The Mets have long been known to have high standards for homegrown pitching, and recently there has been an influx of starters that have come up and made an impact. Matt Harvey was the first of the recent influx and has been extremely successful, Zack Wheeler came up next and is currently making progress to becoming dominant, and currently Noah Syndergaard is on his way to making the big leagues. When Syndegaard makes his debut and pitches 50+ innings, a new pitcher will have to dethrone him as the top arm in the system. The Mets have depth from AAA Las Vegas all the way down to Low-A Brooklyn, but there are three pitchers who have the most potential to take the spot of top pitcher.
After being in 2009, Matz underwent Tommy John surgery- which was not too bad then. That being said, Matz did not make his debut until 2012 where he made a measly six starts across 29 innings in Kingsport. Then in 2013, Matz put himself on the map with a sparkling 2.62 ERA across 21 starts. Even with this extended success, he has flown under the radar, but is remaining relevant enough to exist on the 40-man roster. The future seems extremely bright for the left-hander who is destined for a call-up to Binghamton mid-season. If Matz continues dominating at Binghamton and AAA, he could force a mid-season call-up in 2015. The bottom line is that Matz is currently next in line to take the baton as the next big starting pitcher in the Mets minor league system.
After being drafted in 2011, Fulmer seemed to a huge steal at the 44th pick with a 2.74 ERA in 2012. He then suffered a major injury to his knee that kept him out until late in the season. The main knock on Fulmer has been his high walk rate and has a lower strikeout rate for a hard-thrower. If Fulmer can refine his pitches to work deep into games, then there is no doubt he will receive a call-up to AA- along with Matz. He seems as more of a 3rd or 4th starter with his low strikeout rate, but if Fulmer continues to grow then he will easily surpass Matz as a top pitcher.
As the dark horse candidate, Ynoa has been on the map for minor league buffs since his breakout performance in 2012. The master of control has been Cliff Lee good with only 16 BB in 135 IP last season translating to a 1.1 BB/9. The main knock on the kid is once again been the lack of strikeouts, but also the amount of hits he allows. With a ceiling of a refined Dillon Gee and the floor of Kevin Slowey in 2011 (.8 BB/9 with a 6.67 ERA) Ynoa has the potential to be a very solid starter in the majors.
These three starters all have serious potential in the majors but they all remain in A+ St. Lucie. The three pitchers here have to make adjustments and take enormous steps forward if they would like to be the top pitching prospect in the system next season.