New York Mets: Top 10 Prospects

New York Mets

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, 2007.

1.Mike Pelfrey, rhp
2.Fernando Martinez, of
3.Carlos Gomez, of
4.Philip Humber, rhp
5.Deolis Guerra, rhp
6.Kevin Mulvey, rhp
7.Jon Niese, lhp
8.Mike Carp, 1b
9.Joe Smith, rhp
10.Alay Soler, rhp
Best Hitter for AverageFernando Martinez
Best Power HitterFernando Martinez
Best Strike-Zone DisciplineCorey Coles
Fastest BaserunnerCarlos Gomez
Best AthleteCarlos Gomez
Best FastballMike Pelfrey
Best CurveballPhilip Humber
Best SliderJoe Smith
Best ChangeupDeolis Guerra
Best ControlWillie Collazo
Best Defensive CatcherDrew Butera
Best Defensive InfielderJose Coronado
Best Infield ArmCorey Ragsdale
Best Defensive OutfielderCarlos Gomez
Best Outfield ArmCarlos Gomez
CatcherFrancisco Pena
First BaseCarlos Delgado
Second BaseAnderson Hernandez
Third BaseDavid Wright
ShortstopJose Reyes
Left FieldLastings Milledge
Center FieldCarlos Beltran
Right FieldFernando Martinez
No. 1 StarterMike Pelfrey
No. 2 StarterPhilip Humber
No. 3 StarterJohn Maine
No. 4 StarterDeolis Guerra
No. 5 StarterKevin Mulvey
CloserBilly Wagner
YearPlayer, Position2006
1997Jay Payton, ofAthletics
1998Grant Roberts, rhpOut of baseball
1999Alex Escobar, ofNationals
2000Alex Escobar, ofNationals
2001Alex Escobar, ofNationals
2002Aaron Heilman, rhpMets
2003Jose Reyes, ssMets
2004Kazuo Matsui, ssRockies
2005Lastings Milledge, ofMets
2006Lastings Milledge, ofMets
YearPlayer, Position2006
1997Geoff Goetz, lhpNashua (Can-Am)
1998Jason Tyner, ofTwins
1999Neil Musser, lhp (2nd round)Royals
2000Billy Traber, lhpNationals
2001Aaron Heilman, rhpMets
2002Scott Kazmir, lhpDevil Rays
2003Lastings Milledge, ofMets
2004Philip Humber, rhpMets
2005Mike Pelfrey, rhpMets
2006Kevin Mulvey, rhp (2nd round)Mets
Mike Pelfrey, 2005$3,550,000
Philip Humber, 2004$3,000,000
Scott Kazmir, 2002$2,150,000
Lastings Milledge, 2003$2,075,000
Geoff Goetz, 1997$1,700,000
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New York Mets

No team cruised to the postseason more easily then the Mets in 2006, who did so with a team built through a variety of ways. There were free agents (Carlos Beltran, Billy Wagner), homegrown talent (Jose Reyes, David Wright) and trade acquisitions (Carlos Delgado, Paul Lo Duca, John Maine). A late-season injury to one of their biggest free-agent signings, Pedro Martinez, undermined New York in October. After winning 97 regular-season games and sweeping the Dodgers in the Division Series, the Mets fell to the Cardinals in a memorable seven-game Championship Series.

Though the season's finish was disappointing, New York should be in position to contend for several years. The Mets did their best to ensure that in August, when they locked up both Reyes and Wright beyond their arbitration years for a combined $88.25 million. Reyes is signed through 2010 with an option for 2011 and Wright through 2012 with a 2013 option. Combined with Carlos Beltran, who's signed through 2011 and has yet to turn 30, the Mets will continue to have one of the game's best position-player cores for years. All three finished in the top 10 in the National League MVP voting.

The Mets are one of the biggest spenders in baseball and should be able to fill in most of their major holes on the free-agent market. They plugged their hole in left field by signing Moises Alou. But their farm system has improved to the point where they have players at the upper levels ready to make an impact.

Mike Pelfrey and Philip Humber, their first-rounders from 2005 and 2004 appear poised to break into the big league rotation at some point in 2007 and could be its anchors for years to come. Lastings Milledge (who just missed qualifying for this list) and Carlos Gomez may factor into the outfield as well.

General manager Omar Minaya is always willing to trade prospects for big leaguers, too. He parted with three of his best prospects (righthanders Gaby Hernandez and Yusmeiro Petit, plus first baseman Mike Jacobs) last season to get Delgado and Lo Duca in separate deals with the Marlins. This winter, he dangled Milledge in front of the Athletics in an attempt to bolster New York's rotation.

In recent years, the Mets have done an outstanding job of signing high-ceiling talent. Their drafts haven't been especially deep, in part because they've forfeited eight premium picks in the last five years as free agent compensation, but since 2001 they've signed Aaron Heilman, Wright, Scott Kazmir, Milledge, Humber and Pelfrey as first-round or supplemental first-round picks.

A former Mets international scouting director, Minaya also has re-emphasized his club's efforts on the worldwide market since becoming GM in September 2004. New York invested a combined $2.1 million on Dominican outfielder Fernando Martinez and Venezuelan righthander Deolis Guerra in 2005, and both had outstanding debuts in full-season leagues at age 17. The Mets dipped into the international well again last summer to sign Dominican catcher Francisco Pena, the son of former all-star Tony Pena, for $750,000.

In just two years at the helm, Minaya has turned the Mets from a punchline into one of the teams best equipped for the next half-decade. He has big league talent, minor league talent and a budget as large as anyone in the NL. Like the Mets' offense in 2006, it's a lethal combination.