Reviewing the Top 62 Prospects at the Half: 20-29 | Astromets Mind

Friday, July 18, 2014

Reviewing the Top 62 Prospects at the Half: 20-29

 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.

20.             Jack Leathersich (24), stock holding

            2.56 ERA, 30 G, 38.2 IP, 19 H, 11 R, 17 BB, 67 SO, 4 HBP, HR, 164 BF
            Jack Leathersich is weird and tantalizing. He’s a left-handed relief pitcher who’s done better against righties throughout his pro career while posting some crazy strikeout rates along the way. His walk rate has improved by 2.5% in his second opportunity with Binghamton, but that won’t matter if it doesn’t improve when he reaches Las Vegas. The high BB% wasn’t the only problem in his first AAA opportunity, as Jack also gave up 11 XBH for a .148 ISO against.

21.             Luis Cessa (22), stock holding/slight downtick

            4.52 ERA, 15 GS, 83.2 IP, 89 H, 45 R (42 ER), 24 BB, 54 SO, 2 HBP, 2 HR, 334 BF
The only Luis Cessa start I’ve seen was a disastrous one for Binghamton, when he couldn’t get through the heart of the Portland lineup or out of the 4th inning. Cessa was coming off three straight great starts for St. Lucie (19 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 11 SO: 2 BB), but I did not see whatever was driving his success on display that day. His K% has bumped up to near average since returning to St. Lucie, but his results haven’t been as good. We need some visual reports on how he looks when on, because I hate scouting the stat line.

22.             Jayce Boyd (23), stock holding/slight downtick

            315 PA, .265/.349/.366, 40 R, 14 2B, 3B, 4 HR, 34 RBI, 30 BB, 52 SO
            As a right-handed 1B/DH, Jayce Boyd needs to hit more and with more power. I gave his rating the benefit of a needed adjustment period, as I’ve seen consistent hard contact lately, but he’ll need to keep it up during the second half. His K% has slipped from elite with St. Lucie to merely better than average with Bingo, so that could be an area Boyd improves on moving forward, but is a higher average going to be enough for him to make it at 1B?

23.             Luis Mateo (24), stock holding

            1.93 ERA, 7 G, 9.1 IP, 8 H, 7 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 7 SO, HBP, HR, 41 BF
            Luis Mateo has been recovering from Tommy John Surgery since last June, so his current stop in Brooklyn is just a rehab assignment (Cyclones game notes say as much), and hopefully won’t need much longer. He’s someone to keep an eye on during the second half, as he supposedly has some of the most dynamic stuff in the Mets system.

24.             Chris Flexen (20), stock holding

            4.83 ERA, 13 GS, 69 IP, 75 H, 41 R (37 ER), 37 BB, 46 SO, 4 HBP, 5 HR, 318 BF
            The highest Savannah starter on this list, Chris Flexen had the least effective first half of the group, and hasn’t made a start since June 28. As a 20-year old in his first taste of full-season ball, an adjustment period is to be expected, and Flexen had been much improved since his last start in May – 2.65 ERA, .650 OPS against in 34 IP.

25.             Wilfredo Tovar (22), stock holding/slight uptick

            167 PA, .313/.377/.373, 17 R, 4 2B, 3B, HR, 21 RBI, 13 BB, 9 SO, 5/10 SB
            There’s plenty to like about what Wilfredo Tovar showed offensively this year – I busted out laughing when I saw him pull that HR over the wall – but he’s been injured since late May, and appeared to be stuck in AA. Also, he’s been passed by a few on the middle infield depth chart. He’s the best defensive shortstop in the upper levels of the Mets system, but his 20-power profile is hard to overcome. I didn’t see too much of him before the injury, but almost everything I saw him hit was on the ground or a line drive (made the HR even more surprising), and he was mostly used at 2B to get Matt Reynolds the reps at shortstop.

26.             Matt ∂en Dekker (26), stock holding

            284 PA, .312/.372/.502, 54 R, 20 2B, 5 3B, 6 HR, 37 RBI, 25 BB, 52 SO, 5/7 SB
            I can paint a tantalizing picture of Matt ∂en Dekker the prospect – a lefty with some power who plays above-average defense in CF and will take a walk – but it’s just a picture until he does it in the majors. He’s significantly improved the biggest perceived weakness of his game with Vegas this year – his 18.3 K% is actually better than the PCL average of 19.8% – and he’s been white-hot since his demotion back to AAA a month ago – .402/.467/.671 with 10 2B, 3 3B, and 2 HR in 92 PA with 13 SO: 10 BB. His age plays against him, but his defense/power will get him opportunities over the next few seasons. If this seems a bit too rosy, sorry, I’ve just always been high on M∂D. If nothing else, he can be a useful 4th outfielder.

27.             Robert Whalen (20), stock holding

            1.67 ERA, 7 G (5 GS), 27 IP, 18 H, 6 R (5 ER), 9 BB, 31 SO, HR, 107 BF
            After a strong April to start the season with Savannah, Robert Whalen missed two months after needing surgery on an infection in his pitching hand. He should be back to the Sand Gnats soon, as he recently started rehabbing with the GCL Mets to get his pitch count back up, and he threw 4 IP in his last start with them. Haven’t seen him yet, but that’s an impressive start to his full-season career (he had played with Kingsport previously). One crazy small sample size split – .336 OPS against RHB in 64 PA with a 35.9 K%.

28.             Matthew Bowman (23), stock up

            3.43 ERA, 16 GS, 89.1 IP, 98 H, 42 R (34 ER), 24 BB, 85 SO, 4 HBP, 6 HR, 385 BF
            If I had these stats and just my one look of him from late April, I would not have him as ‘stock up.’ I’ve seen all three of his main pitches (fastball, change-up and slider) rated as average, and that seemed right at the time, but they’ve shown more life and movement over the past month than in my initial look. Also, those stats ignore the best part of Matthew Bowman’s game – he has had elite groundball rates throughout the minors. The groundball rate has slipped some at the highest levels of the minors (58.2% with AA and 55.9% with AAA in 2014), but those would still be among the best rates in the majors. Now that he’s with Vegas and on every start, I plan to keep a close eye on how his stuff looks on the road and to track his velocity when starting at home. UPDATE: Bowman is heading back to AA, for now.

29.             Dustin Lawley (25), stock holding

            332 PA, .248/.298/.471, 47 R, 20 2B, 16 HR, 47 RBI, 21 BB, 85 SO, 3/6 SB
            Most likely to be the next Zach Lutz? Dustin Lawley has a .882 OPS (135 wRC+) in his last 200 PA (13 2B and 13 HR since May 19), but he still has just a 27.5 K%: 6 BB% ratio. The Las Vegas infield and outfield are pretty crowded right now, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lawley end up there at some point in the second half. All those XBH could carry such poor K% and BB% rates, but major league pitchers are much better than AA pitchers, and I think he’d be too overmatched at the major league level right now. He’s quiet in the box and his swing looks compact, but he just doesn’t make enough contact – 19.3 K/Sw% compared to 14.2 % league average. Unlike Lutz, Lawley can play LF, so he has a better chance of filling a bench role in the majors some day. One thing that’s pretty unusual about Lawley’s stat line – he’s pulling 70% of fly balls hit, compared to 44% league average.

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