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There aren't many top prospects who burst onto the scene at 23 years old like Matt Harvey did on July 26, to the tune of 11 strikeouts in 5.1 shutout innings.
It's even less likely that each of the top-four prospects in a team's system pan out beautifully. Including Harvey, who is a shade above a prospect at this point, Zack Wheeler, Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard are considered four of the most valuable young assets the New York Mets have.
At just 22 years old, Wheeler went 12-8 in Double-A and Triple-A while posting a K/9-inning ratio of nearly nine.
He has been lauded for his electric stuff, but just like the latter two players on the above list, he likely won't be on the Opening Day roster due to contractual purposes, which would grant the Mets another year of player control if he is left in the minors for the first three weeks of the season.
Even when he makes it to the majors, expect the road to potential stardom to be bumpy for the 6'4", 185-pound righty.
The story is a bit different for d'Arnaud, as he has a history of injuries—a very disconcerting trend for a 23-year-old catching prospect. His minor league season ended early in 2012 when he tore his PCL in June. Luckily, there was no serious damage to his other major ligaments.
D'Arnaud is going to have his issues when he makes his MLB debut. He hit .333 in 67 games at Triple-A in 2012, but he will take some time to get acclimated to major-league pitching.
Speaking of getting acclimated, d'Arnaud will need ample experience with the pitching staff before he becomes comfortable.
Of all the players mentioned in this slide, Syndergaard is the wild card. We've heard that he has the potential to be a solid front-of-the-rotation starter, but we haven't seen enough of him yet to be sure.
At just 20 years old, one could say that Syndergaard is just as likely to fall off the map as he is to make it to the majors.