Mets 2017 Top 10 prospects (plus 40 or so more)

For seven years, I put out a top 10 list.  Then last year four of us combined to put out a top 50 list.  David did a top 50 list by himself this year and my plan was to go back to doing a top 10.  But whether because my appetite got whetted for longer lists, or the fact that the Mets have more than 10 interesting prospects, this list will be 50 long.  Since David already did a longer write-up on the majority of these guys, my approach will be to go with a quick hitter on most.  David’s rankings with a link to his piece will follow in parentheses.  If he didn’t rank a prospect, it will read, “NR.”

On to the list!

*****

Adrian Almeida50 – Adrian Almeida – Venezuelan lefty signed the same year as Molina and got more money, $170K versus $100K.  Hasn’t developed quickly but put up a 12.6 K/9 split between two short-season clubs.  Walks are a huge problem.  Is the type of guy that a little bit of skill improvement could translate into a huge step forward. (NR)

49 – Logan Taylor – 10.4 K/9 as a middle reliever last year in Double-A. (NR)

48 – Jeff McNeil – Missed most of last year with a hernia. (40)

47 – Blake Tiberi – Gets the spot due to being a third-round pick.  Had .632 OPS at Brooklyn. (41)

46 – Cameron Planck – Another 2016 draft pick.  Did not play but got a big bonus which makes him worth watching. (NR)

45 – Jose Medina – 21-year-old lefty with 7.0 K/BB ratio in APPY. (NR)

44 – Jose Medina – 19 year old put up an .812 OPS in road parks in the APPY. (NR)

43 – Anthony Dimino – College catcher in second year of short-season ball.  Great AVG, little power. (29)

42 – Joseph Zanghi – A 13.8 K/9 leads great ratios across the board for the just turned 22 year old. (43)

41 – Phillip Evans – Had the same BNG breakthrough at age 23 as Matt Reynolds. (31)

40 – Kevin McGowan – Didn’t see the same K/9 jump as teammate Taylor with switch to bullpen but got invitation to big league camp. (NR)

39 – Kevin Canelon – Control artist with better road numbers (3.01 ERA) in SAL.  But he’s a lefty who didn’t dominate LHB and that’s not a good thing in this org. (44)

38 – Ricky Knapp – Put up a 5.5 K/9 in Hi-A in 105.1 IP before promotion to Double-A, where he posted an 8.9 K/9 in 40.1 IP. (48)

37 – Matt Oberste – Adding third base to his skill set bolsters his major league chances. (19)

36 – Tyler Bashlor – Former overslot guy finally healthy after missing two years and dominated at Lo-A.  Had a 12.2 K/9 for Columbia thanks to a mid-90s fastball. (NR)

35 – Eudor Garcia – PED suspension put a damper on 2016 and places future in serious doubt. (20)

34 – Tomas Nido – Breakout year in 2016 fueled by a .935 home OPS.  Road numbers look suspiciously like his pre-2016 numbers. (18)

33 – Patrick Mazeika – Lefty-hitting catcher, good AVG, no power. (12)

32- Ali Sanchez – Big international signee as two-way backstop.  Didn’t hit but threw out 48% of runners for Brooklyn. (36)

31 – Luis Guillorme – Looks like a big step back from 2015 but it was all BABIP.  Shortstop, lefty, going to BNG at a normal age – too early to give up on. (39)

30– Jordan Humphreys – Last five – 26 IP, 4 ER, 3 BB, 35 Ks, 2 HR, 1.38 ERA, .558 OPS, .310 BABIP.  Spent most of year in APPY as 20 year old.  Doesn’t have great size or a great heater, yet got an over-slot bonus in 2015.  Could be an org system sleeper. (NR)

29 – Josh Smoker – Very good strikeout numbers but a bit too hittable (.409 BABIP in Triple-A, .387 in majors) otherwise.  Not strong versus lefties. (NR)

28 – Paul Sewald – Had a solid year overall in Las Vegas and dominated the latter part of the year, with a 1.85 ERA and a .477 OPS allowed to his final 97 batters faced.  This followed up a strong 2015 season in Double-A.  Sewald had trouble with the gopher ball early in Las Vegas but allowed just 2 HR in his final 24.1 IP.  Not overpowering but has a good slider. (NR)

27 – Anthony Kay – Mets drafted him twice, so obviously they like what they see.  We won’t see him for awhile due to TJ surgery. (17)

26 – David Thompson – Battled injuries but generally handled full-season ball.  Now needs to rake at Double-A  to catch up to hype that most give him. (11)

25 – Harol Gonzalez – Great numbers home and away but without elite stuff will have to prove it at each level. (21)

24 – Nabil Crismatt – Doesn’t light up the radar gun but gets both strikeouts and results.  Went from short-season ball to a final start in Double-A.  Last five: 34.2 IP, 7 ER, 3 BB, 39 Ks, 2 HR, 1.82 ERA, .561 OPS, .267 BABIP. (13)

23 – Corey Taylor – He’s listed at 5’11 and 245 pounds and he saved 20 games last year in Hi-A.  No one in the majors has ever been 6’ feet or under, weighed 240 pounds or more and saved 10 games in a season.  Fernando Rodney is close at 5’11, 230 and he didn’t make his MLB debut until his age 25 season.  Rodney will be pitching this year at age 40.  Taylor turned 24 in January and should be in Double-A this year.  He pitched well both home and away and had no trouble getting LHB out.  A seventh-round pick in 2015, he was an underslot guy signed to save money.  If you like guys with a story, Taylor is your guy.  He’s got decent stuff, too.  Not overpowering but throws hard enough and if he can locate the ball, he’s got a shot to make it. (NR)

22 – Ricardo Cespedes – Posted a .322 AVG in the APPY as an 18 year old but with just an .057 ISO.  Speed is supposed to be an asset. (24)

21 – David Roseboom – Strong numbers all around and moved into the closer’s role the 2nd half of the year.  Future LOOGY material, perhaps more. (16)

20 – Corey Oswalt – Injury-shortened 2016 but he came back to pitch in the AFL.  Had a strong showing in the hitter-friendly loop, going 4-1 with a 3.33 ERA with a team-leading 27 IP. (28)

19 – Chris Flexen – Finished the year strong, going 5-0 with a 2.78 ERA in his last eight games, with 32 Ks and 2 HR in 38.2 IP.  According to Ted Klein at Mets Templar Prospects, Flexen was the one who held up the original Jay Bruce deal, forcing the Mets to sub in Dilson Herrera at the last moment.  A knee injury was what allegedly scared the Reds.  Set a career-high with 134 IP last year, 82 more than the year before.  Injuries have been a problem throughout his career.  Flexen has the talent to remain a starter but may end up in the bullpen for durability reasons. (35)

18 – Andrew Church – After essentially a lost year in 2015, Church rebounded with a very strong season in Lo-A.  He was okay after a promotion to Hi-A but would probably benefit from starting 2017 back in the FSL, to establish the command and strikeouts he displayed at the lower level last year. (15)

17 – P.J. Conlon – The feel-good story of 2016.  He needs to pass the Double-A test in 2017. (7)

16 – Luis Carpio – Suffered a right labrum tear and was expected to miss the entire 2016 season.  But he came back to play in 20 games.  While he didn’t play at the level he did in 2015, he’s still a teenager.  Appeared to be on fast track before the injury. (25)

15 – T.J. Rivera – Got a chance in the majors last year and hit well.  Should get another chance but probably not at the beginning of the year. (NR)

14 – Gregory Guerrero – Has all the tools and could play in a U.S. league this year. (NR)

13 – Peter Alonso – Hit well with wood bats.  How aggressive will Mets be with assignment?  Michael Conforto didn’t start in Double-A, so it’s hard to imagine Alonso will, either. (9)

12 – Brandon Nimmo – Played well in 2016 but doubts linger that he’s more than a bench/platoon guy. (NR)

11 – Gavin Cecchini – Mets don’t want to play him at SS in the majors.  Question is if they’ll play him at 2B. (4)

10 – Marcos Molina – Played in the AFL after missing the regular season.  Looks to re-establish himself after losing the majority of the past two seasons to injury. (8)

9 – Merandy Gonzalez – Pitched better on the road than he did in Brooklyn.  Mid 90s fastball makes him more interesting than the standard Cyclones pitcher. (22)

8 – Andres Gimenez – Highly-touted international signee had a .992 OPS in the DSL as a 17 year old.  And he’s a shortstop. (NR)

7 – Wuilmer Becerra – Needs to show power after disappointing .081 ISO in injury-plagued 2016. (10)

6 – Desmond Lindsay – Just needs to stay on the field. (6)

5 – Dominic Smith – There is a lot to like here.  But there are also his struggles versus LHP (.664 OPS) and on the road (.677) to consider, too. (2)

4 – Thomas Szapucki – Overmatched short-season hitters.  Is a Hi-A assignment a possibility? (3)

3 – Justin Dunn – His pro debut was a smashing success.  Can he go six innings as good as he went three innings? (5)

2 – Robert Gsellman – Struggled first three starts in Triple-A and then turned it on.  Scuffled some first four appearances in majors and then turned it on.  Will Mets show patience with him if he isn’t lights out in his first four games of 2017? (NR)

1 – Amed Rosario – Looks like a future All-Star. (1)

*****

A couple of important notes.  First, David believes that certain guys who retain rookie eligibility should no longer be considered prospects.  Gsellman, for one, falls in this category.  Also, previously we did not rank international guys who have yet to play in this country.  But with the hype around Gimenez and Guerrero, it seemed time to make an exception.

There are five guys in my top 15 that David didn’t rank.  So, when I have Conlon at 17 and he has him at 7, it’s not as big of a difference as it appears at first glance.  On the flip side, my ranking of Gonzalez at 9 is a big difference from David’s ranking of 22.  With that being said, don’t get hung up on a few slots.  For example, you could probably make a case for any ranking 2-5 on my list.

Some guys not ranked that you might find curious:

Kevin Kaczmarski – Best hope to make the majors is he goes to Double-A and rakes at 25 and Triple-A and rakes at 26.  But is that realistic from the guy who in his last 97 PA at Hi-A put up a .644 OPS with a .324 BABIP?

Milton Ramos – His 2015 season at KPT was all BABIP.  We saw what happened last year when the hits weren’t falling in.

Champ Stuart – Can’t express strongly enough my distaste for speed guys with a 36.0 K% in Double-A.

Jhoan Urena – Finished the year on a high note, with a .908 OPS in his final 73 PA.  But he’s a guy who in his repeat year at Hi-A put up a .651 OPS.  Maybe another year removed from injuries is what he needs.  But he’s behind Thompson and Garcia at 3B and the bat will need to make a major leap forward to play at 1B.

17 comments for “Mets 2017 Top 10 prospects (plus 40 or so more)

  1. Studes
    February 19, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Thanks for the list Brian. However, I am not sure that home/road splits mean anything if the ballpark itself doesn’t have a bias.

    • February 19, 2017 at 11:31 am

      Well, it’s always easier if we know what the bias is.

      But how many people do you think have gone on to big careers when they had a 300-point home OPS edge in Double-A? I’ve no doubt that someone’s done it. But if we looked at the last 100 hitters to make the All-Star game, do you think we’d find 5?

  2. Chris F
    February 19, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Its called home field advantage, and its real if you listen to most players. home bed, home cookin, family, stadium, and fans.

  3. TexasGusCC
    February 19, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Brian, alot of information.

    -Starting with the Flexen news, if the Mets were going to do Nimmo, Flexen and Wotell for Bruce, I would have died. Not only because Bruce had issues even before the Mets got him, and I didn’t trust his production, but because I don’t think he’s worth more than just Wotell and Flexen; and as Alderson found out, 28 other teams wouldn’t even give that! Way to go Richie! Buuuuuuuut, if the Reds thought a Flexen and Nimmo package didn’t top Dilson Herrera by himself, then they did the Mets a huge favor. I would sort of equate Nimmo to Herrera but prefer Nimmo, but throw in a hard throwing prospect and where’s the down side? Wow. Hard to believe that trade could have been worse. Just wow.

    -Seems like the difficulty of the catcher position isn’t taken into consideration. I felt David really slighted Ali Sanchez at 39, but 32 isn’t much better. The guy had a broken left hand last year. Doesn’t that get him some sympathy when the previous two years he was passable offensively. LOL! Talk about a tough crowd. All three catchers bunched up in the early 30’s tells me you don’t think too much of any of them.

    -Love your Beccera ranking!

    -On Peter Alonso: He played some third base in college and has lost weight this off season to become more agile in case the Mets want to try that. He supposedly has good hands, so can you imagine if he was adequate at 3B what that would do to his ranking?

    -Jordan Humphreys. Who??? I’ve never ever heard that name, anywhere. Now that’s research.

    -What does Jeff McNeil need to do to get some love? Is Thompson at 22 spots ahead of him really even better? McNeil seems to be Daniel Murphy II.

    • February 19, 2017 at 7:00 pm

      Thanks Gus!

      Assuming Klein’s report is accurate – my take is that it was going to be Nimmo, Wotell and Flexen but when the Reds passed on Flexen, the Mets had to sweeten the pot to get it done. In both team’s minds, Herrera was > Nimmo + Flexen.

      I think it’s the difficulty of the catcher position that’s getting those guys ranked at all. Colby Woodmansee is a SS with nearly 100 points better OPS at the same level as Sanchez and he didn’t get ranked.

      McNeil will be 25 in April and he’s played all of 7 games at Double-A. He’s a 2B/3B with just about no over-the-fence power. In the overall scheme of things, he’s behind Wilmer Flores, T.J. Rivera, Gavin Cecchini, David Thompson, Eudor Garcia, Matt Oberste and Phillip Evans. And there’s a strong possibility that Luis Carpio and Gregory Guerrero and Luis Guillorme move off SS with the expected Rosario-Gimenez blockade. And what if the club re-signs either Neil Walker or Jose Reyes? Unless MLB expansion comes, it’s hard for me to imagine him getting 100 PA in the majors.

      • TexasGusCC
        February 19, 2017 at 10:36 pm

        I totally agree with the McNeil breakdown, but he may not be blocked by as much as it seems. First, has made it to AAA with some effectiveness while the kids below:
        -Thompson has a weak arm and his stay at 3B may not be permanent, especially considering that his power is suspect. He may be considered organizational filler.
        -Oberste really is a first baseman that they are teasing by allowing to “try” third base. Nothing happening there, especially with his lack of eye popping statistics.
        -Garcia is struggling in the low minors = red flag.
        -Evans was available in Rule 5 and no one touched him = bad sign.

        https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/02/nl-east-notes-alderson-walker-mets-werth-phillies.html

        Second, the news that Alderson invited Walker’s agent to discuss a renewal at about 3/$40 (Mets type of numbers) and said he wants to speak personally to Walker soon and I see several things:
        – Flores will be traded by July. His manager never helped him and a middle infielder with power has value.
        – Cecchini probably will be gone too, or keep Flores’s current role.
        – McNeil may have the opportunity to play Kelly Johnson, since they both are lefties, in the role of 25th man.
        – Rivera? Your guess is as good as mine on this guy but I think there isn’t room for both him and Cecchini, unless Walker can go to third if Wright can’t and these kids will compete for 2B.

        Third, I can’t say Carpio, Ramos, or Guillorme can hit enough to play third base, but the Mets will probably put Guerrero there as you wrote or (hopefully) consider seeing how Alonso handles it. The kid wants it, why not let him try?

        Many good problems, but the evaluation to make the correct decision is how people keep their jobs.

      • TexasGusCC
        February 19, 2017 at 10:48 pm

        One more thing, thank you for the tip on Ted Klein’s website as I’ve followed Teddy for years and know that he has connections on prospects from being a Mets managerial intern.

  4. MattyMets
    February 19, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Funny seeing a list this long without Rafael Montero on it. Does Seth Lugo not qualify?

    I really Hope Molina can bounce back this year. The organization was high on him before the injury.

    • February 19, 2017 at 7:05 pm

      The cutoff for rookie eligibility is 50 IP and Lugo had 64.

      Molina acquitted himself nicely in the AFL for having not pitched competitively since August of 2015.

  5. Doug
    February 19, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Wait, we have two Jose Medinas? That minor-league system is straight up Tone Loc’ing it…

    • February 20, 2017 at 7:51 am

      Now we’ve just got to hope they’re not Cheeba hounds.

      FWIW – the OF is from the Dominican and the pitcher is from Mexico.

  6. Name
    February 20, 2017 at 2:12 am

    Off topic, but minors related.

    The B-Mets are now the Rumble Ponies lol.

    http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20161103&content_id=207926374&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb

    • Chris F
      February 20, 2017 at 9:47 am

      you should have seen the other names being considered. All nominated by fans. All ridiculous.

      I wanted them to go with the “Spiedies” a very Binghamton food (and awesome!) which would promote local and read like the word “speedy”!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiedie

      mmmmmmmm, soooooo goooood

  7. Jimmy P
    February 20, 2017 at 11:51 am

    It’s the weird economics of minor league baseball, that they figure they can make more money by establishing their own brand compared to what they earn by using the Mets brand.

    Off course, the name itself is horrendous.

    • Name
      February 20, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      The timing makes no sense to me though.

      If they changed the name in 2010-2014 it might make more sense because the mets weren’t very good and had the madoff problem, but with the Mets making the playoffs two years in a row, you would think that the brand would be in a stronger position.

      • February 20, 2017 at 2:31 pm

        Fairly new ownership and I believe you have to apply for a name change.

        And even the oddest name change results in a bunch of new merchandise being sold. The minor league team near me used to be the Bats and then changed to the Grasshoppers and sold a bunch of stuff.

  8. Eraff
    February 20, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Wuilmer Beccerra…The Venezuelan Sidd Finch.

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