New York Mets Prospects: B/R's Top 15 Breakdown, Post 2013 Draft
The New York Mets have done well to bolster their farm system under the Sandy Alderson regime and continued to do so during the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft by drafting high school first baseman Dominic Smith and a slew of other high-potential prospects.
Thanks to the influx of fresh, young talent, the Mets top 15 prospect list has been shaken up a bit. Smith, as you probably expected, is ranked in the top half of prospects on this list for his hitting potential and already stellar defense.
Smith isn't the only 2013 draftee who made the cut, though. The Mets were able to make some sensible—albeit young—picks this year, but we won't know if Alderson, Paul DePodesta and Co. made the right calls until at least four of five years from now.
Read on to find out the new top 15 prospects in the Mets farm system, as Bleacher Report provides you with updated post-draft rankings.
15.) Casey Meisner, RHP, Cypress Woods HS (TX)
Casey Meisner is a big right-handed pitcher out of Cypress Woods High School in Texas. The New York Mets made him their No. 84 draft pick in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft, but we obviously won't see this kid for another half-decade or so.
The first thing you notice about Meisner is his size. He's 6'7" and 190 pounds, so he's extremely lanky now, but that frame should fill out as he adopts a more professional workout regiment.
Perfectgame.com reports mention the fact that he works downhill and throws over the top. Couple that with his "projectable body and velocity," and the Mets seem to have the makings of a late-round steal.
14.) LJ Mazzilli, 2B, UConn
LJ Mazzilli is the son of former big-leaguer Lee Mazzilli, so he is likely to have more of a grasp on the game than some of the other players the New York Mets drafted.
MLB.com emphasized his intelligence on the base paths, as well as his ability to hit for average. He hit .354 in his senior season at UConn, and is 22 years old. That means we may see him climbing up the minor league ranks faster than his peers.
While he won't be a power guy at the next level, he has good gap power, which is evident in his 16 doubles in 62 games in his senior year as a Husky.
13.) Ivan Wilson, OF, Ruston HS (LA)
Ruston High School outfielder Ivan Wilson was the New York Mets No. 76 overall draft pick this season. Wilson has one thing going for him that a lot of guys taken out of high school don't: his frame.
At 6'3", 220 pounds, Wilson already has a big-league body. Unfortunately, he just turned 18.
His Under Armour All-American profile notes his "above-average speed and excellent bat speed." He has a fundamentally sound swing and he has exhibited raw power throughout his career.
12.) Andrew Church, RHP, Basic HS (NV)
The New York Mets used their No. 48 overall pick on Andrew Church, a high-risk prospect who can return a respectable award. Paul DePodesta, Sandy Alderson's right-hand man when it comes to scouting and drafting, was quoted by MLB.com as saying Church projects to be a "solid middle-of-the-rotation guy."
One of the concerns about Church is that he hasn't played nearly as much baseball over the last four years as most of the other guys drafted around him.
MLB.com's quick scouting report refers to the fact that he lost two seasons of eligibility in high school and was only cleared of his eligibility issues late last season. Either way, he projects to have a plus changeup and curve ball after some major league coaching, the latter of which falls off the table nicely.
11.) Luis Mateo, RHP
Many people in the New York Mets organization are high on Luis Mateo, a sentiment that is well warranted after he finished the 2012 season in low-A Brooklyn with a 2.45 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 73.1 innings.
That talk has died down a bit since Mateo left his start on April 15 with an elbow issue and hasn't pitched since. MetsMinorLeaguBlog reported that Mateo is resting and rehabbing, but nobody seems to have a timetable for when he could make his next start.
Hopefully Mateo can stay healthy and get back on track.
10.) Gavin Cecchini, 2B
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Gavin Cecchini was the New York Mets 2012 No. 1 overall pick in the June First-Year Player Draft, and hasn't exactly made any noise in rookie ball and low-A ball.
Last season, in Kingsport and Brooklyn, Cecchini hit under .250, stole only five bases and walked just 18 times in 218 plate appearances. His baserunning skills, knowledge of the strike zone and ability to work the count will get better with age, which will definitely pull his average up.
The Cyclones start their season on June 17. Keep an eye out for Cecchini in Brooklyn. He could be the second baseman of the future if things work in his favor.
9.) Domingo Tapia, RHP
Domingo Tapia has the look of a productive major league pitcher. He's 6'4, 190 pounds and has a live arm that executives like to see in their prospects.
The 21-year-old right-hander had been on a roll until his start on May 24 when he allowed six earned runs in just one-third of an inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate. Prior to that start, Tapia had posted a 2.23 ERA and has been making a compelling case for a promotion to the next level.
Tapia displayed a short memory, though, and hurled five innings of one-run ball in the following start. He still has a while to go and is playing against inferior competition in high-A ball, but he's looked great thus far.
8.) Michael Fulmer, RHP
Michael Fulmer was the second of two New York Mets picks in the first round of 2011 and posted a 2.74 ERA last season in A-ball with the Savannah Sand Gnats. It looked like he was on his way to moving up in the system before he went under the knife for knee surgery in March.
Fulmer has made a relatively speedy recovery from his torn meniscus and completed an inning in just 12 pitches in an extended spring training game on Wednesday.
By all accounts, Fulmer projects to be an above-average starter for the Mets, but we need to withhold judgment until he notches some more innings in the minors.
7.) Rafael Montero, RHP
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Rafael Montero has been absolutely dealing for the Binghamton Mets this season, so much so that he garnered a one-start promotion to Las Vegas in which he allowed a couple of runs in 6.2 innings of work.
Montero is back in Double-A where his ERA sits at 2.72 through 59.2 innings. He has allowed more than two runs on just two occasions and there is only one blemish on Montero's record. On the first day of May, Montero got pummeled for 10 runs (seven earned) in 6.2 innings.
Without that start, Montero is the proud owner of a 1.87 ERA. We'll see if he's the pitcher who joins the Triple-A club when Zack Wheeler is promoted. He should be.
6.) Dominic Smith, 1B, Junipero Serra HS (CA)
Many people voiced their displeasure when it was announced that the New York Mets selected Dominic Smith, a first baseman out of Junipero Serra High School in Los Angeles with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft, but I like it.
Seeing as the entire MLB draft is a crapshoot no matter what number you are picking at, I'm okay with bringing in another kid who will take time to develop before we see him in New York.
On Thursday night's broadcast on MLB Network, Jim Callis mentioned that Smith just might have the best bat in the draft in regards to the power and average combination.
Experts around the league were lauding his character, but it is his swing that has my eye. It's so smooth and in the zone for so long, which lets him spray the ball to all fields.
Yes, this kid turns 18 on June 15, but he plays beyond his years. Paul DePodesta called him a "complete player" and mentioned his "plus plus" defense.
Also, Smith hit .493 in his senior year. So that's pretty good.
5.) Brandon Nimmo, CF
Along with Michael Fulmer, Brandon Nimmo was one of two high school players that the New York Mets drafted in the first round of the 2011 draft. Nimmo went first, at No. 13 overall and has justified that decision with his season in A-ball.
The Wyoming native missed most of May because of a hand injury, but currently has his average at .303 to go along with a .399 on-base percentage. Just like the prospect before him on this list, he's a sweet-swinging lefty with a ton of contact potential.
After starting the season off hot, Nimmo came back to earth, but has since turned it up again. In his last six games, he has racked up eight hits and five RBI.
4.) Wilmer Flores, INF
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Wilmer Flores has primarily been playing second base this season in Las Vegas, which pushes the thought into my mind that Sandy Alderson is patiently and carefully grooming a replacement for Daniel Murphy.
I, of course, have no inside information on the matter, but it seems like a viable option to me—not one that I 100 percent agree with—but viable nonetheless.
Flores is hitting .325 since May 1 and has bounced back from a sub-par start. He still only has four homers, a slight concern for a guy who has been pegged as a contact and power hitter.
He's showing the potential to be a doubles juggernaut like Murphy and already has 20 on the season. Don't forget that he is still just 21 years old, and already has five years of minor league experience under his belt.
He's only going to improve.
3.) Noah Syndergaard, RHP
I'm hearing increasingly more talk about how the New York Mets might turn Noah Syndergaard into a trade chip when his value begins to increase over the next year or so. If he keeps pitching at the caliber that he has been over the last six weeks, Sandy Alderson is going to get a nice return on his investment.
Over his last 45.2 innings—a span of 10 starts—the "other" prospect in the R.A. Dickey trade has posted a 1.77 ERA in high-A ball.
He has struck out over a batter per inning this season, and surrendered his lone home run of the year on April 18 during a start in which he clearly didn't have his best stuff (seven earned runs in three innings).
Dude is dealing. Call him up right now (just kidding).
2.) Travis D'Arnaud, C
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Travis d'Arnaud hasn't touched the field since April 17 when he broke his left foot, but according to the New York Post's Mike Puma, the catcher has been cleared to start limited workouts in his journey back to Triple-A Las Vegas.
That's great news for the New York Mets, but it doesn't calm my nerves about his already worrisome list of injuries. Last season, d'Arnaud suffered a knee injury that ended his season in July, and he will likely miss two months before he returns this season.
The Mets need bodies now, but d'Arnaud can't be one of those bodies if he can't stay healthy. Not to mention the fact that he's getting beat up early in his career.
Catchers usually suffer the most physically in comparison to any other position player, so this isn't a red flag yet, so to speak. But d'Arnaud needs at-bats and time behind the plate if he's going to help the Mets at all this season—an idea that doesn't look as likely now as it did during spring training.
1.) Zack Wheeler, RHP
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It's happening! It's finally happening! It feels like the holiday season now that Zack Wheeler is about to be called up to the New York Mets.
We don't know the exact date that he will make his first start, but it's imminent at this juncture in time. Some reports indicate that he'll start next Friday against the Chicago Cubs. Some others believe it will be closer to the Atlanta Braves series.
Either way, we'll see Wheeler in action sometime within the next 10 days or so. This will likely be the last time Wheeler makes a "prospects" list, so enjoy it while you can.
Mets PR chief Jay Horowitz was excited enough about this kid to fly from Miami to New York to Phoenix to Fresno to Los Angeles and back to New York. He did all of this traveling from Monday at 4 a.m. to Tuesday at 8 a.m.
Wheeler is the prospect who is going to lock down Sandy Alderson's job or push it closer to the edge. If he comes up and starts dealing right away, it's the former. If he bombs in his first few starts, fans are going to get cranky.
You don't want to miss his debut. That's for sure.