New York Mets: 5 Prospects That Could Make the 2013 Roster
With the 2013 MLB Spring Training less than three months away, the Mets are now going to try and assemble their roster even further during the Winter Meetings this week. While some trades and free agent signings could occur, the Mets will still have to use some players in their minor league system during the upcoming season.
Some rookie prospects will earn a major league roster spot due to their own performance, while others could get called up due to poor performances or injuries. Here are five Mets prospects that have a great shot at being with the Mets for possibly the entire 2013 season.
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Some may not consider Matt Harvey an actual prospect any more because he was a Mets starter for over two months. However, Harvey did spend the majority of the 2012 season in the minor leagues and was called up for the first time in late July.
In ten starts this past season, Harvey went 3-5 with a 2.73 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 59.1 innings pitched. Despite a few rough starts, Harvey looked very composed in most of his starts and consistently reached 98 MPH on his fastball. He gave the Mets and their fans a taste of what they could see from him for many years to come.
Going into the 2013 season, Harvey is slated to be the Mets' No. 3 starter behind R.A. Dickey and Jon Niese. This could easily change if one of these pitchers gets traded this off-season. Over a full season, 15-16 wins, an ERA under 3.50 and over 180 strikeouts are numbers that the Mets and their fans should be able to expect from Harvey as he establishes himself as one of the best young pitchers in baseball.
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Matt Harvey is certainly one of the Mets' top prospects, but arguably their very top prospect is fellow pitcher Zack Wheeler. Wheeler is not likely to make the Mets' roster out of Spring Training, but will almost certainly play a big role with the Mets by sometime in the summer.
Wheeler could get called up due to either poor performances from other pitchers or if an injury occurs. June or July would be a reasonable time to expect his call-up to occur, but if for example, Johan Santana goes down with a season-ending injury in May, Wheeler would almost certainly get called up by then.
Between Class AA Binghamton and Class AAA Buffalo, Wheeler went 12-8 last season with a 3.26 ERA and 148 strikeouts in 149 innings pitched. His fastball can reach the 97-98 MPH range and he already has an above average curveball.
The Mets and their fans will not know for sure when they will see Wheeler in a Mets uniform, but it will happen sometime in the 2013 MLB season and he should not disappoint.
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One September 2012 call-up that could potentially have a big impact on the Mets' bullpen in 2013 is Jeurys Familia. Familia has been a starting pitcher for the vast majority of his life, but due to his high velocity, he is more likely be a reliever in the major leagues.
In the minor leagues at Class AAA Buffalo this past season, Familia was 9-9 with a 4.73 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 137 innings pitched. However, his 73 walks were rather concerning, and that is a big reason why he is more likely to find major league success as a reliever.
Familia was called up to the Mets in early September. He made eight major league appearances, with only one start. Overall, Familia was 0-0 with a 5.84 ERA and ten strikeouts in 12.1 innings pitched. Familia pitched scoreless innings in four of his eight appearances, one of which being two consecutive scoreless innings.
Familia's ERA though, is rather inflated due to an appearance in which he allowed five runs in less than an inning against the Phillies. Furthermore, in his lone start, he allowed six walks and was removed after just four scoreless innings due to a high pitch count.
Going forward, Familia could be a big part of the Mets' 2013 bullpen. He has the high velocity of a future closer, but still needs to improve his control in order to really develop as a pitcher. At only 23 years old though, Familia could have a bright future ahead of him if his control and secondary pitches improve. If that happens, the Mets could possibly have a future closer in Familia.
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Another September call-up that could have an impact on the Mets' 2013 bullpen is Jenrry Mejia. Like Familia, Mejia has spent time as both a starter and a reliever. Mejia though will probably be better off in the major leagues as a reliever as well.
After missing the entire 2011 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, Mejia spent the early portion of the 2012 season making rehabilitation appearances for Class A St. Lucie and Class AA Binghamton before getting called up to Class AAA Buffalo. In Class AAA Buffalo, Mejia was 3-4 with a 3.54 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 73.2 innings pitched.
Mejia though, only made ten starts in his 26 total appearances. He was rotated back and forth between being a starter and reliever, which was not particularly good for his development.
In September, Mejia was called up to the Mets and made five appearances down the stretch, including three starts. Altogether, he was 1-2 with a 5.63 ERA and eight strikeouts in 16 innings pitched.
Mejia struggled in two of his three starts by giving up five runs in three innings during one start and four runs within five innings in the other. In between those two starts though, was a scoreless start that lasted five innings. Mejia gave up one run in a two-inning relief appearance and pitched a scoreless inning in another appearance.
Looking into the future, it has not been definitively decided whether Mejia will be a starting pitcher or a reliever. He could possibly make the Mets' 2012 bullpen out of Spring Training just like he did in 2010. Hopefully, he will show better command of his secondary pitches and control in general.
Being that Familia and Mejia are very similar as pitchers, it's possible that one of the two could get traded this off-season. If that is the case, the one that does not get dealt would have a great shot at making the Mets' bullpen out of Spring Training.
Matt Den Dekker
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Unlike this past season, which saw Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Jordany Valdespin both have a significant impact on the Mets as rookies, there will most likely not be as many rookie offensive contributions in 2013.
One outfield prospect that could be a part of the Mets' roster in 2013 though, is Matt den Dekker. Drafted in the fifth round of the 2010 MLB Draft, den Dekker spent the 2012 season split between Class AA Binghamton and Class AAA Buffalo. In Class AA Binghamton, den Dekker played very well with a .340 average, eight home runs, 29 RBI, 21 doubles and ten stolen bases.
After 58 games in Class AA Binghamton, den Dekker was promoted to Class AAA Buffalo. However, he did not hit as well after the promotion. He batted just .220 despite nine home runs, 47 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 77 games. What really stood out in den Dekker's Class AAA stint was his .256 OBP. He had just 34 walks for the entire 2012 season, which is something he will have to improve on in order to not only make the major leagues, but to also stay there for a long time.
den Dekker has above average speed and plays center field very well defensively. However, in order to be a major league player, he will have to show more patience at the plate and become more of a run producer, if possible.
In the upcoming Spring Training, den Dekker will have an outside chance of becoming the Mets' starting center fielder, with Nieuwenhuis currently being the favorite. If he does not win the starting job though, den Dekker could be on the Mets' Opening Day bench, or could spend more time developing in the minor leagues before getting promoted sometime mid-season.
All in all, den Dekker will be a part of the Mets at some point in 2013. How much of an impact he will have and how long he is on the roster for could vary, but he will almost certainly make his major league debut and get some playing time with the Mets next season.