By Todd Singer @breakingbadfish on April 23, 2014
With the New York Mets having struggled the past few seasons, one of the few silver linings fans could point to was the systematic restocking of the organization's prospects. The Mets' farm system is as deep as its been in years, with a wealth of talent throughout the minor leagues. The following players are the cream of the crop in the system and while it's still early, here's how they've fared so far.
Steven Matz, a former second-round pick who missed several seasons due to an elbow injury, has been the talk of camp and the early spring. The hard-throwing lefty has continued the momentum he established last season, posting a 2.00 ERA with a 5.67 K/BB ratio in his first three starts for class-A Advanced St. Lucie. Although Matz still has a ways to go, his stock is way up and he could find himself among the top three prospects by season's end.
After Cesar Puello was suspended 50 games for violating baseball's banned substances policy, questions arose as to whether Puello's breakout 2013 season was a hoax. Puello established career-highs in nearly every major category at double-A Binghamton, and that's taking the suspension into account. He has struggled mightily in triple-A to start this season, so he'll have to rebound to convince folks that his breakout wasn't PED-fueled.
The Mets' first-round pick from last season, Smith has had a lot of praise heaped on him for an 18-year-old. While his potential is still very high, his first season above rookie ball hasn't started out very well. Smith only has 10 hits in his first 16 games, leading to a paltry .471 OPS, but there's little reason to worry with a prospect as green as he is.
There's been some debate as to whether Montero should be promoted to help the big league team's beleaguered bullpen, but some of the recent pen performances have quieted that talk for now. Montero will likely find his way to Citi Field before the summer is out, either as a pen reinforcement or an injury replacement in the starting rotation. He's a strike-throwing machine who's simply biding his time before he hits the big leagues.
Even though Noah Syndergaard has been hit fairly hard in his first few outings for triple-A Las Vegas, there's nothing to be alarmed about. Syndergaard is making his first foray into triple-A and, in a high altitude such as Las Vegas, not only does the ball carry further, it makes it more difficult for Syndergaard to get good break on his curveball. His future is at the top of the rotation and he'll likely be in New York by July.
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