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!
50 – 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
12 – Brandon Nimmo – Played well in 2016 but doubts linger that he’s more than a bench/platoon guy. (NR)
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)
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)
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.