There are a number of players in this group who are really exciting and for the most part there are fewer and fewer “warts” to be worried about. Consider that there are three starting pitchers in Humphreys, Dibrell and Vilera who all have looked like Front-End starters at various points in their developments. Thanks to the aggregate rankings I find them landing in the reverse order as to where I ranked them personally, but fairly close to where I wanted them overall.
Then you have Wahl and Lindsay. In Wahl you have a pitcher who the Mets would like to pencil into one of the middle relief (or setup) slots in the major league roster, right away. He’s shown everyone great results in AAA but his major league numbers have not been kind. Then, we have Lindsay, whom I ranked 38th overall. He’s a former 2nd round pick and we all want to see what he can do when healthy but like Travis d’Arnaud, healthy seems to be utterly impossible for him to achieve.
16. Jordan Humphreys, RHP (FSL) – It feels wrong to be ranking an 18th round pick who last pitched in 2017 this highly. It likely comes down to Humphreys riding his superb numbers from his 69.2 innings pitched in the SAL (again, back in 2017). Along with Thomas Szapucki he’s a pitching prospect who is coming off injury with some pretty high expectations heaped upon his shoulders.
Gus: Back in 2017, he was just untouchable in Columbia (1.42 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 10.2 K/9), he was pushed up to St. Lucie and struggled for two starts (4.09 ERA, 1.8 WHIP, 2.5 K/9) and then had TJ surgery in August of that year.
Chris: A big, physical, kid who is quite a bit different in shape from the prototypical long and lean Jacob deGrom or Chris Sale type body. Total dominance at Columbia back in 2017 on all fronts earned him the St Lucie promotion. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a big enough sample size to know how it would turn out. He has a simple, buttery smooth, over the top delivery that brings deceptively easy gas and a nice curve. Obviously a lot of hope he can return to his 2017 SAL numbers.
17. Tony Dibrell, RHP (SAL) – This isn’t a name I knew about before the 2018 season. Dibrell was nothing more than a pretty good reliever for the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2017 and I thought little more of the 4th round pick. Fast-forward to 2018 and he made the most of his opportunity to start, racking up great numbers in Columbia as a starting pitcher. It appears that he has a ton of power but that he suffered from fatigue as the season wore on. He’ll face his second attempt at full-season baseball in 2019 where he’s likely heading for Port St. Lucie.
Gus: He moved from relieving last year to starting this year without a big drop in stats. He also seemed to hit a wall in mid-August leading to his manager giving him a bigger rest and him turning out two more “lights out” starts.
Chris: Never really heard of Dibrell before this year. He is a strong athletic righty with a simple, mostly over the top, delivery. He seems to generate his power by pushing off but mostly is upright when landing, and his landing foot not aimed at home plate. The WHIP says he likely has control issues.
18. Jaison Vilera, RHP (NYP) – The “Ace” of the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2018 was a steady and consistent force in the pitching friendly New York Penn League. A pitcher who seemed to do it all, Vilera had solid power numbers to go along with a low WHIP. More promising still, his numbers remained in line with his numbers from the 2016 DSL and 2017 GCL. It suggests he should see success to start the year in the SAL and hopefully earn his chance to reach Port St. Lucie before too long. For what it’s worth, I personally ranked Vilera just outside my Top 10 prospects.
Gus: Followed a good year in Gulf Coast League with a good showing in Brooklyn, Vilera has good control and struck out 27% of his batters.
Chris: A righty pitcher with a simple near over the top delivery. Racking up the innings at each step with a consistent WHIP around 1.00 and a growing number of strikeouts.
19. Desmond Lindsay, OF (FSL) – I ranked Lindsay much lower than my compatriots and he’s rewarded me with a positive showing in the Arizona Fall League. We’ll see if any of that showing can last it’s way through a full season of baseball as the Met outfielder hasn’t managed a full season in his minor league career. His numbers were again bad and again he blamed injury. I’m running out of second chances for this disappointing second round pick but his .998 OPS in his 8 AFL games makes his placement in the Top 20 seem less sacriligious.
Gus: On the verge of irrelevance due to injuries, Lindsay is frustrating. The tools are still there, but he cannot seem to stay healthy. If he could finally stay 100% he could be in the Top 5 prospects again. Perhaps he should talk to Zack Wheeler.
Chris: Lindsay was one of the “undervalued” draft picks by Alderson, and had an injury in his senior year. A guy with a strong tool set seems to be falling off radar.
20. Bobby Wahl, RHP (PCL) – The Mets got Wahl and Toffey from Oakland and in the disappointing Jeurys Familia trade. Wahl does seem like he could be a good relief pitcher but at 26 he’s one of those guys who the Mets need to perform right away. Considering all the fringe relievers the Mets have, it seems that one or another should succeed. I only wish there were any correlation between his outstanding numbers in AAA and his awful numbers in the majors.
Gus: Strong strikeout numbers in the minors, a plus fastball and plus slider but has missed time in three of his five professional seasons due to injury and had a sore shoulder in college Last year, Wahl had to undergo surgery thoracic outlet syndrome but has bounced back in much more impressive fashion than others have. Seems to be another player with a lot in common with Wheeler, especially since Wahl will start the year at age 27.
Chris: Flame throwing righty reliever that is on a short leash to make it happen in the bigs this season. Has mastered AAA and needs to adjust rapidly to getting big league outs.