Meet the Mets: Top 8 New York Mets Prospects for 2012

Ian Hollenberg@@nygsurvivorfan1Contributor IIDecember 15, 2011

Meet the Mets: Top 8 New York Mets Prospects for 2012

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    With the New York Mets' loss of star shortstop Jose Reyes, it is very easy for Mets fans to lose faith in their team. However, fear not Mets fans.

    Though this year may be a rough one, here are eight Mets prospects to get excited about. Some will come up to Queens this year and some won't, but all of them are important parts of the Mets future.

    So come on and meet the Mets' top eight prospects.

    NOTE: this list only includes players who have yet to play a game for the New York Mets.

8. Reese Havens 2B: Double-A Binghamton

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    Reese Havens, the Mets' 2008 first-round pick (along with Ike Davis) is a great talent, but has a bit of an injury history—he only played 58 games last season.

    However, if he can stay healthy, he can challenge Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy for the starting second baseman job sometime in the near future.

7. Brandon Nimmo CF: Rookie League Kingsport

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    The Mets' 2011 first-rounder has only played 10 games, but the Mets have high hopes for their speedy center fielder.

    Brandon Nimmo should make an impact with his speed, as well as his power.

6. Wilmer Flores SS: A+ St. Lucie

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    Wilmer Flores is currently a shortstop in the Class A Advanced St. Lucie Mets.

    In 2011, he played 133 games for St. Lucie, hitting .269 and tallying 81 RBI. If his defense improves, he can become the Mets' shortstop of the future.

5. Kirk Niewenhuis CF/RF: Triple-A Buffalo

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    Kirk Niewenhuis is probably the most pro-ready of all the Mets prospects.

    Niewenhuis' 2011 was cut short due to season-ending surgery, but in 2010 he hit 18 home runs and 77 RBi between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Buffalo.

    He will probably see major league action by the end of 2012

4. Cesar Puello CF/RF: A+ St. Lucie

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    The 20-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic, Cesar Puello showed off his speed in 2010 by swiping 45 bases of Class A Savannah.

    While  Puello's 2011 season in Class A Advanced St. Lucie saw his steals fall to 19, his HR totals rose from one to 10, and his RBI total rose from 34 to 50.

    He has the ability to become the next Carlos Beltran in New York.

3. Jeurys Familia RHP: Double-A Binghamton

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    Jeurys Familia is a great power pitcher. At the age of 22, he can already throw a fastball in the upper 90s.

    Familia, an Eastern league All-Star this past season, has a lot more talent than his 23-22 record as a pitcher shows.

    If he can work on some solid secondary pitches, Familia will be a special big leaguer.

2. Matt Harvey RHP: Double-A Binghamton

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    The former UNC star, Matt Harvey was taken No. 7 overall in the 2010 draft.

    In his first season in the minor leagues, Harvey went 13-5 and fanned 156 batters, splitting time between St. Lucie and Binghamton.

    Harvey (and the guy mentioned) next will provide the Mets with a great 1-2 punch at pitcher for years to come.

1. Zack Wheeler RHP: A+ St. Lucie

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    Zack Wheeler, the San Francisco Giants first-rounder in 2009, is the highly regarded prospect the Mets received from San Francisco in exchange for Carlos Beltran.

    In 2011, Wheeler made major strides, jumping from 58.2 innings pitched in 2010 to 115.0 innings pitched in 2011.

    Wheeler will continue to improve as he works his way up the minor leagues, and will soon become the ace of the Mets rotation—a position he can hopefully hold for many years to come.