A Minor Review of ’09: New York Mets

Prospect ranking season is here. Top 10 lists will be arriving shortly and in preparation for that, we present an intro series looking at some of the players who deserve mentioning but probably will not be appearing on their teams’ Top 10 lists. The series is back for a second year.

New York Mets

The Graduate: Bobby Parnell, RHP
Parnell was having a very fine season as a reliever in the Mets bullpen before the club tried him in the rotation. The right-hander has a heavy fastball that sits at 94 mph and he backs that up with a good slider. His change-up is not developed enough, which is one of the reasons why he struggled as a starter. Parnell also doesn’t throw enough first-pitch strikes (almost 10% below the league average). If left in the bullpen in ’09, the 25-year-old should be a solid reliever.

The Riser: Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF
Nieuwenhuis had a solid first full year in professional baseball in ’09. He began the year in high-A ball and hit .274/.357/.467 with a .193 ISO in 482 at-bats. He also stole 16 bases in 20 attempts. If Nieuwenhuis can continue to develop his raw power into over-the-fence power, he could become a 20-20 or 25-25 player at some point in his MLB career. The 22-year-old outfielder earned an eight-game trial in double-A and he should begin the season there. He has the makings of a solid everyday center fielder, but he needs to improve against southpaws after hitting just .235/.294/.348 in ’09.

The Tumbler: Eddie Kunz, RHP
After reaching the Majors in his first full MLB season in ’08, Kunz spent the entire ’09 season in triple-A where he posted a 5.53 FIP. The right-handed reliever allowed just 54 hits in 61.0 innings, but he posted a walk rate of 4.57 BB/9 and allowed a home-run rate of 1.18 HR/9. Kunz, 23, has a 90-95 mph fastball and slider; he needs to improve his command of both. These quick-to-the-Majors college relievers never seem to work out quite like they’re supposed to.

The ’10 Sleeper: Jeurys Familia, RHP
Familia came close to making the Top 10 list after the 19-year-old hurler allowed just 109 hits in 134.0 innings of work in low-A ball. He posted a walk rate of 3.09 BB/9 and a strikeout rate of 7.32 K/9. Impressively, the young right-hander gave up just three homers (.020 HR/9) all year. Familia’s ground-ball rate was just shy of 50% at 48.8% and he limited the line-drive rate to just 12.3%. He features an 88-93 mph fastball, curveball and change-up.

Bonus: Jefry Marte, 3B
Highlighted in the ’08 series as the sleeper to watch out for in ’09, Marte made it onto the Top 10 list for 2009 so I won’t divulge too much information here. The 18-year-old third baseman spent the year in low-A ball and did not embarrass himself, although he needs to show more patience at the plate.



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


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Tom B
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Tom B

I’m sure even the mets fans are saying, “Who?”…

NM
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NM

I actually I know all of these names.

Tom B
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Tom B

congrats, no one else ever will.

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