Two weeks ago we talked about Peter Alonso and how he turned a disappointing season around shaking off an injury and proving that his successful 2016 campaign in Brooklyn was not a fluke. His line for the season is now .291/.367/.534 and he continues to show prodigious power. Additionally, you might notice that his walk rate has improved and his strikeouts have declined. All this points to one thing, Alonso is our next “Top Prospect”.
Amed Rosario is in the majors and will, we hope, eventually prove to be the star we saw the potential for in the minors. It may take him a while to adjust to major league pitching but we are seeing that he is, defensively, a special player. With him set to graduate away from the Prospect Rankings, a question of who might replace his spot becomes relevant.
The obvious choice is Dominic Smith, who is likely to finish the season in the majors, who sat behind Rosario all season. Smith has had a great season and deserves to move up but the underlying question of his power and effectiveness in the majors deserves weight. He’s also not likely to remain in the minors for very much longer.
MLB.com’s current Top 25 rankings list 9 players ahead of Alonso in their mid-year list. Excluding Rosario and Smith there is little to back up these rankings:
David Peterson, LHP – Having pitched 1 inning for Brooklyn, Peterson has not showed us enough to warrant being a #1 prospect.
Justin Dunn, RHP – Would be absurd to rank Dunn ahead of Alonso given the fact that one has excelled in 2017 and one has looked abysmal.
Andres Gimenez, SS – While there is a lot to be optimistic about Gimenez, especially given his age, I would hesitate to rank him above Alonso based on age and defensive flexibility, ignoring Alonso’s offensive production.
Thomas Szapucki, LHP – While we all expect big things of Thomas, his injury means he will be out for most of (probably all of) 2018. You cannot rank an injured player as your best prospect.
Desmond Lindsay, OF – Combining the poor performance of Dunn with the injury of Szapucki, Lindsay will be lucky to hold onto the Top 10.
Marcos Molina, RHP – While Molina is pitching in AA, he’s been out pitched by Conlon, Oswalt and Flexen in 2017.
Gavin Cecchini, SS/2B – Cecchini has failed to impress in AAA and has missed a golden chance to play significant time in the majors because of it.
In short, the case for Alonso seems pretty clear.
AA: Binghamton Rumble Ponies
Corey Oswalt shines after Flexen’s promotion – In his last two starts Oswalt has out performed his AA compatriots easily.
A+: Port St. Lucie Mets
Patrick Mazeika shows his patience – His walks threaten to surpass his strikeouts any day.
R1: Kingsport Mets
Rigoberto Terrazas is the real deal – Another week of great hitting suggests Terrazas may begin 2018 in Columbia.
R2: Gulf Coast Mets
Jaison Vilera has potential – He has pitched 6 or more innings in his last 5 starts.
DSL Mets, Notable Names:
Sebastian Espino, SS – Young shortstop showing some power and making consistant contact.
Jhoander Saez, OF – Speedy outfielder who need to cut down his strikeouts.
Yoel Romero, 2B – Has speed and some power also shows reasonably good patience.
Luis Santana, 2B – Shows considerable power despite lack of size.
Shervyen Newton, SS – Too big to stick at short but is hitting well and shows an advanced eye at the plate.
Miguel Ramirez, RHP – Shows immaculate control.
Malky Mena, RHP – Keeps hitters off base.
Boris Sanchez, LHP – Pitching deep into games.