The powers that be at ESPN, Keith Law to be specific, have rated the New York Mets farm system as the 14th best in baseball. Considering that Law himself rated two Mets prospects, pitcher Zack Wheeler and catcher Travis d’Arnaud, as two of the top-15 prospects in all of baseball, the Mets farm system should be ranked in the top-10 based on the strength of those two players alone, let alone the rest of the system that is steadily improving.
It’s difficult to break a bad reputation, and when former general manager Omar Minaya was fired, the Mets farm system was certainly deserving of its reputation as being abysmal. However, new general manager Sandy Alderson has done a masterful job in a short period of time to bolster the farm system, through the draft and through trades, and turn it into a strength of the organization that contains high-end prospects with the ability to be impact major league players.
Wheeler was raved about by scouts throughout the 2012 season as being one of the top pitching prospects in all of minor league baseball. Meanwhile, d’Arnaud is arguably the top catching prospect in all of baseball. Both players are close to being major league ready and both should be making their debut with the Mets at some point during the 2013 season. There are few farm systems anywhere in baseball that have two prospects with such high ceilings that are also so close to reaching the big leagues, and virtually guaranteed to contribute to the major league club in some capacity and in the near future. That’s not to mention the fact that starting pitcher and catcher are two positions where elite-level prospects are hard to find, and thus more valuable than prospects at other positions, making Wheeler and d’Arnaud that much more valuable.
The Mets farm system is also able to show considerable depth outside its two top prospects in the form of a slew of promising pitching prospects in high-A or higher, including: Noah Syndergaard, Domingo Tapia, Michael Fulmer, Jacob DeGrom, and Rafael Montero. They also possess promising young hitters like Wilmer Flores and Brandon Nimmo.
While the Mets may not have the best farm system in baseball, with the presence of Wheeler and d’Arnaud as elite and nearly major-league ready prospects, as well as the pitching depth that is slowly developing, the Mets deserve to call themselves a top-10 farm system. They are certainly better than what Law is giving them credit for.