New York Mets’ Top 5 Pitching Prospects
New York Mets Top 5 Pitching Prospects
Now that Zack Wheeler has made five MLB starts, joining Matt Harvey and others in the New York Mets’ starting rotation, the team's future that will be built around pitching is starting to take shape. Harvey and Wheeler are expected to team up with lefty Jon Niese to form a fantastic trio atop the Mets rotation for years to come.
Wheeler may seem like the final piece of the puzzle, but the Mets are nowhere close to down as far as young pitching is concerned. Wheeler was the Mets' top prospect coming into the season, but there is a large contingent of talented pitchers that the team still has in its farm system. They are slowly working their way towards the big leagues, all hoping to claim the spot vacated by Wheeler as the top pitching prospect in New York.
Thus, we have come up with a list of the top five pitching prospects in the Mets' farm system, and it's impressive to say the least. Pitchers like Cory Mazzoni and Jack Leathersich, who could both be pushing for spots in the Mets’ bullpen by the end of the season, were no where close to cracking the top five. The last one left off was Michael Fulmer, a first-round pick from 2011, who has been sidelined by injury for much of the season. Those three being absent from the top-five speaks to the pitching depth the Mets have amassed in the minors.
So if you think the Mets are done adding top-notch pitching talent now that Wheeler is in the big leagues, think again. Here are five guys that could soon be front and center at Citi Field:
5. Steven Matz
It’s taken Matz a while to get on the field after dealing with injuries during the early part of his career, but he’s finally starting to look like the pitcher the Mets were expecting when they drafted him in 2009. He throws a fastball in the mid to upper 90’s, a curveball that should end up being a plus pitch, and a changeup that’s still in development. The injuries are a huge concern for Matz, but he may actually benefit from having Tommy John surgery early in his career. He’s having a fantastic season in 2013, and has a bright future ahead of him if he can stay healthy.
4. Domingo Tapia
Tapia can throw as hard as any pitcher the Mets have, and some scouts think that he could pitch out of a MLB bullpen right now because of how devastating his sinker can be. He does struggle with his control at times, and his numbers this season aren’t great because he’s working to develop his slider and changeup rather than mowing down opposing hitters with his fastball. If he can develop his secondary stuff into average or better pitches, Tapia has the ceiling of a front-of-the-rotation starter, but knowing that he can be a late-inning reliever on the merits of his heavy fastball alone make him one of the top pitchers the Mets have in the minors.
3. Jacob deGrom
After missing the 2011 season because of Tommy John surgery, deGrom burst onto the scene in 2012 and has quickly moved through the minors to Triple-A in 2013. He features a heavy fastball that makes him a groundball machine, which by itself gives him a chance to pitch in a MLB bullpen. If deGrom can develop a couple of average secondary pitches, he’ll have a chance to start in the big leagues. His first few starts in Triple-A have gone well and if that continues, making his big league debut in 2013 shouldn’t be ruled out. If not, deGrom will definitely be in the mix in 2014.
2. Rafael Montero
Montero may not have as high of a ceiling as some of the other pitchers on this list, but he’s got mid-rotation potential and he’s awfully close to reaching the big leagues. He’s stuff is average, but he’s got pinpoint control, which has helped him move rapidly through the minor leagues, reaching Triple-A just last month. If the Mets need a starter down the stretch, he may be a candidate to get called up; otherwise, he’ll go to spring training next year with a legitimate chance to win a spot in the Mets’ starting rotation in 2014.
1. Noah Syndergaard
After being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey trade, Syndergaard is the next power pitcher that will follow the trail to New York blazed by Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. He can light up the radar gun just as much as Harvey and Wheeler, while his secondary stuff is starting to improve. Syndergaard is already in Double-A and if things break well for him, he could be on the verge of making his MLB debut at this time next year. There’s no doubt that he’s the top pitching prospect the Mets have, and he could ranked among the top-10 prospects in all of baseball this offseason.