As we break into the Top 30 prospects we start to see some players that are more purely “Groveman’s Guys”. Peterson and Palsha would likely rank lower on a number of lists but relievers have done better in these rankings because of how rankings were weighted. While relief pitchers are not typically the big impact players we follow, the Mets happen to have a number of talented arms who, for one reason or another, don’t start. These players still have the ability to both make the major league team and win games for the Mets and therefore they rank higher than some players who rely more heavily on potential.
#30 Tim Peterson, RP: While the best relievers in the majors usually come from the ranks of minor league starters the Mets have a few promising relievers in the minors who can’t be ignored. Peterson began the year in Port St. Lucie where he was completely unhittable. His .049 ERA, 15.7 K/9 and 0.600 WHIP were enough to make us forget that he was pitching in Advanced A at the age of 25. His numbers in AA were less astonishing but still promising enough to make us believe that there is something there. Peterson will likely repeat in AA and serve as the team’s closer to start the year. If he can adjust and put out numbers like he did in Port St. Lucie he’ll be off this list next year because he’ll be pitching in Queens. (ETA: 2018 Ceiling: Setup Guy)
#29 Anthony Dimino, C/1B/DH: If you claim to have known about Dimino prior to 2016 you are either a fan of obscure college baseball teams or lying. The Mets drafted him in the 28th round of the 2015 amateur draft. The catching prospect looked like organizational filler and most assumed that we’d likely not hear much more about him. When I began to take note of Dimino’s statistics, he’d already stepped up as a strong hitting force. This can be attributed in part to a growing ability to hit for power and considerable patience at the plate. The biggest red mark on Dimino is that he’s not a great defensive catcher and is a little small to be a firstbaseman or a designated hitter. Still, you have to like the promise in his bat as he gears up for the SAL. (ETA: 2020 Ceiling: Starting Catcher)
#28 Corey Oswalt, SP: Nothing about Oswalt’s 2016 was bad. His K/9 was 9.0 and his WHIP was low enough to prove that he was still effective. So why did Oswalt fall from 14th prospect to 28th? The answer has a lot to do with a lack of progress and injury. He missed almost half of his season due to injury and was stalled in Advanced A for the entire season as a result. Should Oswalt roll into 2017 healthy and take care of business in AA, we’ll be seeing him in the Top 10 of next year’s list, you can bank on it. There is reason to hope for that as he looked very impressive in his few starts during the Arizona Fall League. (ETA: 2018 Ceiling: 3rd Starter)
#27 Milton Ramos, SS: Imagine that Ramos was a Top 10 player for us last year. Ramos entered his first season of Full-Season minor league baseball with a world of expectations on his shoulders and he drowned. He struck out too often, he didn’t display great speed, he didn’t show great power and he finished the year with a .564 OPS. That being said he was only 20 years old and playing for the first time in the SAL. The Mets can still hope that he will show some of that great potential he displayed in Kingsport. The one good piece of news is that his fielding draws no complaints. Perhaps the Mets should have let Ramos play in Brooklyn prior to Columbia. Perhaps we will never know. (ETA: 2019 Ceiling: Starting Shortstop)
#26 Alex Palsha, RP: Having seen Palsha pitch in person I can tell you that his fastball looks electric. Having reiewed his statistics I can further tell you that he projects well into the later innings of relief. He began 2016 closing for the Fireflies and ended it closing for the Port St. Lucie Mets. He’s one of the best relief pitchers in the Met system and he’s on track to be fighting for his bullpen debut Spring Training 2018. He’s a little old for where he’s pitched but that will change as he’s hitting the upper levels of the minor leagues without any stumbling blocks. (ETA: 2019 Ceiling: Setup Guy)