Mets top prospects: Numbers 45-41

The countdown of the Mets’ top prospects continues. Click here to see the first installment.

#45: Wuilmer Becerra

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’4”
  • Weight: 190 Lbs.
  • Born: 10/1/1994, VE

Scouting – The terms “Five-Tool-Outfielder” is a good thing.  As a Met fan all I can hear is, “Alex Escobar”, “Lastings Milledge” or “Fernando Martinez” and it’s a bit of a double-edged sword.  He signed an international signing bonus of $1.3 Mil… so he’s got some expectations on his hands.

History – He was hit in the head with a ball during his 2012 season and only played in 11 games.

2013 – Like Lupo, a lot of enthusiasm has probably left for people.  He managed an OPS of only .646 and was caught more times than he stole.  More troubling is the number of times poor Becerra got hit by pitches.  10 HBP is too many for 52 games and might indicate he needs to adjust his stance at the plate.

2014 – I’d vote for Becerra joining Lupo in Brooklyn for the 2014 season.  I like that he plays right field and would like to be able to go scout his arm in person.  We’ll see how the Mets draft before we predict too much in terms of where players will start the year.  Becerra could still be a coup for Alderson as part of the Dickey deal but it’s certainly not written in stone.

#44: Champ Stuart

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 175 Lbs.
  • Born: 10/11/92, BS

Scouting – PLUS-PLUS speed is always good.  The Bahamas native is somewhat new to the game.  His overall tools were supposed to be justifiably raw but his results were better than expected.  Prior to the season he was noted for poor defensive reads and poor pitch recognition.

History – Drafted by the Mets in the 6th round of the draft this seemed like a good pick for Alderson and company.

2013 – Stuart had a .989 FLD% and even made a couple of assists in his first season as a pro.  Additionally he walked 34 times in 43 games.  People will point out that he was struck out 58 times in the same time and those people have a good point, but the development seems to show the scouts were a little wrong.  He also managed 11 stolen bases which isn’t astronomical but it is a good sign from a player that needs to learn how to harness his raw tools.

2014 – Stuart could be the centerfielder between Lupo and Becerra or he could skip Brooklyn for Savannah.  The logic is that the Mets may be skipping King and Biondi to Port St. Lucie, but we’d need to wait and see.  He’s a long-shot, like anyone ranked this low, but he’s got some major upside.

#43: John Gant

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 175 Lbs.
  • Born: 8/6/92, US

Scouting – When drafted he didn’t generate great power on his fastball.  When I saw him, without the benefit of a radar gun, he did appear to be throwing significantly harder than his competition.  (Best guess is he now sits Low 90s) He generates swings and misses and has solid control… a good combination.

History – Drafted in the 21st round of the 2011 draft the expectations were not high.  His 2012 campaign was simply bad with only a respectable K/9 as a hope for some future success.

2013 – This season was a major step for Gant who turned in a 2.89 ERA with a 1.130 WHIP and a 10.2 K/9.  His hits were way down (6.7 H/9) but his walks were on the rise (3.5 BB/9) which leads me to believe that he’s playing on the corners more… which is a good decision.

2014 – Gant is a near-lock for the 2014 Savannah rotation where he’ll have a shot to solidify his standing as a prospect.  Don’t expect the next Matt Harvey here.  Gant profiles as a #5 starter, but his strikeout totals might be an outlier of bigger things to come.

Logan Verrett#42: Logan Verrett

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 180 Lbs.
  • Born: 6/19/90, US

Scouting – Low 90s offering keeps him as a back-end starter/bullpen candidate for the future.  His control is very good and he does get swings and misses on his secondary offerings.

History – Drafted in the 3rd round of 2011 I thought that Verrett was a conservative pick.  He pitched well in 2012 earning a mid-year promotion to Port St. Lucie where he managed a 2.09 ERA and 0.879 WHIP.  What troubled people was the dip in strikeouts from 9.3 K/9 in Savannah, to 6.1 K/9 in Port St. Lucie.

2013 – There is good news and bad.  The good news is that the strikeouts returned.  He managed a 8.1 K/9 for the season.  The bad news is that his walks and hits were up and this contributed to an ERA of 4.25.  He did average over 6.0 IP per outing which indicates that a role as a back-end innings eater seems likely.

2014 – Verrett should see time in Vegas and I expect his ERA to rise.  I think that he’ll get the hang of pitching at the AAA level but Verrett is pretty far down on the totem pole regarding getting his shot in the majors.

#41: Maikis De La Cruz

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 174 Lbs.
  • Born: 9/6/90, DO

Scouting – De La Cruz uses solid speed and a developed eye at the plate to make up for a relatively small amount of power.

History – De La Cruz was ranked as the best player in the Mets DSL leagues during his first season, 2011.  He hit an impressive .321/.389/.400 and stole 33 bases.  The next season he came to the US and played for Kingsport and Brooklyn.  He still made good contact but he ran far fewer times, 9 stolen bases in 72 games.

2013 – De La Cruz played for Savannah and, despite not having much power, is currently their #3 hitter.  He has stolen 17 bases and has an OPS of .714 but he’s also striking out more than he had in the past.

2014 – I expect De La Cruz to continue up with Nimmo as they move to Port St. Lucie.  I’d say that De La Cruz is most likely a 4th or 5th outfielder in the future and that his Plus speed will allow him to be used as a pinch runner.

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10 comments for “Mets top prospects: Numbers 45-41

  1. Hobie
    September 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    The forgotten guy guy at Kingsport is Victor Cruzado (maybe you have him higher on your list, but no one else mentions him). I am assuming he was hurt in August since he didn’t play much since Aug 10 (and when he did as DH) after a torrid July. He isn’t big OR fast, so I guess that’s the knock, but he’s a switch hitter with a very nice BB/K ratio.

    If Champ Stuart is skipping Brooklyn, Victor should also IMO.

    • David Groveman
      September 14, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      Not forgotten. Remember to look at a player’s age relative to the league they are in.

      • Hobie
        September 15, 2013 at 10:36 am

        Victor is 4 mos older than Champ. Is that a huge margin?

        • David Groveman
          September 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm

          Victor has also played in a number of lower leagues. He is just outside the top 50 I believe.

  2. September 15, 2013 at 11:50 am

    My opinion is that you have Verrett too low.

    I recognize that he is beyond many other pitchers with higher ceilings. But I think he’s got an MLB career for someone ahead of him and I believe he’s about 20 spots too low.

    • David Groveman
      September 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      He is a year away from being a #5 pitcher on a bad team. I don’t see it.

      • September 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm

        So there’s 40 people in the farm system that are going to contribute more than that at the major league level?

        • David Groveman
          September 15, 2013 at 9:07 pm

          There are 40+ people with higher ceilings. I don’t see verrett ever being more than a spot starter for the mets. One of us will be right, and frankly, I hope it is you. I would always prefer being wrong and have a prospect out-perform my expectations.

  3. September 23, 2013 at 11:52 am

    As much as people don’t like that I put him here, and as much as I would not rank him in the Top 40, I would say Logan Verrett is the best prospect of this bunch.

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