New York Mets 2022 Top 10 MLB Prospects Chat

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Following today’s release of our new Mets Top 10, Matt Eddy answered questions below. 

Matt Eddy: Welcome to this year’s Mets prospect chat.

Nick (New York):

     Which pitcher (Allan, Ginn or Ziegler) do you believe has the most upside to becoming a dominant starter?

Matt Eddy: Matt Allan is the clear answer here. He might have outranked some of the position players had he pitched in 2021 and shown the type of stuff he showed at the alternate site in 2020. Allan’s upside is immense. He clearly fits into the top-three mix of an MLB rotation if his stuff comes all the way back. He has advanced fastball and curveball characteristics and is data savvy. It’s just a matter of proving it versus pro hitters and building endurance.

Fred (Illinois):

     Mark Vientos’s small sample size performance in AAA — just a hot streak, or did scouts see real late-season development/adjustment?

Matt Eddy: The Triple-A performance metric that most captured the Mets’ attention was Mark Vientos’ walk rate because it spiked in an 11-game look. While that sample is noisy, it’s also an indication of overall growth for a hitter who hits the ball hard in the air frequently. Vientos’ all-fields power blossomed in 2021, and while sometimes power-over-hit prospects take extra time to conquer Triple-A and the majors, the arrows are pointing up for the young third baseman.

Ken (Lakewood CA):

     Thanks for the chat. In your exercise for projected line up, Megill and David Peterson are both included in the starting rotation. Does this indicate both are quality major league SP? Or is it more a result of thin pitching depth with nobody better to list at this time?

Matt Eddy: It is reflective of a lack of pitching in the system with proximity value and also nods to the evolving nature of the starting pitcher role. Tylor Megill showed in flashes as a rookie that he could thrive over three to four innings, but expecting him to face a lineup a third time might be asking too much. Ultimately, it’s probably unlikely that either Megill or David Peterson would be viewed as a traditional starter in a postseason environment. That doesn’t mean they can’t succeed. They just need to be viewed more as “bulk” or “primary” pitchers.

Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware):

     An older former prospect question here. In 2017 he was the Orioles #1 Handbook prospect, that year he lead the SAL in batting, and he was a top 100 player – now a few years later does Chance Sisco have any future with the Mets?

Matt Eddy: I liked the speculative waiver claim on Chance Sisco based on his being a lefthanded hitter with some batting pedigree and experience at catcher. It just seems like he’s lost a lot of athleticism required to hit as he once did. That’s actually something we heard quite a bit in 2021 as players recovered from the lost 2020 season. It will be interesting to see how many young players add explosiveness and athleticism for 2022.

KB (New York):

     Mark Vientos does not seem to get the kind of hype that Miguel Vargas, Jordan Walker, Alec Bohm and even Rece Hinds receive as future 3rd base all star potential. How would you rate them in order of best tools?

Matt Eddy: Jordan Walker of the Cardinals is the clear No. 1 in the group for me. His batting and power upside is rare. I expect him to shoot up prospect rankings in 2022. Miguel Vargas has a strong hitting profile who make a ton of contact and has added power. He also is flexible enough to try second base, so that puts him ahead of Vientos for me. Hinds has a somewhat similar profile as Vientos. Large-bodied third baseman with gigantic raw power and swing-and-miss concerns. I like both quite a bit as prospects in the 76-100 overall range. You’re betting on 30 HR upside.

Ryan (Detroit):

     How close was Robert Dominguez P to making this list?

Matt Eddy: Venezuelan righthander Robert Dominguez ranks in the second tier of prospects in the system. He has ridiculous arm strength but needs to refine his slider, strike-throwing and conditioning. He is widely viewed as a potential future high-leverage reliever.

Thomas (Ancramdale, ny):

     Will Matthew Allan be ready for Spring training?

Matt Eddy: No, the Mets are not expecting Allan to be pitching competitively until the midpoint of 2022. He will be working out at spring training and throwing, but working at 100% is not the expectation.

Kyle Weatherly (Timmonsville, South Carolina):

     Strictly from a fantasy perspective I tend to shy away from Met’s hitting prospects because Citi Field limits power production (in my opinion anyway). Having said that do you think Baty can overcome Citi Field & produce solid power numbers like Alonso?

Matt Eddy: Citi Field played as an extreme pitcher’s park in 2021 for reasons that are not entirely clear to me. Fewer runs were scored at Citi than any other MLB park in 2021. The park has always favored pitchers, but seldom to this degree since the outfield dimensions were adjusted. For example, back in 2019 Citi Field saw the ninth-fewest runs in baseball. But for fantasy purposes, it is accurate to say that Mets hitters have a tougher offensive park than average.

mjk (wyckoff, nj): a gary sanchex with motivation a fair comp for Alvarez? thank you

Matt Eddy: The range of outcomes on Francisco Alvarez are wide because of his youth and position. He has a path to becoming a 70-grade player — maybe better — just because of the damage he inflicts in the batter’s box. Yet he doesn’t have the defensive chops of a young Yadier Molina or Salvador Perez. Who does? The median range outcome could be Wilson Ramos — bat-first, durable, hard-hitting catcher. I’m not saying that’s what Alvarez will become. It’s just one of the possible outcomes. I would expect he’ll be better than that, just based on the reports of his competitive drive.

Jonathan (Syracuse, NY):

     What are scouts saying about Jaylen Palmer after he cut his swinging strike rate to manageable levels in low-A but seemed overmatched after the promotion?

Matt Eddy: You nailed it. Scouts who saw Jaylen Palmer at Low-A loved him. Reviews at High-A were much more mixed. However, Palmer stands out in the system for his athleticism, speed and ability to play center field. Mets coaches love him because he is a team leader who takes instruction well. If Palmer finds a way to make more contact on pitches he can damage in 2022, he could jump up lists.

Rob (Saratoga):

     Who is your darkhorse to reach the majors in 2022?

Matt Eddy: I would expect that Baty and Vientos to be on the radar for MLB debuts in 2022. That is a function of production and 40-man roster status. Vientos goes on this November and Baty after 2022 (if he doesn’t debut before that). Jose Butto and Carlos Cortes are possibilities for smaller or fill-in MLB roles in 2022. Catcher Hayden Senger is another possibility to see reps as a backup, as needed. The nature of pitching staffs in the 2020s is such that any upper-levels pitcher who shows stuff could get an MLB bullpen look.

Evan (New York):

     Thoughts on Jaylen Palmer? How close was he to making the top 10 and what’s his ceiling? Would you also consider Szapucki done as a starting pitching prospect given the injury history?

Matt Eddy: Palmer came up earlier, but yes LHP Thomas Szapucki is trending toward lower-leverage relief based on diminished fastball velocity and control.

Zak (Boston):

     Thanks for the chat. Sorry for a hypothetical question, but where would you have ranked Kumar Rocker if he was signed?

Matt Eddy: Based on Kumar Rocker’s draft grades, he would have ranked either second, ahead of Brett Baty, and no lower than third, ahead of Ronny Mauricio.

Andrew (Working remote):

     In the future lineup Baty is listed as the starting LF, but was deemed best fielding INF this year. Is the move to LF because of the belief he will outgrow 3rd or to fit Vientos into the lineup.

Matt Eddy: Projecting Baty to left field is a function of overcrowding on the Mets’ infield corners, with Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith at first base, plus Mark Vientos and possibly Ronny Mauricio at third base. Baty and Mauricio are the best athletes in the bunch and would be the most likely candidates to shift to an outfield corner. The listing has nothing to do with Baty’s ability to play third base. It’s all about creating the best projected offensive lineup.

Jim (Florida):

     Jake Mangum. Does he have a shot at a big league career?

Matt Eddy: Yes, absolutely. Mangum is the best defensive outfielder in the system and perhaps the top pure center fielder. Swing changes he made in 2020 have paid off and are evident in his results late in the Double-A season. In his final 30 games Mangum hit .391/.446/.574 with 13 XBH, 8 BB and 21 SO. He won’t BABIP .450 like that for extended stretches, but the Mets are encouraged by his improved selectivity and swing decisions.

Harris (Bayside):

     Outside of Jose Diaz, any other interesting players in the DSL or GCL?

Matt Eddy: Yes! Setting aside 2021 draft picks, who we will get to via other questions in this chat, and who you can read about in the recent Mets draft report card, there were a few notable names. In addition to DSL righthander Joel Diaz, the top complex league prospect is probably 18-year-old Luis Rodriguez, a 6-foot-3 lefthander who struck out 11 of 24 batters in the FCL and got a brief look in Low-A. He’s up to 96 mph and flashes a plus slider. Javier Atencio is another lefty with arm strength. He was a bit older at age 19 in the DSL but is one to watch.

Ed Q (Queens, NY):

     Are either Khalil Lee or Jake Mangum a possible CF’s for the Mets in 2022 or are they corner outfielders or outfield depth?

Matt Eddy: Jake Mangum is perceived more as depth. Lee is best in right field and would probably be stretched as a full-time center fielder.

Norm (Connecticut):

     Any buzz on Mike Vasil’s impressive small sample? Specifically did the stuff tick up in pro ball? Thanks,

Matt Eddy: Yes, Mike Vasil’s name is one that keeps coming up, both inside the organization and out. While he was coming off an underwhelming junior year at Virginia, he looked good in short outings in the Florida Complex League, showing four pitches, including a fastball up to 97 mph, a power slider and the command to outline as a No. 5 starter. Not bad for an eighth-round pick.

Michael (Maryland):

     Are there any reports about how Dom Hamel has been looking with the Mets, specifically in terms of pitch design? (I’ve seen it mentioned that he could stand to add more sweep on the slider). Do the Mets see him as someone who can slide in at the top of a rotation someday? Thanks so much!

Matt Eddy: The Mets are excited about third-rounder Dominic Hamel based on his pitch metrics and what he showed after signing. He pitches at 92-94 mph with elite spin and vertical break. The Mets like his slider, and some project it to plus. The goal will be trying to squeeze a bit more velocity out of his fastball and sweep on his slider to see what his future role might be.

Matt Eddy: Thank you for the great questions today.

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