New York Mets Top 10 Prospects

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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, 2011.

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Matt Eddy
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1. Jenrry Mejia, rhp
2. Wilmer Flores, ss
3. Cesar Puello, of
4. Matt Harvey, rhp
5. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, of
6. Reese Havens, 2b
7. Lucas Duda, of/1b
8. Fernando Martinez, of
9. Aderlin Rodriguez, 3b
10. Brad Holt, rhp
Best Hitter for Average Wilmer Flores
Best Power Hitter Aderlin Rodriguez
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Brad Emaus
Fastest Baserunner ZeErika McQueen
Best Athlete Cesar Puello
Best Fastball Jenrry Mejia
Best Curveball Matt Harvey
Best Slider Jeurys Familia
Best Changeup Dillon Gee
Best Control Dillon Gee
Best Defensive Catcher Kai Gronauer
Best Defensive Infielder Wilfredo Tovar
Best Infield Arm Wilmer Flores
Best Defensive Outfielder Matt den Dekker
Best Outfield Arm Cesar Puello
Catcher Josh Thole
First Base Ike Davis
Second Base Reese Havens
Third Base David Wright
Shortstop Jose Reyes
Left Field Wilmer Flores
Center Field Angel Pagan
Right Field Cesar Puello
No. 1 Starter Johan Santana
No. 2 Starter Jenrry Mejia
No. 3 Starter Matt Harvey
No. 4 Starter Mike Pelfrey
No. 5 Starter Jon Niese
Closer Bobby Parnell
Year Player, Position 2010
2001 Alex Escobar, of Out of baseball
2002 Aaron Heilman, rhp Diamondbacks
2003 Jose Reyes, ss Mets
2004 Kazuo Matsui, ss Rockies
2005 Lastings Milledge, of Pirates
2006 Lastings Milledge, of Pirates
2007 Mike Pelfrey, rhp Mets
2008 Fernando Martinez, of Mets
2009 Fernando Martinez, of Mets
2010 Jenrry Mejia, rhp Mets
Year Player, Position 2010
2001 Aaron Heilman, rhp Diamondbacks
2002 Scott Kazmir, lhp Angels
2003 Lastings Milledge, of Pirates
2004 Philip Humber, rhp Royals
2005 Mike Pelfrey, rhp Mets
2006 Kevin Mulvey, rhp
(2nd round)
2007 Eddie Kunz, rhp
(1st round supp.)
2008 Ike Davis, 1b Mets
2009 Steve Matz, lhp
(2nd round)
2010 Matt Harvey, rhp Mets
Mike Pelfrey, 2005 $3,550,000
Philip Humber, 2004 $3,000,000
Matt Harvey, 2010 $2,525,000
Scott Kazmir, 2002 $2,150,000
Lastings Milledge, 2003 $2,075,000
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New York Mets

Omar Minaya seemingly could do no wrong in the early part of his tenure as Mets general manager. He lured premium free agents Carlos Beltran, Pedro Martinez and Billy Wagner to Queens with rich contract offers. He parted with very little in trades for veterans Luis Castillo, Carlos Delgado and Paul LoDuca. He re-signed franchise cornerstones Jose Reyes and David Wright to club-friendly extensions that bought out arbitration years.

But the Mets seemed to unravel thread by thread after the 2006 edition advanced to within one game of the World Series. The 2007 and 2008 teams endured brutal September collapses, both times losing at home on the season's final day to fall one game short of tying for the wild card. With a payroll of $142.2 million, second only to the crosstown Yankees, the 2009 club lost 92 times. Complete meltdown might have been averted if the farm system had been able to cover for a host of injuries at the big league level.

Some players from the farm began to matriculate to Citi Field in 2010, when a mediocre 79-win Mets team received contributions from four of its top prospects: first baseman Ike Davis, lefthander Jon Niese, middle infielder Ruben Tejada and catcher Josh Thole. Additionally, Lucas Duda and Dillon Gee debuted in September and showed enough to be considered for larger roles in 2011.

But the prospect breakthroughs proved to be too little, too late for Minaya, whose six-year reign as GM ended in October. New York went 506-466 on his watch but suffocated under the weight of diminished returns from expensive veterans and subpar farm system performance. During the Minaya years, the Mets consistently finished in the lower third of teams in our annual talent rankings, with an average showing of 21st out of 30.

In late October, New York hired Sandy Alderson to replace Minaya. Alderson most recently had worked in the commissioner's office, where he investigated fraud and corruption in the Dominican Republic. He's most notable as the architect of Athletics teams that won four division titles, three pennants and one World Series from 1988-92. He served as Oakland GM for 14 years from 1983-1997 and also worked as CEO of the Padres from 2005-09.

Alderson immediately hired two associates from his A's days: J.P. Ricciardi as special assistant and Paul DePodesta as vice president of player development and amateur scouting. Both have recent GM experience. In November, the Mets hired Terry Collins to replace Jerry Manuel as manager, partially because Collins served as field coordinator in 2010 and already knows the minor league personnel.

Alderson also reassigned scouting director Rudy Terrasas, who hadn't done much in five drafts to distinguish himself—though that may be a function of ownership's wish to heed MLB's slot recommendations. In his five drafts, New York spent a total of $20.6 million on bonuses, the second-lowest total in baseball. The Mets also lacked first-round picks in three of those five years. New York hired Chad MacDonald, former international scouting director for the Diamondbacks, to replace Terrasas.

The Mets continued to be more aggressive internationally than in the draft in 2010, handing six-figure bonuses to Venezuelan outfielder Vicente Lupo and Dominican third baseman Elvis Sanchez, both of whom drew positive reviews for their raw power. They join a growing contingency of Latin American prospects in the system, headlined by righthander Jennry Mejia, shortstop Wilmer Flores and outfielder Cesar Puello—the Mets' three best prospects.

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