Welcome to the first installment in my look at the Mets’ top prospects.

Miller Diaz#50: Miller Diaz

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 209 Lbs
  • Born: 6/22/92, VE

Scouting – Diaz has a fastball that sits in the mid-90s.  His secondary pitches and control need work but he seems to have made strides in both.  Scouts profile him in the mold of Armando Rodriguez.

History – Diaz has been with the Mets since 2009 and progressed slowly through minor leagues without making major waves.  He proved he was a legitmate talent in 2012 where he fanned 53 batters in 47.2 innings between Kingsport and Savannah.  Diaz was never a full-time starter in the Met system before this year and that probably makes sense given his back of the rotation results prior to 2012.

2013 – In 2013 Diaz was given the chance to be a full-time starter for Brooklyn where he managed his best season yet.  In Brooklyn he made 12 starts and managed a 2.02 ERA over 66.2 innings.  His strikeout totals also were on the rise as he managed to K 87 batters and reach a high water mark with an 11.7 K/9.

2014 – Diaz can expect a promotion to Savannah to start the 2014 season.  He’s likely ready for the full season challenge but it will be interesting to see how he fairs pitching for a full season.  In the long-run I think Diaz profiles as a AAAA starter or a middle reliver.  We will see if he moves up the list or falls off by next year.

#49: Matthew Koch

  • Bats: Left
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 185 Lbs.
  • Born: 11/2/90, US

Scouting – Koch charts in with high 90s velocity.  He’s pegged as a hard-throwing reliever down the line but was given the opportunity to start in 2013 and averaged 4.2 IP per outing.

History – Koch was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft and was thrown onto the Brooklyn roster right away.  He didn’t have great success but his WHIP and K/9, the most telling stats, were still in the realm of respectability.

2013 – The good news for Koch is that he’s worked on his control.  He had a BB/9 of 0.4 for Savannah in 2013 and this helped lower his WHIP to a respectable 1.263.  His major flaw for the year was that he gives up hits.  10.9 H/9 is way too high for a pitcher to make any impact.  It seems his high 90s heater is missing some bats but is still too flat.

2014 – Koch is not a lock to make the opening day roster in Port St. Lucie but he has a shot.  He’ll need to start missing more bats and keeping runners off base which might see his velocity dip as he tries to add movement to his fastball.  2014 is a make or break year for Koch who could easily slip off the radar entirely.

#48: Andrew Church

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 190 Lbs.
  • Born: 10/7/94, US

Scouting – There is a good amount of scouting on Church who profiled in the Top 100 players for the 2013 draft.  His fastball velocity sits in the 90-94 range and tops out at 95.  He has a hit-or-miss curveball that sits in the 70s as well as an average slider and changeup.

History – Church was drafted, at least, one round too early by the Mets in 2013.

2013 – Church debuted in the Rookie, Gulf Coast League and not much went right.  He had an ERA of 5.91, a WHIP of 1.629, a H/9 of 12.6 and only 4.9 strikeouts per nine.  As bad as those numbers are, it isn’t that troubling to see a kid out of highschool be obliterated in his pro-baseball debut.

2014 – I’d bet that Church will graduate to Kingsport where he will be allowed to start after spending a full pre-season in the Mets training facility at Port St. Lucie.  His overall status as a pitcher will really be determined by his progress and success this year but he does have the basic potential to become a mid-rotation starter if things break right.

#47: Casey Meisner

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’7”
  • Weight: 190 Lbs.
  • Born: 5/22/95, US

Scouting – Meisner has a 90-94 MPH fastball, like Church, but his big frame is expected to allow him to add 1-3 MPH to the offering.  His best secondary pitch is an 11-5 curveball which has a chance to become an above average pitch for him.  His mechanics will need work, but you’d expect that from someone drafted this young.

History – Meisner was drafted by the Mets in the 3rd round of the 2013 draft and was one of the few picks that seemed questionable in terms of signability.

2013 – His campaign in Rookie ball was far more successful than Church’s.  He managed 35.1 IP with an ERA of 3.06, a WHIP of 1.160 and a 7.1 K/9.

2014 – You obviously like to see success in a players first season and I think because of his success at this level he could potentially be called to pitch for Brooklyn.  The Mets will want him as a starter so he might be squeezed out of the rotation and instead pitch for Kingsport.  I can’t project Meisner into a rotation or bullpen role at this point in his minor league career but he does have the stuff to play in the majors.

#46: Vicente Lupo

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 180 Lbs.
  • Born: 11/26/93, VE

Scouting – Lupo has outstanding power, good patience and a raw hitting ability.  He has the ability to steal some bases but will likely be in the realm of 10 SBs per year.  He profiles as an average defensive left fielder.

History – 2012 was ridiculous.  Hitting: .343/.500/.608 with 18 doubles, 3 triples and 10 HRs (not to mention 12 stolen bases) in the DSL looked fantastic.  The only problem was… that’s the DSL and things are different state-side.

2013 – There was a considerable drop from Lupo in 2013 as he joined the GCL Mets for the first time.  .220/.310/.385 is a significant drop in production.  Believe me when ranking him 46th is over a 20 position drop in the prospect rankings.  Keep in mind that his OPS+ was still a respectable 110 for his first season at this level and perhaps you might give him a bit of a pass.

2014 – I would rather see Lupo join Brooklyn at the age of 20 then have him sort himself out in Kingsport.  I don’t think the Mets will gain too much by moving him slowly through the lower levels.  He still has potential to be a star but 2013 put a major wet blanket on my enthusiasm.

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21 comments on “Mets top prospects: Numbers 50-46

  • Brian Joura

    6’7, 190 — Let’s start feeding Meisner some cheeseburgers.

    • steevy

      He’s still growing.

      • David Groveman

        I would bet that he will be the top pitching talent for the mets from this past draft

        • Blake

          I think Meisner was the diamond in the ruff , from this crop in 2013 I look forward to watching his development. I also read where he touched 94-95 mph this last short season

  • Name

    Just wondering, how many “prospects” does a minor system usually have have these days? I assume that the Foreign rookie leagues probably wouldn’t have any players who would make these kinds of lists, so that leaves about 150 players spread across the other systems. You have to assume AAA has mostly vets/AAAA players, so cut 25 off that? Would i be right to probably cut off 25 more from the 2 rookie leagues, which leaves about 100 players eligible for this kind of list?

    • David Groveman

      Can’t rule out all of AAA because you’d be ruling out players like Montero. Can’t rule out the rookie leagues either as you’d lose players like smith. You will find no players from the DSL on my list.

    • Brian Joura

      The answer to that depends upon how you define a prospect. We’ve got 26 year olds playing in the Florida State League. I don’t consider them prospects.

      Let’s throw out a definition of a prospect as a guy who will one day play in the majors. It’s not perfect but it will do. Picking a team at random, I’ll say the Cleveland Indians. Picking a year at random I’ll say 2006. I went through their org, starting in Triple-A, and here are all the guys who were eligible for the ROY who played in the minors for them and later played in the majors.

      AAA (20) – Asdrubal Cabrera, Ben Francisco, Ryan Garko, Franklin Gutierrez, Joe Inglett, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Andy Marte, Ivan Ochoa, Kelly Shoppach, Eider Torres, Jonathan Van Every, Andrew Brown, Jeremy Guthrie, Fausto Carmona, Juan Lara, Tom Mastny, Edward Mujica, Rafael Perez, Brian Slocum, Jeremy Sowers

      AA (8) – Michael Aubrey, Brian Barton, Trevor Crowe, Brad Snyder, Syatt Toregas, Aaron Laffey, Jensen Lewis, Tony Sipp

      A+ (5) – Jordan Brown, Jose Constanza, Argenis Reyes, Scott Lewis, J.D. Martin

      A- (6) – Chris Gimenez, Jerad Head, Max Ramiez, Niuman Romero, Frank Herrman, Jeff Stevens

      Rookie – 3 teams – (9) – Chris Archer, Matt McBride, Josh Rodriguez, David Huff, Josh Tomlin, Neil Wagner, Jeanmar Gomez, Luis Perdomo, Hector Rondon

      That’s 48 guys.

      • Name

        I was just looking for a general rules of thumbs. I realize that you can’t rule out of all of AAA or the rookie league, but like Brian said, there are also a lot of non-prospects in the middle levels as well.

        I guess the definition I will use as “prospect” is someone who ‘could’ have a multi-year MLB career and who has not yet reached minor league free agency or outrighted off the 40 man(to exclude someone like a Schwinden).

        I’ll just be specific and ask you the total number of people you considered to be on your list.

  • Marcus

    Nice. Like the logic. Plus I like hearing about the outliers. I’ve been following Lipped too; hopefully he bounces back.

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  • Rob Rogan

    Pretty disappointed in what Lupo did this year, but still have high hopes for him.

    • David Groveman

      Agreed.

      Lupo was in my Top 20 for 2013 based on DSL numbers. The silver lining is that he did manage an OPS+ in a solid range that his value would skyrocket with a good 2014.

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  • David Groveman

    Of this bunch I can’t decide if I favor Diaz, Meisner or Lupo as my favorite of the bunch.

    Lupo has the most potential and Diaz seems the safest bet, but Meisner has that mix of potential and fulfilled promise that gets me excited.

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