by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
A strong Mets farm system has taken a significant hit in recent years, whether it was due to trades in order to supplement a playoff push or recent graduations of some of their elite prospects (i.e. Ahmed Rosario and Dominic Smith). It has led to fewer top level options being present, but don’t take that to mean that they are void of talent altogether. There are some intriguing names developing, so let’s take a look at how the system currently shakes out:
1) David Peterson – Left-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B+
ETA – 2019
The Mets’ 2017 first round pick (20th overall) has the size that teams look for, listed at 6’6” and 240 lbs. He may not be your 100 mph flame thrower, but reports are that he saw an uptick in velocity and brings a four pitch mix to the table.
Obviously we don’t have much professional data to go on, with 3.2 innings, but his junior year at Oregon provided hope. There’s always concerns about a taller pitchers control, but his 140 K vs. 15 BB over 100.1 IP shows significant upside. We’ll have to see if that type of performance can translate to the professional ranks, but if he starts strong he can move quickly (he’s already 22-years old).
2) Peter Alonso – First Baseman
Grade – B+
ETA – 2019
A 2016 second round pick, Alonso spent most of his time at High-A (346 PA) before getting his feet wet at Double-A (47 PA). He showed a good approach at the plate, with an 8.9% SwStr%, and there is significantly more upside in the power department. Of course he showed promise already, with 18 HR in 353 AB, but when you look at a few things it’s easy to envision that growing:
- Size – 6’6”, 245 lbs.
- Extra Base Hits – On top of the HR he added 27 doubles and 1 triple
The presence of Dominic Smith is going to slow Alonso’s ascent to the Majors, but the potential is there for him to develop into a 30+ HR thumper who can make consistent contact. A first base only prospect is often going to be overlooked, but don’t make that mistake.
3) Andres Gimenez – Shortstop
Grade – B
ETA – 2021
When you look at the surface numbers there simply isn’t a lot to get excited about, as Gimenez hit .265 with 4 HR and 14 SB over 347 AB at Single-A last season. Then you realize that he played the bulk of the season as an 18-year old (he turned 19 in September) and showed an ability to consistently make contact (8.8% SwStr%). He’s never going to be a big source of power, but we have to remember that he’s going to continue to mature and develop physically. That should allow him to at least consistently put up double digit HR totals to go along with his approach and some speed. That makes him a potentially solid across the board contributor, and given his age it wouldn’t be shocking if he became even more than that.
4) Thomas Szapucki – Left-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B
ETA – 2020
If he wasn’t currently sidelined due to Tommy John surgery there’s a good chance that he’d sit atop these rankings and be pushing an “A-” type ranking. Instead there’s a bit of uncertainty hanging over him, though he’s still just 21-years, is left-handed and brings the potential of a dominant three pitch mix to the table. Over 83.1 innings since being selected in the fifth round of the 2015 draft all he’s done is rack up 116 K, 30 BB and a solid 1.05 GO/AO. As long as he can get back to full health, which is never a given unfortunately, he should reemerge on the prospect map in short order.
5) Justin Dunn – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B
ETA – 2020
A 2016 first round draft pick, the potential and pure stuff is there but he is coming off a highly disappointing 2017 campaign. He wasn’t getting strikeouts (7.08 K/9), was issuing far too many walks (4.53 BB/9) and struggled to generate groundballs (41.9%) while throwing 95.1 innings at High-A. There has always been concern that he could ultimately end up as a reliever, and given his struggles last season and the Mets’ need for impact arms you have to wonder if that route could be considered. The Mets are going to want to give him time to develop as a starter, but it’s something that has to be kept in the back of your mind.
The Next Five:
6) Marcos Molina – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – B)
7) Tomas Nido – Catcher (Grade – C+)
8) Mark Vientos – Third Baseman (Grade – C+)
9) Desmond Lindsay – Outfielder (Grade – C+)
10) Chris Flexen – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+)
Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com, MILB.com
Make sure to check out all of our 2018 Preseason Top 10 Prospect Lists:
|AL East||AL Central||AL West|
|Baltimore Orioles||Chicago White Sox||Houston Astros|
|Boston Red Sox||Cleveland Indians||Los Angeles Angels|
|New York Yankees||Detroit Tigers||Oakland A's|
|Tampa Bay Rays||Kansas City Royals||Seattle Mariners|
|Toronto Blue Jays||Minnesota Twins||Texas Rangers|
|NL East||NL Central||NL West|
|Atlanta Braves||Chicago Cubs||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Miami Marlins||Cincinnati Reds||Colorado Rockies|
|New York Mets||Milwaukee Brewers||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Philadelphia Phillies||Pittsburgh Pirates||San Diego Padres|
|Washington Nationals||St. Louis Cardinals||San Francisco Giants|
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