New York Mets’ Top 5 Second Base Prospects
New York Mets' Top 5 Second Base Prospects
For the past two-plus seasons, the New York Mets have relied mostly on Daniel Murphy to be their second baseman. However, the Mets don’t necessarily have him locked in as their long-term second baseman of the future, especially since he may be their best trade chip this offseason. The Mets could be looking to trade Murphy knowing that Eric Young could move to second base. However, the Mets would feel better about trading Murphy if they knew that they had a young prospect that would be ready to take over the position in the near future.
We’ve seen that the Mets have a strong and deep contingent of shortstop prospects, but the same isn’t necessarily true about the other middle infield position. Of course, the Mets’ pool of prospects at second base would have looked far worse a year ago than it does now after several years of ignoring that position in the early rounds of the draft. However, the Mets took a second baseman in the early rounds of this year’s draft and then traded for a high-level second base prospect later in the season to give a big boost to their minor league depth at that position.
But, second base still isn’t a position of strength for the Mets’ farm system. Most of their players at that position are nothing more than fillers, although many of their shortstops could slide over to second base, which helps a little. With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the Mets’ top five second base prospects.
5. Jorge Rivero
Rivero is a little old (24) to be considered much of a prospect since he isn’t out of A-ball yet, but he’s had three good seasons in the minors and has hit the ball well for average despite not having a lot of power. A native of Cuba, Rivero probably isn’t on the Mets’ radar. But if he can keep hitting, he’ll get to the upper levels and might have a chance to be a backup middle infielder in the big leagues.
4. Branden Kaupe
Although he’s just 5-foot-7, the Mets drafted Kaupe in the fourth round of the 2012 MLB Draft. The Hawaii native is probably one of the fastest players in the Mets’ farm system, although he has struggled to get on base, hitting .173 in 2012 and .214 in 2013. He has a lot of work to do on his swing. He also has just two extra-base hits in his first two professional seasons, so he has no power to speak of. Kaupe can play a solid second base and could ultimately cause a lot of problems on the basepaths with his speed, but only if he can start hitting. He’s a long way away from doing that.
3. L.J. Mazzilli
The Mets drafted him in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB Draft, and he is the son of former Met Lee Mazzilli. He doesn’t have any tools that stand out, but he’s a well-rounded player, and as you’d expect from the son of a big leaguer, he has a high baseball IQ, which will help him get to the majors one day. He had a solid pro debut in 2013, hitting .278/.329/.381 for Brooklyn, and if he can continue to hit for a solid average and provide a little bit of power, he’ll be in position to become a big league second baseman, although his overall skill set isn’t anything to get too excited about.
2. Danny Muno
Muno had an up-and-down 2013 season in double-A, but he’s second on this list because he’s not too far away from being a utility infielder in the big leagues or possibly a replacement level second baseman. He has nearly as many walks as he does strikeouts during his career in the minors, which is something the Mets will love, and he has a little bit of power as well. He’s scrappy, plays hard and is the kind of player you always seem to find on winning teams. Not so coincidentally, every team he’s played on in the minors has been a winning team. If he can stay consistent with the bat in 2014 as he moves to triple-A, Muno will have a chance to get to the big leagues at some point.
1. Dilson Herrera
The Mets acquired Herrera from the Pittsburgh Pirates for Marlon Byrd and John Buck in August, and he immediately became their top second base prospect and one of their top position player prospects. He won’t turn 20 until March, so the Colombian is still young and a few years away from the big leagues. However, he is an above-average defensive player at second base and has great bat speed at the plate. Herrera’s biggest problem is that he strikes out a lot, but there’s plenty of time to improve in that area.If things go well and Herrera continues to develop, he could be the Mets’ second baseman of the future in a few years.