Minor League Opening Day Roster Analysis: New York Mets

1 Zack Wheeler 5/30/1990 rhp Las Vegas 51s (AAA)
2 Travis d’Arnaud 2/10/1989 c Las Vegas 51s (AAA)
3 Noah Syndergaard 8/29/1992 rhp St. Lucie Mets (HiA)
4 Gavin Cecchini 12/22/1993 ss Extended Spring Training
5 Brandon Nimmo 3/27/1993 of Savannah Sand Gnats (LoA)
6 Luis Mateo 3/22/1990 rhp St. Lucie Mets (HiA)
7 Rafael Montero 10/17/1990 rhp Binghamton (AA)
8 Wilmer Flores 8/6/1991 3b Las Vegas 51s (AAA)
9 *Michael Fulmer 3/15/93 rhp St. Lucie Mets (HiA)
10 Jeurys Familia 10/19/1989 rhp New York (MLB)
*Disabled list



HE’S WHERE?: The top two starters from the 2012 short-season Brooklyn club will skip a level and proceed directly to high Class A St. Lucie. Righthander Luis Mateo’s wicked fastball-slider combo enabled him to lead the New York-Penn League with 85 strikeouts a year ago, but he’s already 23, having missed three years while sorting through various injury and identity issues. Righty Hansel Robles signed at age 18 and spent four years in short-season ball, but his Brooklyn breakout included an ERA title (1.11) and streak of 45 straight innings sans an earned run, two signs that the 22-year-old is ready to be challenged. Mateo and Robles highlight a St. Lucie rotation that also includes power righties Noah Syndergaard, Jake deGrom and Domingo Tapia.

WHO’S MISSING: Shortstop Gavin Cecchini, last year’s first-rounder, begins the year in extended spring training, much like center fielder Brandon Nimmo (first round) and shortstop Phillip Evans (15th), a pair of 2011 draft picks who kicked off their careers with Brooklyn in 2012. Righthander Michael Fulmer had surgery to repair the meniscus in his right knee during spring training and will join the St. Lucie rotation later this spring.

GO SEE: Book your ticket to Sin City early in the season if you want to see righthander Zack Wheeler throw to catcher Travis d’Arnaud at Triple-A Las Vegas. The Mets’ top two prospects probably will not spend more than half a season in the Pacific Coast League.