Brandon Nimmo could have a breakout season in St. Lucie.
Hitter to Watch: Brandon Nimmo, OF
Brandon Nimmo is an easy selection as the hitter to watch in St. Lucie, as he is arguably the hitter to watch throughout the whole organization.
Last season at Low-A Savannah, Nimmo had a strange season with elongated periods of success and failure. He started the season scorching hot and looked primed for a midseason promotion to St. Lucie, but late in April, he suffered a hand injury.
After returning from the injury, he was a different hitter at the plate, hitting for much less power while striking out at an alarming rate. However, toward the end of the season, he began to figure it out and finished the year hitting for much greater consistency.
The Mets knew Nimmo would take time to develop, and this could be the year he breaks out. He is healthier and stronger than last season, and he made a great impression after his time at major league spring training.
Fans should focus on how Nimmo improves upon the three greatest weaknesses in his game: how he performs against lefties, if he can cut down on his strikeouts and if he can start hitting for power in games.
Pitcher to Watch: Michael Fulmer, RHP
The St. Lucie pitching staff is full of pitchers to watch, but Michael Fulmer is the most important.
After a great season pitching in full-season ball in 2012, Fulmer seemed primed to build off his success in 2013. However, a nagging knee injury halted his development and Fulmer has become a forgotten entity by many.
If Fulmer stays healthy this season, he could become one of the organization's top prospects by the year’s end. If he can improve the command of his outstanding fastball while refining his secondary offerings, Fulmer will replace the arms that will graduate to the big leagues this season as one of the Mets' elite pitching prospects.
Under-the-Radar Prospect: Domingo Tapia, RHP
In a farm system full of pitching prospects, Domingo Tapia has the best individual pitch in the organization with his fastball. It is consistently 99 to 100 miles per hour with devastating sinking action.
Despite his remarkable fastball, Tapia has a long way to go to be considered a part of the Mets' future. His fastball command is completely unrefined, and his secondary offerings have a long way to go to be considered average.
Tapia’s performance in 2013 was disappointing, but his outstanding arm strength will always give him a chance to become an elite prospect. If Tapia refines any aspect of his game this season, Mets fans should be thrilled.
Despite having one of the most intriguing hitters in the farm system, the St. Lucie Mets are interesting because of their pitching.
Outside of Nimmo, Dilson Herrera is the next best position prospect on the team. Acquired in the Marlon Byrd trade, Herrera is a small second baseman with surprising power. Hopefully, he can maintain his power production while improving his hit tool in St. Lucie.
Third baseman Aderlin Rodriguez has massive power, but he needs to show he can stay at third defensively as well as cut down on his strikeouts if he is going to be considered a part of the Mets’ future.
Tapia and Fulmer will be crucial parts of the staff, but Steven Matz will also be a key member of the rotation. Matz was the darling of spring training, as he impressed evaluators with his mid 90s fastball coming from the left side.
Matz was successful last season in Low-A Savannah, and he has the potential to be a fast-mover through the minors if he can stay healthy, something he was unable to do prior to last season.