Reviewing Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: New York Mets (Gavin Cecchini #2?)

  1. Zack Wheeler, RHP
  2. Gavin Cecchini, SS
  3. Brandon Nimmo, OF
  4. Luis Mateo, RHP
  5. Rafael Montero, RHP
  6. Wilmer Flores, 3B/2B
  7. Michael Fulmer, RHP
  8. Jeurys Familia, RHP
  9. Domingo Tapia, RHP
  10. Cory Mazzoni, RHP

While nobody on the top 10 is surprising by their presence alone, the order that Baseball America chose to rank them is interesting.  Let’s look at some key rankings that confused me:

Gavin Cecchini #2?: Well… clearly this is about defense.  Cecchini is supposed to have the makeup to stick at shortstop and display a good glove.  Except of course that Baseball America also goes as far to say that Cecchini is not the best infielder (defensively) nor does he have the best arm (of infielders) those honors go to Wilfredo Tovar and Aderlin Rodriguez (respectively).  They don’t even project him as the future shortstop for the Mets and slide him over to second base (which moves Wilmer Flores to left field!)  I’m sorry, but unless I missed something, I think this placement seems wrong.

Luis Mateo #4?: Now… we all loved Mateo’s numbers in Brooklyn during the 2012 season.  That being said, he was old for the league and it was only Short-Season A League.  Perhaps having the system’s best slider is more meaningful than I usually thought but it boggles my mind how Mateo can be ranked above Rafael Montero, Michael Fulmer or Domingo Tapia who have all shown nearly equivalent success at higher levels.

There were also a few rankings that fans might not like… but that made sense:

Wilmer Flores #6?: Yeah… he has a natural position (FINALLY) but the Mets just signed Wright to a long-term deal and he’s unlikely to ever play 3rd for the Mets in Flushing.  His bat continues to impress more and more for scouts and he’ll force his way onto the team but apparently Baseball America doesn’t think general mobility is required to play in the outfield.

Jeurys Familia #8?: How quickly Familia and Mejia’s names have fallen.  I’m still on their sides but I think a few things are clear.  Jenrry Mejia needs a full (healthy) year in the minors and Familia needs to transition to reliever (hopefully no sooner than 2013’s expanded rosters).  As a reliever, Familia still has plenty of value but he’s no longer a top 5 guy.

Some other things that made me think:

Best Athlete: Bradley Marquez? Oh man… our best athlete can’t walk.  Marquez injured his knee playing football for Texas Tech.  This just before it was expected that he’d quit football to focus on baseball full time.  SIGH…

Aderlin Rodriguez’s Arm: Seems a shame to shift the system’s best infield arm to 1st if he’s got that arm but what I had been hearing was he was still not fielding the ball well at 3rd (although he had shown improvement).  This will put a nail in the coffin of my thoughts to move Rodriguez to 1st base in 2013… though he may still start to share time (partially because there isn’t a great 1B option at the A+ level).

Now some quotes:

‘A lack of blue-chip position prospects clouds New York’s future lineup possibilities, however. Its best upper-level hitter is infielder Wilmer Flores, but he may not have enough power or defensive chops to profile as a long-term starter at any position.’

Yeah… The Mets do sorta lack much of anything towards the top of their majors in terms of position players.  Perhaps this is why minor league guys like me were eager to trade R.A. Dickey for a crop of AA or higher positional prospects.  In BA’s top 10 Mets they list only 3 position players and of those players only Flores has played above Low A.

‘For the second straight year, New York set a new franchise record for draft bonuses, upping the mark to $7 million. It also signed Dominican shortstop Amed Rosario for $1.75 million, the highest bonus it ever has paid for an international amateur.’

Two things: 1) Alderson and Co. are spending on the draft which is a pretty stark reversal from the ways of some of there predecessors.  2) Amed Rosario is a name that we should watch… although he’s likely to be in the DSL for 2013.  Here is what Baseball America said about him when the Mets signed him:

‘Rosario, the No. 11 international prospect for July 2, is a 16-year-old righthanded hitter with plenty of room to fill out his lanky, 6-foot-3, 170-pound frame. Some teams project Rosario as a shortstop with offensive upside, though others think he may outgrow the position. Rosario grew up as a teammate with Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara in La Javilla youth league. He trained at the academy of the president of the league, John Carmona.’

Welcome to the Mets: Wilmer Flores 2.0!

14 comments for “Reviewing Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: New York Mets (Gavin Cecchini #2?)

  1. December 15, 2012 at 8:07 am

    I was not a fan of our first-round pick in 2012, so I’m certainly not a fan of him being ranked #2 overall. He’s not in my top 10 but I think there’s a case for him to be included in one.

    Hopefully they would rank him below Travis d’Arnaud if the Mets pick him up in a deal…

    • David Groveman
      December 15, 2012 at 9:45 am

      I think D’Arnaud would be the #2 prospect behind Wheeler, but I could be wrong.

  2. Metsense
    December 15, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I read the reviews and analyze the comments and appreciate the hard work that David does for this site. I conclude that trading prospects for established major league players is a risky business and something that I don’t like. It is just too hard to predict how these minor league players are going to play in the majors. The Mets gave up their farm system (at the time) for Santana and did any of those blue chips ever come back to haunt them? If Dickey goes today, I hope we end up with better results than the Twins did.

    • December 15, 2012 at 10:12 am

      I don’t think any of the four guys the Mets gave up for Santana were considered the equals of either d’Arnaud or Gose. Even if the were, you can’t dismiss the idea of trading for prospects because one deal didn’t work out. I think the Indians did okay trading Bartolo Colon for the package they did and I don’t think the Astros regret dealing Larry Andersen, either.

      It comes down to if you have faith in your GM’s ability to evaluate minor league talent. I’ve soured some on Alderson but I do think he continues to get high marks in this department.

    • Chris F
      December 15, 2012 at 10:34 am

      The RA haters are out in full force ahead of the announcement…in order to justify what’s about to be announced. It is clear though, this team is a full blown rebuild, which make the Wright contract all the more mystifying. This is a team looking to be genuinely competitive no sooner than ’15 and likely ’16 and past. At that time DW won’t be the 3b guy he is now, and we could have gotten quite a bit more for him than the prospects for RA.. So the idea of Alderson being against sentimental contracts is bogus. He piled on the biggest Mets contract ever for a guy that will be riding the downhill slope before this team is competitive.

      It all started bad for RA when he chose to flip the bird to the Mets by climbing Klimanjaro. It’s clear team wilpon/Alderson had no love for the man since.

      Well, the next few years are gonna be pretty slender!

      • December 15, 2012 at 12:31 pm

        If the Mets could have gotten more for Wright in a deal – then they should have traded him. I don’t know if Wright would have delivered more, however.

      • David Groveman
        December 15, 2012 at 12:38 pm

        To say that 2014 is out of the question is a little off. Remember that the mets will clear still more payroll room after 2013 and assuming we get some success from Harvey, Wheeler, D’Arnaud, Wright, Davis, Niese, Flores and whoever else we should be able to replace the loss of Dickey and have a competitive rotation by 2014. I will miss Dickey but it will not be the end of the world and gives the Mets the best chance of competing for a World Series

        • Chris F
          December 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm

          The hurdle to climb over the Nats, braves, and/or phillies is considerable.

          • NormE
            December 16, 2012 at 12:42 pm

            Add to that the hurdle of Fred and Jeffie.

  3. Chris F
    December 15, 2012 at 10:35 am

    (By the way Brian, I don’t mean you, sorry if it came out that way. I meant articles I’ve read)

  4. Stephen
    December 17, 2012 at 2:59 am

    David this is great stuff, as always.

    The thing that makes me convinced the BA staff puts minimal effort into these lists is not the placement of Cecchini at #2–that I can at least attribute to draft bias–it’s Mazzoni’s inclusion at all. To me, he profiles best as a 7th inning guy and not much more. The mid-high floor is fine but he’s in that 15-20 range and shouldn’t touch any top 10 lists. Not with this system’s pitching.

    For the record, here is my top 10, post trade:

    1.) d’Arnaud
    2.) Wheeler
    3.) Flores (he’s 21, I believe in the power, and the bat will play anywhere)
    4.) Syndergaard
    5.) Nimmo
    6.) Fulmer (love this kid)
    7.) Montero
    8.) Familia
    9.) Cecchini
    10.) Tapia

    If I were to extend it to 15, the next 5 would include Robles, Mateo, Matt den Dekker, deGrom, and Plawecki, in no specific order.

    • David Groveman
      December 17, 2012 at 9:58 am

      Let’s see… I think I’d flip Snydergaard and Nimmo and Montero and Fulmer… but it looks pretty good to me.

      • Stephen
        December 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm

        I had the pleasure of going to a number of Cyclones games this past summer and damn do we have some great pitching. Robles is my personal favorite of the group but that’s probably skewed by seeing him nearly throw a no-hitter where no opposing hitter even had the semblance of a chance against him. Excited to see him ascend through the system.

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