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Top 5 Fantasy Baseball Prospects on New York Mets in 2013

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New York Mets Top Five Prospects

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Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets will endure another season of mediocrity in 2013 but general manager, Sandy Alderson has been working hard toward a bright future. Alderson has been realistic with his expectations about the team and payroll that he was dealt. He maximized the return on Carlos Beltran and R.A. Dickey, an area in which the Mets have always struggled. Dealing the organizations top fantasy baseball' assets will also set them back in that respect. However, the players that they received will shine for many years to come.

In return, Alderson brought in three top 100 prospects, two of which will be contributing at the major league level in 2013. Money will be coming off of the books after this season, allowing the Mets to be aggressive in the following off-season. The core of young players that Alderson has accumulated combined with David Wright, Ike Davis, Jon Niese and others will raise the spirit of Queens again, Mets fans just have to be patient.

2013 will be a difficult year to tolerate with the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals all setting their sights on a championship. The Mets were forced to watch idly while others geared up in the free agent market. The day will come when the Mets will once again be named among the elite teams in the National League and it will be due to the vision and the plan of Alderson.

The following slideshow ranks the top five prospects in the Mets organization.

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#1: SP Zack Wheeler

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Zack Wheeler was the key to the Carlos Beltran trade at the 2011 deadline. Sandy Alderson did very well to ship an aging player who was on the verge of free agency and essentially transformed him into a potential ace. After watching Wheeler pitch this week, his agent tweeted that the New York Mets will be great if they have five pitchers better than his client. That’s a bit facetious in that Wheeler could probably be a front end starter for New York right now but the Mets are handling their young prospect with care. Wheeler will enter the 2013 season as a top 15 prospect who features an electric fastball and sharp breaking balls.

His fastball sits comfortably in the mid-90’s and tops off around 97 MPH. His slider and curveball are both major-league ready and will be act as tremendous compliments to his fastball. When he is using all of his pitches accurately and effectively, Wheeler can be untouchable. The Mets will work to iron out his control during spring training and the first months of the season before calling him up around the all-star break.

Wheeler could be a rookie of the year candidate if he spends enough time in the majors this season but chances are he won’t. Expect Wheeler to log about 100 major league innings this season and post a sub-3.50 ERA with plenty of strikeouts.

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#2: C Travis D'Arnaud

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Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Travis D’Arnaud was the centerpiece to the R.A. Dickey trade this season. The Toronto Blue Jays were reluctant to part with their promising catching prospect but they are on a crash course for the World Series. D’Arnaud excels both offensively and defensively. He is still developing as a power hitter and has picked up his batting average over the past two seasons. He has solid fundamentals behind the plate and is a threat to throw out base stealers.

D’Arnaud may not break camp with the team but he should be with the major league club within a month or so. He will be 24-years-old by opening day so he’s had plenty of professional baseball experience but modest numbers should still be expected during his transition to the major leagues. Expect D’Arnaud to appear in about 115 games while splitting time with John Buck, hitting roughly .295 with 15 home runs and 70 RBIs.

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#3: SP Noah Syndergaard

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Noah Syndergaard was the other major piece that the New York Mets received in return for R.A. Dickey this winter. Syndergaard is tremendous in terms of size and potential. This prized pitching prospect stands at 6’5” and dominated Single-A with a 2.50 ERA at the age of 19. He posted a 122:31 strikeout to walk ratio over 103.2 innings in 2013.

Syndergaard features a heavy, sinking fastball that has potential to be a devastating pitch at the major league level. His curveball and changeup also boast wicked movement and will be plus pitches as he works his way through the farm system. Syndergaard was a prize return in addition to Travis D’Arnaud but unless he flies through the system, he’s unlikely to see a major league mound for about three years. He has the potential to be a front-end starter depending on how he continues to progress.

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#4: INF Wilmer Flores

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Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Wilmer Flores signed with the Mets in 2007 at the age of 16. His status as a prospect has fluctuated over his five seasons with the club, ranking as high as #47 according to Baseball America. Flores put together his best year in 2012, hitting .300 with 18 home runs and 75 RBIs in a season split between St. Lucie and Binghamton. Flores projects well as a balanced hitter with potential for his power numbers to grow. Flores isn't known for his glove but he won’t be a liability in the field. He made the move from shortstop to third base but the Mets are once again shifting him, this time to second base. If Flores can continue to progress then he may be the future second baseman for the Mets within the next two years, allowing them to use Daniel Murphy in a more idealistic utility role.

2013 will be an important year in determining the direction of Flores’ career. The best case scenario would be hitting well enough in Binghamton to get promoted to Las Vegas by the all-star break, which would set him up nicely to join the big-league club in September.

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#5: OF Brandon Nimmo

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Don McPeak-USA Today Sports

Brandon Nimmo was the New York Mets first round pick and the 13th overall selection in the 2011 amateur draft. Nimmo was drafted out of high school in Wyoming and is still just 19 years of age. Shockingly enough, there is no high school baseball in Wyoming but the Mets were impressed with Nimmo enough at showcases to make him their top pick. He was named MVP of the Under Armour All-American game and was committed to the University of Arkansas before the draft.

Nimmo is a speedy left-handed hitting outfielder with a developing bat. His speed is an asset to him as an outfielder but he stole just one base in six attempts last season. His power is a work in progress but Nimmo projects more as a doubles hitter even in his prime. Mets fans should expect to see Nimmo in about three years.