Reviewing the Top 62 Prospects at the Half: 1-10 | Astromets Mind

Friday, July 18, 2014

Reviewing the Top 62 Prospects at the Half: 1-10

Before the second half starts, let’s review how the consensus top 62 Mets prospects have been doing so far this season. Stats listed are combined minor league stats or major league stats if a player has graduated.

1.             Noah Syndergaard (21), stock holding

            5.74 ERA, 17 GS, 84.2 IP, 106 H, 59 R (54 ER), 26 BB, 87 SO, HBP, 10 HR, 375 BF
            Ignore the numbers, his stuff has been nasty and he’s just learning to pitch with it. He throws a 94-98 MPH fastball, 84-88 MPH change-up and 77-80 MPH curveball, and they are all looking good – his curveball has been especially fun to watch, buckling knees all over the PCL (I love curveballs). Wally mentioned that he let’s his pitcher/catcher call the game so they can learn. This is relevant because there has been plenty of criticism about how much Thor relies on his fastball in certain situations, and it suggests that this is his own choice, not some managerial mandate.

2.             Travis ∂’Arnaud (25), graduated

            210 PA, .217/.292/.354, 18 R, 8 2B, 6 HR, 19 RBI, 20 BB, 38 SO, SB
            Travis had people worried about his ability to hit at the major league level, but he’s been great since returning from a dominant AAA stint - .295/.338/.525 with 5 2B and 3 HR in 65 PA. Success! Back to being the catcher of the future (and he’s playing now!).

3.             Rafael Montero (23), stock holding/slight downtick

            3.51 ERA, 13 GS, 56.1 IP, 48 H, 30 R (22 ER), 25 BB, 56 SO, 3 HR, 237 BF
            The stats listed are minor league stats only, but he also had a 5.40 ERA over 20 IP with the Mets this year. Not everyone has initial success when they make their debut, so I am not going to hold his time in the majors against him, but I am going to hold that increased walk rate against him. Was that injury bugging him sooner? He’s walked four batters three times so far in 2014 (once in the majors), which is something Rafael Montero hadn’t done since 8/21/2011 with the Kingsport Mets. It will be an important second half for Rafael.

4.             Dominic Smith (19), stock rising

           372 PA, .295/.353/.357, 39 R, 21 2B, 29 HR, 31 BB, 55 SO, 4/8 SB
           The only reason Dominic Smith doesn’t get a stock up grade is because he has yet to hit a homerun. He is a teenager playing home games in a notoriously tough park for homeruns, and he has come close a few times with wall shots, but as a 1B-only prospect, he will eventually need to hit homeruns. When I saw him for a weekend series back in April, I thought he looked out of sync and overmatched at the plate, and that he was merely trying to make contact. Clearly he just needed time to adjust, as his OPS has risen every month of the season, and he’s looked more confident at the plate when I’ve had the opportunity to see him on Since his first double of the season on April 25, he’s hit .326/.385/.404 over 297 PA, good for a 123 wRC+. Interestingly enough, he’s hit lefties for noticeably more power – 10 doubles in 105 PA against lefties compared to 11 in 267 PA against righties.  

5.             Wilmer Flores (22), stock holding/graduated

            210 PA, .325/.368/.592, 39 R, 11 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 53 RBI, 14 BB, 33 SO, 0/2 SB
            Stats listed are minor league stats only, but he also hit .225/.253/.300 line in 83 PA with the Mets. Flores has been on fire with Vegas since mid-April, but had a pointless six weeks in the majors, as he was hardly given a chance to start – he only started 17 of 45 games while with the Mets. He was playing SS everyday with the 51s to start the year, but is playing all over the infield since returning, while Matt Reynolds has been the majority SS. No clue what the plan is here.

6.             Brandon Nimmo (21), stock up

            385 PA, .291/.417/.440, 76 R, 13 2B, 5 3B, 8 HR, 36 RBI, 65 BB, 72 SO, 11/15 SB
            Brandon Nimmo has done pretty much everything you’d ask of a 21-year old top prospect starting the year in A+ ball, so far – he forced his way up to Binghamton by the second half with his offense. He’s a fast, left-handed CF with an advanced approach at the plate and he looks bigger than I expected – I think the power is coming. He has not shown much homerun power in his career, but it took him about one-third the plate appearances to match his St. Lucie homerun total of four with Binghamton. The future is bright with this one.

7.             Kevin Plawecki (23), stock up

            297 PA, .308/.378/.487, 39 R, 20 2B, 8 HR, 53 RBI, 21 BB, 32 SO
            I think Kevin Plawecki surprised everyone with his power outburst in May, perhaps forcing his way up to the 51s a bit earlier than expected – although, the 51s were rotating between Juan Centeno and Taylor Teagarden at the time. He didn’t pick up many hit with Vegas over his first two weeks there, but he was never looking overmatched, and the hits have started falling again. Defensively, there are still questions about how much he can limit the running game, but announcers (for the BMets and 51s) have relayed positive reviews about his work with the pitching staff and coaches. 

8.             Amed Rosario (18), stock up

            118 PA, .260/.328/.317, 11 R, 2B, 3B, HR, 4 RBI, 10 BB, 18 SO, 3/5 SB
            The 18-year old was so impressive in extended spring training that the Mets sent him to Savannah before the Brooklyn season started to get some game reps. His highlights were a triple and a homerun over 31 PA, but just playing with Savannah was a great experience for the kid. Defensively, he still makes mistakes, but he has good range to both sides, and a strong arm. For more on Amed Rosario, I refer you to Amazin’ Avenue’s Jeffrey Paternostro.

9.             Cesar Puello (23), stock down

            238 PA, .233/.333/.354, 36 R, 9 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 22 RBI, 20 BB, 43 SO, 9/10 SB
            It seems like Cesar Puello has had the first half from hell. He was playing nearly every day early in the season, but he wasn’t hitting, and it’s been a mess since. He missed time for a biogenesis related court hearing in late April, and for a concussion in late June. He has the best BB% of his career (just below average), and one of his best K%-rates as a pro (slightly better than average), but he’s hitting everything on the ground (~60% GB-rate compared to 44.6% league average). His biggest struggles have come against righties (.530 OPS against RHP this year), but he’s still crushing lefties (1.019 OPS) this year. Puello’s tools are not in question, but he’s running out of time to show he can hit enough with the Mets, as this is his last option year – he was placed on the 40-man prior to the 2012 season (for early rule 5 protection I guess), and has already burned his 3rd option by spending 20+ days in the minors this year.

10.             Gavin Cecchini (20), stock holding/slight uptick

            348 PA, .240/.314/.367, 51 R, 19 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 36 RBI, 33 BB, 59 SO, 9/10 SB
            As someone who was never high on the Gavin Cecchini pick, I didn’t like seeing him this high in last years rankings. That said, I thought he looked like a capable shortstop when I saw him with Savannah, and I liked his approach and swing at the plate. He’s struggled some since his promotion to St. Lucie, but he’s still just a 20-year old shortstop in A+ ball, and it doesn’t seem like he’s being overmatched – 20.2 K% is basically average, as his 9% BB-rate. Let’s see how his FSL numbers look at the end of the year, and, if necessary, at mid-season next year.

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