against left-handed pitching but that is normal for a 19-year old. The makeup is tremendous too, suggesting he has what it takes to make long-term adjustments. He has an Andy Van Slyke kind of ceiling.
10. SS, Gavin Cecchini - Like Nimmo, last year's first round pick doesn't have the one plus physical tool that really stands out but he does everything in solid fashion; hit, steal bases, power, etc. And like Nimmo, what stands out is his plus makeup and that gives him a great chance to reach his ceiling someday as a starting big league middle infielder. His defensive game is solid at shortstop but like his older brother Garin who plays for the Red Sox, there is a chance he could outgrow the position down the road.
11. RHP, Cory Mazzoni - There are pitchers with higher ceilings than this 2011 second round pick out of N.C. State but few offer the safeness in reaching their ceilings. He has a plus big league fastball that sits in the low to mid-90s, and average secondary stuff across the board. His split-changeup in particular has the chance to be an above average to potentially even plus big league offering, especially with his propensity to pitch to contact. He doesn't have the sexy strikeout totals but he has the look of a potential innings eater who could be adept at keeping his team in ball games.
12. RHP, Jeurys Familia - Big-bodied and strong, few can match the sheer power on the mound of Familia. Boasting a mid to upper-90s fastball and a quality changeup/breaking ball combination, there's nothing wrong with his stuff. However, as is the case with a lot of power pitchers, he is only as good as his command and that has been a problem lately. His stock is beginning to slip as he pitches way too often behind in counts, but if he can rediscover his ability to get ahead in counts more consistently he still has the chance to be an impact pitcher.
13. RHP, Jacob deGrom - The former college shortstop had a fantastic return from Tommy John surgery in 2012, not only numbers-wise [9-3, 2.43 ERA between Savannah and St. Lucie] but stuff-wise, seeing his fastball gain a few miles per hour to now topping out at 98 mph. He has a strikeout pitch with his slider too and his changeup became a big league pitch by season's end. He is a little long in the tooth as he'll turn 25 years old this coming summer, but there isn't a ton of mileage on his arm and he could begin to move quickly.
14. LHP, Steven Matz - It only took three years for this 2009 second round pick to make his official minor league debut last season after a long recovery from Tommy John surgery, but when he did finally pitch he was showing some incredible stuff. He was sitting 92-96 mph with his fastball and topped out at 98 mph, and displayed a quality big league changeup. His curveball, however, was non-existent for portions of the year and he still has a lot of work to do commanding that pitch with confidence, but few southpaws can touch his kind of power.
15. SS, Phillip Evans - The 15th round pick out of high school in 2011 has all the earmarks of a potential 'sleeper' candidate. While his .252 average in Brooklyn last year might not exactly prove it, he can flat-out hit. His plate discipline is extraordinary for such a young hitter, he shows a willingness to use the whole field, and he's not afraid to take walks. He even has some intriguing power potential for a middle infielder. Solid defensively at shortstop, his rather thick lower-half suggests a move to second base could be in order down the road but that bat will surely play well there.
16. C, Kevin Plawecki - Last year's second round pick fits into the Cecchini mold of being more solid than spectacular. He doesn't have the one plus tool that would help him stand out as a top prospect, but he does everything in solid fashion. He has average power potential overall but it could play above average behind the plate and his all-around defensive game is average to above average. What he does remarkably well is command the strike zone -- he only swings at good pitches and that should make him not only a good hitter but one of the stronger bets to reach the big leagues.
17. RHP, Rainy Lara - A little Rafael Mateo-like, the Dominican native is a bit old for a short-season Latin American pitcher [he turns 22 years old before the start of the 2013 season] despite being young in terms of mound time. The former infielder has a looseness in his delivery that provides some deception to his 92-93 mph fastball and he already boasts an above average slider. He can also throw a lot of strikes. He has a ways to go developmentally but has the look of a young Ivan Nova type.
18. OF, Cesar Puello - With great bat speed, long-term above average power potential, plus speed and defense, this right-handed hitting Dominican native can do a lot of things well when he's on a baseball field. Riddled with injuries in his career, however, he continues to lose precious development time and that has really hurt his ability to hone in on his lackluster offensive approach. He has to stay healthy and improve his pitch selection if he's to come close to tapping his sky-high ceiling.
19. OF, Matt Den Dekker - Like Puello, den Dekker can be one of the most dynamic players on the baseball field on any given day, thanks to great speed, superb defense, and above average power potential. However, just like Puello, the overall consistency is missing in his game. There will be times that as dominant as he looks he can look equally as bad and that's because of his all or nothing approach at the plate. The good news is he shows an ability to make the long-term adjustments -- he just needs to learn to do it quicker.
20. OF, Cory Vaughn - Just as the case with Puello and den Dekker, Vaughn is a physically gifted ball player who can hit for great power, has above average speed and can play defense, but his swing and miss approach might prevent him from reaching his ceiling. The power in particular could be mammoth down the road if he can maintain a middle to opposite field approach and not get too pull-happy.
21. OF, Wuilmer Becerra - As far as ceilings go this former Blue Jays prospect acquired in the R.A. Dickey trade could be an absolute monster someday. He has a great combination of plus power and plus speed, and despite his youth the 18-year old shows a pretty advanced approach at the plate. What remains to be seen, however, is how his approach changes [if at all] after getting hit by a pitch in the face ended his season last year. Look out though, tools-wise he could be a prime helium candidate to quickly move up the rankings in the coming years.
22. LHP, Jack Leathersich - The 2011 fifth round pick has only known success at the professional level thus far, striking out 139 batters in a little more than 84 innings since his selection. He sits in the low-90s with his fastball and can really elevate it up in the zone when he needs to, and he has an above average curveball at his disposal. He's working very hard on further developing his changeup. Should that pitch come around he could become a solid left-handed setup man for the Mets but his floor already is that of a quality left-handed specialist at minimum.
23. 3B, Aderlin Rodriguez - Power-wise he should rank much higher than he does here but unfortunately that's about the only tangible attribute he brings to the table. A very big man, he doesn't show the requisite range or agility needed to play third base despite having great arm strength and that lack of speed will most likely limit him to first base duties only long-term. However, the plus power potential he does have is more than enough to produce at the big league level if the Mets can find a place for him to play.
24. RHP, Gabriel Ynoa - Often lost in the great depth of starting pitching on the fabulous Brooklyn staff last year, the fact is this 19-year old Dominican native began the season as the staff ace. He doesn't throw nearly as hard as Mateo and Lara, sitting mostly in the 89-92 mph range, but what he does have is a big league four-pitch mix that he can throw for strikes and a high level of overall pitch-ability. Should he gain a tick or two on the gun in the coming years, which is a real possibility given his frame, he could rocket up the rankings given his great feel for pitching.
25. 2B/SS, Daniel Muno - The 50-game PED suspension last year puts a little blight on his stock but he wasn't a power hitter to begin with anyway. His game is more about hitting into the gaps, ringing up doubles, drawing walks, stealing bases, scoring runs, and play solid defense up the middle. He can also handle third base duties too. With his consistent bat and versatility, he could become an important utility man but there's also some realistic upside as a potential starting second baseman too.
26. OF, Darrell Ceciliani - The 22-year old is the outfield version of Muno in that he can draw a good number of walks, swing a consistent bat, and play very good defense. With his ability to play all three outfield spots well, he already profiles as a big league reserve outfielder type. However, there is room for the power to develop more too so it's not out of the question he could be a little Angel Pagan-like and start out as a reserve outfielder initially before potentially moving into a starting role if the power starts to grade a level up.
27. RHP, Hansel Robles - Nobody was a bigger surprise than Robles last season. The 22-year old Dominican native who still hasn't pitched in the long-season leagues yet posted a remarkable 1.11 ERA for the Brooklyn Cyclones and then went protected on the 40-man roster this offseason. A smallish pitcher, one who can sit in the 90-94 mph range with his fastball and has some quality secondary pitches he can throw for strikes, he could move quicker in the short-term but it's going to be awfully tough for him to hold on to that roster spot considering he is at least a couple of years away.
28. 2B, Reese Havens - He has the plate discipline, the power, and the solid enough defense to rank much higher than this but the sad fact is he simply can not stay healthy. A season or two with injuries is almost expected in this day and age but he hasn't amassed more than 400 at-bats in a season ever in his professional career. Unfortunately that not only has killed any potential trade value he might have once had but it makes it extremely difficult for the Mets to consider even him a short-term option without having a backup plan in place too.
29. SS, Wilfredo Tovar - The 21-year old Venezuelan native sure can pick at it shortstop and he can even handle the bat in solid fashion, drawing more walks than strikeouts over two minor league levels a year ago. However, he has no power whatsoever and his speed is average at best, and probably more along the below average levels. That lack of power and speed will most likely limit his ceiling to backup middle infielder, but that's also his likely floor too.
30. OF, Gilbert Gomez - The soon to be 21-year old Dominican native can be maddeningly frustrating because the great tools have not come close to solid on the field production yet. An above average runner, he has totaled just 16 stolen bases the past two seasons. Blessed with average to above average power potential, he had just two home runs a year ago. The 2013 season will be a big one for him because he needs to start producing closer to his talent level or quickly become an organizational afterthought.
31. OF, Juan Lagares - Like Tovar, Lagares is a 40-man roster player with a pretty limited upside but has enough all-around game to at least offer some viable big league bench help. He is a solid defensive player with above average speed, and he can hit some too, but the power potential grades way below average for an outfielder and that doesn't lend itself to starting potential when the others tools don't grade out as plus.
32. RHP, Collin McHugh - This 25-year old is also on the 40-man roster but unlike many of the preceding names on this list his stuff is more average than anything. He posted a solid 2.91 ERA between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Buffalo last year and struck out 135 batters in 148 innings before his late-season call-up to the bigs. He has a solid 88-92 mph fastball, an above average slider as his main strikeout pitch, and an average changeup-curveball combination. He won't be flashy but he pitches deep into games.
33. RHP, Logan Verrett - The third round pick in the 2011 draft is another strike-thrower of a four-pitch big league mix. He sits in the 88-93 mph range with his fastball and has an above average slider that helped him strike out 93 batters in 103 1/3 combined innings between low-A Savannah and high-A St. Lucie last season. He also has a quality curveball-changeup combination and he is constantly pitching ahead in counts. The ceiling isn't huge but he has an excellent chance at contributing in the big leagues someday as a back of the rotation starting pitcher.
34. RHP, Tyler Pill - The 2011 fourth round pick out of Cal-State Fullerton is the second coming of McHugh in that he isn't overpowering but the four-pitch mix is solid and the pitch-ability is advanced. He posted a combined 2.31 ERA between low-A Savannah and high-A St. Lucie in his first full season last year. Where he differs from McHugh is he doesn't have a favorite go-to secondary pitch -- he has confidence in all of them. His ceiling is that of a back-end big league starting pitcher but that projection is a safe one too.
35. RHP, Armando Rodriguez - The now 25-year old has good size [6-foot-3, 240 pounds], a quality fastball-slider combination which grades out as above average, and he throws strikes. He doesn't project to have much more than a middle reliever type ceiling, perhaps a setup type potential in a pinch, but he's one of the better locks to reach his ceiling.
36. C, Juan Centeno - The 23-year old Puerto Rico native gets overlooked by many pundits because the power is way below average. While that will certainly most likely keep him out of long-term starting discussions, the fact his the rest of the game is in place to be a solid big league backup catcher; good catch and throw, a left-handed bat who can hit for average, good plate discipline, etc. There's nothing to get too excited about because the ceiling is limited but he has a strong chance to carve himself a nice niche as a bench player.
37. LHP, Darin Gorski - Now a member of the 40-man roster, the seventh round pick in the 2009 draft has the chance to be a solid left-handed specialist for the Mets sometime soon. The 25-year old has the kind of slider that could be really effective against left-handed batters -- lefties hit just .217 off of him last year in Binghamton -- and the rest of his stuff is average at best against right-handers.
38. RHP, Gonzalez Germen - Another 40-man roster guy, the 25-year old Dominican native has an above average fastball-changeup combination that makes him very intriguing. Both pitches will flash plus potential but the breaking ball is still an issue. If he could ever get that into the average category from a consistency standpoint he could have a middle of the rotation type ceiling. Until he gets that, however, he is more of a back-end guy at most.
39. RHP, Luis Cessa - A converted third baseman, this Mexican native has a bit more upside than some folks realize. He already shows a 92-94 mph fastball with an effortless delivery and innate strike-throwing ability, and a quality changeup that he's not afraid to throw behind in counts. If not for the current below average curveball, the soon to be 21-year old would rank much higher. Should that pitch come along though and add a tick or two with his fastball, which is a possibility given his frame, he could move up the rankings quickly.
40. RHP, Akeel Morris - There's upside galore here with the 2010 tenth round pick out of the Virgin Islands. At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds and still growing, he already sits in the 91-94 mph range with his fastball and has developed his changeup into a big league average offering already. However, the curveball, while it flashes plus long-term potential, is wildly inconsistent and so is his release point. His feel for pitching isn't there yet either. He is going to be a project but one who could pay long-term dividends in a big way if things break right.
41. C, Tomas Nido - Last year's eighth round pick out of high school has an immense upside of his own, boasting plus bat speed, long-term plus power potential, and good arm strength. It is going to take some time for him to learn the nuances of catching and also how to prepare his body better for the rigors of a long season, but he has the chance to be a solid defensive player who can provide some above average offensive potential down the road. He'll be one to watch closely in the coming years.
42. RHP, Chris Flexen - The 14th round pick in the 2012 draft was widely considered a better all-around talent but slid in the draft due to perceived bonus demands and ramifications from a new CBA agreement that saw a lot more high school talents go later in the draft. The fact is the 18-year old has a powerful arm, already sitting in the low-90s and touching the mid-90s, and he shows an advanced feel for controlling his secondary pitches. There's some potential upside here.
43. RHP, Miller Diaz - Like Flexen, the 20-year old Venezuelan native has a true power arm. In fact, sitting 93-94 mph, it's a shade better. He too has the potential to throw even harder as he continues to fill out his frame and he shows the makings of a quality changeup. His slider, however, remains a work in progress and the fastball command is going to need some more work going forward. The ceiling is pretty vast with him too though if things break right.
44. SS, Matthew Reynolds - Last year's second round pick is a solid all-around player on both sides of the ball. He has average power, decent speed, he's solid defensively, and he shows a nice combination of strike zone discipline and an ability to barrel the baseball. The problem is where does he best profile. He doesn't really have the range to be a given at shortstop nor does he have the power to man third base at the big league level someday either. He could carve himself a niche though as a utility player or perhaps move over to second base full-time where the bat would play better.
45. RHP, Matt Koch - Last year's third round pick out of the University of Louisville has a special power arm, one that sits in the mid-90s with his heater and tops out in the high-90s. That's the good news. The bad news is his secondary pitches could take a while to develop and the lack of a quality go-to secondary pitch is the reason his ERA in Brooklyn last year stood at 5.01. He could benefit from being transitioned into the starting role short-term just so he has ample opportunity to work on his curveball and/or slider because he's going to need one of them long-term to make better use of the great fastball.
46. RHP, Matthew Bowman - Last year's 13th round pick out of Princeton University could be the 2013 version of Tyler Pill as somebody who moves into the starting role, thrives there, and possibly move up a couple of levels. He sits in the 91-94 mph range with his fastball with great control, and he has three quality secondary pitches that he can also throw for strikes. Like Pill too, he doesn't favor any one secondary pitch yet and that could keep hitters guessing.
47. RHP, Eric Goeddel - The former UCLA product continues to rack up quality innings, showcase a big league fastball that will range anywhere from 89-94 mph, and an above average slider that he uses as his main strikeout pitch. His changeup still remains a work in progress but his sinking two-seamer is a pitch he has learned to command quite well and he's adept at keeping the ball in the ballpark, giving the Mets yet another solid back-end big league starting pitching option long-term.
48. LHP, Adam Kolarek - This 6-foot-3 southpaw has really begun to blossom into a quality reliever since his eleventh round selection in the 2010 draft out of the University of Maryland. He sits in the low-90s with his fastball, he's always had a quality changeup to help neutralize right-handed batters, and he added a much improved slider into his repertoire last season and that helped him strike out 78 batters in just 63 innings. He gives the Mets another potential long-term option out of the bullpen.
49. 3B, Zach Lutz - The third round pick way back in the 2007 MLB Draft continues to be one of the more solid performers for the Mets at the minor league level. He's a solid defender at both corner infield spots, he can hit for average, and he has decent power. The power is where he runs into trouble because it's average at best and he can only play defensively in the corners, thus limiting his long-term potential. He could be a nice piece off of the bench though if given the opportunity.
50. UT, Josh Satin - At 28 years old he's a bit too old to be considered a true prospect these days but he still offers the club some in-house options, especially as a utility player. Like Lutz his bat is solid, he draws walks, he offers average power, and he can also man second base in emergency situations if called upon. He is what he is right now, a quality bench player and that has big league value.
NorthsidersReport.com Recommended Stories
Odell Beckham makes catch of the year
Former LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham made what has to be the most incredible catch of the NFL season. Check out the highlight reel grab!Read More
College Week 13: 10 Saturday Takeaways
Breaking down all the battles that mattered this weekend.Read More
Defense Secretary Hagel Stepping Down
Breaking: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down amidst growing concerns over U.S. handling of global unrest.Read More
5 NHL Teams with Tailgating Crazy Fans
When it comes to tailgating, football might be the first sport that comes to mind, but don’t underestimate hockey. The NHL has some of the most passionate fans in all of sports, and they don’t let up…Read More
Apache Administers Death to Taliban (VIDEO)
The Apache helicopter is one of the most famed and efficient killing machines in the U.S Army. Get the skinny on this 'steel dragon' and watch what one does to a platoon of Taliban fighters in…Read More