Astromets Top 83 Prospect Series: 75-83 | Astromets Mind

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Astromets Top 83 Prospect Series: 75-83

            For this top prospect list series I tried to include as many players as possible, as I watched a lot of talented Mets prospects in 2014, and was following the progression of those I couldn’t watch. I do not include any Dominican Summer League players here, as I know next to nothing about those guys and they are so far away. I started by separating players into different groups and then essentially ranked those groups. Still, a lot of these players become interchangeable beyond the top 25 or so prospects. Also, there are a number of ’50+ future value’ players (per Fangraphs Kiley McDaniel), so the very top of the list is pretty interchangeable too. I don’t think I missed any obvious stateside prospects, but I apologize in advance for when I did. I will add some gifs when possible.

Other entries from this series: 1-9 | 10-15 | 16-24 | 25-33 | 34-45 | 46-55 | 56-62 | 63-74 | 75-83

*All stats listed are regular season only and from Fangraphs; age to start 2015 season listed; pitchers roles are based on what they did in 2014, not what they might do in the future

Brooklyn Positional Players from the 2014 Draft
            Here are a couple of 2014 draftees who stood out to me during their time with Brooklyn.

    75) Tyler Moore LH/C/2B (22)
2014 stats:
A-: 63 G, 222 PA, .240/.321/.333, .308 BABIP, 94 wRC+, 11 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 22.1 K%: 10.8 BB%

Moore’s best trait as a prospect might be the fact that he can play both catcher and a number of other positions – he spent a lot of time at 1B in college, some at 3B, and played 25 games at 2B and one in LF for Brooklyn. His offense production dipped from his last year in college, but that’s not surprising considering the work he was putting in behind the plate as he was making his pro debut. 2015 should help reveal whether he has any sort of a future behind the plate, but his other positional versatility could be very useful some day either way. He showed average power and didn’t strike out as often in college, so hopefully his offensive production will pick up some in 2015.

    76)   Michael Katz RH/1B/LF (22)
2014 stats:
A-: 42 G, 167 PA, .275/.323/.346, .382 BABIP, 98 wRC+, 9 2B, 1 3B, 26.9 K%: 7.2 BB%
(Season ended early due to injury)

Katz was having a decent pro debut when his season was cut short due to a knee injury. He wasn’t showing the power that he did in college – he hit 24 doubles and 14 homeruns for a .284 ISO his final season with William & Mary – but he was still lining the ball all over the field. While no Ike Davis level talent, I will point out that Ike went homerless in his pro debut with Brooklyn, so you shouldn’t be too concerned about the homerless summer, yet. Katz saw time at 1B, LF and RF, although I don’t have high expectations for him in RF.

Brooklyn Relief from the 2014 Draft (and Shane Bay)
            These guys helped the Cyclones have the best ERA in the NYPL during the 2014 season.

    77)   Brad Wieck LH/RP (23)
2014 stats:
A-: 16 G, 25.2 IP, 17 H (1 HR), 1.40 ERA, 1.73 FIP, 38.6 K%: 5.9 BB%

Standing 6’9” tall, Wieck was the 2nd giant pitcher the Mets took in the 2014 draft (see Josh Prevost, next), and this lanky lefty was really impressive in his pro debut. Coming out of a less established program in the NAIA, but off of a video game like season (118 K: 23 BB in 69.2 IP), I was hesitantly excited for Wieck’s debut, and he did not disappoint. He finished his college career in the starting rotation, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him starting in 2015, but if he’s in the pen, he could be in store for a quick rise through the system.

    78)   Josh Prevost RH/RP (23)
2014 stats:
A-: 11 G, 19.2 IP, 17 H (0 HR), 1.83 ERA, 3.09 FIP, 17.5 K%: 7.5 BB%

The ‘Giant of Seton Hall’ (he’s 6’8) had a very nice pro debut in 2014 out of the Cyclones pen, though his future role might still be in the rotation. He wasn’t expected to be a high strikeout pitcher, but it’s not a great sign that he was considerably below average in that department – NYPL had an average K-rate of 21.9%. The good news was that his sinker was dominant, as he induced a nearly 60% groundball rate on balls in play, which means he’s taking full advantage of his considerable height. His walk rate was also better than average for the league, but that’s to be expected from a 4-year college starting pitcher.

    79)   Kelly Secrest LH/RP (23)
2014 stats:
A-: 20 G, 24.2 IP, 20 H (0 HR), 1.82 ERA, 2.71 FIP, 28.3 K%: 11.3 BB%

This hard throwing lefty had some control problems in his pro debut, but was overall very effective out of the Cyclones pen. He was a closer in college, so it’s likely he’ll stay in the pen this year, and has a chance to move through the system pretty quickly.

    80)   Shane Bay LH/RP (23)
2014 stats:
A-: 20 G, 22.2 IP, 19 H (0 HR), 1.59 ERA, 1.90 FIP, 25.6 K%: 3.5 BB%

Bay spent the summer dominating the NYPL as the Cyclones closer. It was the first time since joining the Mets before the 2011 season that he was healthy enough for 10+ appearances, and he seems to be past his elbow issues. He was aggressive in the strike zone with the Cyclones and will be looking to move through the lower levels quickly now that he’s stayed healthy for an entire short season circuit.

Bay picks up his first save of the season

Need to hit their way into the discussion
            These two need to hit a lot in 2015 or else they probably won’t be back for 2016.

    81)   Matt Oberste RH/1B (23)
2014 stats:
A: 91 G, 364 PA, .274/.320/.435, .319 BABIP, 108 wRC+, 22 2B, 4 3B, 8 HR, 18.7 K%: 5.2 BB%

Oberste makes this list on the basis of his ~.900 OPS over ~200 PA from late May to early August last year. He’s not higher because he’s a right-handed 1B/DH who will be 23 and getting his first taste of the FSL. He managed a lower K% during the stretch (~15%), but drew even fewer walks than normal (~3%). The Mets 7th round pick from 2013, Oberste did most of his 2014 damage against righties (.811 OPS vs. R, .606 vs. L). He should be ready for the FSL in 2015, but he’ll probably have trouble getting at-bats with Dominic Smith likely slated to be St. Lucie’s starting First Baseman.

    82)   Maikis De La Cruz RH/OF (24)
2014 stats:
A+: 125 G, 483 PA, .267/.305/.353, .314 BABIP, 88 wRC+, 24 2B, 5 HR, 17 K%: 5.2 BB% (12/15 on stolen bases)

Maikis (pronounced Mikey by the St. Lucie announcer ‘Adam Mac’) never really got it going offensively in 2014, yet he played some of the best LF defense in the FSL nearly every game for the Mets, according to Adam. The FSL doesn’t get any coverage, so I have to take his word for it. Great defense is often considered one of the least important traits for a major league left fielder, but assuming he doesn’t have a noodle arm, he should be able to be a top defender in RF too. That said, he will have to provide more offensive value in 2015 to be considered more than organizational filler, especially in a loaded system like this.

On his last leg

    83)   Aderlin Rodriguez RH/1B (23)
2014 stats:
A+: 89 G, 360 PA, .242/.284/.366, .292 BABIP, 85 wRC+, 20 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 20.3 K%: 4.4 BB%

Ad-Rod makes this list for two reasons: he’s still young enough to tap into his considerable power, and to help make a point about how far this farm system has come. To the first point, his power is good enough that Fangraphs mentioned his ’70 raw power’ while evaluating Mets prospects outside of their top 30. To the second point, Aderlin made several top-10 Mets prospect lists prior to the 2011 season (here is Baseball America’s list), but that post-2010 Aderlin would not have made top-25 lists this year, as he would be behind Wuilmer Becerra, and Becerra hasn’t made every top-25 list. I’m not holding my breath on Aderlin, and I’m not even sure if/where he’s playing, but I also won’t be surprised if he finally starts showing off his impressive power in games. This will be his 7th season playing in the minors, so he should be eligible for minor league free agency afterwards.

Honorable mention

            These are guys that I saw in 2014 and who might find themselves in various categories after next season, but who I wasn’t ready to add to the list this season. John Mora is an outfielder who can play CF and hit a lot in 2014, but will be 22 for most of the upcoming season and has 99 PA above rookie ball; Jean Rodriguez is an athletic 2B/3B who has been around for a few seasons, had a nice 2014 campaign, but is 22 with no experience above rookie ball; Paul Paez is a 5’10 lefty reliever who spent his age-22 season mostly with Savannah, but who ended the season on a high note and will be looking to carry that into 2015; Rainy Lara will be 24 and coming off an injury-shortened ‘meh’ campaign starting for Bingo (only 15.2 K%), but there’s always the possibility that he salvages his career as a reliever, especially considering his good control (5.6 BB% in 2014); Xorge Carrillo will be a 26-year old catcher who has minor league highs of 64 games played and 235 PA’s (both from 2014), but he hit enough with Bingo to supply a 100 wRC+ (mostly after Kevin Plawecki’s promotion to AAA), and should be kept around as upper level catching depth, with the potential to be a future backup catcher – as a side note, Carrillo was awarded with postseason MVP honors with Binghamton in 2014.

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