Stock Up, Stock Down for New York Mets' Top 10 Prospects for Week 7

Matthew MusicoContributor IIIMay 18, 2014

Stock Up, Stock Down for New York Mets' Top 10 Prospects for Week 7

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    Uncredited/Associated Press

    The New York Mets have shown they’re not afraid to promote players from Triple-A in order to provide a spark at the big league level.

    Manager Terry Collins has watched his squad fall 3.5 games out of first place in the National League East, current owners of a 20-23 record. After promoting Wilmer Flores and Eric Campbell, Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom were also called to the big leagues, as well as Josh Edgin.

    As we continue to move closer toward the summer, top prospects are vying for midseason promotions to further accelerate their development through the Mets’ farm system.

    MLB.com has ranked the organization’s top 10 prospects. Let’s see who has seen their stock rise, fall or remain even over the last week.

     

    *No. 5 prospect Amed Rosario hasn’t started his season yet with the Brooklyn Cyclones. He will not be included until he’s active. The Cyclones begin their season on June 13.

No. 11 Prospect: SP Steven Matz, High-A St. Lucie

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    7 GS, 2-2, 2.09 ERA, 14 BB, 36 K, 38.2 IP

     

    Overview

    Steven Matz would have grabbed his third win of the season against the Tampa Yankees on May 13, but the bullpen blew a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning. The southpaw got his walks under control, but he allowed a season-high eight hits over five innings pitched.

    Once again, Matz showed the ability to work around trouble, only letting one run cross the plate despite dealing with 10 baserunners. Even though Tampa hitters hit .400 off the lefty this week, he tied a season high with six strikeouts.

    He continues having tough luck at Tradition Field, winless in his four starts, but owns a 3.00 ERA in 21 innings of work. Hitters have posted a .313 batting average against Matz at home, while he holds them to a .175 average on the road.

    The Long Island native has been consistent, working at least five innings in each of his seven starts for St. Lucie this season.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    1 GS, ND, 5 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

     

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    Even

No. 10 Prospect: 2B Dilson Herrera, High-A St. Lucie

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    2014 Stats

    43 G, .317/.358/.403, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 33 R

     

    Overview

    With each week that passes, Dilson Herrera continues to impress in High-A St. Lucie. His .317 average is in the top 10 of the Florida State League, while his 33 runs scored trail only Brandon Nimmo (39).

    He’s been red-hot with the bat, including six multihit performances in his last seven games. Through his first 73 at-bats in May, he’s hitting .356/.377/.452 with five extra-base hits.

    Herrera has also improved his on-base percentage to .336 in his 121 at-bats with the bases empty.

    His current hot streak could possibly put him in the conversation for a midseason promotion to Double-A. Herrera’s power stroke has started to come around, as well. Through 17 games in May, those five extra-base hits (four doubles and one home run) is one less than he had in 26 April games.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    13-for-31, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 6 R

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 9 Prospect: SS Gavin Cecchini, Low-A Savannah

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    2014 Stats

    38 G, .268/.335/.418, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 28 R

     

    Overview

    Gavin Cecchini’s surprising power surge in 2014 has continued over his last 10 games, with five of his nine hits going for extra bases. Unfortunately, he’s only hitting .237 in the last week and a half.

    Despite a recent cold streak, the shortstop is still hitting .322/.369/.542 through 59 at-bats in May. Most of Cecchini’s damage has come in front of the home fans at Historic Grayson Stadium.

    He’s hitting .303/.365/.434 in 76 home at-bats, a stark contrast to the .234/.306/.403 line in 77 at-bats on the road.

    The question has been whether or not Cecchini can keep up this extra-base hit pace, and he has so far. With 14 extra-base hits in 153 at-bats this season, he has already surpassed last year’s total of eight in 194 at-bats.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    5-for-25, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R

     

    Stock

    Even

No. 8 Prospect: RF Cesar Puello, Triple-A Las Vegas

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    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    2014 Stats

    34 G, .261/.325/.339, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 18 R

     

    Overview

    Cesar Puello is currently enjoying his most successful run in Triple-A this season. He went on the temporarily inactive list for two games last week, without a reason being provided. We soon found out Puello’s absence was Biogenesis-related.

    The outfielder flew to Miami to meet with investigators. He’s not in any more trouble but is cooperating in the investigation of Tony Bosch’s anti-aging clinic.

    That trip to Florida must have spurred Puello into action, posting three mulithit games over the past week. Up until this point, he had been struggling to hit at Cashman Field, but that’s changed quickly.

    Through 71 at-bats, Puello is now hitting .310/.364/.366. His power swing is beginning to come around, collecting three extra-base hits this week. That includes his first home run of 2014.

    The outfielder still has plenty of work to do, but this is the kind of start he needs to get on a significant roll and turn his season around.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    8-for-18, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 6 R

     

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No. 7 Prospect: C Kevin Plawecki, Double-A Binghamton

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    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    2014 Stats

    27 G, .330/.364/.431, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 13 R

     

    Overview

    Kevin Plawecki’s week has included just one double through 21 at-bats, but he’s come alive in the RBI department, doubling his season total.

    The backstop’s 2014 got off to a slow start with a .250/.300/.304 line in 56 April at-bats, but May is off to a torrid start, currently hitting .415/.431/.566 in 53 at-bats.

    The struggles of Travis d’Arnaud at the big league level make Plawecki’s hot streak all the more important. D’Arnaud is hitting .196 through 102 at-bats this season and is currently on the seven-day concussion disabled list.

    Juan Centeno is taking his spot on the roster while he recovers, but Plawecki could soon be knocking on the door. If he continues hitting, a midseason promotion to Triple-A Las Vegas is not out of the realm of possibility, putting him one step away from his big league debut.

    That won’t likely come this season—unless it’s a September call-up—but his production combined with d’Arnaud’s struggles could lead to an interesting conversation in a few months.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    7-for-21, 0 HR, 8 RBI, 1 R

     

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No. 6 Prospect: CF Brandon Nimmo, High-A St. Lucie

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    Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

    2014 Stats

    43 G, .331/.462/.450, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 39 R

     

    Overview

    The month of May has been much slower than April was for Nimmo. Through 61 at-bats, the outfielder is hitting .246/.387/.344, compared to a .384/.508/.515 line in 99 at-bats last month.

    This is an important stretch for Nimmo. He got off to a quick start in 2013 with Savannah, but injuries forced him to miss a significant amount of time, followed by a prolonged slump throughout the summer upon his return to the lineup.

    He needs to bounce back soon to show he can minimize the length of his slumps and be more consistent overall. Despite a .231 batting average over the last week, Nimmo recorded at least one triple in three straight games, while scoring a run in four consecutive contests.

    Nimmo’s sample size against southpaws is pretty small (53 at-bats), but his .340 batting average is better than the .327 mark he owns against right-handers in 107 at-bats.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    6-for-26, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 4 R

     

    Stock

    Even

No. 4 Prospect: SS/2B Wilmer Flores, New York Mets

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    Kathy Kmonicek/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    4 G, .200/.294/.200, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 R

     

    Overview

    The Mets have been in search of an offensive spark. They promoted Flores to do just that for Collins’ struggling lineup.

    He was expected to be the starting shortstop for the foreseeable future, relegating Ruben Tejada to the bench. Flores went 2-for-8 in his first two games before coming down with a cold, missing a couple of starts.

    In his absence, Tejada had a few solid games, which has apparently changed Collins’ mind. ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin tweeted on May 17 Tejada would continue getting most of the playing time at shortstop, now pushing Flores to the bench.

    The 22-year-old has played in only one game in the past week, while Tejada is hitting .179 in his last 10 games.

    Keeping Flores on the bench is one of the most confusing moves Collins has made as manager of the Mets. He was adamant in spring training that if he didn’t play every day in the majors, he would be sent to Triple-A to do so.

    He tore up competition with the Las Vegas 51s, posting a .307/.360/.500 line with five home runs and 25 RBI in 114 at-bats. New York promoted him at the right time but didn’t take advantage of his hot bat once he got over his sickness.

    His offensive potential—and possible trade value—is plummeting while Tejada continues to sputter.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    1-for-3, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 R

     

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    Down

No. 3 Prospect: 1B Dominic Smith, Low-A Savannah

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    2014 Stats

    41 G, .248/.318/.284, 0 HR, 8 RBI, 16 R

     

    Overview

    Dominic Smith has turned his season around in May after an incredibly cold April. The left-handed hitter is hitting .304/.400/.339 in 56 at-bats but is only hitting .200 over the past week.

    He’s only driven in eight runs on the season, but six RBI have come over his last seven days.

    Smith has actually posted a .295 batting average over 61 at-bats at Grayson Stadium, yet his .328 slugging percentage isn’t nearly as impressive.

    The left-hander has shown an ability to get hot at the plate very quickly, and he could turn around his current luck with the bat at a moment’s notice. All it takes is one good swing from him to get on a hot streak.

    As he continues experiencing bumps in the road in his first full season of professional ball, he’ll learn how to remain more consistent while getting through the daily grind.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    5-for-25, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 2 R

     

    Stock

    Down

No. 2 Prospect: SP Rafael Montero, New York Mets

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    Uncredited/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    1 GS, 0-1, 4.50 ERA, 2 BB, 3 K, 6 IP

     

    Overview

    Rafael Montero’s big league debut couldn’t have happened on a bigger stage, considering the time of year. He took the mound at Citi Field Wednesday against Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees in the Subway Series.

    It was tough to compete with the four-hit shutout from Tanaka, but the 23-year-old put together an impressive debut. His pitch count was elevated through the first three innings, but he settled down enough to get through six frames, not leading the bullpen to get overworked.

    Montero gave up two solo home runs but did a nice job of limiting the damage done by Yankees hitters. He could’ve used some run support from his own offense, but none of it came.

    After a mostly successful debut, the right-hander will stay in the rotation for the time being. With 24 starts at Triple-A Las Vegas under his belt, he truly has nothing else to prove in the minors.

    His next start comes Tuesday at Citi Field against Josh Beckett and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    1 GS, L, 6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 1 Prospect: SP Noah Syndergaard, Triple-A Las Vegas

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    2014 Stats

    9 GS, 5-2, 3.88, 17 BB, 51 K, 48.2 IP

     

    Overview

    After getting hit hard in his May 10 start against Tacoma, Noah Syndergaard came back to grab his fifth win of the season for the 51s, limiting El Paso to two runs and six hits over five innings pitched.

    It is the fifth straight start where “Thor” has worked at least five innings. His time in Triple-A is expected to be short, but with the promotions of Montero and deGrom last week, it’s clear Syndergaard still has more to learn before getting promoted.

    Ray Brewer of the Las Vegas Sun reports manager Wally Backman sees this experience as an opportunity for the right-hander:

    "Sometimes failure is a good thing for any position or any pitcher to see how they respond to that. They will (take) some lumps once in a while. It shows you some of the things that come from within a player."

    Syndergaard’s most recent outing was a step in the right direction. The next test will be whether he can continue moving forward in his next appearance this week.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    1 GS, W, 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

     

    Stock

    Even

     

    Player statistics sourced from MiLB.com.