#11 – Noah Syndergaard
MLB.com agrees with pretty much everyone, that Syndergaard will debut in 2014. His fastball is what gets the highest marks, which isn’t surprising but it will be his curveball (which they rank 60 out of 80) that will define his success. I’m of the opinion this pitch will be the difference between him being a #3 pitcher and him challenging Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey for the role of “Ace” of the 2015 Mets. For all that Taijuan Walker is ranked higher, I believe that Syndergaard has the higher ceiling of the two and that he belongs in the Top 10.
#22 – Travis d’Arnaud
D’Arnaud still ranks highly among prospects but his bat is no longer a “Sure Thing” like it was prior to the Mets acquiring him. What surprised me about the rankings were his relatively low marks in fielding and arm. He is a plus defender and 55’s in both stats speaks to him being only a little above average. If he can turn in a solid .260 with 15+ HRs and the solid defense we saw in 2013, Met fans should be satisfied. Those numbers aren’t star numbers but they are pretty good production for a backstop and that is enough for me.
#85 – Rafael Montero
While I am not surprised or unhappy to see Montero ranked in the top 100 I do need to question his presence in lieu of others I consider brighter stars in the Mets own system. Montero will have a solid career if he stays healthy. This career will be eating innings and keeping his team in games. I don’t see any star potential. I do see star potential is Wilmer Flores, Jacob deGrom, Dilson Herrera and Steven Matz but Montero’s proximity to being in the majors has a lot to do with his ranking. He is sitting behind only Jenrry Mejia and John Lannan, waiting to get his shot.
Mets who should be on the 2015 Top 100:
Dominic Smith – A good year in rookie ball might have earned Smith a jump to the SAL in his second season. I’m hoping he winds up in Brooklyn (mostly so I can see him play live) but I can’t fault the Mets trying to get him a full season. With continued development he should be an easy pick for the latter half of the top 100.
Steven Matz – Matz will be tested in Port St. Lucie and should he stay healthy he could rocket up the rankings very quickly. Why? He’s a lefty with a whole lot of arm strength. Injury will continue to be a concern but his 2013 was about as good as anybody could have hoped for.
Dilson Herrera – The Mets will be splitting Herrera at shortstop and second at Port St. Lucie. This could increase his value tremendously but it could also not work out at all. If Herrera can play shortstop he changes from being a plus hitting second baseman to a plus plus hitting shortstop. It helps to be compared to shortstops offensively. Especially with Javier Baez and others set to graduate.
Brandon Nimmo – Nimmo needs a healthy year in Port St. Lucie but he has been great when healthy. I think he will make his first of three appearences in the Top 100 prospects in 2015. If you were paying attention, that means three more seasons in the minors minimum.
Kevin Plawecki – With another year like 2013, Plawecki will be in the Top 50. That’s how good his 2013 was. If he regresses slightly but plays in AA, he’s still in the Top 100. Plawecki has the potential to both make Sandy Alderson look really smart and run d’Arnaud out of town in 2016.