Welcome to the third installment of the prospect countdown series.  If you want to review, here’s the first part and you can also see the second one.

#40: Beck Wheeler

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 215 Lbs.
  • Born: 12/13/88, US

Scouting – Wheeler went undrafted and joined the Mets for only $1000 back in 2011.  Wheeler was once scouted by baseball as a 3B.  Check this out:

Beck Wheeler is a 2007 3B/MIF with a 6’3”, 190 lb. frame from San Diego, CA, who attends St. Augustine HS. Wheeler as an extra large frame with present strength. Defensively he has very good actions with soft hands and nice footwork. Shows his arm strength across the diamond with online accuracy. Made a great diving play to his left while playing 3B to catch a line drive. He does it all well defensively. At the plate he is a right handed hitter who hits from a straight stance with a slight crouch. Wheeler has good bat speed with a nice line drive swing plane. The ball jumps off his bat with strength and power. He hit a HR during batting practice and hit some bullets during the showcase games. The leverage he gets at contact and his overall power and strength, project him to have great long ball potential. Wheeler also runs well for a player of his size. He has great upside and is a must follow.

History – Once he joined the Mets as a pitcher, Wheeler had a strong debut in 2011 in the GCL.  In his 20.2 IP he only gave up 8 hits  and 2 ER.  2012 was another story.  Earned runs killed Wheeler who watched his ERA balloon from 0.87 to 5.14.  The good news was his K/9 rose to 11.9 and his WHIP remained a respectable 1.143.

2013 – Wheeler has been great for Savannah as their closer.  He boasts a 2.32 ERA and 19 saves for the Gnats as well as a 13.2 K/9.  There is effectively nothing to complain about in his 2013 season… he’s a bit old for Savannah and he’s a reliever.

2014 – I expect Wheeler to be the closer for Port St. Lucie in 2014.  Now… I don’t expect him to be the best reliever in Port St. Lucie, but he should be the closer.  We’ll get to the other guy later on in the list.  Wheeler seems to have the stuff to progress steadily through the Met farm system and could be a closer or setup man some day.

#39: Paul Sewald

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 190 Lbs.
  • Born: 5/26/90, US

Scouting – Sewald hits the radar gun around 88-91 MPH with a tight mid-70s slider and a changeup that is a work in progress.

History – The Mets drafted Sewald in the 10th round of the 2012 draft and I probably groaned at the mediocrity it seemed we were drafting.  Sewald joined the 2012 Brooklyn Cyclones and managed a 1.88 ERA, 0.977 WHIP, a 0.6 BB/9 and a 11.0 K/9.

2013 – As good as Beck Wheeler has been I happen to think Sewald was better.  A 1.77 ERA, 0.982 WHIP, a 1.1 BB/9 and a 10.8 K/9.  Sewald has proven that the success he enjoyed in Brooklyn wasn’t a fluke.

2014 – His big test will be in Port St. Lucie where he will continue to be the setup man for Wheeler.  It’s my opinion that the Mets have a pair of solid relief prospects here and that Sewald might be the better and more reliable of the two.

Dustin Lawley#38: Dustin Lawley

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 195 Lbs.
  • Born: 4/11/89, US

Scouting – Lawley transitioned for the Mets from a 3rd baseman to playing the outfield and back again.  He has some speed but his real tool is his power.  People once thought his power was “Gap” power but I think 2013 changed their tunes.

History – Drafted back in the 19th round of the 2011 draft about everyone pegged Lawley as organizational fodder.  The Mets had the room to play him, and he happened to play well.  In 2011 he managed a .834 OPS between Kingsport and Savannah.  In 2012 he managed .767 in a full year at Savannah.

2013 – The Mets used Lawley in left field and 3rd base and got a lot of production.  Lawley hit 25 homers in Port St. Lucie before he was promoted all the way to AAA.  96 RBIs for a minor leaguer is REALLY good production.

2014 – I don’t expect the Mets to demote Lawley after his .300/.333/550 debut in AAA but I wonder where he’ll play.  The Mets have a lot of people to fit into their lineup and Lawley deserves a role.  He’s got a clear future as a Utility player but I have hopes that Lawley will really impress in the friendly confines of Las Vegas.

#37: Jeff Walters

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 170 Lbs.
  • Born: 11/6/87, US

Scouting – Walters has gotten a lot of press as a future closer candidate for the Mets but perhaps we’re putting the proverbial cart before the horse.  38 saves in AA is great but he’s not the model of your typical closer.  Walters instead uses his good control to find success.

History – Walters wanted an education.  He was drafted in 2006 by the Giants, 2007 by the Nationals, 2008 by the Indians and 2009 by the Orioles.  The Mets finally drafted and SIGNED Walters in 2010 taking him in the 7th round.  Since then he’s been used in relief and has really blossomed as a finesse reliever.  His K/BB through 5 seasons in the minors is close to 3.00 and it seems like that he could continue that in the majors.

2013 – We mentioned 38 saves.  On his way to that number he appeared in 53 games and threw 56.0 innings.  He managed a career high for Ks with a 9.6 K/9 but you can expect numbers in the 8.0 range moving forward.  Really, the only flaw with his game is that he lacks the stuff to really “Wow” scouts.

2014 – Will Walters be subjected to a year in AAA or will the Mets give him a shot in the major league bullpen?  I think the answer to that is in Walters’ hands this Spring Training.  Walters probably doesn’t factor as a MLB closer but you can slot him into the bullpen as more of a workhorse.

#36: Cory Mazzoni

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 190 Lbs.
  • Born: 10/19/89, US

Scouting – Throws in the Mid-90s with a peak of about 97 MPH on his fastball.  Mazzoni has control and stuff but his pitches lack a certain amount of movement.  He had seemed to be much improved prior to his injury this season.

History – Drafted by the Mets in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft he was, yet another, draft pick I hated.  Sure, he had the ability to throw hard and in the strike zone, but he was known for giving up hits.  He had a solid debut with 13.0 innings in 2011 (between Brooklyn and Port St. Lucie) where he established his ability to pitch with power and accuracy.  2012 was mostly Ho-hum with 144.1 innings between A+ and AA he managed only a 6.5 K/9 for the year.

2013 – Returning to AA (Once healthy) he didn’t look like the pitcher we glimpsed in Spring Training.  His K’s were back up but he was still giving up over a hit per inning and his walks were on the rise.  We can only guess what might have been without the injury.

2014 – I can’t imagine that Mazzoni has much to gain with another season in AA but I also see him starting the year as the “Ace” of that rotation.  A lot will depend upon Spring Training and Mazzoni’s health.  One more injury and I would bet the Mets make the call for him to switch into relief.  This is a long-rumored move, so it would surprise no one.

4 comments on “Mets top prospects: Numbers 40-36

  • Sean Flattery

    Regarding Mazzoni I agree. I think bullpen is where his future is…at least with the Mets

  • Brian Joura

    The two interesting ones to me in this grouping are Lawley and Mazzoni.

    I admit being a sucker for power and in this case Lawley’s 26 HR are probably blinding me to the obvious that he’s too old. Still, I’m bullish on him and it wouldn’t surprise me if he made it to the majors for a little while.

    I think Mazzoni is ranked too low. I think he’s going to play in the majors for multiple years and even if it’s nothing more than as a middle reliever, a multi-year career seems like it should be better than mid-30s.

    Pulling a name out of the air – let’s say he has Manny Acosta’s career. Acosta spent parts of six seasons in the majors, appeared in 233 games and had a 100 ERA+ — I don’t think that’s painting too rosy of a picture for Mazzoni, do you?

    I just find it hard to believe that there are 35 prospects for the Mets that are going to be better than that when all is said and done.

    • David Groveman

      Mazzoni looked REALLY good in spring training. I just demoted him based on a bad an injury plagued season. He has a ceiling as an impact reliever, but he isn’t a lock to get there. He certainly has a shot and deserves another shot in the minors to try and start.

  • David Groveman

    Call me crazy but I think the best prospect in this bunch is the lesser known Paul Sewald.

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