Astromets Top 83 Prospect Series: 63-74 | Astromets Mind

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Astromets Top 83 Prospect Series: 63-74

            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.

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

Far off catchers
            Every Mets fan knows about Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki, two of the top young catchers in baseball, but the Mets have very little minor league depth behind those two. While this isn’t a big problem for the parent club, it’s always nicer to have excessive minor league talent at each position. Though these guys are far from even the upper levels, they represent the next best prospects who don the tools of ignorance in the Mets system.

        63) Brandon Brosher RH/C (20)
2014 stats:
R: 7 G, 33 PA, .387/.424/.774, .500 BABIP, 234 wRC+, 4 HR, 33.3 K%: 6.1 BB%

Brosher’s season ending injury was a huge buzz kill for Mets prospect fans, as he couldn’t have been hotter over that first week with Kingsport, after very positive reports out of extended spring training. The only silver lining is that he’s still just 20, but damn if this doesn’t sound concerning. With his power upside from the catcher spot, Brosher is the Mets best stateside catching prospect below AAA.

       64) Tomas Nido RH/C (21)
2014 stats:
A-: 58 G, 203 PA, .277/.325/.335, .347 BABIP, 95 wRC+, 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 20.2 K%: 6.9 BB%

Nido had a power bat reputation with concerns about sticking behind the plate coming out of high school in the 2012 draft (8th round). While the power hasn’t shown itself yet, he has made strides as a catcher, as the Cyclones announcer mentioned how he was really impressing the Brooklyn coaching staff with his work behind the plate last summer. Also, 2014 was Nido’s second season with Brooklyn, and he improved his OPS by nearly .200, including a .795 OPS in the half of his PA’s away from MCU park. Though he might not be the only 2014 Cyclones catcher heading to Savannah this season, he’s certainly the most interesting, and I look forward to seeing what he can do in a full season circuit.

Nido doubles into the RF corner

    65)   Colton Plaia RH/C (24)
2014 stats:
A: 84 G, 308 PA, .261/.332/.360, .328 BABIP, 96 wRC+, 13 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 22.1 K%: 9.1 BB%

Plaia is certainly a little older for a prospect who just completed his first full-season circuit, but catchers don’t always have normal paths through the minors. Still, my expectations for the 2013 draftee are not that high. The main reason he’s on this list is because the Mets have very little other catching depth in the minors below Kevin Plawecki. This should benefit Plaia, as he’s likely to be handed St. Lucie’s starting gig this year. Albert Cordero is currently the only catcher listed on St. Lucie’s roster, and maybe his bat is ready to come out of hibernation, but there aren’t many other catching options that come to mind. Offensively, Plaia had an inconsistent season with Savannah, but he finished June and August with .800+ OPS’s, so there is some bat here.

This resulted in a long homerun to LF

Rookie Level with Potential
            These are mostly players from the last two draft classes who have yet to show what they can do above rookie ball, but who offer interesting potential. Most of these guys will be back in rookie ball this summer, so they’re nowhere near contributing. These guys were projects when they were drafted, and it’s unlikely most reach even the highest levels of the Mets farm system, but they each have something good going for them.

    66)   Blake Taylor LH/SP (19)
2014 stats:
R: 11 G (8 GS), 40.2 IP, 42 H (1 HR), 3.98 ERA, 15.5 K%: 15.5 BB% (2 stops)

The ‘prize’ of the Ike Davis trade, Taylor came to the Mets needing a lot of work, and they went right to work overhauling – for more information, check out this wonderful piece from Jeffrey Paternostro. Not much I can add to such a complete piece, but I will point out that his fastball velocity was reportedly higher before he got drafted, so there might be some projection left in his arm.

    67)   Luis Guillorme LH/SS (20)
2014 stats:
R: 57 G, 264 PA, .282/.337/.324, .319 BABIP, 96 wRC+, 10 2B, 10.6 K%: 6.4 BB%
(3 spot starts with Savannah late)

Guillorme is currently an all glove/no power shortstop whiz who may max out as the systems next Wilfredo Tovar. He’s faster than Tovar, arguably a better defender and has the advantage of batting lefty, but he’s less advanced in the system than Tovar was at the same age. Also, Amed Rosario will likely block him from starting the year with Savannah, so it’s likely he stays in extended spring training until the Cyclones season begins. Guillorme is very committed to improving his game, as he was ready to start putting in a full days workout as soon as his season was over last year, and it’s hard not to root for such a player. It looks like the work has been paying off too, as he was looking a little bigger in this picture from December. Most prospects will only stick around as long as their bats allow them, but Guillorme’s advanced glove at shortstop should keep him around through at least AA, his bat will just have to do the rest.

Guillorme makes this tough play look routine

His first hit with Savannah shows those quick hands at work

    68)   Raphael Ramirez LH/CF (19)
2014 stats:
R: 41 G, 140 PA, .256/.309/.352, .376 BABIP, 91 wRC+, 4 2B, 4 3B, 30.7 K%: 7.1 BB% (18/21 on stolen bases)

Ramirez got a late start and started ice cold, but quickly picked up the offensive pace, finishing the season as the hottest hitter on the GCL Mets, and nearly pushing them into the GCL postseason. He had some big L/R splits (.390 OPS vs. L, .751 vs. R), but it’s unlikely he’s faced lefty pitching anywhere near as talented in high school as he did in his pro debut. It wasn’t actually his hot bat that initially caught my eye down the stretch, but his hot legs, which he used to embarrass the GCL catchers over the final 16 games, going 15/18 on stolen bases over that span. He needs to cut down on those K’s, and it’s unclear how much power he’ll show, but he won’t need as much power if he can leverage his speed into top notch CF defense.

    69)   Andrew Church RH/SP (20)
2014 stats:
R: 11 GS, 52.2 IP, 73 H (1 HR), 4.61 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 12.6 K%: 5.7 BB%

The Mets gambled on this raw righty with the 48th pick of the 2013 draft, and the results so far suggest the project is not nearly finished. I think it’s a bit unfair to judge such a raw player on the results just yet, but will be looking for improvement during the 2015 season in order to keep him on my prospect radar. When he starts pitching in a short season league this summer (hopefully for Brooklyn), he’ll have completed two fall instructs and two extended spring trainings, and have had his 11 2014 starts to test himself in between. He had trouble going deep into games in 2014, so it’s possible that a move to the pen will be needed, but I expect he still has a number of opportunities before that happens.

    70)   Eudor Garcia RH/3B (20)
2014 stats:
R: 55 G, 226 PA, .262/.327/.347, .298 BABIP, 98 wRC+, 9 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 14.2 K%: 7.1 BB%

Quickly given the nickname Hodor by excited Mets fans, Garcia (Garcia-Pacheco?) has the potential to provide some serious power from the hot corner. He didn’t show much of his power in his pro debut, but that’s not uncommon, especially for someone so young. There were concerns about his physical shape coming out of the draft, but I would hope being paid significant money to play baseball would force someone to get into the best shape of their lives. I have a feeling it won’t be long before Hodor is a fan favorite with Brooklyn this season.

    71)   Dash Winningham LH/1B (19)
2014 stats:
R: 52 G, 199 PA, .231/.322/.391, .262 BABIP, 107 wRC+, 10 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 19.6 K%: 8.5 BB%

He may have an awesome name, but it’s only half as awesome as his brother’s: Moose Winningham. This big lefty had a pretty impressive pro debut, especially when you consider that low BABIP – 5 homeruns from an 8th round pick out of high school is not common. Also, there were concerns about his contact rate coming out of the draft, and he managed to keep the strikeouts within reason in his debut. He’s not fast and limited to 1B, so he’ll only go as far as his power bat takes him. Just like Eudor, I hope Dash takes his physical health/shape more seriously now that he’s a professional baseball player. (I don’t mean to suggest either didn’t take their health/shape seriously before, but there is a different standard expected of modern professional athletes that I hope they rise to)

    72)                  Erik Manoah RH/SP (19)
2014 stats:
R: 8 G (3 GS), 24 IP, 20 H (0 HR), 2.63 ERA, 3.76 FIP, 18.4 K%: 10.2 BB%

Manoah was known for a strong fastball and big curveball before the draft, but there were some concerns about a dip in velocity in the spring of his senior year. He completed his pro season without a major injury, though I have no reports about his velocity from his time in the GCL. The video I’ve seen of him (courtesy of Fangraphs) is impressive though, and he was relatively advanced for his age entering the draft, so the Mets may have found themselves a hidden gem in the 13th round – word is that he would’ve gone higher if not for the drop in velocity.

    73)                  Gabriel Llanes RH/RP (19)
2014 stats:
R: 8 G, 13 IP, 15 H (1 HR), 4.85 ERA, 5.35 FIP, 12.5 K%: 9.4 BB%

LLanes is raw but interesting thanks to an impressive fastball in the low 90’s with tons of movement. He was a project when the Mets drafted him, so don’t be deterred by less than stellar results in his pro debut. Gabe will have had fall instructs and extended spring training to work with the Mets on his control and secondary stuff, but even still, he has plenty of time to improve yet. He was a piggyback starter in the GCL, and should find himself in the same role with Kingsport next year. Between Manoah and Llanes, the Mets managed to snag a couple of young, high upside/low floor arms in the teen-rounds of the 2014 draft.

    74)                  Ivan Wilson RH/OF (19)
2014 stats:
R: 58 G, 211 PA, .176/.254/.388, .278 BABIP, 83 wRC+, 5 2B, 1 3B, 11 HR, 46.9 K%: 8.1 BB%

Wilson’s power is practically unmatched in the system, as is that strikeout rate. The good news is that he’s still very young, as he’d only be a sophomore had he gone to college, so he has plenty of time to improve, but I can’t imagine many players have gone on to success after such a high K-rate. He’s fast, powerful and can handle CF, so he’ll get plenty of opportunities to succeed, and it would be great for the game (and the Mets especially) if he does.
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