Top 10 Prospects (2017): New York Mets: More High Upside Arms Are On The Way…

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The New York Mets system isn’t quite what it once was, thanks to trading off assets to help with their past two playoff pushes along with a few graduations.  At the same time, that certainly doesn’t mean that they are void of talent and potential.  As has become the norm there are some highly intriguing pitchers, who could bolster what is already one of the best starting five in baseball.  Who are they?  Are there any intriguing position players?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Amed Rosario – Shortstop
Grade – A-
ETA – Late 2017/2018

It’s possible Rosario arrives late in 2017, at least for a cup of coffee, and he appears primed to take over as the team’s starting shortstop in 2018.  Splitting time between High-A and Double-A in 2016, he thrived at both levels:

  • High-A (265 AB) – .309 with 3 HR, 40 RBI, 27 R, 13 SB
  • Double-A (214 AB) – .341 with 2 HR, 31 RBI, 38 R, 6 SB

His strikeout rate jumped upon arriving at Double-A (12.4% to 21.5%), something that needs to be monitored though playing at 20-years old it’s not a significant concern.  While the power isn’t there yet, he added 24 doubles and 13 triples and at 6’1” some of those extra base hits should start clearing the fences as he continues to mature.  He’s not going to be a 30+ HR hitter, but double-digits is more than enough given his other skills.

What really started to present itself was his speed, going 19-for-27 on the season.  The potential is there for a little bit more, putting him in the 10/25 spectrum long-term.

 

2) Robert Gsellman – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B+
ETA – Already Arrived

He wasn’t on radars entering the season, now he’s drawing comparisons to Jacob deGrom (and it goes beyond the hair!).  Injuries forced the Mets to throw him into the fire last season, with 44.2 IP in 8 appearances (7 starts) and he impressed with a 2.42 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.

It’s easy to call the strikeouts an aberration (8.46 K/9), after posting a 6.5 K/9 in the minor leagues.  The stuff is developing as opponents had a tough time making contact on his slider (16.67% Whiff%).  Couple that growth with control (2.4 BB/9 in the minors) and groundballs (1.58 GO/AO in the minors, 1.74 in the Majors leading to a 54.2% groundball rate), and if it all comes together he has the potential to grow into a #2/3 type starter for the Mets rotation.

 


 

3) Dominic Smith – First Baseman
Grade – B+
ETA – 2017

The question with Smith has always been if he will be able to tap into his power potential, something he finally started to do in ’16 as he hit 14 HR over 484 AB at Double-A (while adding 29 doubles and 2 triples).  It’s still not a big number, but it’s a start and gives hope that he can continue to evolve into a 20-25 HR threat.  If he can, when coupled with his strong approach (he hit .302 courtesy of a 13.7% strikeout rate and 9.2% walk rate), you are looking at a strong option.

 

4) Thomas Szapucki – Left-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B
ETA – 2018

A fifth round pick in 2015, Szapucki burst onto the scene in his 9 starts last season split between Rookie Ball and Low-A:

  • Rookie (29.0 IP) – 14.59 K/9, 2.79 BB/9
  • Low-A (23.0 IP) – 15.26 K/9, 4.30 BB/9

We aren’t talking about the biggest sample size and there’s work to do with his control, but the stuff is apparent.  It will be interesting to see how far the Mets push him in ’17, but it’s possible he takes a significant step forward and emerges as one of the better left-handed pitching prospects in the game.

 

5) Justin Dunn – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B
ETA – 2019

The team’s first round pick in 2016, Dunn impressed in his first taste of professional baseball with 35 K vs. 10 BB, as well as a 1.22 GO/AO, over 30.0 IP.  Having worked as a reliever in college and not being the ideal size (6’2”), it’s possible the team shifts him to the bullpen where he could develop into a lights out closer. For now they will certainly see if he can thrive as a starter, and the early results are positive.

 


 

The Rest:

6) Desmond Lindsay – Outfielder (Grade – B-)
7) Andres Gimenez – Shortstop (Grade – B-)

Note – He has a long ways to go, having turned 18 in September, but the early results from the Dominican Summer League (most notably his 22 K vs. 46 BB over 214 AB, for a player his age) are impressive.  May not be a source of power, it’s clear he can hit and he has some speed as well.
8) Thomas Nido – Catcher (Grade (B-/C+)
9) Brandon Nimmo – Outfielder (Grade – C+)
10)
Gavin Cecchini – Shortstop (Grade – C+)

Sources – MLB.com, MILB.com, Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball, Baseball Reference

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Grading System:
Grade A – Elite Prospects (aka potential future perennial All-Stars)
Grade B – Above Average Prospects (aka above average Major Leaguers, could develop into a potential All-Star)
Grade C – Average Prospects (aka solid, though unspectacular)
Grade D – Nothing More Than Roster Filler
Grade F – Move On

Make sure to check out all of our 2017 Prospect Rankings:

AL EastAL CentralAL West
Baltimore OriolesChicago White SoxHouston Astros
Boston Red SoxCleveland IndiansLos Angeles Angels
New York YankeesDetroit TigersOakland A's
Tampa Bay RaysKansas City RoyalsSeattle Mariners
Toronto Blue JaysMinnesota TwinsTexas Rangers
NL EastNL CentralNL West
Atlanta BravesChicago CubsArizona Diamondbacks
Miami MarlinsCincinnati RedsColorado Rockies
New York MetsMilwaukee BrewersLos Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia PhilliesPittsburgh PiratesSan Diego Padres
Washington NationalsSt. Louis CardinalsSan Francisco Giants

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