New York Mets Top 15 Prospects (2012-13)

The New York Mets’ top prospect list is a lot stronger now than it was when the off-season began, thanks to the R.A. Dickey trade with Toronto that brought two of the club’s Top 3 prospects into the system. The club lacks impact bats but it has a plethora of high-ceiling arms.

 

#1 Zack Wheeler (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
22 25 25 149.0 115 4 8.94 3.56 3.26 2.99

Organizations have to make bold moves at times when trying to win championships and the Mets’ top prospect list has benefited from that, both with the R.A. Dickey trade with Toronto, as well as the deal that saw veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran head to the San Francisco Giants, an organization that has won the World Series in two of the past three seasons. That latter trade netted Wheeler, a pitcher with the upside of a No. 1 or 2 starter.


The right-hander has plus fastball velocity that sits in the mid-90s and touches the upper 90s. He also flashes a plus curveball, a solid slider and a changeup that should become at least average. When asked about Wheeler’s stuff, a talent evaluator had very good things to say about his fastball-curveball combo, “They’re going to generate a lot of swings and misses,” he said. Wheeler has an easy delivery and get a solid downward plane on his offerings with at least average command and control. The contact I spoke with said the pitching prospects biggest needs are to improve his changeup, continue to become more efficient and learn when/how to properly use his weapons.

Wheeler, 22, spent the majority of 2012 in double-A before receiving six late-season starts in triple-A where he performed quite well. He’ll return to triple-A but will face a stiffer test while pitching in the offense-boosting Pacific Coast League. The Georgia native is almost ready to assume a permanent role in the big league rotation and that could come as soon as mid-to-late 2013. Wheeler and Matt Harvey could form a tantalizing one-two punch for years to come at the top of the starting rotation.

Additional Notes

As I stated Monday, I love what Wheeler brings to the rotation. Over the years he has simplified the moving parts in his mechanics and features arguable the best fastball in the minors. Add in a slider, curveball and changeup that are all average or better and the you’ve got the second or third best starter in the minors. Mets fans will never bad mouth Carlos Beltran again after they witness Wheeler’s greatness this summer. (JD Sussman)

 

#2 Travis D’Arnaud (C)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
23 303 93 21 16 19 59 1 .333 .380 .595 .415

The young catcher entered 2012 as the Jays’ top prospect and he did nothing to change the lofty status, although a knee injury ended his season prematurely in June. Had he not been injured, d’Arnaud likely would have made his big league debut last year when MLB incumbent J.P. Arencibia suffered a fracture in his hand. After the season, Toronto shocked the industry by acquiring NL Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey but it cost them the talented catching prospect

d’Arnaud has the potential to be both an above-average hitter and fielder. He has enough power to predict 15 home runs in his prime and he could hit for a decent average, thanks to his good bat speed and short stroke. Behind the plate, the California native shows an above-average arm that helps him control the running game and he’s at least average in every area, including blocking, receiving and game calling. One talent evaluator said the prospect was close to being ready for the big leagues and the trade to New York gives him a much clearer path to a big league job — especially after both Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas were included in the Dickey deal.

When I saw d’Arnaud play I was a little surprised by his lack of energy on the field – both on offense and defense. With that said, he showed good athleticism sliding to his right to block a wild pitch and also while fielding a ball out in front of home plate. In speaking with the New York organization, I was told that — in a perfect world — d’Arnaud would be allowed to gain a little more seasoning at the triple-A level before assuming the full-time gig at the big league level, but a strong spring could force the club’s hand.

Additional Notes

The Mets top prospect is a strong, sturdily build right handed hitter with considerable upside. In a perfect world, d’Arnaud projects make numerous all-star games on the back of plus power and defense. But, it’s hard to say that will happen. Injuries have cost him valuable experience and hindered his development making is future more uncertain than most top prospects. (JD Sussman)

 

#3 Noah Syndergaard (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
19 27 19 103.2 80 3 10.59 2.69 2.60 2.21

Syndergaard has come a long way since being considered a “signability pick” during the 2010 draft. A late bloomer in high school, the tall Texan’s velocity now sits in the mid-to-upper 90s and can touch triple-digits. He also possesses above-average control for both his age and experience level. Those attributes made him attractive to New York and he was an impressive addition to the organization during the R.A. Dickey trade that also netted the organization its No. 2 prospect in catcher Travis d’Arnaud.

The issue with the right-hander, though, is his secondary stuff. Both his curveball and changeup currently grade out as below average and questions remain about their future potential. A talent evaluator asked about Syndergaard’s secondary stuff commented, “The curveball has come a long, long way… it is, at times, average,” He also stated that the young pitcher is toying with a slider and referred the changeup as “OK.” If the secondary pitches don’t improve then Syndergaard could develop into a shut-down, high-leverage reliever who could dominate on the strength of his ground-ball-inducing fastball.

When I saw him pitch in May it looked like he was getting out in front of the curveball and dragging his arm behind him — making it almost impossible for him to throw it for strikes. He also was not doing a good job of holding base runners. The tall Texan should move up to the Florida State League in 2013 and could eventually join a dominate, hard-throwing young staff with the likes of Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler.

Additional Notes

Two weeks ago we had a great discussion about Syndergaard. He works off a two pitches, a big fastball that will make him a ground-ball machine at higher levels and an above average change. It will be interesting to see how the Mets handle the young right hander after the Blue Jays were cautious. (JD Sussman)

 

#4 Wilmer Flores (SS)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
20 547 148 29 18 38 60 3 .300 .349 .477 .369

Flores is one player that perhaps suffers from Over-Exposed Prospect Syndrom. Signed at 16, Flores — now 21 — has been on top prospect lists since that time and has developed at a steady pace. A former shortstop, he’s now splitting time between second base and third base. After spending parts of five years in A-ball and below, Flores finally reached double-A in the second half of 2012 during a breakout season. At that level, the young Venezuelan hit more than .300 and started to tap into his raw power more consistently than ever before. He does a nice job of barrelling the ball and making contact, but he’s still too aggressive at times, and could stand to improve his pitch selection when looking for balls to drive.

In the field, the 6’3” infielder just got too big for shortstop, where his range dwindled. He doesn’t have the body of a prototypical second baseman but he turns the double play OK. Ideally, he’s best suited for third base where his strong arm helps make up for his average range. His ideal position would probably be first base but his right-handed power would be just average. A strong spring could ensure a triple-A assignment for Flores in 2013. He could reach the majors by the end of the year, if a spot opens up. When asked about his future in the organization, a Mets contact stated, “We’re still very excited about him.”

 

#5 Rafael Montero (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
21 20 20 122.0 96 6 8.11 1.40 2.36 2.58

Despite having a small frame, Montero has dominated the low minors and provided 122 innings of work in 2012 while splitting the year between two A-ball levels. The right-hander dials his fastball up into the low-90s but can touch 94-95 mph. His repertoire also includes a promising slider and a developing changeup. He basically came out of nowhere last year, and a talent evaluator said, “He’s a guy that, a year ago, was a sleeper… I’m really surprised he hasn’t gotten more attention…He absolutely looks like he belongs.”

Montero’s stuff plays up because he has above-average command and plus control. The contact I spoke with referred to the right-hander’s command as “plus-plus” and commented that the hitters don’t see the fastball well out of his hand. The 22-year-old also has an easy delivery and a clean arm. Although Montero made just eight games in high-A ball, he should move up to double-A to begin 2013. He has the ceiling of a No. 3 starter. The contact I spoke with had high praise for the young Latin player: “He has a really advanced feel on the mound and for the hitters and what they’re trying to accomplish.” 

 

#6 Michael Fulmer (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
19 21 21 108.1 91 6 8.39 3.16 2.58 3.27

Fulmer is another member of the dominating 2011 Oklahoma prep pitching class that also included Baltimore’s Dylan Bundy and Arizona’s Archie Bradley. The Mets prospect has a big strong pitcher’s frame but he doesn’t leverage it enough to produce a strong downward plane on his pitches and he works up in the zone too much. A contact I spoke with said Fulmer struggled to reach the fifth inning in the first half of the season, due to high pitch counts, but improved in the second half when he realized pitching was about more than just getting swings and misses.

Fulmer, 20, could stand to smooth out his delivery, which should help him improve his command but his control is OK. His stuff is quite good, with a low-to-mid-90s fastball, a potentially-plus slider and a changeup that remains a work-in-progress. He should move up to high-A ball in 2013 and could eventually join a talented rotation that could also include Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Noah Syndergaard.

 

#7 Jeurys Familia (P)


Age G GS IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP WAR
22 8 1 12.1 7.30 6.57 48.5 % 5.84 3.66 0.0

Familia, a Dominican Republic native, was quite durable in 2012 at the triple-A level, pitching 137 innings over 28 starts, but his overall results were less than stellar after a promising ’11 season. Familia, 23, has a fastball that works in the mid-to-upper 90s and his slider is above-average.

His lack of a consistent changeup, control issues and delivery all suggest a relief role is in the cards for the hard thrower. He showed flashes of developing into a high-leverage reliever during a big league stint with the Mets in 2012. I’m told Familia will be given every opportunity to break camp with the big league club in 2013 — as a reliever. A talent evaluator likened Familia’s situation to that of Texas’ Alexi Ogando and stated, “He’s another guy with power stuff… He made some pretty good [MLB] hitters look bad.” If he fails to crack the 25-man roster, though, he could eventually move back to the starting rotation, depending on the club’s needs.

 

#8 Luis Mateo (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
22 12 12 73.1 57 2 10.43 1.10 2.45 1.85

Mateo joins Rafael Montero as a breakout (of nowhere) prospect from 2012. A couple steps behind his fellow Dominican Republic native on the organizational ladder, Mateo his a solid fastball in the low-to-mid-90s and backs it up with plus command and control. He also has a solid slider that helped him dominate young competition. A contact I spoke with referred to the breaking ball as “an absolutely wipe-out slider… It’s a big-league pitch right now.” He also cautioned, though, that Mateo needs to learn to not rely on it so much.

Mateo is a little behind the eight-ball in terms of his development after he had two contracts voided and a one-year suspension for falsifying his age.The soon-to-be-23-year-old could skip over low-A ball and open the year in the Florida State League with a strong spring training. His lack of a reliable off-speed pitch could continue to be an issue in his quest to develop into a mid-rotation starter. If he cannot find a reliable changeup, Mateo could end up as a high-leverage reliever capable of shutting the door in the ninth inning.

Additional Notes

I’ve read mixed reported about Luis Mateo but when I saw him in Brooklyn he showed an above average mid 90s fastball and an average slider. He profiles best as a fast moving relieve pitcher because he losses velocity quickly, lacks a third pitch, and has a lot of recoil in his delivery. (JD Sussman)

 

#9 Domingo Tapia (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
20 20 19 108.2 92 2 8.37 2.65 3.98 2.68

Tapia is yet another young, hard-throwing arm in the Mets system. He throws a mid-to-high-90s fastball with excellent movement and commands the ball surprisingly well. His second best pitch is a changeup and his breaking ball — a slider — is inconsistent. His control is good.

Tapia, 21, has an impressive frame for a pitcher and he induces crazy-good ground-ball rates, in part because of the leverage he gets from his 6’4” frame. His combination of velocity and worm-burning rates is enticing, although the lack of a breaking ball could eventually place him in the bullpen. One talent evaluator I spoke with gave a Roberto Hernandez (formerly known as Fausto Carmona) comp. “He may not be a big strikeout guy… but I think he’ll get plenty of outs.” Tapia will move up to high-A ball in 2013.

 

#10 Brandon Nimmo (OF)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
19 321 66 20 6 46 78 1 .248 .372 .406 .372

On the surface, Nimmo’s 2012 season doesn’t look that impressive — mainly because of the low batting average and high strikeout rate, but he’s come a long way in a short period of time. The outfielder, selected out of a Wyoming high school in 2011, was extremely raw when he was selected in the first round of the draft. He was also playing a very tough home ball park in the New York Penn League and a contact told me that the wind often comes straight in from right field. He pointed to Ike Davis’ year in the league, which resulted in zero home runs in 58 games.

Nimmo, soon-to-be 20, needs to jump on good pitches to hit when they’re made available to him. He racks up walks but is too passive at times. He shows good gap power but his eventual home-run potential is debatable. A left-handed hitter, he struggles against southpaws. In the field, he has a chance to develop into an average-or-better fielder with a solid arm. The contact I spoke to said the prospect could be a solid center-fielder or a plus corner outfielder. Nimmo should make his full-season debut in 2013 but will move slowly.

Additional Notes

The Mets have oversold Nimmo’s athleticism but he is an interesting package. His approach is passive, he is content letting pitch after pitch go by as he waits on a fastball, preferably low in the zone. His pitch recognition needs considerable work and presently undermines his hit tool. Power could be his carry tool, it has the potential to be plus. Right now Nimmo is very raw and a full season assignment would be aggressive. But I don’t see the Mets keeping him in Brooklyn either. (JD Sussman)

 

#11 Gavin Cecchini (SS/DH)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
18 218 47 9 1 18 44 5 .240 .307 .321 .295

Cecchini was the Mets’ first round draft pick in 2012 and his brother Garin Cecchini is a talented prospect in the Red Sox system. The younger Cecchini is not flashy but he has solid all-around skills. In the field, he’s a steady fielder at shortstop with solid range and good actions. His arm is just average. As a contact said, “There is no question that he’ll stay there.” A broken finger caused him to DH for part of the season.

Cecchini, 19, is a solid hitter and profiles as a No. 2 hitter. He could hit for a decent batting average and possesses solid gap power but little home-run strength. He’s a good base runner but has just average speed. The contact I spoke with said Cecchini is very instinctual, plays with good energy and is a natural leader. The Louisiana native should open 2013 in low-A ball after a strong fall instructional league, and is easily the Mets’ shortstop of the future.

Additional Notes

I understand why Cecchini doesn’t get a lot of respect, he isn’t a tool-shed like many highly ranked shortstops. But, his upside his higher than many give him credit for. He has average tools across the board with a chance for an above average or better hit tool as a shortstop. Frankly, that’s an exciting package. (JD Sussman)

 

#12 Cory Mazzoni (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
22 26 26 144.1 154 12 6.48 2.24 3.93 3.65

A second-round pick from the 2011 amateur draft, Mazzoni reached double-A in his first full season. The right-hander was durable in ’12 with 144 combined innings between high-A and double-A. His stuff has improved in recent years and he can now hit the 93-95 mph range with his heater. He has a very good slider but he lacks a reliable third pitch (a splitter).

Mazzoni, 23, has above-average control but is still learning to consistently command his three-pitch repertoire. I’d also like to see him stay on top of the ball better and induce more ground-ball outs. A contact I spoke with said Mazzoni is a strike-thrower who is very aggressive in the zone, but threw perhaps too many strikes in double-A. He could develop into a solid No. 3 or 4 starter if he can round out his repertoire. If not, he could end up in the bullpen.

 

#13 Jacob Degrom (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
24 19 19 111.1 90 4 7.76 1.62 2.43 2.54

DeGrom, 24, was drafted in 2010 but pitched only 26 innings prior to 2012 thanks to Tommy John surgery. The right-hander recovered well and flashes a 93-96 mph fastball. His secondary stuff has been stunted by his time off but his slider shows potential. His changeup needs a fair bit of work.

DeGrom has above-average control and a strong start to the 2013 season could help him reach double-A in the coming year, if he can get off to a fast start when he returns to high-A ball. He has a solid pitcher’s frame and, if he can put his injury history behind him, DeGrom could develop into a No. 3 or 4 starter. If his changeup doesn’t come along as hoped, though, he could find himself in the back-end of the bullpen.

 

#14 Kevin Plawecki (C/DH)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
21 252 54 8 7 25 24 0 .250 .345 .384 .349

Plawecki’s well-rounded game helped him go 35th overall to the Mets in the 2012 amateur draft. He has a solid offensive approach and should hit for a good average because he makes above-average contact; he actually walked more than he struck out during his debut in the New York Penn League. The Purdue alum has flashed some power and could develop average or better power.

Behind the plate, Plawecki is a solid receiver and calls an OK game. He doesn’t have the strongest arm but he does a nice job of throwing out base runners (32% in his debut) due to solid mechanics. The Indiana native could skip over low-A ball and open his first full season in high-A. He could develop into the Mets’ starting catcher of the future.

Additional Notes

Plawecki was far too advanced for short-season ball. He has an excellent approach but it’s a contact orientated swing which doesn’t get his lower half involved. Because he’s a catcher he doesn’t need to be a slugger to carve out a major league career, but at best I see him as a second division starter. (JD Sussman)

 

#15 Jack Leathersich (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
21 38 0 72.0 52 3 14.13 4.00 3.00 2.35

One of my favorite under-the-radar prospects in the system, Leathersich reached high-A ball in his first full pro season. He’s been dominant since turning pro with 139 strikeouts in 84.2 innings of work. His ERA in high-A was a little high but he allowed almost one-third of his runs in two of his 26 outings. Leathersich’s fastball works in the 90-94 mph range and he has an above-average curveball. His changeup is below average.

Leathersich, 22, is a southpaw that can hold his own against right-handed hitters because of his deception and the movement on his heater. He has a chance to be a solid seventh- or eighth-inning reliever. He should open 2013 in double-A and could reach the majors by the end of the season if he continues to hold his own against right-handed hitters.




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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects, depth charts and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.


64 Responses to “New York Mets Top 15 Prospects (2012-13)”

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  1. Spit Ball says:

    The third wave. The 69, 70 Mets had Koosman, Seaver, Ryan, McGraw, Matlack. The 80’s Mets had Gooden, Fernandez, Darling, Aguleira. I wonder how Wheeler, Harvey, Niese, Snydergard etc. will match up. Lots of options. If the cost controlled pitching works out they should be looking to strike in the free agent market in the next couple years to fill some holes in the outfield etc..

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    • Pessimistic Mets Fan Guy says:

      ” I wonder how Wheeler, Harvey, Niese, Snydergard etc. will match up. ”

      Maybe we can call them Generation K-Squared as they follow in the footsteps of Paul Wilson, Jason Isringhausen, and Bill Pulsipher.

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      • Red says:

        Oh please get over what happened eighteen years ago. Also Niese is established as a pretty solid pitcher.

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    • Jack Strawb says:

      “…they should be looking to strike in the free agent market in the next couple years”

      HAHHAHahahaHAHAhahAHHhaHaHaHaHAhahAhAha

      Sorry.

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  2. Eric G says:

    As a Met’s fan, I’ve been following their prospects cloely for the past couple of years. That’s why I’m wondering why Danny Muno isn’t on here? I know he had a 50 game suspension, but someone who can get on base at a .380 clip, play solid up the middle defense, and hit for a little pop, isn’t on here at all. Is it just me that likes Muno, or was he mysteriously left off?

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    • Forman says:

      His OBP is nice but his upside is Marco Scutaro. 23 year old in High-A last year, 50 game suspension definitely doesn’t help, but it’s not like his game is built around power anyway.

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      • Eric G says:

        Marco Scutaro upside to me means at least being ranked. Power is not his thing at all, it’s just a nice bonus. I think he is a league average 2nd baseman for a team that hasn’t had a good 2nd baseman since Roberto Alomar. I might be wrong there, but you get my point.

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        • Simon says:

          He’s 23 and he’s in high A. That, in itself, suggests he doesn’t have league-average as a likely outcome.

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        • Jonathan Sher says:

          @Simon

          You should place Muno’s age and level in context. He wasn’t drafted out of high school and hasn’t languished in the minor leagues. He was drafted in the 8th round in 2011, played the end of that season in low-A and played half a season at high-A in 2012 before being suspended. He may very well been promoted to AA later in the season, which would be hardly a slow advancement.

          None of that is to say I especially like Muno as a prospect – I just don’t think we should be so dismissive for being on a post-college track that seemed typical and not slow.

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        • Simon says:

          Ok, the fact that he’s not done enough in college to be drafted higher than the 8th round, and hasn’t advanced beyond high A by the age of 23 suggests he isn’t likely to be more than a utility player at best. There’s a load of research supporting the idea that players who are significantly behind the age-curve rarely have much of an impact. Going to college isn’t some sort of unusual career path that could change that – he isn’t someone like Gattis where there are, at least, reasons to assume that there might be greater potential.

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        • Jonathan Sher says:

          @Simon

          From 2005-2009, the average player making his major-league debut was 24.4 years old (taking the average of their seasonal ages). The average position player had 2070 minor-league plate appearances. That according to Baseball Prospectus (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=13018)

          I haven’t found an average age yet for players whop attended college but it would surely be higher than 24.4 — I would guess between 25 and 26.

          In May, 2012, when Muno was suspended after a strong start at high-A, he was 23.25 years old. But for the suspension, he seemed on a path that would have had him promoted to AA before the end of the season. That would have placed him on a track to debut in Sept. 2014, at the age of 24 .5, barely over the MLB average for debut age and almost certainly younger than the average debut for a college player.

          When you compare Muno to other college players drafted in 2011 in the 7th or 8th round, only 3 of 40 made it to AA and one of those played 8 games. Thirteeen of 20 in the 7th round didn’t make it to high-A and two more just got a cup of tea there. But for Muno’s suspension, he may have been among the few to make AA so soon after the 2011 draft.

          Even among 3rd-round college picks in 2011, 15 of 21 didn’t make it past high A, including 9 who didn’t make it past A-ball.

          Of course it’s a long shot for anyone picked after the first couple of rounds to become even average players in MLB. And I am not in any way arguing Muno will be an exception. I’m simply pointing out that for a college draftee he’s ahead of most others picked around him and but for his suspension he would have reached a higher level than most college players picked 5 round earlier.

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        • Dave C says:

          “team that hasn’t had a good 2nd baseman since Roberto Alomar.”

          Roberto Alomar was absolutely TERRIBLE as a Met. He was one of the worst regulars in the major leagues for around 2 years.

          Meanwhile the Mets had a far superior hitter during the early 00s in Edgardo Alfonzo, great bat and glove.

          Not sure how anyone with any semblance of Mets knowledge can take you serious after that comment.

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        • Eric G says:

          that;s why I said “to my knowledge”. I forgot Alfanzo. Honestly, the only people I could remember off the top of my head were Jose Valentin, Luis Castillo, Brad Emaus, Dnaiel Murphy, and Alomar. Plus, I didn’t say Alomar was good as a Met, he was atrocious. I just said he was a good 2nd baseman, which I’d like to see you try to argue.

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        • Jack Strawb says:

          Except, he was suspended, and he’d have to have two solid seasons, first in AA, then in AAA, at least the way the Mets run things, to make the majors by age 26.

          A guy on that trajectory is, as several people have noted, not likely to be more than a utility player.

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    • Marc Hulet says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      Basically his modest ceiling kept him off the list. He was considered in the 16-22 range.

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  3. Forman says:

    So much pitching.. I like. Even more pitching depth beyond this list with Matz, Robles, Ynoa, Lara, etc. Just need some more bats.

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    • Jack Strawb says:

      What the Mets need is an ownership other than the Wilpons.

      There’s a real problem in that Murphy, Davis, and Parnell will get expensive (if they’re any good, if they’re not, fringy contention is unlikely) just as some of the current young guys might bloom. The Mets will need two FA OFers to contend, given the complete lack of a bat in the system.

      In short, where are the wins coming from? With a payroll under 100m the Mets have essentially no chance.

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  4. Adam says:

    As an alumni of the old gold and black of Purdue University here’s a big BOILER UP for Kevin Plawecki. Always nice to see a Boilermaker doing well.

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  5. Izzy Hechkoff says:

    On d’Arnaud, you predict 15 homers for him in his prime. There seems to be some disagreement among scouts as to how much power he’ll eventually show. BA gave him plus power, which I would suppose is more than 15 homers. Just wondering, why do you have a little less faith in his eventual power?

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    • Marc Hulet says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      You have to consider plus for a catcher is a little different than plus for a 1B or RF… As well, ABs are taken into consideration with counting stats… I would say he has a chance to have an ISO rate in his prime of .170-.190, so above-average to fringe-plus.

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  6. jdbolick says:
    FanGraphs Supporting Member

    I’m guessing you don’t share my concerns about Wheeler pitching out of the zone so much. He depends a lot on getting hitters to chase, and while his slider can make that happen even at the major league level, I have to think they’ll lay off unless he’s also throwing it for strikes. I’m expecting Zack to be a disappointment compared to the other top pitching prospects.

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    • Marc Hulet says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      There isn’t a ton of concern among talent evaluators I’ve spoken to… and he’s still young. So, no I’m not overly concerned. He’ll need to make adjustments as hitters adjust to him, without doubt, but he has the talent to do so.

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      • jdbolick says:
        FanGraphs Supporting Member

        Fair enough. I’m relying on anecdotal evidence rather than voluminous statistical analysis, but it seems to me that guys who spend a lot of time out of the zone struggle to make those adjustments at the major league level and thus end up being “disappointments” more than the guys who come up painting the black.

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        • Za says:

          jdbolick, I think you’re the only one with concerns that extreme. Wheeler can definitely tighten up his control but he’s already got the velocity and movement to be an average to above average starter today. Well, maybe in a week.

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        • dovif says:

          jdbolick

          It depends on the type of player you are talking about. There are 2 type of players who spends alot of time out of the zone.

          Those that cannot master the control of really good stuff (example used already is Kershaw) and those who does not have the stuff and relies on not pitching in the strike zone.

          Wheeler is firmly in the good stuff side

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        • jdbolick says:
          FanGraphs Supporting Member

          We all realize that “top pitching prospects” often fail. My contention is that the ones who were not derailed by injury failed most often not because their stuff was less effective than believed, but because they couldn’t command the stuff they had. To me, Wheeler profiles exactly as that kind of high volatility prospect, which isn’t to say that he won’t be a Cy Young winner but that his range of potential major league outcomes is much wider and much more concerning than a Shelby Miller.

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  7. Zack says:

    2 questions.

    1) What is the difference between command and control?

    2) Where would Matt Harvey rank on this list if he had pitched a few less innings and qualified as a rookie?

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    • Marc Hulet says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      command = the ability to make the ball do what you want
      control – the ability to throw strikes

      Harvey would be fighting Wheeler for top spot, if eligible.

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    • Trotter76 says:

      Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I always thought the difference between command and control is a matter of degree. Control is throwing strikes vs. being wild. Command is being able to move the ball in and out and have accuracy WITHIN the strike zone (think Greg Maddux as the ideal).

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      • Jonathan Sher says:

        But command is not simply being able to place the ball within the strike zone. It’s being able to place the ball anywhere you want to and with the attributes of the pitch in question — getting the proper movement and ball speed. If a batter swing at pitches low and away and you are a right-hander throwing a slider, you want the break to take the ball wide of the plate to reduce the chance of contact. If a batter can resist climbing the ladder on a fastball you want to throw it above the strike zone.

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  8. jpg says:

    Gotta give Alderson a ton of credit. The system, to put it bluntly, sucked when he got here. It was a bottom five system that had almost no impact talent outside of Harvey. Now it’s a fringe top 10 system with arms galore. Finally it looks like we have something to be excited about and proud of besides our play-by-play announcers.

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  9. JH says:

    I know he’s not elite or anything, but man Cory Vaughn gets zero love. 23 hr in the FSL with a good walk rate isn’t too shabby. Obviously contact issues hold him back quite a bit, but I’m surprised at how many people write him off.

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    • Marc Hulet says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      I’ve had Vaughn on my lists the previous two seasons so I’ve given him a fair bit of love but he turns 24 in May and has yet to truly dominate the competition.

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    • Dave C says:

      He’s 24 and repeated high A ball with very modest results. He’s almost a nonprospect unless he tears the cover off the ball in AA this year.

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  10. TD says:

    Sussman appears to overrate most of the prospects pretty significantly.

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    • JD Sussman says:

      Sarcasm?

      I’m not being defensive, but I find myself to be low on the Mets group overall. I’m certainly no higher on the Top 3 than anyone else of note. What gave you the impression I was high on them?

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      • BurleighGrimes says:

        This is a weird comment, cuz I found myself thinking that JD was fairly bearish on the Mets system compared to other things I’ve read.

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        • JD Sussman says:

          Ok, so I’m not crazy!

          Their low minors pitching depth doesn’t get enough attention or respect, but their highly ranked guys -including TdA – have major ?s.

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  11. jpg says:

    The only real surprise here is Nimmo at #10. IIRC, KLaw had considered him for his top 100 but just missed. Sickels also hinted that he’ll be a top 100 guy when his list comes out and I think he’s already on his top 50 position player list. I’m glad to see Flores is getting some love. It seems like everybody is overlooking the huge year he had last year and instead focusing on the struggles he had as a teen.

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    • Marc Hulet says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      Nimmo was definitely a tough guy to rank but there were players I liked better in the system and he’s still very raw. I’m not comfortable with his offensive projection if he does move to a corner. He could be a big mover on the list if he makes significant improvements this year.

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    • LaLoosh says:

      it isn’t really a surprise. Nimmo is very raw and there is some disagreement about the tools and he’ll need to show the ability to hit LHed pitching before he gets into the elite reaches of prospect lists. That said, he has a lot of time to get there.

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  12. Adam says:

    How many prospect lists have you put out so far for 2013?

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  13. WC says:

    Not a fan of the list after 11, but mostly because the system has a lot of potentially interesting guys (arms mostly) that could slot in there, the difference between 15 and 25 isn’t huge

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  14. timtebow says:

    Do you think Flores could be a trade candidate? He’s getting pretty close to the majors, and from what I’ve read it seems like the only position he can really play is 3rd base.

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    • Za says:

      He can play 1st and 3rd, and is probably at least as good as Murphy at 2nd. Wright to LF and Flores to 3rd would immediately make the team better but I doubt that’s plausible.

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      • Evan_S says:

        I don’t see how that makes the Mets better when Wright was arguably the best defensive third baseman in baseball last season. I know he was pretty bad for a few years, but he was, by metrics and the eye test, phenomenal last season. And we have no idea how well Flores would play third in the majors.

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  15. Sam Saskin says:

    Where would you rate Fulmer’s upside compared to Montero’s?

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  16. Paul Tomas says:

    what about Stephen Matz?

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  17. Evan_S says:

    Mets fans should never bad mouth Carlos Beltran anyway because he was pretty damn great for us when he was hear.

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  18. Dave G. says:

    Two outfielders to watch out for are Corey Vaughn and Juan Lagares. Vaughn was a 20-20 guy last year, and while the average isn’t there, the OBP is. He could move quick this year if he hits in Binghamton. Lagares is their next righthanded hitting CF in waiting if Cowgill doesn’t work out. He seems like he can play in CF and has some speed and good contact ability with some doubles power.

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  19. jim says:

    re: J familia- only showing the major league stats is kind of misleading, even though you mention the 2012 AAA stats, I still think all levels played at should be featured in the stat lines

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  20. 3doza33 says:

    Vaughn has a long way to go! He will be lucky to make it to ny! He might lead the organization in strikeouts this year when he faces AA pitching! He would barely make my top 50 nevermind top 15! If Matz stays healthy this year, he could be top 5 next year! A lefty with his stuff is very exciting! Very excited to see Lupo stateside this year too!

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    • BlackOps says:

      He could also break out! He may not! Who knows!

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    • Dave C says:

      Love Matz, but the clock is ticking on him after 2 lost years. He absolutely needs to stay healthy this year or his future isn’t likely to be in the Mets organization. They are going to have a serious 40 man roster crunch over the next couple years

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  21. Platanero says:

    I know Bradley Marquez barely got to play last year in Kingsport because he was hurt, and I know he’s very raw, but what kind of upside do you see him having?

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  22. Dave C says:

    Any thoughts on the 3rd player the Mets received from the Blue Jays in the Dickey trade- OF Wuilmer Becerra. Seems to have a pretty high ceiling, albeit a very low floor as well?

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    • BurleighGrimes says:

      Just not enough info about him in pro ball at this point to rate him in the top 15. On longer lists, he has been landing in the 20-30 range from what I’ve seen.

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  23. acerimusdux says:

    Nice list. I would say the top 13 guys are mostly consensus top 15 guys here, so no surprises there, and Plawecki as a high pick last year seems a sensible choice at 14. So nothing as controversial as in 2009 when you ranked Ruben Tejada at #7 while leaving off such obvious future studs as Reese Havens and Kyle Allen. :)

    Leathersich is an interesting choice at #15, though. I generally see a good number of games in St. Lucie, but I guess last year I just got bored and left way too many games before the end. Leaving baseball games early, dang I feel like I’m tunring into my father. Anyway, I don’t really have much an opinion on Leathersich. But you may be right there.

    Other guys who might have been interesting choices though:

    Hansel Robels – seems to have impressed a lot in the NYPL, especially towards the end, and earned protection on Mets 40-man. Size and delievery may still point to pen role though, so I can see preferring the lefty.

    Phil Evans – another guy people liked from the Brooklyn club, could profile as decent all around 2B, and some now think he might even stick at SS.

    Matt Den Dekker – issues making contact likely limit him to a bench role, but he plays a good CF and has enough tools to maybe hit enough if he can make some adjustments in AAA.

    Steven Matz – high upside arm with limited track record returned from TJ surgery last season and is set to anchor the Mets Savannah (A-) rotation in 2013.

    Gabriel Ynoa – 2nd youngest SP in the NYPL last year, ranked 5th in FIP. Should join Matz in Savannah rotation. Maybe doesn’t yet profile as more than #4 SP, but one to watch.

    German Ahmed Rosario – tough to rank a guy who hasn’t played yet, but he did get the top international signing bonus this year. So worth a mention.

    Wilfredo Tovar – I see people mentioning Muno in the comments, but Tovar was almost 3 years younger, had a similar high OBP in ST. Lucie, actually plays a solid MLB SS, and earned the promotion to AA. Downside is not much upside. He still looks a little like a poor man’s Ruben Tejada. But I think he could still end up a similar player.

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