15 New York Mets Prospects Most Fans Don’t Know But Should
New York Mets: 15 Sleeper Prospects
It’s amazing how well informed baseball fans are these days regarding the top prospects of their favorite team compared to just a few years ago. Nowadays, fans generally know several of the team’s top prospects, where they are in the farm system, how they're playing, and when they may be able to help out the major league club. This is certainly the case with the New York Mets, who have been so bad for so many years that many of their fans have had nothing positive to focus on other than the farm system. Fortunately for Mets fans, the team’s farm system has steadily improved since Sandy Alderson took over as GM, which has given them hope.
Of course, no matter how well informed fans are, they’re not going to know about every prospect, especially with how deep farm systems can be and the sheer volume of players trying to work their way up the ladder to the major leagues. Thus, I have put together a list of prospects in the Mets organization that most fans probably haven't heard of yet, but who could end up being players to pay close attention to in the years to come.
Many of these guys are young and still several years away from reaching the big leagues. All of them have yet to even play on a farm team that plays a full minor league season and none of them were high draft picks. However, all of them have plenty of talent and potential, and if you want to know the Mets’ farm system a little better, you’ll want to know these 15 names.
15. Robert Coles, P
Coles comes from a great college program at Florida State and had a rather promising professional debut in 2014. He’ll need to fill out his frame, but he throws hard and tends to induce a lot of ground balls.
14. Jeff Diehl, 1B
Diehl has good size (6-foot-4), bat speed and power, so even though he was a major project when the Mets drafted him in 2011, solid progress has been made with his impressive tools.
13. Ricardo Jacquez, P
At just 5-foot-9, Jacquez is far from the prototypical pitcher, but he can hit the mid-90s on the radar gun with an all-out delivery that allows him to generate plenty of power. He also has a changeup that has a chance to develop into an average or better pitch, which gives him the chance to get to the big leagues as a small but powerful arm coming out of the bullpen.
12. Brandon Brosher, 1B
Brosher was one of the last players that the Mets drafted in 2013, and he started to turn heads in the fall instructional league after a rough professional debut. He’s 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, so he has a big body that can generate plenty of power along with good bat speed. A kid out of high school that has his size and raw power is intriguing, and at the very least makes him someone to be aware of in the lower levels of the farm system.
11. Ty Bashlor, P
His 6-foot size and low level of competition at a junior college certainly work against Bashlor, but he knows how to bring the heat. Bashlor’s fastball sits in the low-to-mid 90s, and he can get even higher when he needs to, which will give him a chance to get to the big leagues. His control isn't great and his mechanics need work, but he struck out over a batter per inning in rookie ball last year, which means he can throw it by people, giving him a shot to help the Mets in the bullpen one day and possibly rise quickly through the farm system.
10. Luis Guillorme, SS
After being drafted in 2013, Guillorme is already one of the Mets’ top shortstop prospects because of his exceptional defensive abilities. He hit better than expected during his professional debut, which is a promising sign. If he can hit even a little, his defense will be able to carry him to the big leagues, where he could remind Mets fans of Rey Ordonez, who was a part of one of the best defensive infields ever assembled.
9. Jhoan Urena, 3B
Urena won’t turn 20 until next September, but he already has two professional seasons under his belt, a big body that can generate a lot of power and a nice swing from both sides of the plate. He also moves well for a young player with so much size, which means he may be able to handle the hot corner, which is not something that can be said for many of the Mets' top corner infield prospects.
8. Robert Whalen, P
There are scouts that think Whalen has the best curveball of any minor leaguer in the Mets' system, and that, combined with a mature body and a low 90s fastball, at least gives him a chance to reach the big leagues as a reliever. That said, he has a long way to go as a 2012 draftee. In 2013, Whalen struck out a lot of batters, induced a lot of ground balls and kept batters off base while putting up an ERA of 1.87 in rookie ball.
7. Pedro Perez, 3B
Perez is one of the most intriguing international free agents that the Mets have signed in the past few years, and he’s one of the most talented players to come out of Colombia in recent memory. He’s raw, but he has some incredible tools and he had a nice season in rookie ball in 2013.
6. John Gant, P
Teams don’t always expect much from 21st-round draft picks, but Gant is starting to show some promise after three professional seasons. He struck out 81 in 72 innings in 2013 with a 2.89 ERA, and even had a complete game shutout while pitching in short-season Brooklyn. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he has a good frame with room to fill out and his secondary stuff is improving.
5. Jose Medina, P
Even those that follow the Mets’ farm system closely may not be well acquainted with Medina. He’s a 6-foot-2’ lefty from Mexico who pitched in the Dominican Summer League in 2013, turning just 17-years-old midway through the season. In 12 starts, he threw 52 innings with 41 strikeouts, six walks, and an ERA of 0.35. He throws in the mid 80s, but that should change as he gets older, and scouts like his change and curveball. We obviously don't know much about him, but he had the lowest ERA in the minors last year for any pitcher that threw at least 50 innings, and that makes him someone to watch.
4. Vicente Lupo, OF
His stateside debut in 2013 was a bit disappointing, but Lupo tore up the Dominican Summer League in 2012 with a triple-slash of .343/.500/.608, and that’s enough to make him a prospect to watch closely. He’s not the most well-rounded player, but he has plus-plus power, which makes him one of the most intriguing prospects that the Mets have. There’s no guarantee that he’ll pan out, but the Mets are going to give him every opportunity possible. Whenever there’s a player with this much power potential, fans need to take notice.
3. Akeel Morris, P
Morris has been slow to develop since the Mets plucked him out of the tiny island of St. Thomas in the 2010 MLB Draft, but his arm is electric and he finally found his niche. He had a breakout season coming out of the bullpen in 2013. Pitching for Brooklyn, he struck out 60 in 45 innings and had an ERA of 1.00. He’s likely limited to bullpen duty moving forward, but his fastball could carry him a long way. Now that he’s settled in as a reliever, Morris has a chance to move quickly through the system and gain some notoriety in 2014.
2. Champ Stuart, OF
Stuart is one of the best pure athletes the Mets have in their farm system; in fact, it’s probably a toss-up between Stuart and Brad Marquez, who also plays wide receiver at Texas Tech. Stuart doesn’t have much baseball experience or polish after growing up in the Bahamas, but he has incredible speed and has good bat speed. If the Mets can develop the rest, they could have something special on their hands.
1. Chris Flexen, P
Although he snuck into the top-10 when it comes to the Mets' top pitching prospects, most don’t know about Flexen because he’s still a teenager even though he had a phenomenal 2013 season. Of all the pitching prospects the Mets have that have yet to play in a full-season league, Flexen may be the most intriguing based on what he’s done in rookie ball, and Mets fans would be advised to pay attention to him in 2014 and beyond.