New York Mets Top 10 Prospects That Will Help the Club By 2015
Mets Have An Interesting Farm System
The New York Mets are in a bit of an interesting situation when we talk about up and coming teams in MLB. The bulk of their talent lies in their vast array of starting pitching and bullpen prospects that give them hope for a brighter future. With that pitching, they are also formidable in the infield with several minor leaguers that will be ready to join the majors in the next two years.
The issue with the Mets lies in only having one true catching prospect and only average outfield talent that may not even translate into major league success. Although, ex-GM Omar Minaya had a field day spending money on high priced free agents that did not play to potential, he did allow the Mets flexibility in building the base of a farm system that is now proving to be much better than anyone could have hoped.
So where does this leave the Mets heading into spring training 2013? Let's just say that we know that Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia will make the opening day roster barring injury or complete breakdown. What we also know is that Colin McHugh and Jeremy Hefner have good shots at the long relief role or a fifth starter spot on the Mets due to their performance in 2012.
For the purpose of this list, I will not include any of these names as we have seen what they are capable of doing on the major league club, and I will present to you my list of the Top Ten Prospects that you will be sure to see help the Mets one way or the other by no later than 2015. If you want to get in on the discussion, please leave a comment below and always remember Mets fans: You Gotta Believe!
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#10 Juan Lagares OF
The one glaring need the New York Mets have throughout their farm system is productive outfielders. Juan Lagares signed with the Mets at the age of 16 and has been a slow progress ever since. But a solid year in 2013 may be just what the doctor ordered, as he might find some playing time at the September call ups.
While good at avoiding strikeouts, Lagares does not show much pop in the bat, but he does hit for contact. He has played well in the outfield since being converted from the infield, and if he continues his hitting in AAA, then by 2014, he just may be one of the next homegrown Mets to carry the torch.
#9 Matt Den Dekker OF
The Mets need to be careful with Matt Den Dekker as he is brought to the major league club in 2013, which will most likely be a probability. In need of outfielders with pop in their bats, Den Dekker will more than likely be the one that Terry Collins will turn towards if he continues his usual trend in AAA.
Each time Den Decker gets comfortable in a location, he tears the cover off the ball, then gets the nod to advance. Unfortunately, when the call happens, the numbers drop and the questions abound. It will take more consistency for Den Dekker to make it in the majors, but somehow, I feel with a little time, the wait will be worth it.
#8 Michael Fulmer RHP
Michael Fulmer was drafted in the first round, 44th overall, out of Oklahoma. He is a RHP with a powerful arm that has shown to be able to hit the mid-90's, with a nice slider and a developing changeup. It is reasonable to think that he will develop quickly in the Mets system and possibly find himself battling for a roster spot come 2015.
With Matt Harvey at the major league level, Zach Wheeler on the way, and a base of Jonathan Niese and Dillon Gee, Fulmer would eventually fit nicely into the rotation if he can keep progressing. He is not afraid to go after hitters and his mental toughness will be sure to impress at all levels.
#7 Reese Havens 2B
I never thought that anyone would ever say this, let alone myself, but Daniel Murphy is the lone reason why we will not see Reese Havens in a Mets uniform anytime soon. Havens is a converted shortstop that plays second base admirably, but has never stayed healthy enough to put together a complete season. Havens has good power in his bat, but hits for low average, and has struggled in Binghamton.
As long as Murphy hits, this prospect may just find himself playing elsewhere as an extra in a trade. The Mets are flush with quality infielders and it would not be surprising to see them give up on Havens. Think R.A. Dickey, Havens and another prospect to bring back a quality outfielder at the deadline.
#6 Caesar Puello OF
Another prospect that the Mets hope to get production from in the outfield is Caesar Puello. The problem lies in the fact that while Puello may have good fielding ability, base stealing prowess, and a solid arm, his bat is still a work in progress. The Mets project him as a right fielder, but he has played center as well.
Puello needs better pitch awareness, and has to improve his bat speed as he heads to the higher levels. Many believe he will be one of the call ups in 2013, but I believe that will be postponed until 2014, as he may need some more time catching up to the game.
#5 Gavin Cecchini SS
Gavin Cecchini was drafted 12th overall in the 2012 draft, so it is safe to say that he will not be joining the Mets anytime soon, if at all. I say that because he is said to have great instincts on the base paths, and decent power in the gap, but little power. With average range and settling into the shortstop position, he may be blocked from the big leagues because of another young stud by the name of Ruben Tejada.
As he progresses, it is more than likely that Cecchini will be made available in a trade down the road. Unless he is the heir apparent to second base, I do not think Tejada will be willing to let go of the reigns anytime soon.
#4 Aderlin Rodriguez 3B/1B
In the opening slide, I commented that the players listed will help the Mets by 2015, in one way or another. Well in the case of Aderlin Rodriguez, this is one of the other cases. I put him at number five on my prospect list, because he is a power hitting 3B/1B who is only 21 and has the most power of anyone in the Mets organization this side of Cory Vaughn. The problem is that the Mets just signed David Wright long term, and another slugger by the name of Ike Davis patrols first.
With that being said, Rodriguez will be sure to attract the attention of several teams as he plays another year or so at the higher levels. He will be an expendable chip that can bring back a quality catcher or bullpen help in 2014, because GMs will love his patience at the plate and his natural size that translates to a good target at first.
#3 Brandon Nimmo OF
The best, and maybe the only true outfield "star" of the Mets system, Brandon Nimmo was taken in the first round of the 2011 draft out of high school, and has already started a buzz in the organization. He is an above average outfielder that has power and the opportunity to excel quickly.
It's a shame that Nimmo is still two years or so away, because his personality would be electric in New York. In a time when things in Flushing are uncertain, there is one thing as a fan that you should count on: the Mets keeping Nimmo and making him a homegrown star in the mold of David Wright.
#2 Wilmer Flores 3B
Wilmer Flores is the Mets next best option after R.A. Dickey at acquiring talent through trade for the future. That is because he is a talented third baseman that needs a home in the major leagues. Unfortunately that home will not be in Queens, compliments of David Wright.
For a 20 year old, Flores has good hands at third, hits for power and rarely strikes out. His numbers between St. Louis and Binghamton in 2012 read: .300avg, 30doubles, 18HRs, 75RBI, .470SLG, .827OPS in 130 games. GM Sandy Alderson will be fielding a lot of calls this year if Flores continues that trend, unless of course, the Mets decide to convert him to second and solidify their infield for years to come. But knowing the Mets, they will not be that smart.
#1 Zack Wheeler RHP
And of course, no Mets prospect list would be complete without their stud RHP Zack Wheeler. He will follow the path that Matt Harvey paved, showing up for spring training in a complimentary fashion, then honing his skills in Triple-A until the All-Star break. At that time, Wheeler will join the Mets rotation, never to look back.
While acquiring Wheeler for Carlos Beltran from the San Francisco Giants, the Mets gained a pitcher with a fastball in the mid-90's and a curve ball that is nasty. Although he needs to fine tune his command, he has also been working on a changeup that should be ready by time he puts on the orange and blue pinstripes. Wheeler is the Mets version of "next", even after Harvey was thought to have claimed that title in 2012. With a rotation of Harvey, Wheeler, Niese and Gee, the Mets may start to make some noise again in the NL East come 2014.