NY Sports Dog: Mack's Updated Top 50 (That's Only 32) Prospect List

Friday, May 1, 2009

Mack's Updated Top 50 (That's Only 32) Prospect List

The Mack’s Updated Top 50 That’s Only 32 Prospect List

Requirements: Be 24-years old at the beginning of the regular season, or have less than 100 at-bats at the major league level in one season.

Bobby Parnell has been removed from the list due to the fact that he made it big time. Also removed were Tobi Stoner, Jake Ruckle, and Scott Moviel, due to the fact they are on the DL, and Michael Olmstead, after his release (???).

My list is now based, first, on ceiling, and secondly, on current results. A ceiling list tends to rank younger kids higher.

1. SS Wilmer Flores – 17 yrs old - Savannah – Flores has picked up right where he left off last year, this time at the A level. April: .296/.338/.338/.676. Most importantly, only two errors. Only 3 of his 21 hits aren’t singles, but I expect some pop to come soon. This is a real baseball player.

Projection: Flores will become a major league star, probably as an outfielder or first baseman. ETA: 2012

2. SP Brad Holt – 22 years old – St. Lucie – April: 1-1, 6.59 - Like Niese, Holt just finished an April he will quickly forget, but this is the highest ceiling SP in the organization. Niese may be next, but that doesn’t make him the most talented.

Projection: The sky’s the limit for Holt right now, who projects out as a Mets’ 2011 starter and a possible SP2 beyond that. ETA 2011

3. SP Jenrry Mejia – 19-yrs old - Lucy – April: 0-1, 3.38, 19Ks, 18.2 IP – How would you like to have your worst month in baseball and still come out with a 3.38 ERA. No one in the organization has more stuff than this kid.

Projection: A lot of people have a lot of wonderful things to say about this kid. Some say he has the same ceiling as Holt. I rank him, ceiling wise, as the Second top Mets starter, only behind Holt.

4. 3B Jefry Marte – 17 yrs. old - Savannah – April: .267/.308/.349 – a little more pop than Flores, but not much. 22Ks is a concern. Also, already 10 errors.

Projection: Based on ceiling and tools, plus the results of his first year in the states, Marte is projected to be a major league starter, probably in the outfield, or second base. ETA: 2013

5. SP Jeurys Familia – 19-yrs old – Gnats – high ceiling, toosy who comes out of the DSL system. Had 8th lowest ERA in the GCL league last year (2.79)… his ceiling looks as high as Mejia… April 09: 4G, 3GS, 2-1, 1.37… he is currently third in SP talent and ceiling… will spend the next 3 years in the system and should be ready Spring 2012.

6. SP Jon Niese – 22 years old – Buffalo – Baseball is strange sometimes… Niese looked great in ST pitching for the Mets, but April has not been kind to him in Buffalo (0-2, 8.44). Reports are he is having trouble keeping the ball down. I’m far from giving up on him, and since my list is primarily based on ceiling, he drops to six.

Projection: Niese will join the Mets rotation at the beginning of the 2010 season (latest) and should become a solid SP3-SP4 over the years. ETA 2010

7. OF Fernando Martinez – 20 yrs. old - Buffalo – Martinez spent April at the DH position, due to his 456th injury in the past 3 years… no one ever said the kid can’t hit, and yet he still can’t break .300 in the minors. Top prospects hit the snot off the ball in the minors. April: .233… come on…

Projection: This one is tough. Until I see more, I’m going to stay with my prediction that Martinez will only reach the same levels of performance that Lastings Milledge is currently putting out; meaning, a disappointment, but an every day player. ETA 2010

8. 1B/OF Nick Evans – 23 years old – Buffalo – can a brother have a worse slump… I’m sure Nick suffered a letdown not making the parent club, but his April is quickly forgettable: .102… 6 hits in 59 at bats. We’ll give him a pass for this month.

Projection: Depends on whether he remains a Met. Evans could be a regular outfielder or first baseman for most of the teams in the league, but projects out as a utility player for the Mets. He reminds me of the same place Mike Jacobs was at before the Delgado trade. ETA: 2010:

9. RP Roy Merritt – 23-yrs old – B-Mets - April: 0-1. 1.98, 1.02, - Merritt’s stock soared during ST when he held his own against MLB players. 9 saves in 10 opportunities.

Projection: Right now, he’s projected to fight for a pen position for the Mets in the 2010 ST.

10. SS Reece Havens – 23-yrs old - April: .275/.352/.525/.877 – we’re starting to see some signs hy this kid was drafted so high. Four home runs in spring, but ten errors on short.

11. C Josh Thole – 22-yrs old – Binghamton – April: .383/.457/.500/.957 - one of the smart moves the Mets made this spring was pairing up Thole with Mets defensive catcher of the system Mike Nickeas, to mentor him in catching and throwing. Once again, Josh is proving he can hit for average at all levels.

Projection: Thole projects out as a utility major league catcher; however, he did impress just about everybody associated with the Mets spring training complex. Omar & Co. will never duplicate the Jesus Flores debacle and I see Josh playing Buffalo in 2010 and making it to CitiField in 2011.

12. SS Ruben Tejada – 20-yrs old - B-Mets – April: .222/.347/.286 - Tejada has had nothing but excess pressure during his young Mets career. Last year, he played the entire season at the A+ level when he should have been in Savannah. This year, he’s at AA when he should be at A+.

13. OF Cesar Puello – Extended Camp – I was disappointed that Puello wasn’t sent to Savannah, but there just were too many others ahead of him in the pecking order. He also had a minor hand injury. He will most probably be showcased in Brooklyn for the entire 2009 season. Many say that Puello has a higher ceiling than Fernando Martinez. One thing for sure, he hasn’t been injured yet.

14. SP Brant Rustich – 24/yrs old - Lucy – April: 1-0, 1.38, 0.85,, 18Ks, 13.0 IP , 4 appearances - Rustich has moved to the pen this spring after starting for his entire Mets career. So far, it is an excellent move.

15. 2B Greg Veloz – 21 yrs. old – Lucy – April: .229/.316/.301/.617 - Veloz chronically gets off to a slow start.

16. SP Dillon Gee – 23-years old - Binghamton – the Mets fell in love with Gee in ST and decided to send him directly to AAA, after only 4 starts at AA. He has struggled so far this season on a very bad team that gives starters very little support (0-3, 5.40).

Projection: The Mets aren’t the kind of team that adds more than one rookie rotational pitcher per year to their staff. That being said, and with the fact that 2009 will be Jonathan Niese’s year, while 2010 is projected to be Brad Holt. I can’t see Gee staying around until 2011 when he turns 26. Look for him to be part of some future trade.

17. SP Mike Antonini – 23-yrs old – Binghamton – slow start for Mike in April (4 starts, 3-0, 4.35, 17Ks, 20.2 IP), though there’s many a pitcher that would love to be 3-0 right now.

Projection: The same can be said for Antonini as was said for Gee; however, I personally think he’s a better candidate for middle reliever some day in the Mets pen. Rocky first inning on opening day, but then settled down.

18. RP/CL Eddie Kunz – 23-yrs old – Buffalo – just because Kunz didn’t fair well as a Met last year doesn’t mean he’s still not one of the Mets top pitching prospects. April was respectable (1-1, 2.38 in 6 appearances) for a guy who no longer projects out as a closer.

Projection: It was apparent that Kunz was rushed last year and I hope the Mets let him pitch an entire year in Buffalo to mature. I look for him to return full time to the Mets pen in 2010.

19. SP Robert Carson – 20-yrs old – Savannah – Carson has had an up and down April, but that doesn’t change the fact this is one talented pitcher. So far this season, his totals are: 4 G, 4GS, 2-2, 3.48, 15K, 20.2 IP… was 3-3, 1.68 last season for the GCL Mets and K-Port (11 starts)… 14th round, 2007, out of high school… turned 20 in January… Mets are very high on him and in mood to rush him.

20. SP Eric Beaulac – 22-yrs old – Savannah – started the 2009 season as backend piggy backer, which made no sense to me after his 2008 numbers: 2-2, 3.38 for 3 teams, 14 appearances, 8 starts. Eric had, for him, a so-so April, and the scary part is his numbers were still great: 1-1, 2.87… an amazing 23Ks in 15.2 IP.

Projection: Beaulac has the best curve ball I have seen come out of the Mets system in the last five years. That alone will get him a cup of coffee by the end of the 2011 season.

21. 1B Ike Davis – 22-yrs old – April: .304/.375/.468/.843 - I never liked this pick, but things seem to be coming around. He had his first professional home run last week. Zero errors on 1B.

22. 2B Josh Satin – 24-yrs old – Savannah – April: .362/.438/.420/.858 - On the other hand, here is a kid (turning 25?) that’s off to a great start. It will be interesting to see if he moves up faster than Veloz, due to his age. Hit a combined .303 in 2008 for K-Port and Brooklyn. Not much pop here, and turns 25 around Christmas, so this ‘old guy’ has to move fast on a team with Veloz ahead of him and Valdespin right behind him.

23. SP Christopher Schwinden – Savannah – April: 2-0, 0.82, 0.82… very quiently impressing anyone that sees him… 4-1, 2.01, in 14 games, 8 starts for the 2008 Clones… 22nd round pick in the same year

24. OF Sean Ratliff – 22-yrs old - Savannah – April: .399/.330/.414/.743 - a lot of so called draft experts didn’t like this pick, but he’s doing very little wrong since being picked in 4th round of the 2008 draft.

25. RP Jimmy Johnson - 23 years old – Savannah Another oldie at A-ball, Johnson should get an early call to Lucy, if for age reasons alone. In April 23, he was 0-0, 1.42, 0.71 in 9 appearances. This is after going 5-0, 1.25, in 23 appearances in 2008 for the Clones. A definite RP prospect

26. RP Stephen Clyne - 24-yrs. old – Lucy – April: 1-0, 1.80, 0.80 in 9 G – 2007 3rd rounder out of Clemson – turns 25 in September.

27. C Francesco Pena – 19-yrs old – Lucy – April: .214/.274/.339/.613 - It’s getting hard to keep writing that Pena is only a kid and blah, blah… the fact remains is this is his third year stateside and, so far, he still hasn’t improved on either his hitting or fielding. Last shot, Franny…

28. SP Angel Calero – 22-years old - Lucy – Calero has really pitched brilliantly so far this season. We’ve had him on the list before and I’ve watched his nastiness many times when he was in Savannah. Has the arm, just needs to mature. In April: 4 starts, 1-1, 1.23, 20Ks in 22.0 IP… my guess he’ll be the first Lucy starter to bump up a level. Turns 23 in September.

29. SP Dylan Owen – 22-yrs old – B-Mets – Owen has always silenced his critics with good, solid pitching; however, he is off to his rockiest start of his young professional career. So far through April: 4 starts, 0-1, 6.98, 13K, 19.1 IP… the scouting world has always been critical of Owen’s lack of size and big pitches, but he has impressed with his Glavine-like approach to the game. Not so, so far this season.

30. SP Jeffrey Kaplan – 23-years old - Gnats – Kaplan has been added to this list simply due to what he has done so far this season, in April: 4G, 3GS, 1-1, 1.35, 20.0 IP, 23Ks… turns 24 in July… 11th round in 2008… 3-2, 3.45 last season, mostly in the pen, for the Clones.

31. SP Scott Shaw – 22-yrs old – Lucy – April: 1-1, 2.74, 1.04 in 4 starts – has a tough road ahead of him getting to CitiField.

32. RF – Juan Lagares – 20-years old - Savannah – April: .265/.296/.324/.619 - yes, that Juan Lagares… three year’s ago phenom, and last year’s flop, has moved to Savannah’s right field and is playing every day again.

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