New York Mets’ Top Prospect At Every Position Heading Into 2014
New York Mets' Top Prospect At Every Position Heading Into 2014
Outside of the hot stove, the baseball offseason puts a lot of emphasis of minor league prospects and lists ranking the top prospects in baseball and in each organization. We’ve already come up with lists ranking the top prospects at each position for the New York Mets, but why not come out with a Mets’ prospect dream team; that is, the top prospect at every position.
The hope for all prospects is that they pan out to become major league starters and perhaps even All-Stars, especially for the top prospects at each position. The Mets would be ecstatic if all of their top prospects at each position panned out and this ultimately became their starting lineup at some point in the future; of course, with the caveat that each prospect reaches their full potential and becomes the player the Mets hoped they would become when they signed him.
Obviously, the Mets have a couple of positions where they have players who will be there for a long time to come, but mostly just David Wright at third base, Travis d’Arnaud at catcher, possibly Juan Lagares in center field and potentially the newly acquired Curtis Granderson in a corner outfield spot. But there are still a lot of empty holes in the Mets’ future that they are hoping will be filled by some of their most promising prospects. So let’s take a look at the top Mets’ prospect at every position and the team they can dream about one day having in a perfect world.
First Base: Dominic Smith
Smith was a first-round pick in 2013 with considerable upside as a hitter and great defensive skills, but unfortunately, he’s just 18-years-old so he won’t be able to fix the Mets’ mess at first base anytime soon. Smith had a good professional debut in 2013, and the Mets could try to challenge him in 2014 and push him through the system quickly. But he won’t be on the major league radar for at least another three years. The Mets may have some hope with Jayce Boyd, but he’s still a year or two away and has a lot left to prove in the minors. The Mets are hoping Smith will eventually be their first baseman.
Second Base: Dilson Herrera
Second base looked fairly weak for the Mets, but in August they traded for Herrera who gives them some hope for an above-average homegrown second baseman. Herrera has a lot of developing left to do and won’t be close to the big leagues for at least another couple of years, but he has good tools and a high upside, so the Mets have some hope for the future at second base even though their depth behind Herrera is thin.
Shortstop: Gavin Cecchini
Cecchini barely edges out Amed Rosario as the Mets’ top shortstop prospect. He’s as smooth as they get defensively, and the Mets took him in the first round back in 2012 because he projects as an average defensive shortstop in the big leagues which can be tough to find. If Cecchini hits enough, he’ll be the Mets’ everyday shortstop a few years down the line. At the same time, they hold out hope that Rosario can make some progress in the years to come as he’s a great athlete with a higher upside than Cecchini.
Third Base: Wilmer Flores
David Wright is locked in as the Mets’ third baseman for a long time to come, but if Wright weren’t around, Flores would be their best option at third base. Flores probably doesn’t have a future at third base with the Mets, but it may be his best position as he has a strong arm and good hands despite a lack of quickness. He’s also an exceptional hitter despite struggling in the big leagues last September in part due to an ankle injury he re-aggravated shortly after his major league debut. Of course, it’s a good thing the Mets have Wright, because they don’t have much at third base in the upper levels of the minors.
Catcher: Kevin Plawecki
The Mets hope they have their catcher of the future in place with Travis d’Arnaud, but Plawecki isn’t a bad option either. In another year or two, Plawecki should be ready to be d’Arnaud’s backup, but he could also step in as the starter if d’Arnaud continues to struggle with injuries. Plawecki is a great receiver and defensive player with plenty of gap power as a hitter, and having him makes the Mets’ future bright behind the plate.
Left Field: Dustin Lawley
Lawley is probably the top Mets’ outfield prospect whose defense will ultimately limit him to left field. That being said, Lawley is one of the top power hitters in the Mets’ farm system, and if he can prove he can hit triple-A pitching next season he could become a viable option for the Mets at some point. Cory Vaughn may also have a future in left field but only as a platoon player.
Center Field: Brandon Nimmo
Nimmo, the Mets’ first-round pick in 2011, projects as an everyday center fielder with a slew of average, if not slightly above-average tools. He doesn’t have the blazing speed or defensive skills of current Mets’ center fielder Juan Lagares, but Nimmo can handle the position and could develop a healthy amount of power at the plate, making him a well-balanced center fielder a few years down the line.
Right Field: Cesar Puello
Puello is an exceptional athlete with great tools who the Mets hope will figure things out, especially with regard to his approach at the plate, because he would be a great fit in right field. He had a breakout season in 2013 only to have it end abruptly because of a PED suspension. The Mets don’t necessarily expect him to fully develop and reach his potential, but if he can keep hitting and learn how to draw more walks he has the potential to be an everyday right fielder for the Mets.
Starting Pitcher: Noah Syndergaard
This is a no-brainer; Syndergaard is the crown jewel of the Mets’ farm system. He has the potential to be a front-line starter for the Mets, and he could be in the big leagues by the midway point of 2014. If everything works out as planned, Syndergaard will ultimately combine with Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey to give the Mets an incredible starting rotation.
Relief Pitcher: Jeff Walters
Of all the Mets’ minor leaguers currently pitching out of the bullpen, Walters is clearly the best after dominating double-A as a closer in 2013. Even if he doesn’t make the Mets’ roster out of spring training this year, he should eventually be a member of the Mets’ bullpen where he’ll be a hard-throwing middle reliever and possibly a 7th or 8th inning setup man if he reaches his full potential.
Utility Infielder: Danny Muno
Wilfredo Tovar would be a better defensive player to have as a backup middle infielder, but if Muno doesn’t work out as an everyday second baseman he’s the kind of guy you want coming off the bench. He’s a gamer and a grinder, and Muno always seems to find himself on winning ball clubs which could make him a valuable utility player for the Mets.
Utility Outfielder: Matt den Dekker
There’s still a chance den Dekker could lock down a starting job most likely in center field because he’s an exceptional defensive player, but since he’s struggled to hit against lefties during his time in the minors he’ll likely end up being a platoon player or a fourth outfielder. However, he could be quite good in that role for the Mets as early as this season.