This is the fifth installment in our countdown series. If you missed earlier entries, you can see them here:

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV

#30: Jhoan Urena

  • Bats: Both
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 200 Lbs.
  • Born: 9/1/94, DO

Scouting – Here is a brief from a scout at the GCL:

Listed at 6’1″ 200 lbs., he’s probably put on a few additional pounds since then.  The additional size helps him generate a powerful swing, but he handles it well, especially at third base.  Despite his size, he shows good range at the position, and while he still has the inconsistencies that come with being 18, his hands are soft enough to become a good, consistent defender there.  He has a plus arm that fires the ball across the diamond with easy action.

History – Signed an IFA bonus of $425,000 in 2011 which is a middle amount in the realm of international signees.  He spent 2012 in the DSL where he managed a solid line (albeit not a super human Vicente Lupo line) of .279/.330/.405, with 22 extra base hits and 12 stolen bases.  These are DSL numbers so you’d expect them to be a bit inflated.

2013 – There was no regression as we saw from Lupo.  Urena hit .299/.351/.376 in 47 games.  While his power was down his contact and eye kept him a valuable bat in the lineup.

2014 – Urena would be my bet for starting 3B in Brooklyn.  Brooklyn’s roster is already filling up but I think his success in the GCL has earned Urena a pass through the APP.  Urena should probably see his stolen base numbers hover around 5 while he plays in short season but if he continues to develop power we could see that facet of his game completely vanish.  A switch hitting 3B with power and contact is a good thing for an organization to have.  We’ll see if he develops.

LJ Mazzilli#29: L.J. Mazzilli

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 190 Lbs.
  • Born: 9/6/90, US

Scouting – Here is a pre-draft report:

Mazilli has some major bloodlines and shows some potential on both sides of the ball. The son of former major leaguer Lee Mazzilli, L.J. shows average tools across the board. At the plate, he has a simple, quiet, compact swing that generates solid-average bat speed. He has hit for some power this year at UCONN (9 HR’s in 223 at-bats), though he is definitely more of a gap-to-gap guy and power isn’t a big part of his game. His arm, range and good foot speed will allow him to stay at second base easily and he’ll steal a few bags at the next level. He has no tools that will wow you, but Mazzilli has a good approach, plays the game the right way, and competes in all aspects of the game. 

History – Mazzilli was drafted by the Mets in the 4th round of the 2013 draft.  People criticized the move as a reach for his relative talent.

2013 – Mazzilli was one of the few bright spots for the Brooklyn offense.  Often hitting 3rd in the order he went .278/.329/.381 on the year with 4 homers and 3 stolen bases.  Mazzilli is similar in some ways to someone much higher on this list, Dilson Herrera.  He shows you some power and some speed while playing a pretty solid second base.  Mazzilli likely has a lower profile on the power meter but is similar in offering you a hitting 2B.

2014 – Mazzilli is an interesting question for 2014.  With Herrera likely playing 2B for Port St. Lucie Mazzilli is left as the odd man out.  I’d like to see the Mets begin the transition to him playing a utility role and promote him to the FSL to play 3B, 2B and SS for the Mets but it might be more likely to see him progress as a double play partner with Cecchini.

#28: Jared King

  • Bats: Both
  • Throws: Left
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 208 Lbs.
  • Born: 10/12/91, US

Scouting – Profiles remarkably similar to Kirk Nieuwenhuis.  He’s a gritty player with average tools who will progress through the system on hard-nosed play but likely has a ceiling as a 4th outfielder.

History – Drafted by the Mets in the 5th round he was a bit of a steal as the Mets snagged a guy with a mediocre ceiling but a high floor.

2013 – King did a few things very well in 2013.  Hitting for power was not one of them.  He only hit 15 doubles and 1 homer in 63 games.  What was more positive were the 35 walks (with only 49 strikeouts) and the 5 stolen bases (without any caught stealing) that he DID manage.

2014 – King has nothing to prove in Savannah and should skip that league for the FSL in 2014.  He’s going to need to be able to crack 20 homers if he’s going to become more than a 4th outfielder and that kind of progress has to come in the near future.  I rank him this high based on a relative surety that he will be a viable bench player at the major league level.

#27: Aderlin Rodriguez

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 210 Lbs.
  • Born: 11/18/91, DO

Scouting – Here is a report from June of 2012:

Crazy raw power. Can drive it out of any park when he connects. Shows tremendous home run power in batting practice. Most present power is to pull side. Has strength to drive ball oppo but doesn’t trust hands and looks to turn on everything. Hitting ability hampers power playing in game situations. Could still be a source of power even with low average. Potential 15-18 home run type with current offensive skill set. Has raw power for far more, but unlikely to completely tap into it.

History – Rodriguez played his first season in 2009 where he obliterated Rookie ball for about a full season before being introduced to the world of hitting nightmare that is Savannah.  That being said, he hit 17 homers in Savannah in 2011 and 16 more in the first part of 2012.  In 2012 he graduated to Port St. Lucie where people expected his power to take off, but it wasn’t the lift-off we had hoped for.  He strikes out a lot… not as much as Matt Den Dekker, but a lot.

2013 – Rodriguez was only healthy for 62 games in 2013 where he managed a .260/.295/.427 line.  His 9 home runs put him on pace to continue as one of the most powerful hitters in the Met farm system and I read reports that his defense at 3rd was also improving.

2014 – Rodriguez will likely be playing 3rd base in Binghamton, though I could see the Mets STARTING him in Port St. Lucie to prove his readiness.  There are filler options at AA and A+ no matter where he ends up.  What I desperately want to see is a full season campaign with 30+ homers to prove his prospect stock.  This is what he’d need to get himself back inside the Top 20.

#26: Cory Vaughn

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 225 Lbs.
  • Born: 5/1/89, US

Scouting – Here’s a report from earlier in September:

Much like his father, Greg, Vaughn’s game is all about power.  No one will ever mistake him for a .300 hitter, but if he can continue to hit 20-plus home runs and draw his share of walks, he has a chance to pe a productive corner outfielder.  He hit just ten in his first taste of Double-A this season, but also played just 71 games due to injury.  He’ll be in the desert making up for lost time and trying to prove to the Mets that he doesn’t need to return there next season, although he probably will.  He’ll be 25 next May so he’ll be old for Double-A, but if he keeps hitting home runs, the Mets won’t care when he gets to the majors, so long as he gets there.  Vaughn projects as a borderline starter/platoon corner outfielder.

History – Vaughn was drafted in the 4th round of the 2010 draft and seemed to pay immediate dividends.  He crushed it in Brooklyn where he went .307/.396/.557 with 14 homers and 12 stolen bases.  Things quieted down in 2011 when he was introduced to the power vaccum of Savannah but 2012 saw Vaughn hit 23 home runs in Port St. Lucie and the hopes for him being more than a fringe player re-ignited.

2013 – In 2013 and injury cut the season in about half.  In AA he did manage a respectable .267/.346/.424 and it should be enough to see him promoted to AAA but he is still terribly streaky.  He also has a nasty habit of striking out more than once per game.  He still has talent, sure.  He also still needs to fix his swing.

2014 – If it were up to me he’d be playing in AAA with Puello and Taijeron but I would bet that the Mets start his 2014 in AA where Vaughn will be part of a very powerful core of hitters.  He should also earn a mid-season promotion to AAA where the inflated numbers of Vegas might turn heads.  In the end, I don’t see his future on the Mets.

5 comments on “Mets top prospects: Numbers 30-26

  • Brian Joura

    I complained as much as the next guy about how the Mets were too aggressive with their minor league guys when Tony Bernazard was here. Yet I find myself on the opposite side of things now. I want Aderlin Rodriguez in Double-A to start the season and I can’t fathom why anyone would consider starting Jared King in Savannah.

    Surely there’s got to be a middle ground between starting 18 year olds (with only 130 PA in Hi-A) in Double-A — which is what the Mets did with Fernando Martinez — and sending a four-year college senior to Lo-A in his first full season in the minors — like they did with Travis Taijeron.

  • David Groveman

    I’m torn.

    I really like Aderlin Rodriguez for power… but I also think Jhoan Urena has tremendous talent for hitting.

    I’ll say that Jhoan Urena is the best of the bunch.

    • Robby

      You guys make good points. Some of these guys need to get to a higher level sooner than later to see if they can produce. I really would like to see Vaughn in AAA also since he is 24 now and does have good potential. Mazzilli plays with a lot of heart like his dad. But the Mets need to start making room for some of these guys. Getting tired of the same names year after year such as Davis,Nieuwenhuis, Den Dekker and Dudas.

      • David Groveman

        Den Dekker will be in the majors, Nieuwenhuis will be in AAA, Davis or Duda will be in the majors and the other will likely not be on the team.

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