Top 18 Prospects: New York Mets by Eric Longenhagen April 2, 2018 Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the New York Mets. Scouting reports are compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as from our own (both Eric Longenhagen’s and Kiley McDaniel’s) observations. For more information on the 20-80 scouting scale by which all of our prospect content is governed you can click here. For further explanation of the merits and drawbacks of Future Value, read this. Top Prospects Series 20182017ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFGALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG Mets Top Prospects Rk Name Age High Level Position ETA FV 1 David Peterson 22 R LHP 2019 50 2 Andres Gimenez 19 A SS 2020 45 3 Tomas Nido 23 AA C 2018 45 4 Ronny Mauricio 16 R SS 2023 45 5 Justin Dunn 22 A+ RHP 2019 45 6 Mark Vientos 18 R 3B 2022 45 7 Peter Alonso 22 AA 1B 2019 45 8 Desmond Lindsay 21 A OF 2020 45 9 Luis Guillorme 23 AA UTIL 2018 45 10 Thomas Szapucki 21 A LHP 2021 40 11 Chris Flexen 23 MLB RHP 2018 40 12 Marcos Molina 23 R RHP 2018 40 13 Tony Dibrell 22 A- RHP 2020 40 14 Anthony Kay 23 R LHP 2021 40 15 Gerson Bautista 22 A+ RHP 2019 40 16 Adrian Hernandez 17 R OF 2022 40 17 Gavin Cecchini 24 MLB 2B 2018 40 18 Jamie Callahan 23 MLB RHP 2018 40 50 FV Prospects 1. David Peterson, LHP Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from Oregon Age 22 Height 6’6 Weight 240 Bat/Throw L/L Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command 55/55 50/55 40/45 50/55 45/55 Peterson had a great junior year at Oregon in 2017, showing four good pitches and throwing more strikes than is typical for a pitcher his size. He sits 90-92 with heavy sink, will touch 95, and his fastball plays up because of good extension. He made heavy use of a slider that garners mixed reviews depending on if you’re talking to a scout (who consider it a 50/55) or someone looking at a Trackman readout (40/45), but it missed Pac-12 bats and should be fine even if it doesn’t spin a whole lot. Peterson also has a curveball and changeup, both of which are potential big-league weapons, but he rarely used them in college. Some scouts thought the changeup could eventually be his best pitch if it’s refined with more pro reps. We have the changeup projected fairly aggressively and think Peterson is a quick-moving league-average starting-pitching prospect. He had some injury trouble as a sophomore at Oregon but otherwise possesses little variance in his profile. 45 FV Prospects 2. Andres Gimenez, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Venezuela Age 18 Height 5’11 Weight 176 Bat/Throw L/R Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/55 30/45 20/45 55/50 45/55 60/60 Gimenez spent 2016 in the DSL and then was pushed three levels to full-season ball as an 18-year old in 2017. He kept his head above water there, slashing .265/.346/.349 in 92 games. Gimenez doesn’t have huge tools or physical projection, but he’s a polished, instinctive teenager who can play a good shortstop and get the bat on the ball. Gimenez has promising bat control and currently makes lots of soft, line-drive contact. He’s projectable enough that he’s expected to grow into more raw strength but not so much that scouts foresee impact game power. Gimenez could move quickly and projects to be a good big-league everyday shortstop for a long time, but his upside is also limited unless some aspect of the profile (the bat has the best chance) develops significantly beyond current projections. 3. Tomas Nido, C Video Drafted: 8th Round, 2012 from Orangewood Christian HS (FL) Age 23 Height 6’0 Weight 210 Bat/Throw R/R Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 40/45 55/55 40/50 20/20 50/60 55/55 Nido hit .320 in 2016 and then .232 in 2017 as he struggled with breaking-ball recognition against Double-A pitchers who exploited it. The offensive downturn looks worse on paper than it really is. Some of the disparity is BABIP driven, and some of it might have to due with a swing change Nido made between 2016 and 2017. Once striding similarly to Sammy Sosa, Nido now has a slow, dangling leg kick. He was taking entertaining, max-effort hacks in the Arizona Fall League and deserves time to harness this new swing, because he’ll hit for considerable power if he does. Because Nido does just about everything defensively, he has a pretty good chance to be an everyday catcher if he produces more offense than he did last year. (As for the defense, he’s a fringe athlete but his mobility is fine. Multiple orgs with which I spoke have him graded as an elite pitch framer, and his arm is plus.) We are fairly optimistic about him getting there. His splits against righties are horrendous so some consider him a platoon catcher, but the glove could still get him into the lineup every day. 4. Ronny Mauricio, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic Age 16 Height 6’3 Weight 166 Bat/Throw S/R Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/45 30/55 20/50 45/50 40/50 55/60 The stringy Mauricio was our third-ranked player in the 2017 July 2 class and the only 45 FV prospect. New York signed him for a franchise-record $2.1 million. He featured the most physical projection of his peers, and some scouts think his frame has room to add about 30 pounds while still retaining the range and flexibility for shortstop. Mauricio’s endless limbs spear down to corral ground balls, and he has shocking body control for an athlete of his age and build. He isn’t strong with the bat just yet, but his swing has some natural loft from both sides of the plate, and if his body matures in the Goldilocks Zone that allows him to stay at short and do damage with the stick, he could be a star. 5. Justin Dunn, RHP Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from Boston College Age 21 Height 6’2 Weight 195 Bat/Throw R/R Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command 55/55 55/60 45/45 40/50 40/50 Dunn thrived after a move from the Boston College bullpen into the rotation, holding his stuff, working with four pitches, and throwing strikes. It moved him firmly into the first-round picture of the 2016 draft, and the Mets picked him 19th overall. In a disappointing 2017, Dunn walked 48 hitters in 95 innings and didn’t miss as many bats as expected. His stuff was similar to what it was in college, the fastball 90-95 and touching 96, the slider 80-84 flashing plus, with a chance for a viable curve and change. Dunn threw 47 innings as a sophomore then 65 split between the bullpen and rotation as a junior followed by 30 more in pro ball — plus whatever he threw during his first instructional league. That’s a sizable jump. Some combination of fatigue and relative inexperience probably impacted Dunn’s 2017, though it’s strange his stuff appeared intact. Dunn is likely to bounce back this year, and we are projecting pretty heavily on the changeup as Dunn continues to use it more often than he did in college. He has mid-rotation upside if he can build full-season stamina. 6. Mark Vientos, 3B Video Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from American Heritage (FL) Age 17 Height 6’4 Weight 185 Bat/Throw R/R Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/45 50/60 20/55 30/30 30/50 55/60 For some, Vientos is a shortstop with big power projection. For others, he’s a third baseman with swing-and-miss issues. In either case, he checks a lot of boxes for a top amateur prospect and was given a $1.5 million bonus as New York’s second-round pick in 2017. Vientos was one of the youngest players available in the draft and won’t turn 19 until December. He also has broad, tapered shoulders outlining his prototypical 6-foot-4 frame and is likely to grow into considerable raw power as he fills out. On the other hand, Vientos is already a 30 runner, and his lever length creates swing-and-miss issues. Some national scouts who have been watching Vientos play since he was an underclassman have never seen him do anything that would lead them to get as excited as other evaluators have been about Vientos for almost five years now. There’s inarguably huge upside here if everything comes together, but Vientos is pretty polarizing. 7. Peter Alonso, 1B Drafted: 2nd Round, 2016 from Florida Age 22 Height 6’3 Weight 245 Bat/Throw R/R Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 40/50 60/60 40/55 30/30 40/40 50/50 Alonso’s combiantion of hit and power (his exit velos are crazy) give him everyday upside at first base. Right/right college first basemen don’t typically work out (this century’s list of guys who have done nothing but play first since day one on campus and done well in MLB is Paul Goldschmidt, Rhys Hoskins, Eric Karros, and that’s it), and scouts have concerns about Alonso’s defense and conditioning. He looks heavy again this spring. He slashed .280/.360/.520 in the FSL last year; if Alonso does that again at Double-A this season, he’ll have convinced a lot of people that the perceived negatives don’t matter and that he’s going to hit enough to be an everyday first baseman. 8. Desmond Lindsay, OF Video Drafted: 2nd Round, 2015 from Out of Door (FL) Age 20 Height 5’11 Weight 196 Bat/Throw R/R Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/45 60/60 30/50 60/55 30/45 50/50 Lindsay forces scouts to reflect on how they define “athleticism.” Some see his NFL safety build, clock him as a plus runner, and watch him hit bombs during BP and think it’s clear he’s a good athlete. Others see a general stiffness plus a lack of elegance and are skeptical. Lindsay is still seeing defensive reps in center field exclusively and has rare raw power for a prospect who might stay in center. His ball/strike recognition is excellent, and he could be a three-true-outcome center fielder as long as his complete lack of bat control isn’t a fatal flaw in his offensive game. There’s also considerable injury risk here, as Lindsay has dealt with multiple hamstring issues in the past and, more recently, ulnar nerve surgery that cut short his 2017 season. A fully actualized Lindsay is an above-average left or center fielder, but it’s possible the bat control or health really derail things. 9. Luis Guillorme, UTIL Video Drafted: 10th Round, 2013 from Coral Springs Charter (FL) Age 22 Height 5’9 Weight 199 Bat/Throw L/R Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 45/55 45/45 20/20 45/45 70/70 60/60 Guillorme is one of the more remarkable prospects to watch in all of baseball. He’s got a catcherly build at 5-foot-9 and is often the most unathletic-looking player on the field. Then Guillorme’s hands start to get involved in the game, and you realize you might be watching the person who is more gifted at this one specific aspect of baseball than anyone else on the planet. His hands and actions seem supernatural, and Guillorme convert oddly struck ground balls — ones that most shortstops would just eat — into outs. His offensive approach is driven by an almost pathological need to hit the ball the other way. He has among the best hand-eye coordination and bat control in the minors, which has made him difficult to strike out and allowed him to walk more than is typical for hitters with zero game power (72 walks, 55 strikeouts at Double-A last year), as Guillorme seeks to slap contact toward third base and back up the middle almost exclusively. He’s a unique expression of baseball and is going to be a good utility man for a very long time. 40 FV Prospects 10. Thomas Szapucki, LHP Video Drafted: 5th Round, 2015 from Dwyer HS (FL) Age 21 Height 6’2 Weight 181 Bat/Throw R/L Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command 60/60 60/60 40/50 40/50 Throw out what you saw from Szapucki in 2017, as his 29 innings were sandwiched between a shoulder injury that delayed the start of his year and an elbow surgery that ended it. Szapucki’s Tommy John procedure in July probably means we won’t get a look at him until 2018 instructional league when, due to other injuries, he’ll have barely pitched as a pro. A healthy Szapucki has two plus pitches and the chance for an average third offering and command. Szapucki’s low arm slot makes it more important that those latter two attributes develop, as he’ll need them to offset platoon splits that might force a move to the bullpen if his health doesn’t force a move there first. 11. Chris Flexen, RHP Drafted: 14th Round, 2012 from Memorial HS (CA) Age 23 Height 6’3 Weight 250 Bat/Throw R/R Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command 55/55 45/45 50/55 50/55 45/50 Flexen melted under the big-league lights after starting the year on a 10-start heater, but we’re still betting that his stuff makes him a big-league No. 4/5 starter at peak. He sits 90-95, will touch 97, and has viable strike-throwing ability despite his size and somewhat stiff delivery. He does not have the kind of command that his early-season numbers would indicate, but he throws hard and competes in and around the zone with a knuckle curve and changeup. He hasn’t thrown many innings above A-ball because of a 2015 Tommy John, so it’s too early to look at his big-league performance and assume it’s not going to work. 12. Marcos Molina, RHP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2012 from Dominican Republic Age 23 Height 6’3 Weight 188 Bat/Throw R/R Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Cutter Command 60/60 60/60 40/40 45/50 45/50 40/45 Molina rehabbed from TJ in 2016, then picked up a few innings of work in the Arizona Fall League. In 2017, he threw 106 pretty efficient innings split between High- and Double-A. His velocity was in the 90-91 range, touching 94. That was down from the 92-94 he showed (touching 96) in the 2016 AFL. Molina’s kitchen-sink repertoire and strike-throwing ability would fit in a rotation, but his injury history and violent delivery make relief a real possibility. The best of his wide array of secondaries is a nasty mid-80s slider. An uptick in velocity out of the bullpen and singular focus on that slider might make Molina a late-inning reliever. He has big-league stuff and is likely to debut this year when a Mets need someone to take the ball, but it’s unclear what kind of role he’s going to play long term. 13. Tony Dibrell, RHP Drafted: 4th Round, 2017 from Kennesaw State Age 21 Height 6’3 Weight 190 Bat/Throw R/R Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command 50/55 45/50 45/50 50/60 40/50 Dibrell’s stuff was very inconsistent during his junior year at Kennesaw State and, unfortunately for him, it was down during a game attended by a number of executives who were in the area for a higher-profile game later in the day. At times, he was up to 96 with a plus changeup; at others, he was 88-92 and struggled to throw strikes. The best version of Dibrell looks like a potential No. 4/5 starter. 14. Anthony Kay, LHP Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from UConn Age 23 Height 6’0 Weight 218 Bat/Throw L/L Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command 50/50 45/50 55/60 45/50 Kay is expected to throw his first pro pitch this spring after spending 2017 rehabbing from Tommy John. His late-career usage at UConn reads like an early-American fable. He threw a complete game, then came back on three days rest (remember, college arms go once a week) and threw 90 pitches with an hour lightning delay in between. When healthy, he was 88-93 with a plus changeup and projected as a quick-moving No. 4/5 starter. 15. Gerson Bautista, RHP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2012 from Dominican Republic Age 22 Height 6’2 Weight 170 Bat/Throw R/R Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command 70/70 45/50 50/55 30/40 Bautista has the best arm among the relief prospects acquired from Boston for Addison Reed in 2017, and he should develop enough changeup to profile as a competent relief piece. If either the change or his slider otugrow expectations, he has late-inning potential because of the arm strength. 16. Adrian Hernandez, OF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic Age 17 Height 5’9 Weight 210 Bat/Throw R/R Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/45 50/55 20/50 55/50 40/50 50/50 Hernandez is a power/speed corner-outfield prospect who signed for $1.5 million. His frame is less projectable than the typical IFA signee, but he’ll likely add strength as he matures and already has natural lift in his swing that could result in big pull power. He’s an above-average runner, and scouts think the combination of speed and instincts might lead to 40/45 defense in center field or 50/55 defense in a corner. 17. Gavin Cecchini, 2B Drafted: 1st Round, 2012 from Barbe HS (LA) Age 23 Height 6’2 Weight 196 Bat/Throw R/R Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 55/60 40/40 20/30 40/40 30/40 40/40 Cecchini has had tastes of big-league time each of the last two years. His minor-league peripherals are spectacular, but there’s doubt about his ability to handle either middle-infield spot. He’s had arm accuracy issues and his flat-planed swing yields very little impact contact. 18. Jamie Callahan, RHP Drafted: 2nd Round, 2012 from Dillon HS (SC) Age 22 Height 6’2 Weight 230 Bat/Throw R/R Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command 60/60 55/55 50/55 30/40 Also acquired from Boston as part of the Addison Reed deal, Callahan has a pretty violent, max-effort delivery that limits his command. He throws hard and has enough in the way of secondary stuff to profile as a solid relief option, even with only 40 future command. Other Prospects of Note Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category. Pitching Depth Jordan Humphreys, RHP Kyle Regnault, LHP Nabil Crismatt, RHP Adonis Uceta, RHP Corey Oswalt, RHP Ryder Ryan, RHP Corey Taylor, RHP Stephen Nogosek, RHP P.J. Conlon, LHP Humphreys commands three pitches (89-93, above-average change, fringe curve) and would have been a 40 FV if not for an ill-timed Tommy John that will cost him 2018. Regnault doesn’t throw hard, but his fastball moves and his curveball and changeup are both above average. He has a chance to pitch in the big leagues this year. Crismatt’s repertoire is mostly comprised of 40s, but his changeup is plus. Uceta’s velocity ticked up in 2017, and he’s now 92-95, touching 98, with a chance for a 50 slider and 55 changeup, but he’s also a 23-year-old with just 10 innings above Low-A. Oswalt, Ryan, and Taylor could all be two-pitch relievers. Ryan’s curveball is the best offering among that group. Utility Types Michael Paez, INF Gregory Guerrero, INF Luis Carpio, INF Phillip Evans, UTIL Jhoan Urena, 4C Quinn Brodey, OF Paez, the best prospect on Coastal Carolina’s 2016 College World Series team, is capable of playing second and third. He’s only 5-foot-8 but has good bat control and pitch selection, and more power than the typical for someone his size. Guerrero went from projecting as a likely utility guy who had a chance to play every day to a possible major-league utility man. Carpio had a shoulder injury in 2016 and slashed .230/.300/.300 in 2017 but still might have enough defensive value up the middle to be rostered eventually. Evans plays all over (including catcher and shortstop in shorts stings, though he’s not really a fit at either) and has enough stick to play a bench role. Urena could have a 50 bat and 55 power at peak but fits best at first base and in left field, where that combo is fringey. His realistic ceiling looks more like a power-hitting four-corners bat. Brodey was the team’s third-rounder. He was a tough sign as a pitcher out of high school but only pitched during his freshman year and played outfield. He had strong peripherals in college (8% walk rate, 12% strikeout rate as a junior), but post-draft reports on the tools were rife with 40s. Catching Depth Patrick Mazeika, C/1B Ali Sanchez, C Juan Uriarte, C Sanchez is the best receiver of this group and also has good barrel control. Mazeika and Uriarte have had on-paper success with the bat but draw sour reviews on defense. Cistulli’s Guy Selected by Carson Cistulli from any player who received less than a 40 FV. David Thompson, 3B Thompson was designated as Cistulli’s Guy on last year’s Mets list, as well. In part, that was due to his performance as a collegiate player at Miami. In part, it was due to what appears — by way of the metrics, at least — to be above-average defense at third base, an aspect of his profile that had been considered a possible deficiency when he was selected in the fourth round of the 2015 draft. In the season completed since last year’s audit, Thompson recorded almost a carbon copy of his line at High-A the year before — except at Double-A, in this case. In fact, even has he’s ascended through the system, Thompson has actually steadily improved his control of the plate, producing higher walk and lower strikeout rates at each subsequent level. Strikeout rate, in particular, is an important indicator of future success, and Thompson’s hasn’t deteriorated even while facing more advanced competition. A combination of those contact skills, average-or-better defense, and possibly untapped raw power all seem to indicate some kind of future value in the major leagues. System Overview The number of pitchers in this org who have had some kind of arm trouble is frightening. Every pitcher who appears within the main section of the list and who has been in the organization for over a year has needed Tommy John, and the injury issues the Mets have experienced at the big-league level are well documented. If something goes awry for the big club, they may not be in an optimal position to add to a currently below-average system as — at least last year — the Mets didn’t scouts anything below full-season ball. The core of this system remains an underrated international pipeline that continues to provide premium up-the-middle talent represented now by Gimenez and Mauricio.