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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Kevin Goldstein: New York Mets Top 11 Prospects

Five-Star Prospects
1. Matt Harvey, RHP
2. Zack Wheeler, RHP
Four-Star Prospects
3. Jeurys Familia, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
4. Brandon Nimmo, OF
5. Juan Lagares, OF
6. Jordany Valdespin, 2B
7. Jenrry Mejia, RHP
8. Reese Havens, 2B
9. Cesar Puello, OF
10. Michael Fulmer, RHP
11. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF

Nine More:
12. Cory Mazzoni, RHP: 2011 second-rounder was great in brief debut; will move to rotation in 2012.
13. Akeel Morris, RHP: 20-year-old Virgin Islands native has big, but unrefined, power arm.
14. Darin Gorski, LHP: Had arguably the best stats of any pitcher in the system, but he’s older and has more finesse than stuff.
15. Phillip Evans, SS: Over slot 15th-rounder profiles as offense-oriented second baseman
16. Wilmer Flores, INF: Bat has never taken expected move forward while scouts see big moves down defensive spectrum.
17. Jefry Marte, 3B: Age and strong showing in Arizona Fall League saves him; some scouts still believe in the bat.
18. Juan Urbina, LHP: Shows flashes of high-ceiling potential, but not enough of them.
19. Chris Schwinden, RHP: Reached the big leagues, but what you see is what you get with potential to be a number-five starter.
20. Darrell Ceciliani, OF: Plus speed and a leadoff man’s approach, but never got going with the bat in full-season debut.

Tripon Posted: January 14, 2012 at 04:28 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

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   1. JE (Jason) Posted: January 15, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4037362)
System In 20 Words Or Less: With improvement coming via all three areas—draft, trades, international—the Mets are finally moving in the right direction.

This quote and Dickey's successful hike of Kilimanjaro triggered my only Mets-related smiles in ages.
   2. The District Attorney Posted: January 15, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4037368)
It was scary when Nieuwenhuis and his "potential to be Reed Johnson" was towards the top of the list. This does look a lot better.

Jefry Marte, 3B: Age and strong showing in Arizona Fall League saves him; some scouts still believe in the bat.
Well, if a 3B prospect named "Marte" is playing well for his age, I don't see what could possibly go wrong.
   3. Something Other Posted: January 15, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4037568)
Yea, but if you're six spots on the lest below the future Reed Johnson, better keep taking those Biz Admin night classes.

I get the sense that the Mutts are getting close to having a middle of the pack farm system. There's some bulk, now, and some good arms, and the new boss isn't going to have Zack Wheeler pitching middle relief for the Mets come May, but there aren't any position players that look like very good bets to be even average ML regulars. I'm seeing this as a 16-20th farm system.
   4. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 16, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4037994)
there aren't any position players that look like very good bets to be even average ML regulars.


There's probably as much of a divide on Nimmo as there is on any prospect around. I think he's got tremendous upside, and he's certainly got the physical attributes and the right attitude to be successful, but the lack of competition in HS worries a lot of people.

-- MWE
   5. Ravecc Posted: January 16, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4038018)
Yeah, I really didn’t want them to take Nimmo at #13. Mainly because I was wary of DePo’s Donovan Tate experience.
   6. Mark S. is bored Posted: January 16, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4038052)
There's probably as much of a divide on Nimmo as there is on any prospect around. I think he's got tremendous upside, and he's certainly got the physical attributes and the right attitude to be successful, but the lack of competition in HS worries a lot of people.


I agree on this. This year is going to tell a lot about Nimmo. It wouldn't surprise me to see him at the top of next years Mets prospect list or on the bottom end of it.
   7. formerly dp Posted: January 16, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4038152)
Out of Havens, Marte, and Flores, I thought the Mets would get at least one above-average position player...looking like that's not going to be the case.

I still can't come to terms with them just letting F-Mart go for nothing. Just makes no sense, given how thin they are in the OF at the upper levels. They also let Nick Evans go this year. Even if you put the Reyes decision off in brackets for financial reasons, this offseason has been one huge WTF for me. Edit: at least on the position player side of things, I actually like getting some arms in the bullpen, even if none of them look to be particularly great.
   8. Mark S. is bored Posted: January 16, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4038167)
I still can't come to terms with them just letting F-Mart go for nothing. Just makes no sense, given how thin they are in the OF at the upper levels.


My assumption (and I've seen references to it by some online columnists) is that F-Mart's arthritic knee is really bad.
   9. Sam M. Posted: January 16, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4038170)
Yeah, I really didn’t want them to take Nimmo at #13.


I see it as a big risk, but one worth taking. Seems to me that the whole point of a # 1 pick should be to aim for the guy that IF he makes it, he's got the potential to make it really big. There are lots of ways too acquire the so-so player; getting the Longoria, or the Linceum (another somewhat risky choice at the time, drafted around the same place in the draft as Nimmo), and especially getting him when he's young and cheap and thus most valuable, means you have to go for him in the draft. Nimmo may not be that -- indeed, it's pretty unlikely he will be -- but you're playing the game the right way if you shoot for the guy who at least has that upside.

I still can't come to terms with them just letting F-Mart go for nothing. Just makes no sense, given how thin they are in the OF at the upper levels. They also let Nick Evans go this year.


Maybe. But the reality is that Martinez has reached bust status. Letting him go is really just coming to terms with that. His knee is shot, he really can't hit, and he's fragile as glass. Fernando Martinez isn't the solution to any of the Mets' problems, not in the short-term and not in the long term. Nick Evans, OTOH, might have been a reasonable piece of the short-term puzzle, providing some decent bench performance. His loss really has no long term significance, but if you look at 2012 in isolation, I don't necessarily see why he wouldn't have had a place at the back end of the roster.
   10. formerly dp Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4038188)
But the reality is that Martinez has reached bust status. Letting him go is really just coming to terms with that. His knee is shot, he really can't hit, and he's fragile as glass. Fernando Martinez isn't the solution to any of the Mets' problems, not in the short-term and not in the long term.

There's no real cost to holding onto him for another year. The guys the Mets moved onto the 40-man in his favor suck, and that's being charitable.

Evans doesn't really concern me, except that he can mash LHP, and they're paying Hairston for that this year. Hairston can play CF, and Evans can't, but beyond that, I'd rather have Evans playing everyday if someone in the OF or at 1B gets hurt.

If they really want to do some brush-clearing, it should start with Bay. There's just no reason to not cut him at this point. He never put it together last year, he's a liability in the field, and he hits like a middle infielder at this point in his career. There's a chance he comes back to a brighter shadow of his former self, but not much of one. It seems like it wouldn't be that hard to find someone who can hit like Bay ('10-'11 version) while actually fielding the position and maybe swiping a few bases.

And I reiterate from an earlier thread-- if Willie f'ing Harris is on the team this year, that's where I draw my line.
   11. Mark S. is bored Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4038191)
But the reality is that Martinez has reached bust status. Letting him go is really just coming to terms with that. His knee is shot, he really can't hit, and he's fragile as glass. Fernando Martinez isn't the solution to any of the Mets' problems, not in the short-term and not in the long term.

There's no real cost to holding onto him for another year. The guys the Mets moved onto the 40-man in his favor suck, and that's being charitable.


AAA OF will be Capt Kirk, Den Dekker and Juan Lagares. All of whom have a better chance at helping the Mets in the future than F-Mart. If they weren't going to have F-Mart be a 5th OF in the majors, then there really isn't a place for him in the organization.
   12. Ravecc Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4038192)
I see it as a big risk, but one worth taking. Seems to me that the whole point of a # 1 pick should be to aim for the guy that IF he makes it, he's got the potential to make it really big. There are lots of ways too acquire the so-so player; getting the Longoria, or the Linceum (another somewhat risky choice at the time, drafted around the same place in the draft as Nimmo), and especially getting him when he's young and cheap and thus most valuable, means you have to go for him in the draft.


Lincecum and Longoria are not good comps since they were both highly scouted college guys. I can’t really think of a Nimmo comparable who has succeeded. Andrew Jones, maybe?

I’m all for drafting for upside, but my point is that DePodesta’s track record with that isn’t exactly stellar, hence the reference to Donovan Tate. Given the depth of that draft, and the paucity of the Mets farm, they could have gotten the upside without Nimmo’s loooooooooong odds.
   13. Mark S. is bored Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4038198)
I’m all for drafting for upside, but my point is that DePodesta’s track record with that isn’t exactly stellar, hence the reference to Donovan Tate. Given the depth of that draft, and the paucity of the Mets farm, they could have gotten the upside without Nimmo’s loooooooooong odds.


Donavan Tate had injuries and drug suspensions. His on the field play (when he has been able to get on the field) is actually pretty good. He hit .283/.406/.409 in a league where league average batting was .255/.333/.371. Unless you think Nimmo is on steroids or will be oft-injured, then it's not a really good comp.
   14. Sam M. Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4038221)
Lincecum and Longoria are not good comps since they were both highly scouted college guys. I can’t really think of a Nimmo comparable who has succeeded. Andrew Jones, maybe?


I wasn't suggesting they were comps (except in the very loose sense that Lincecum was seen as risky for a very different reason than Nimmo -- size and delivery issues v. lack of competition). I was just making the point that the first round of the draft is where you shoot for the stars.

And I'm not sure there was anyone in last year's draft (at least by the time the Mets picked at # 13) with Nimmo's upside. The vast majority of the picks in the rest of the first round were pitchers (13/21), and that was (properly, in my mind) not where the Mets' focus was. Just look at the list above. And of the position players taken after Nimmo, I don't see a single one with his upside. I'll be holding my breath he doesn't wash out, but I hope I'll remember how I felt about the risk being worth the potential reward, and not be critical of the pick if he does fail.
   15. Elvis Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4038228)
Plus, it's not like DePo is the only one who had input on the pick. Here's (former) scouting director Chad MacDonald on Nimmo:

"A middle-of-the-field guy who can hit with power. That’s what we like,” MacDonald said, adding that probably eight to 10 Mets scouts saw Nimmo play over the course of the year. “We had guys at every game.

“We do think he has some advanced skills,” MacDonald added. “We weren’t interested in making the safest pick. We were interested in making the pick that had the best chance to make the biggest impact."

Link
   16. Ravecc Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4038229)
And I'm not sure there was anyone in last year's draft (at least by the time the Mets picked at # 13) with Nimmo's upside.


Josh Bell.

Having said that, I'd always rather they go with BPA and not exclude pitchers. They could use everything.
   17. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4038231)
The guys the Mets moved onto the 40-man in his favor suck, and that's being charitable.


Wait, I agree with most of your post, but how is "they suck" being charitable? :)
   18. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4038245)
AAA OF will be Capt Kirk, Den Dekker and Juan Lagares.


If it were me, I'd send Lagares back to Binghamton to start the season and get along with a minor league free agent at Buffalo. Lagares took some steps forward last year, to be sure, but there are still holes in the game and the Mets would be well-served to keep being cautious with him.

-- MWE
   19. Ravecc Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4038249)
I am not questioning the upside, the physical attributes, the good face. The lack of competition - scary. As Klaw says:

His swing looks good, but evaluating his plate discipline or ability to catch up to better velocity will be tough.
   20. Sam M. Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4038256)
Having said that, I'd always rather they go with BPA and not exclude pitchers. They could use everything.


I generally agree with this. But not in this case. Other than Nimmo, I personally think the Mets best (and frankly, ONLY strong) prospects are pitchers. My list would have Mejia ahead of both Lagares and Valdespin. That's four high-end prospects -- all pitchers. When you don't have a single position player in the system about whom even the most starry-eyed fan can dream (forget project; I'm talking dreaming here), "future all-star," it's time to add some high-impact hopes to the system who hold a bat in their hands with malice in their hearts.

Certainly, if the Mets had seen a pitcher they thought had greater upside than Nimmo, then I think they should have gone for that. But if we assume (as I think is probably a safe assumption) that they believed Nimmo's upside impact was the highest available, or at least equal to that of any pitcher, I think going for what he had to offer was the right choice. In other words, tie goes to the hitter with the potential -- and it's hard to think drafting a hitter (even given Nimmo's somewhat unusual situation) would ever be truly riskier than a pitcher.

Bell isn't the complete package Nimmo is.
   21. Mark S. is bored Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4038260)
And I'm not sure there was anyone in last year's draft (at least by the time the Mets picked at # 13) with Nimmo's upside.

Josh Bell.

Having said that, I'd always rather they go with BPA and not exclude pitchers. They could use everything.


The Josh Bell that sent a letter advising teams not to draft him because he was going to college? There was a much bigger risk with Bell. The risk that he wouldn't sign.
   22. Elvis Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4038268)
From Baseball America:

"Much can be made about the lack of high school baseball in Wyoming, but what gets overlooked is the aggressive schedule played by Post 6, which frequently ventures into Colorado to play top programs there and annually plays more than 70 games. In his first three years, Nimmo hit .400 or better each season. At the time of the draft this year, he was hitting .525. He's 6-foot-3, 185 pounds with room to grow. He has the speed to play center field, the arm to play right field, and the bat to hit in the middle of a lineup."

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