The reputation of the New York Mets‘ farm system continues to grow, as ESPN’s Keith Law ranked it fourth in baseball in his mid-season list. Of course, such a lofty ranking should come as no surprise, as the Mets’ farm has continued to improve throughout Sandy Alderson‘s tenure as GM, doing so considerably through the first half of 2014.
Perhaps most impressive about this is the fact that they’ve lost two important prospects in Travis d’Arnaud and Jacob deGrom, who have graduated from the prospect lists. D’Arnaud has finally started to come around over the last month, while deGrom has surprised most and made a positive impact in the rotation. The farm system also remains strong despite a relatively disappointing season from pitcher Noah Syndergaard, and a disastrous season from outfielder Cesar Puello, two of the team’s top prospects heading into the season.
What has allowed the system to show overall improvement has been several players performing above expectations. Brandon Nimmo and Dilson Herrera are two great examples of this. Both were expected to spend the entire year in Class-A, but both forced the organization to promote them to Double-A midway through the season due to strong performances. While Nimmo has struggled, Herrera has continued to excel in Double-A despite being the youngest player in the Eastern League, putting him on the fast track to the big leagues.
Catcher Kevin Plawecki and shortstop Matt Reynolds have also had better-than-expected seasons swinging the bat, prompting the Mets to promote both to triple-A, putting them on the doorstep of reaching the big leagues this September or early in the 2015 season. Meanwhile, the Mets added Michael Conforto, the best college hitter in the 2014 draft, to their farm system, and have started to see the emergence of two of their younger prospects, first baseman Dominic Smith and shortstop Amed Rosario, giving the Mets high-end talent in the lower levels of the organization.
Of course, the backbone of the Mets farm system is still a deep contingent of pitchers that remains strong at the midway point of the season. Despite Syndergaard’s struggles, he remains one of the top pitching prospects in baseball with top-of-the-rotation potential. Meanwhile, Steven Matz looks more and more like frontline pitching prospect who could be ready for the big leagues at some point in 2015.
Gabriel Ynoa earned a promotion to double-A, adding even more depth to the upper levels of the farm system, and Marcos Molina has shined as the organization’s next great pitching prospect at the ripe age of 19.
With so many key prospects showing significant progress over the course of the season, it’s no wonder that the Mets’ farm system continues to shoot up the rankings.