Stock Up, Stock Down for Mets' Top 10 Prospects for Week 17
The New York Mets farm system got a bit of a boost this weekend when the team's No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft made his professional debut with the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Michael Conforto went 3-for-8 in his first weekend of professional baseball. Not too shabby.
Conforto is widely considered a top-three prospect for the Mets right now. Although he isn't listed here, expect him to be in the top 10 prospect updates in the future. Here's an update on what the rest of the top prospects in the Mets organization did this past week.
Steven Matz, LHP
2014 Season Stats: 17 GS, 7-5, 2.38 ERA, 28 BB, 91K, 98.1 IP
So far in 2014, Steven Matz is having an outstanding year. He has firmly positioned himself as the team’s third-best pitching prospect, and the argument can be made that he is performing like a top-five organizational prospect right now.
Over his first five starts since being called up to Double-A Binghamton in late June, he has pitched to the tune of a 2.79 ERA and has struck out 29 batters in 29 innings. Over that span, Matz has allowed only seven walks and has not allowed more than two walks in any outing.
Even more impressive has been that the majority of hitters he's faced pitching for Binghamton have been right-handed.
Dilson Herrera, 2B
2014 Season Stats: 92 G, .319/.370/.440, 6 HR, 47 RBI, 71 R
Dilson Herrera is positioning himself to be the second baseman of the future for the Mets. He started the season with St. Lucie and, after compiling a slash of .307/.355/.410, was called up to Double-A Binghamton.
Since being promoted, Herrera has not skipped a beat. In 25 games, he has put together a slash line of .350/.410/.524. Over his last 10 games, he is slashing .410/.457/.615.
Gavin Cecchini, SS
2014 Season Stats: 82 G, .238/.311/.362, 4 HR, 36 RBI, 52 R
Gavin Cecchini is having a tough go-around in 2014. He started the season with Savannah and has spent the past 25 games with St. Lucie.
Cecchini’s numbers with Savannah were solid, but since his promotion to St. Lucie, he has floundered. In 25 games, he is slashing .184/.250/.241. Over his past 10 games, he is slashing an abysmal .138/.242/.138.
At 20 years old, Cecchini is playing against guys slightly older, but he has seemed overmatched since the call-up. At this point, with the Mets recently signing Conforto, it’s hard to see Cecchini being considered a top-10 prospect in the organization for much longer.
Cesar Puello, OF
2014 Season Stats: 70 G, .233/.332/.352, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 9 SB
Mets fans had high hopes for Cesar Puello in 2014. He was having an incredible season in 2013 before it was sidetracked by a 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. Unfortunately, Puello is mired in the worst season of his professional career.
The 23-year-old has spent the entire season with Triple-A Las Vegas, which is generally known for being super friendly to hitters. However, it hasn’t been too friendly to Puello, who many expected to put up video game numbers in that environment.
Still, over the last 10 games, Puello’s bat is starting to show signs of life. With a slash line of .320/.433/.720 and three of his four home runs on the year coming in that span, Puello may be starting to get his season back on track.
Stock: Warming Up
Kevin Plawecki, C
2014 Season Stats: 73 G, .310/.368/.472, 8 HR, 54 RBI, 40 R
Kevin Plawecki started the season with Double-A Binghamton, but with the way he was performing, he started to make some noise among the fanbase. This was primarily because, while Plawecki was tearing the cover off the ball in upstate New York, Travis d’Arnaud was slumping big time in New York City.
That controversy was shut down quickly by d’Arnaud, who is performing much better since he straightened things out in Las Vegas.
Since being called up to Las Vegas, Plawecki has cooled down a bit. However, over the past 10 games, he seems to be heating up again, with a .313/.389/.469 slash line.
Amed Rosario, SS
2014 Season Stats: 40 G, .247/.302/.336, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 15 R
Amed Rosario is one of the more interesting prospects in the Mets organization. Just 18 years old, he is currently playing in the New York-Penn League with players three or four years older than him. He has outstanding tools, but at such a young age, it’s really hard to gauge just how good the kid can be.
In order for Rosario to be successful and take advantage of those tools, he will have to work on recognizing pitches and being selective—he has managed only 11 walks in 40 games this season.
Brandon Nimmo, OF
2014 Season Stats: 89 G, .288/.416/.433, 8 HR, 38 RBI, 79 R
Brandon Nimmo started the season with High-A St. Lucie and was having a breakout year. However, since being called up to Binghamton, he has been ice cold.
While at St. Lucie, Nimmo put up a slash line of .322/.448/.458. Since his promotion to Binghamton, his numbers have dropped off drastically—almost 100 percentage points in all slash categories—and over the past 10 games, his slash line is .225/.311/.425.
Double-A is traditionally the toughest adjustment for hitters to make, and Nimmo has definitely been feeling the effects over the past month.
Stock: Cooling Off
Dominic Smith, 1B
2014 Season Stats: 91 G, .291/.349/.353, 0 HR, 29 RBI, 39 R
Dominic Smith, the Mets’ 2013 first-round draft pick, has spent the entire 2014 season with Savannah. The numbers he's put up this season have been fairly impressive, especially when you consider his age (19). He has shown the ability to get on base as well as hit for average.
The most shocking number when looking at Smith’s statistics for 2014 is that he has hit zero home runs so far. However, it’s not too much of a concern considering that Savannah, and the South Atlantic League in general, is generally tough on hitters. Power is usually the last to develop in young hitters, and it’s probably only a matter of time before Smith starts turning some of that raw power into in-game power.
Rafael Montero, SP
2014 Season Stats: 13 GS, 4-2, 3.51 ERA, 56 K, 25 BB, 56.1 IP
Rafael Montero spent a few weeks on the disabled list with a strained left oblique. He was reactivated July 9 and has made two rehab starts (one with the Gulf Coast League Mets and one with St. Lucie). He pitched well in his rehab start in St. Lucie, allowing no earned runs and striking out four in four innings of work.
In his first start with Las Vegas after coming off the disabled list July 20, Montero gave up one earned run over four innings of work. However, he also walked three batters.
Whatever happened to the guy who had a 2.0 BB/9? Hopefully he works out his strike zone issues soon—it's what made him such a special talent.
Noah Syndergaard, SP
2014 Season Stats: 17 GS, 7-5, 5.74 ERA, 87 K, 26 BB, 84.2 IP
Noah Syndergaard has certainly taken his lumps this season. However, it’s all part of the learning process for the young fireballer. The idea that he will be making his major league debut in 2014 has slowly faded as the season has progressed.
It seems even Syndergaard has accepted that he is not ready for the big leagues yet. In a recent interview with Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal, Syndergaard admits to not being ready and still struggling with throwing versus pitching.
In his last start on July 17, things didn’t get much better for Syndergaard. In five innings pitched, he gave up seven earned runs.
While Syndergaard’s stats may be down, his stock is moving up—at least it is for ESPN's Keith Law (subscription required). In Law’s midseason update of his top 50 prospect list, the 21-year-old actually moved up to No. 16.