As we hit the Top 30 we start to get into players I legitimately like a lot and others that scouts are still sold on. People will know how much I love Jeremy Vasquez who is coming off two successive years of strong success in the minors and also that Tyler Bashlor’s low WHIP is exactly what I most value in a pitcher. While others will no doubt note that I am fairly luke warm on the likes of Gavin Cecchini and Gerson Bautista. The player in this group that doesn’t seem to belong is Gregory Guerrero, but we will see if his return to health can make that a non issue.
26. Tyler Bashlor, RHP (MLB) – The Mets have a number of relief pitchers who sit in a nebulous space between promise and performance. Bashlor seems to be on his way to losing his rookie status and is one of the more likely names to make the Mets opening day roster in middle or late relief. On a raw level, Bashlor has the stats of a solid reliever with a healthy WHIP (even in the major leagues) and a solid K/9 in most levels. His fastball tops out at 98 but is said to have more movement than some of the other, harder throwing relief prospects.
Gus: Bashlor jumped from AA to MLB, where he held his own, but he still has work to do in harnessing his control. Of his 565 pitches with the Mets, 243 (43%) were in the heart of the plate or right around it.
Chris: Add another reliever to the “mishandled by the Mets” list by being promoted too soon. He mastered Binghamton with a solid WHIP and ERA then went to Queens and did ok. I hope he starts the season in Syracuse, becomes dominant, and earns his way up from there.
27. Gavin Cecchini, Util (PCL) – Perhaps I’m too hard on Cecchini who has seemingly been in the Met system forever. His injury shortened season denied him yet another opportunity to take and hold a spot in the majors though his slugging percentage was certainly pretty healthy. It’s likely getting to Cecchini’s last shot in the minors to make it with the Mets but given the Mets need for suitable bench players and capable backups, I think it likely that he finds himself in the majors for a long look if he’s healthy.
Gus: The only reason to put Cecchini here is his age, 24. Otherwise, even with a revamped swing, he showed nothing special in his pre-injury 119 plate appearances. The 111 RC+ told us that he is serviceable, but a .294/.342/.468 slash in the PCL with a BABIP of .355 doesn’t scream out “He’s Ready!”. In fact, his grades on Fangraphs Prospect ratings are: Hit: 55, Game Power: 20, Raw Power: 40, Speed:40, Field:30, Throws:40. Overall: 40. That sums up the first round pick from 2012. In other words, yes he can be a major leaguer, but Ruben Tejada seems to be his ceiling.
Chris: With no position to play and parts of several seasons at AAA, its hard to see a path to the bigs for Cheech. The Mets have not shown him much in the way of legit time to see if there is something in there. I had a hard time believing he’s only 24 years old this past season. Do the Mets need another ho-hum, light-hitting, utility infielder? I guess the price is right, if nothing else. Time to see if he can be bundled, and find PAs elsewhere.
28. Gregory Guerrero, 2B (GCL) – Injured for all of 2018 the ranking here has almost everything to do with his international bonus money. Afterall, his 2016 and 2017 seasons didn’t show a whole lot to hang one’s hat upon. Though his ranking this high is more to do with Chris and Gus than myself as I ranked him 48th overall.
Gus: He has a quick bat, strong arm, and good range, he projects to 3B. Was miffed about being behind Gimenez and was homesick his first year, he then got hurt in spring training of this year.
Chris: Let’s be honest, this was a promise (umm, genetics) over performance pick for me. Im hoping the 1.5M$ bonus money pays off this year. I think he’s more of a 2B than SS, but has the arm for 3B.
29. Gerson Bautista, RHP (MLB) – One of the most promising and “warty” prospects in the Met system. He has the raw stuff of a Top Prospect but his pitching produces far too high numbers for the opposition batting average. It suggests that his 100 MPH fastball is fairly flat, meaning that if a batter can catch up to it, they can hit it pretty well. As great as throwing hard can be, Bautista is ranked suitably low considering how hard his success in the majors will be if he cannot avoid more bats.
Gus: A lively arm, has been prone to HRs due to inexperience stemming from early injuries that has atrophied his experience. The slider and changeup are plus but need seasoning.
Chris: We all know Bautista is a hard thrower, but after that I’m not too impressed. Unlike Hanhold, who I personally like much better, Bautista has little movement on his stuff, making the upper 90s seem much more hittable. Ugly WHIP and ERA in AA and AAA, and had no business in Queens. Id start him in Binghamton next year.
30. Jeremy Vasquez, 1B (FSL) – The last player who held complete disagreement from those doing the rankings. Vasquez was ranked 16th overall in my list and missed out on Gus’ list entirely. My favorite “Diamond in the Rough” first baseman had a tremendous year for the Mets minors as he continued to show solid power and excellent plate control. The Mets will likely be looking for Vasquez to earn another mid-year promotion to Binghamton this season before they start thinking of him as much more than organizational depth.
Gus: For a first baseman, 10 HRs in 518 PAs seems light, but having ascended into A+, we will see how he handles the highest level of A Ball. Problem is, first baseman are either studs, or an after thought because many players can wind up at the position. Case in point is Dom Smith who is fighting off a stud MLB prospect and an older outfielder that isn’t a good outfielder any more.
Chris: Interesting seasonal hot-n-cold lefty lefty first baseman. Played strong in Kingsport then struggled in Brooklyn. Looked good in Cola, then struggled in St Lucie. Im guessing he starts back in FSL with a promo to the Ponies some time in ’19.