New York Mets: Top 10 Minor League Performers of 2011
The New York Mets farm system was ranked at No. 20 by Baseball America this season. Sandy Alderson and his staff took over a Mets organization that was said to have a weak farm system.
But they soon realized that the team does actually have a lot of talented players in the farm system. Omar Minaya may not have done the best job as the Mets general manager, but he did leave behind a lot of talent and fans should recognize him for that.
The Mets' farm system had a very productive season this year and it looks as if it is heading in the right direction. Many of the team's younger talents are getting older, more talented and closer to the big leagues. That will make the team's farm system rank higher next year.
The Mets have an abundance of talent and I am going to list the team's top 10 minor league players of this season based mostly on their performances this year. I hope that you enjoy my list. Feel free to voice your opinions in the comment section below.
Note: This is not a New York Mets top prospects list.
Player Name: 2011 Minor League Statistics: Player Analysis
Jenrry Mejia: 1-2, 2.86 ERA: Mejia is arguably the Mets top prospect even after he missed most of the season due to surgery. The only reason that Mejia is not ranked on my list is because this is not a top prospects list.
It is a top minor league performers list. Look for Mejia to have a fantastic season next year in the minor leagues and possibly make his way to the big leagues near the All-Star break.
Wilmer Flores: 133 Games, 516 AB, 52 Runs, 139 Hits, 9 HR, 81 RBI, 2 SB, 2 CS, 27 SO, 68 SO, .269/.309/.380: Flores is another top Mets prospect that doesn't make this list. He had a solid season and he is still one of the Mets' top prospects.
He played most of his season as a 19-year-old in the Florida State League and his numbers are very impressive. Look for Flores to continue his progress next season.
No. 10: Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B (Age 19)
Aderlin Rodriguez is your typical right handed power hitter. He bashed 17 home runs this season with Savannah. His batting average left little to be desired at .221, but he is still very young and developing.
The exciting thing is that when he made contact he hit the ball hard. Along with his 17 home runs, he hit 23 doubles and two triples. Look for this kid to turn heads next season.
No. 9: Taylor Whitenton, RHP (Age 23)
Taylor Whitenton had a breakout year this season. He won the SAL League ERA title with a 2.49 ERA. He went 5-5 in 22 games started. His hit-to-strikeout ratio was also fantastic.
He gave up 77 hits in 112 innings pitched along with 119 strike outs and a mere 48 walks. These are impressive stats and it will be interesting to see if Whitenton can produce even a fraction of his great 2010 season next year.
He has the tools and command it seems, so we will see how he handles the higher levels of the minor leagues next year.
No. 8: Zach Lutz, 3B (Age 25)
Lutz was looking at making his major league debut this season, but injury put those hopes to rest. In the short time that Lutz was healthy this season, he hit .295 with 11 home runs in 61 games.
Lutz is a solid bat that might make a good bench player. He will look to impress the Mets in spring training next season and hopefully travel north with the team, possibly earning a spot on the bench.
No. 7: Colin McHugh, RHP (Age 24)
Colin McHugh is a very interesting player. He struggled mightily in A+ ball with a 6.31 ERA. He was called up to Double-A after six starts in Single-A ball.
McHugh went on to shock everybody as he posted a 2.89 ERA in 16 games started with the Mets' double-A affiliate, the Binghamton Mets. McHugh went 8-2 and was extremely productive, putting himself on the Mets' radar.
McHugh had 100 strikeouts and 32 walks in 93.1 innings pitched in Binghamton. His success was totally unexpected but it was certainly appreciated by everyone involved with the Mets. McHugh will look to continue his way through the minor leagues next year.
No. 6: Jordany Valdespin, SS (Age 23)
Valdespin is in the upper echelon of Mets prospects, on the cusp of making it to the big leagues. He finished his productive 2011 season in Triple-A Buffalo, and there's still a small chance that he will get called up in these last couple weeks of the regular season.
Valdespin will most likely fight for the second base spot in spring training next year if Jose Reyes stays. If Reyes leaves, then he will fight for shortstop.
He posted a .297 batting average in 107 games in Double-A. He also blasted 15 home runs and stole 33 bases.
Valdespin had a solid .341 OBP in Double-A. He got called up the Mets Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons where he played 27 games and posted a .280 average with two home runs.
He produced greatly this season and he will look to make his big league debut next year. It will be interesting to follow him throughout spring training to see what happens.
No. 5: Matt Harvey, RHP (Age 22)
Matt Harvey is arguably the Mets' top prospect, thanks in part to his fantastic 2011 season. The Mets selected Harvey seventh overall in the 2010 draft.
He has definitely been living up to his expectations. He has optimal size for a pitcher at 6'4" and 210 pounds.
Harvey dominated the competition in A+ ball earlier this season. He went 8-2 with a 2.37 ERA. That earned him a call up to Double-A. He had a rough start but he quickly got on track and began throwing gem after gem.
He finished the Double-A season with a 4.53 ERA but his performance was much better than the numbers suggest.
Harvey pitched a total of 135.2 innings this season between Single-A and Double-A. He had 156 strikeouts and only allowed 47 walks. He simply looked fantastic.
He will probably make an appearance with the Mets in spring training and then get sent back to the minors to work on his pitches. But he should make his way to the big leagues fairly soon. Harvey is a legitimate top prospect, and it will be very exciting to watch his journey to the big leagues.
No. 4: Jeurys Familia, RHP (Age 21)
Jeurys Familia is another premier prospect for the Mets. Familia had a fantastic 2011 season and he is now considered one of the Mets' top five prospects by many talent evaluators.
He posted a 1.49 ERA in six games started in Single-A ball. Jeurys was clearly above the competition so he got the call up to Double-A where he continued his success with a 3.49 ERA in 17 games started.
Familia will most likely follow a similar path to Matt Harvey. If the two of them succeed in the minors next season they will be in the big leagues by the 2013 or even next season. These two pitchers are considered future dominant pitchers in the majors.
Anything can happen and nothing is promised, but these two kids are just so good. It will be very exciting to watch Familia's progress next season. Mets fans should keep an eye on him, they shouldn't be disappointed.
No. 3: Darin Gorski, LHP (Age 23)
Gorski burst onto the scene this season and was named the organization's pitcher of the year. Not many people knew about this kid at the beginning of the season but his numbers made him hard to overlook. Gorski played his entire 2011 season in Single-A ball. He posted a miniscule 2.08 ERA and went 11-3.
His strikeouts-to-walks ratio was also very strong. He compiled 140 strikeouts and only 29 walks in 138.2 innings pitched. Gorski will look to show the Mets that his 2011 season wasn't a fluke and he is hoping to establish himself as a true top prospect for the New York Mets.
No. 2: Juan Lagares, Outfielder (Age 22)
Juan Lagares is an intriguing player in the Mets' farm system. All you really need to know about him is that he had a 19 game hitting streak earlier this season with Double-A Binghamton.
If that wasn't enough to convince that you this kid is special, he had a .338 batting average in 82 games with a Single-A team. After he got called up to Double-A, he batted .370.
He also threw in a total of nine home runs and 15 stolen bases. This type of success wasn't expected from him, but the Mets are taking it. Hopefully he can continue his success next season.
No. 1: Josh Satin, 1B/2B/3B (Age 26)
Satin is my top minor league performer and he was also awarded the organization's hitter of the year. Satin is in the big leagues deservedly so. He worked very hard to make his way to the bigs, and the Mets couldn't resist calling him up this September.
He hit for a .323 total average between Double-A and Triple-A. He also hit 12 home runs. Satin put together a solid season in the minors and all of his hard work paid off. He projects as a solid bench player down the line.
Thanks to baseballreference.com for all of the players' minor league stats.