2006 New York Mets Top 10 Prospects

Complete Index of Top 10s

 


Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player’s long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven’t exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible. Ages are as of April 1, 2006.

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TOP TEN PROSPECTS
1. Lastings Milledge, of
2. Yusmeiro Petit, rhp
3. Gaby Hernandez, rhp
4. Mike Jacobs, c/1b
5. Philip Humber, rhp
6. Carlos Gomez, of
7. Fernando Martinez, of
8. Anderson Hernandez, ss/2b
9. Brian Bannister, rhp
10. Alay Soler, rhp
BEST TOOLS
Best Hitter for Average Lastings Milledge
Best Power Hitter Brett Harper
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Grant Psomas
Fastest Baserunner Carlos Gomez
Best Athlete Lastings Milledge
Best Fastball Matt Lindstrom
Best Curveball Philip Humber
Best Slider Alay Soler
Best Changeup Evan MacLane
Best Control Yusmeiro Petit
Best Defensive Catcher Drew Butera
Best Defensive Infielder Anderson Hernandez
Best Infield Arm Corey Ragsdale
Best Defensive Outfielder Lastings Milledge
Best Outfield Arm Carlos Gomez
TOP PROSPECTS
OF THE DECADE
Team Player, Pos. 2005 Org
1996 Paul Wilson, rhp Reds
1997 Jay Payton, of Athletics
1998 Grant Roberts, rhp Yankees
1999 Alex Escobar, of Nationals
2000 Alex Escobar, of Nationals
2001 Alex Escobar, of Nationals
2002 Aaron Heilman, rhp Mets
2003 Jose Reyes, ss Mets
2004 Kazuo Matsui, ss Mets
2005 Lastings Milledge, of Mets
TOP DRAFT PICKS
OF THE DECADE
Team Player, Pos. 2005 Org
1996 Robert Stratton, of Reds
1997 Geoff Goetz, lhp Nashua (Atlantic)
1998 Jason Tyner Twins
1999 Neil Musser, lhp Mets
2000 Billy Traber, lhp Indians
2001 Aaron Heilman, rhp Mets
2002 Scott Kazmir, lhp Devil Rays
2003 Lastings Milledge, of Mets
2004 Philip Humber, rhp Mets
2005 Mike Pelfrey, rhp Still negotiating
LARGEST BONUSES
IN CLUB HISTORY
Philip Humber, 2004 $3,000,000
Scott Kazmir, 2002 $2,150,000
Lastings Milledge, 2003 $2,075,000
Geoff Goetz, 1997 $1,700,000
Paul Wilson, 1994 $1,550,000

Unlike the year before, the Mets resisted the urge to part with their top prospects at the 2005 trade deadline in an effort to bolster their playoff chances. Ironically, the team was more suited for a postseason run and stayed in the National League wild-card race until late September.

Omar Minaya made a splash in his first offseason as Mets general manager by signing Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran to lavish contracts. While Martinez proved to be the frontline starter the Mets hoped, Beltran was a disappointment. Nonetheless, New York hovered around .500 in late July and rumors circulated that they were close to acquiring Manny Ramirez and Danys Baez in a variety of three-team scenarios with the Red Sox and Devil Rays that would have cost them top prospects Lastings Milledge and Yusmeiro Petit, along with Mike Cameron.

While they failed to make the postseason, their hesitance to part with their top prospects for short-term gain indicated a potential change in organizational philosophy and a willingness to build through their farm system.

While the Mets system has lacked depth for years, it has produced impact talents such as Scott Kazmir (sent to Tampa Bay in a horribly shortsighted deal for Victor Zambrano in 2004), Jose Reyes and David Wright. Their emergence influenced Minaya’s decision to ultimately not part with Milledge and Petit, who soon should get a chance to make their mark in New York.

The Mets bolstered their system in 2005 by delving into the Latin American market, which was as strong as it had been in years. They invested a total of $2.1 million in a pair of 16-year-olds, power-hitting Dominican outfielder Fernando Martinez and projectable Venezuelan righthander Deolis Guerra.

Minaya was once the Mets’ international scouting director, and seems intent on making his club the dominant force in signing Latin American talent. New York saw the Martinez and Guerra signings as a way to make up for the loss of their second- and third-round picks in the 2005 draft as free-agent compensation.

Minaya also has made an imprint on the scouting department, restructuring it twice since becoming GM. After the 2005 season, 11 scouts were fired or demoted. Russ Bove, who had replaced Jack Bowen as director of amateur scouting a year ago, was reassigned as a major league scout. Assistant scouting director Rudy Terrasas was promoted to replace Bove.
Mets officials were miffed they were unable to reach down into its system to promote major league players when injuries hit.

It’s hard to put all the blame on the scouting department for that lack of depth, however. In three of the last four drafts, the Mets have given up their second- and third-round picks after signing free agents.

Mike Pelfrey, considered the best pitching prospect in the 2005 draft, slipped to New York as the ninth overall pick because of a high price tag. He had yet to sign by the end of October, but the Mets were expected to work out a deal this winter.


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