2017 New York Mets Midseason Top 10 Prospects
It was just two years ago the Mets were National League champions, owners of the best young rotation in baseball and a seemingly bright future.
|Mets Midseason Top 10|
|1. Amed Rosario, SS|
|2. Dominic Smith, 1B|
|3. David Peterson, LHP|
|4. Justin Dunn, RHP|
|5. Andres Gimenez, SS|
|6. Tomas Nido, C|
|7. Thomas Szapucki, LHP|
|8. Brandon Nimmo, OF|
|9. Merandy Gonzalez, RHP|
|10. Chris Flexen, RHP|
That rotation? It’s spent more time on the disabled list this year than on the mound. Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Robert Gsellman and Jeurys Familia have all spent significant time on the DL this year, which quickly trashed any hope the Mets had of keeping up with the Nationals.
The Mets are looking up at the Marlins and Braves, on pace to finish with their worst record in a decade.
Coming on the heels of 2016 season that was hindered by pitching injuries (DL trips by Harvey, Matz and Jacob deGrom), the Mets have to wonder just how many of their hard-throwing-but-fragile pitchers can be counted on for 2018.
But as the team switches into sell mode, it has to worry more about the lineup than pitching. Outfielders Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson and first baseman Lucas Duda are all free agents at the end of the season, so they are all available. Harvey would also be a tradeable asset if he was healthy, but he’s not.
But beyond that, there aren’t that many big league-ready options in the upper minors for the Mets, and it doesn't figure to get better unless their pitching proves it can stay healthy for the long haul.
1. Amed Rosario, SS Triple-A Las Vegas Age: 21
Rosario’s extended tenure in Triple-A is helping him continue to refine his well-rounded game, but it’s also an acknowledgment that a promotion isn’t going to magically fix all the Mets’ problems. Rosario could stand to get a little more selective at the plate, but he has the tools to be a factor at shortstop defensively and offensively. Many evaluators covering the western half of the U.S. cite Rosario as the best prospect they have seen this season, and it shouldn't be long before he makes his debut with New York.
2. Dominic Smith, 1B Triple-A Las Vegas Age: 22
Smith will likely remain a divisive player for scouts until the day his big league career wraps up. Some see a slow-twitch, hit-over-power first baseman lacking any impact potential. Others see a smooth-fielding wizard at first who has enough power to be an above-average offensive contributor. Mets fans should see which one Smith ends up being before long.
3. David Peterson, LHP Short-season Brooklyn Age: 21
Peterson was exceptional at Oregon this spring by going 11-4, 2.51 with 140 strikeouts and 15 walks in 100.1 innings, including a 20-strikeout game. The Mets drafted him No. 20 overall and signed him for just under $3 million. Peterson sits in the low 90s and touches 94 mph with command and mixes in a potential plus slider and above-average changeup, projecting as a mid-rotation lefty.
4. Justin Dunn, RHP High Class A St. Lucie Age: 21
Dunn’s stuff has been fine at its best in his first full pro season, but he’s been less consistent than scouts expected. His secondary stuff is his biggest issue. On his best days, he shows multiple above-average pitches, but on the nights where he can’t locate a breaking ball, hitters have teed off.
5. Andres Gimenez, SS Low Class A Columbia Age: 18
What Gimenez has done in Columbia (.276/.329/.346) seems modest, but considering his age, it’s actually quite impressive. Gimenez will get a lot stronger as he matures, giving him a chance to be an above-average shortstop both offensively and defensively.
6. Tomas Nido, C Double-A Binghamton Age: 23
Nido is a well-rounded catcher who has a chance to hit for average and be a solid defender. He may never be a star, but catchers with that profile usually have long big league careers.
7. Thomas Szapucki, LHP Disabled list Age: 20
Injuries have wrecked what was supposed to be a breakthrough year for Szapucki. He began the year on the disabled list with a shoulder impingement, pitched 29 sharp innings at low Class A Columbia, and then had Tommy John surgery last week. Szapucki's stuff is undeniable with a 92-93 mph fastball that touches 95, feel for a changeup and a pair of very promising breaking balls, but his injury track record is increasingly worrisome.
8. Brandon Nimmo, OF New York Age: 24
There’s nothing sexy about Nimmo. He’s an outfielder who rests on that thin line between big league regular and useful backup. He’s a lefty hitter who gets on-base and he can play all three outfield positions, but his lack of power means that when he is a regular, you’re likely looking around for someone better.
9. Merandy Gonzalez, RHP High Class A St. Lucie Age: 21
Gonzalez’s stuff impressed evaluators all last summer when he dominated the New York-Penn League. This year Gonzalez’s stuff has remained the same, but his command has taken a step forward, which has cleared the way for an early promotion to St. Lucie.
10. Chris Flexen, RHP Double-A Binghamton Age: 22
The Mets have a long track record of developing late-round high school picks into solid pitchers. Flexen, a 2012 14th-rounder, is next in line. His velocity has improved to 93-96 mph, his curveball that has sharpened into a potentially above-average pitch and his control has been excellent.
• RHP Jordan Humphreys is on the same development path as Flexen. The 2015 18th-round pick carved up low Class A hitters with a fastball with excellent riding life and an improved changeup.
• RHP Marcos Molina not cracking the top 10 has nothing to do with his performance but everything to do with the improved depth of the Mets system. He’s back from Tommy John surgery and again showing a plus fastball and power slider.
• 1B Peter Alonso has struggled to hit for power, which is his calling card.
• LHP Anthony Kay has missed the entire season recovering from Tommy John surgery in October 2016.
• Alonso missed time with a hand injury after he was hit by a pitch.
• Szapucki will be out 12-15 months after Tommy John surgery, likely knocking out his 2018 season too.
• Molina got off to a late start because of a lat strain.
• RHP Robert Gsellman pitched poorly in the big league rotation before heading to the disabled list with a hamstring strain.
• INF T.J. Rivera has proven to be a useful utilityman, hitting .294/.336/.438 while playing first, second, third and left field.
Baseball America Prospect Report -- Aug. 10, 2020
The weekend roundup includes Jesus Luzardo and Justus Sheffield earning their first win, Andres Gimenez tallying a three-hit game and more.