Mets Minors: Corey Oswalt and other impact prospects for 2018

As the Mets are approaching the regular season the team begins to take shape, despite the unhappy spring training record, it is fit to wonder which of the minor league players might play a significant role in the fortunes of the 2018 Mets. Is there anyone who can save us from Hansel Robles and Adrian Gonzalez? What do we do if Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler or Matt Harvey Struggle?

First a few quick thoughts on some major leaguers who have been pleasant surprises thus far:

Brandon Nimmo looks like he might be a serious contender for playing time even when Michael Conforto returns. He’s hit for great power, he’s still getting on base and he’s not striking out to a dangerous degree. Do we dare to be hopeful?

What catching problem? Kevin Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud have looked pretty impressive as a tandem with bats in their hands. With both players hitting over a .900 OPS health is the only thing that should truly scare us.

Should the Mets leave both Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo in the rotation? They could send Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz to AAA to work on their issues for a while. It’s not as if Gsellman or Lugo have struggled, so who hits the bullpen and who goes into the rotation?

Now, let’s talk about the minor leaguers:

Corey Oswalt – One prospect who you’ve heard about a few times this offseason is having himself a respectable Spring Training and will be among the more promising starters in the AAA rotation of Las Vegas. Based on his track record in the minors, he’s still got some proving to do to start 2018 but, based on his 2017 successes alone, he’s on the radar and depth charts for major league promotion. With Wheeler and Matz struggling to varying degrees Oswalt could be one injury away from a potential call to the major leagues. Once that happens, he could make it hard for the Mets to send him back down.

Luis Guillorme – The more time that goes by the more crow I’ve been eating, concerning Guillorme. He’s looked good with the bat this Spring and if that can translate to the majors there is no reason why he shouldn’t be a starting infielder for the Mets. That .455 OBP from this Spring is a very tantalizing number to salivate over, with the Mets lacking an ideal leadoff hitter.

P.J. Conlon – While he’s not likely to start again as a Met you can expect Conlon to have a part in the Met’s 2018 plans. With few lefty options out of the bullpen (outside of Jerry Blevins), Conlon will either be biding his time in AAA or cutting his teeth on some low-leverage major league situations.

Jacob Rhame – Of the players the Mets acquired last season in their “Fire Sale” Rhame struck me as the most major league ready. He’s got potential to develop into a high leverage relief pitcher and, depending on injuries, (… and if the Mets refuse to dump Hansel Robles) he could begin the year in the majors.

Chris Flexen – It’s admittedly odd to suggest that Flexen has less chance of impact than Oswalt but I would prefer Flexen to get more minor league seasoning, of the two. Flexen lost so much time to injury in his career that I think he’d benefit more from additional time in AAA than his counterpart.

7 comments for “Mets Minors: Corey Oswalt and other impact prospects for 2018

  1. Chris B
    March 19, 2018 at 10:24 am

    I hope Mickey and the Mets stick to their word and come up with the SP/RP balance in line with modern baseball strategies. (Devinski, Bradley, Miller, etc).

    At a surface level, the stuff of Lugo, Wheeler, and Conlon can be that perfect 3 inning hybrid who pitches every few days.

  2. John Fox
    March 19, 2018 at 10:44 am

    I believe there is a real good chance that Guillorme will be the starting second baseman for the 2019 season, his defense is spectacular and he gets on base and he has even shown just a bit of power in ST this year. Down the line he might even be the shortstop with Rosario shifting to third after Todd Frazier’s contract is over.

  3. Chris F
    March 19, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    I like the overall thoughts here David. A couple things though. First, A-Gon has not been bad, and in particular as camp has progressed, hes looked better, partciularly in the field. I no longer see him as a thing we need to be saved from as of today. Guillorme on the flip side may have focused too much on trying to hit and seems to have left his glove in the dugout. Hes been a pretty big disappointment in the field, suffering from Mets “defensivitis”. He cant catch or throw worth damn this Spring.

    • David Groveman
      March 19, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      I’m still convinced that Adrian Gonzalez is a black hole in the batting lineup.

  4. Madman
    March 19, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    OMG , Montero might be lost! Seriously Montero,Robles, and maybe even Lagares should be actively shopped. They’ve had their chances and probably a change of scenery will help them and maybe they could bring some talent back that would help the Mets.

    • Mike Walczak
      March 19, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      Agon has a lot to prove and he needs to do it fast. Can’t afford for him to be a really weak link at first base.

      I like Guillorme. I hope he gets a chance. He did focus too much on hitting this spring, but he could meet a valuable need, leadoff hitter.

      Wouldn’t it be great to see Nimmo and Rosario shine and for Smith, Guillorme and Oswalt to come along and contribute.

      That would be awesome.

  5. TexasGusCC
    March 20, 2018 at 2:32 am

    Philip Evans doesn’t get any Pub, but he’s been the best minor leaguer in camp this spring. His defense has been good, even in the outfield. Too, Callaway said he was supposed to catch to get him acclimated to the emergency catching spot. I could see Evans being the fifth outfielder with his great flexibility and all he has done is hit. With the many off days early on, it’s doubtful that the Mets keep an extra pitcher, so Evans has a chance here. He has done well at every opportunity and it’s a wonder no one took him in Rule 5 two straight years.

    Taking out the eight starters, the opening bench could be TdA, Flores, Reyes, Lagares, and Evans. Unfortunately, the problem I see is too many righties, but, Ty Kelly is the only chance anyone else has and I’m not thrilled there.

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