Arizona Fall League Preview For New York Mets Prospects

By Bryan Zarpentine

Arizona Fall League Preview For New York Mets Prospects

Noah Syndergaard
The Star-Ledger - USATODAY Sports

Every year, baseball teams send prospects to compete in the Arizona Fall League. The AFL is considered by many to be MLB's finishing school, a stopover on the way to the big leagues for the game’s top prospects. The New York Mets have chosen seven prospects to send to the AFL, and here is a look at what to expect from each player.

7. Dario Alvarez, Pitcher

Dario Alvarez Mets
Anthony Gruppuso - USATODAY Sports

7. Dario Alvarez, Pitcher

Dario Alvarez Mets
Anthony Gruppuso - USATODAY Sports

Alvarez replaced Cory Mazzoni at the last minute on the AFL roster after he spent September with the Mets but rarely got a chance to pitch. Alvarez moved quickly up the farm system this year, but he doesn't have a lot of experience against upper level hitters, which is something he'll get in the AFL. The Mets need to find a lefty in their bullpen, and Alvarez pitching in the AFL will give some insight on whether he can be that in 2015.

6. Julian Hilario, Pitcher

Mets Prospect3
Kim Klement - USATODAY Sports

6. Julian Hilario, Pitcher

Mets Prospect3
Kim Klement - USATODAY Sports

Hilario has never pitched above Class-A and he had an ERA of 5.79 this year, so he figures to take his lumps in the AFL. However, he throws hard and has some feel for his secondary pitches, so the Mets are hoping to challenge him and accelerate his development a bit in the hopes of turning him into a viable bullpen option down the line.

5. L.J. Mazzilli, Second Baseman

L.J. Mazzilli
Facebook.com/BrooklynCyclones

5. L.J. Mazzilli, Second Baseman

L.J. Mazzilli
Facebook.com/BrooklynCyclones

Mazzilli had a strong finish to the season in Advanced-A and made a cameo in Triple-A during the minor league playoffs. The Mets need to find out if he can be productive against pitchers with big league stuff, and that's why he's going to the AFL. Mazzilli will likely start 2015 in Double-A, so a stint in the AFL will prepare him for that.

4. Paul Sewald, Pitcher

Mets Prospect1
Brad Penner - USATODAY Sports

4. Paul Sewald, Pitcher

Mets Prospect1
Brad Penner - USATODAY Sports

Sewald is a hard thrower who has the potential to be a major league reliever, so the Mets are challenging him with an assignment in the AFL. He put up a 1.73 ERA in Advanced-A this season and then made a cameo in Double-A late in the season. If he can handle the AFL, it could be a sign that he has a big league future and could get there sooner rather than later.

3. Matt Reynolds, Shortstop

NYM
Getty Images

3. Matt Reynolds, Shortstop

NYM
Getty Images

After a couple of modest seasons in the minors, Reynolds broke out with the bat in 2014 and is now on the verge of the big leagues. A trip to the AFL is a chance to further his development and put him in a position to compete for a major league roster spot in Spring Training. Reynolds is a player who should have success against the pitchers in the AFL, and if he swings the bat well, the Mets will have him in their plans for 2015.

2. Rob Whalen, Pitcher

Mets Prospect2
Brad Penner - USATODAY Sports

2. Rob Whalen, Pitcher

Mets Prospect2
Brad Penner - USATODAY Sports

Whalen is just 20 years old and has never pitched above Class-A, so he's the kind of pitcher who could take his lumps in the AFL. He missed a good chunk of the season with an injury, so the Mets need to get him some more innings. He also won nine of his 11 starts and had a 2.01 ERA in 2014, so he certainly has some potential. Spending some time in the AFL should prepare him for the upper levels of the minors, even if he gets hit hard.

1. Brandon Nimmo, Outfielder

2013 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
Getty Images

1. Brandon Nimmo, Outfielder

2013 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
Getty Images

Nimmo is the marquee Mets prospect to watch in the AFL this year. He had a breakout year in 2014, especially when it comes to his power. Nimmo started to figure out Double-A towards the end of the season, and a trip to the AFL is meant to further accelerate his development. With a good month in Arizona, he could start next in Triple-A and have a good chance to make his MLB debut in 2015, possibly by mid-summer if all goes well.

You May Also Like