Top 25 Prospects: New York Mets

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.

All of the numbered prospects here also appear on The Board, a new feature at the site that offers sortable scouting information for every organization. That can be found here.

Mets Top Prospects
Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV
1 Peter Alonso 24.1 AAA 1B 2019 50
2 Andres Gimenez 20.3 AA SS 2020 50
3 Ronny Mauricio 17.8 R SS 2023 50
4 Mark Vientos 19.1 R 3B 2022 50
5 Shervyen Newton 19.7 R SS 2022 45+
6 David Peterson 23.3 A+ LHP 2019 45
7 Simeon Woods Richardson 18.3 R RHP 2022 45
8 Thomas Szapucki 22.6 A LHP 2021 45
9 Anthony Kay 23.8 A+ LHP 2021 40+
10 Desmond Lindsay 22.0 A+ CF 2020 40+
11 Francisco Alvarez 16.6 R C 2023 40+
12 Franklyn Kilome 23.5 AA RHP 2019 40
13 Will Toffey 24.0 AA 3B 2020 40
14 Carlos Cortes 21.5 A- LF 2021 40
15 Adrian Hernandez 17.9 R CF 2022 40
16 Junior Santos 17.4 R RHP 2023 40
17 Walker Lockett 24.7 AAA RHP 2018 40
18 Sam Haggerty 24.6 AAA 2B 2020 40
19 Tony Dibrell 23.2 A RHP 2020 40
20 Christian James 20.6 AA RHP 2021 40
21 Ryley Gilliam 22.4 A- RHP 2020 40
22 Gavin Cecchini 25.0 MLB 2B 2018 35+
23 Nick Meyer 21.9 A- C 2021 35+
24 Ryder Ryan 23.7 AA RHP 2020 35+
25 Jordan Humphreys 22.6 A+ RHP 2021 35+

50 FV Prospects

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2016 from Florida (NYM)
Age 24.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/50 80/80 55/70 30/30 40/40 50/50

Alonso followed up a breakout 2017 with a minor league leading 36-home run 2018 campaign split between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A launching pad Las Vegas. In addition to clubbing the most home runs, Alonso hit some of 2018’s loudest individual blasts. He had the most prolific batting practice session at the Futures Game, then threatened a passing satellite with a titanic seventh-inning homer off of a grooved, 95 mph Adonis Medina fastball. He exceeded Mets Statcast-era records on a ball in play in the Arizona Fall League, out-hit Vlad Guerrero, Jr. during Fall Stars BP, then homered the opposite way off a 103 mph Nate Pearson fastball in the game. This is what top-of-the-scale, strength-driven raw power looks like, and it drives an excellent version of a profile we’re typically quite bearish on: the heavy-bodied, right/right first baseman. Alonso is tough to beat with velocity because his swing is compact and even when he’s a little late, he’s capable of muscling mis-hit balls out the other way. After some adjustment, Fall League pitching chose to attack him beneath the knees, and well-located pitches down there were successful, but Alonso crushes mistake breaking balls that catch too much of the zone. We think a typical Alonso season will look like something between what C.J. Cron and Jesus Aguilar did last year, depending on whether the 2018 uptick in Alonso’s walk rate holds water or not. He makes some nice effort-based plays at first base, but as a feet and hands athlete, Alonso is well below average. Perhaps more notable than what we anticipate will be several years of mashing in the heart of the Mets lineup, Alonso is also a favorite to become the poster child for player compensation reform. Already near the center of public discourse regarding teams’ suppression of prospect promotion, he is 24 years old and has a skillset and body type at heightened risk to enter physical decline relatively early. With his early-career earning power stifled by his parent club, Alonso might start to show signs of physical regression during his arbitration years and also struggle to find a lucrative market in free agency. His free agency is timed awkwardly between what will probably be the next two CBA negotiations, but otherwise the circumstances indicate his situation could one day be a focal point for change.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Venezuela (NYM)
Age 20.3 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr L / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/55 40/45 30/45 60/55 50/55 55/55

While evaluations of his defense are universally strong, assessments of Gimenez’s bat vary significantly depending on when he was seen. He looked like a well-rounded, first-division player while he was hitting with pleasantly surprising power (.282/.343/.432 with 30 extra-base hits in 85 games) at Hi-A St. Lucie during the season’s first half, but like much less of one during a rough six weeks in the Arizona Fall League. In Fall League, Gimenez looked physically overmatched at the plate, likely due to exhaustion. He was still 19 when the Mets promoted him to Double-A for the season’s final six weeks, and his sophomoric body had endured a 122-game season against older, more physically developed athletes before he had even set foot in Arizona. It’s fair to project Gimenez to add strength, but because his frame is small, it’ll probably be just the kind of strength that gives him season-long stamina, not huge raw power. But while big raw power is unlikely, if his feel for contact is refined in a way that prioritizes lift, it’s possible that Gimenez will end up hitting for more power than we project in the same way Ozzie Albies has. Gimenez has excellent natural bat control and can pull his hands in to get the barrel on pitches that would jam other hitters, and he has feel for fully extending on balls away from him and roping them into the opposite-field gap. If he does, he might end up hitting a ton of doubles and out-slug our projections without hitting a lot of home runs, or he may naturally start lifting the ball like Albies did. In general, we like Gimenez as an above-average defensive middle infielder with advanced contact skills. We think he’ll be a solid-average everyday player, and while we think it’s unlikely, we can see a developmental path that leads to better production than that.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYM)
Age 17.8 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 166 Bat / Thr S / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 45/55 20/50 45/50 40/50 55/60

Much of scouting teenage prospects has to do with identifying good athletes and good frames, and like many of this century’s All-Star, power-hitting shortstops, Ronny Mauricio is both. A broad-shouldered but lean 6-foot-3, Mauricio looks like Manny Machado, and Hanley Ramirez, and Carlos Correa, and a host of other super talents all did at age 17: long-limbed, with surprising grace, flexibility, and coordination for someone this age and size, and possessed of physical gifts that might enable them to stay at shortstop while also growing into huge power. The Goldilocks Zone. But Mauricio is also more than just a frame/athleticism/projection bet. He has relatively advanced feel to hit for a teenage switch-hitter, his timing is fine, and he hasn’t exhibited any confidence-altering, contact-related red flags, like lever length or poor plate discipline. He may outgrow shortstop but if he does, it means big power on a plus-gloved third baseman. We were surprised by Mauricio’s GCL assignment, and then surprised further by both his admirable statistical performance there and his late-season promotion to Kingsport. He might be ushered through the system more quickly than we anticipated when he signed. Regardless of where he’s playing, once Mauricio turns a physical corner, he’s likely to rocket up this list.

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from American Heritage HS (FL) (NYM)
Age 19.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 60/70 40/55 40/35 35/45 55/60

Vientos got on the national scouting stage as a prep underclassman when he flashed first round tools despite being very young for his draft class, which is pretty unusual. He didn’t hit as much as expected as a senior and some scouts questioned his defensive ability, competitiveness, and feel to hit, so he slipped to the second round despite flashing big power and being 17 on draft day, something that is generally really attractive to analytically-leaning clubs. Vientos performed fine in his pro debut, but broke out in his second year, crushing the Appalachian League at age 18 in 2018. He controlled the strike zone and hit for power while exhibiting very high exit velos for someone his age. Vientos is advanced mechanically, making him a potential 6 bat/6 power combination at maturity if he continues at this trajectory. The competitiveness that some scouts questioned showed up in 2018 when Jarred Kelenic arrived in Kingsport and became the top prospect on the team, and then when Ronny Mauricio, Luis Santana, and Shervyen Newton were all top 10 prospects in the system in an infield time-share with him. If the makeup has turned a corner and the hitting continues to progress, the main issue will be defensive fit. Vientos is a well below average runner who one scout described as ‘athletic from the knees up,’ to the point where the lack of quickness will limit him to being average defensively, but he’s far from that right now. One Mets source drew a parallel to Nolan Arenado’s makeup and defensive concerns, which quickly evaporated in the upper minors as he turned into the best third baseman in baseball, but that seems unlikely at this point.

45+ FV Prospects

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Netherlands (NYM)
Age 19.7 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr S / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/40 50/60 20/50 50/50 40/50 55/55

Newton was the best of a small contingent of prospects who the Mets pushed right past the GCL and straight to advanced rookie-level Kingsport for their first American summer. There, Newton outperformed even the most optimistic expectations, hitting .280/.408/.449 with 23 extra-base hits. Newton is much more of a physical marvel on which to dream than he is a polished performer. At a very projectable 6-foot-4, he’s the size of an NFL wide receiver prospect and already has considerable raw power that projects to plus at maturity. It’s rare for infielders this size to stay at shortstop, but Newton looks natural and comfortable there even though he clearly hasn’t totally grown into his body yet and appears uncoordinated at other times. Even if he outgrows short, switch-hitting third basemen with power are extremely valuable. Newton has less bat control and feel to hit than his .280 batting average would otherwise indicate, and there’s a chance he’s always strikeout prone and doesn’t get to some of his power. But it’s unreasonable to expect a switch-hitting teenager this size to have fully sentient bat control, and the ceiling on Newton if everything actualizes is superstardom. This is one of the more high-variance prospects in the minor leagues.

45 FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from Oregon (NYM)
Age 23.3 Height 6′ 6″ Weight 240 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 50/55 45/45 50/55 45/55 89-91 / 93

Peterson was a known prep prospect as an underclassman in Colorado due to his 6-foot-6 frame and ability to touch 90 mph from the left side at an early age. The limitation here is that Peterson has essentially never had a plus pitch and doesn’t project to have one, working downhill from a steep plane and great extension with a low-90’s sinker and an above-average four pitch mix. He doesn’t have high spin rates on his breaking stuff and pitches more to weak contact, looking like a steady, durable, roughly league-average starter even as a college player. His feel to pitch and mix offerings in different locations is advanced, so the expectation here is for Peterson to save the Mets some money on that No. 3 or 4 starter that so many teams overpay for in free agency.

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from Kempner HS (TX) (NYM)
Age 18.3 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 50/60 45/55 40/55 92-94 / 97

An athletic, outwardly competitive two-way high schooler, Woods Richardson would also have been a prospect as a power-hitting third baseman were he not so good on the mound. His vertically oriented release point makes it hard for him to work his fastball east and west, and several teams had him evaluated as a future reliever before the draft because they saw a lack of fastball command. But this vertical release also enables him to effectively change hitters’ eye level by pairing fastballs up with breaking balls down, and he has a plus breaking ball. Woods Richardson works so quickly that it often makes hitters uncomfortable, though scouts love it. He’s also shown some nascent changeup feel, but it will be hard to turn the cambio over consistently from his arm slot. Though he was one of the 2018 draft’s youngest prospects, his frame is pretty mature, so we’re not rounding up on the fastball even though he’s still a teenager. His reasonable floor is that of a high-leverage or multi-inning reliever (a role that would seem to suit his fiery on-mound presence), but if a third impact pitch develops he could be a mid-rotation starter.

Drafted: 5th Round, 2015 from Dwyer HS (FL) (NYM)
Age 22.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / L FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 60/60 40/50 40/50 91-95 / 96

Szapucki is another player on this list who stood out early in his prep career, and ranked near the top of his class as a prep sophomore because he could get into the low-90s with a high-spin breaking ball from a tough arm slot. He slipped to the fifth round in his draft year as some scouts were worried his crossfire delivery was both an injury risk and the underlying reason for his command issues, and would be tough to “correct.” The injury concerns were mostly accurate, as Szapucki had shoulder soreness that led into Tommy John surgery in July 2017. He’s back on the mound and every indication is that he’ll be able to return to his prior form, when he dominated the minor leagues to the tune of 116 strikeouts to 30 walks over 18 appearances before his arm trouble. Szapucki gets into the mid-90s with a plus curveball and flashes an average changeup from that tough slot and knows how to use his stuff to elicit chase swings, even though his control is average at best. The Mets have no plans to develop him in the bullpen in the short-term, but it seems very possible that his durability and style of pitching may fit best in a Josh Hader-type role.

40+ FV Prospects

9. Anthony Kay, LHP
Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from UConn (NYM)
Age 23.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 218 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 50/55 50/55 45/50 91-94 / 96

21 months elapsed between when Kay signed his pro contract and when he finally threw a pitch in affiliated ball. UConn rode him hard during his junior year in Storrs. He faced 36 hitters in a March game the Huskies won 18-to-1. During conference tournament play, Kay threw a complete game, then pitched again during the tournament on three days rest; he threw 90 pitches amid an hour-long lightning delay. It was unsurprising when he blew out in the fall of 2016. When Kay finally returned last year, he looked markedly different than he did in college when he was a lefty changeup monster with mediocre velocity. Kay’s fastball has ticked up and now sits at about 93 mph instead of peaking there, and his two-plane breaking ball is better. His once-dominant changeup has regressed. There’s a strong chance Kay ends up as a good lefty reliever but if the changeup ever returns, he could be a No. 4 starter.

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2015 from Out of Door Academy HS (FL) (NYM)
Age 22.0 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/45 60/60 30/50 60/55 45/50 50/50

Lindsay was frustrating to scout as an amateur. He flashed plus speed, potential plus power, and plus bat speed, but also suffered through a number of nagging injuries on his way to being a speculative second round pick by the Mets. The raw tools have still been there in pro ball but so have the nagging injuries, mostly of the hamstring and elbow variety. Lindsay also hasn’t shown much bat control at any point in his career, so his path to success (after staying healthy) is as a lower average hitter with some power playing a solid average center field. He’ll find himself lower on this list if he doesn’t stay healthy and produce this year, but there’s a route for him to turn into a player along the lines of new Mets center fielder Keon Broxton.

11. Francisco Alvarez, C
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (NYM)
Age 16.6 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 50/50 20/45 45/35 40/50 55/55

Alvarez received one of the top bonuses in the most recent July 2nd class, signing for $2.7 million with the Mets. He’s a physically-mature Venezuelan catcher, a demographic with a solid track record, even more so when you consider that Alvarez himself has a long track record of hitting in games and some present raw power. He projects to stick behind the plate with solid defensive tools and enough athleticism, though some scouts are tougher on the finer points of his framing and throwing technique, which is pretty typical for a catching prospect this age. There isn’t a plus tool, but the now skills and hit tool, all at a premium position, makes Alvarez one of the safer bets in his class and among all prospects of this age.

40 FV Prospects

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2012 from Dominican Republic (PHI)
Age 23.5 Height 6′ 6″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 55/55 45/50 40/40 92-94 / 96

Kilome was markedly better after the Mets acquired him from Philadelphia for Asdrubal Cabrera ahead of the deadline. In seven starts with Binghamton, Kilome halved his walk rate (his strike % was up six percentage points), flashed a better changeup than he had earlier in the year, and turned in his best performance of the season, striking out 10 former Reading teammates on August 3rd. After things had plateaued for so long with Philly, he seemed to be improving. Then he broke, and at an unfortunate time. Tommy John in late October means Kilome, who’s already relatively raw for a prospect his age, may not throw another professional pitch until mid-2020, when he’s 25. We think this makes it significantly more likely that Kilome ends up in relief and while we think he could be a dominant three-pitch reliever, it has also delayed his timeline to the big leagues by perhaps two years, putting him in line to debut near the same time as similar talents who just wrapped a season in A-ball.

13. Will Toffey, 3B
Drafted: 4th Round, 2017 from Vanderbilt (OAK)
Age 24.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
40/50 50/50 30/40 50/50 50/55 70/70

Toffey was scouted heavily as a senior in high school as his teammate, right-handed pitcher Austin DeCarr, went in the third round to the Yankees and signed for $1 million; Toffey was a Yankees’ 23rd round pick, but he ended up going to Vanderbilt. He was an eligible sophomore in 2016 but hadn’t progressed much in two years, still not showing much power or loft at the plate to make pitchers pay for using his eye to get into good counts. That changed in 2017, when Toffey’s OPS jumped 424 points. He went from 0 homers to 12 and cut his strikeout rate by over 5%, all while continuing to show above average defense at third base. Since he was 22 years old during that breakout season and has only average raw power, some scouts weren’t sold on Toffey’s everyday potential, so he lasted until the fourth round where Oakland took him. Toffey was traded to the Mets this summer in the Jeurys Familia trade. He needed to perform and move quickly through the minors to stay on schedule to reach his everyday upside and he’s mostly done that. Toffey will open in Double-A at age 24 and could get a big league look in late 2019 if he keeps hitting this way, but if he shows more corner platoon upside, as scouts expect him to, he’ll work through some growing pains in the upper levels this year.

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2018 from South Carolina (NYM)
Age 21.5 Height 5′ 8″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr L / S FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/45 60/60 35/55 40/40 40/45 45/45

Cortes was a bit of an oddity as a prep underclassman, a switch-thrower who played multiple positions and had elite bat control. His body went south a bit from that point and he’s lost some athleticism; he’s now a left fielder or first baseman after a stint at second base and a short-lived attempt to catch. Cortes has plus raw power and a good lefty swing with some bat control, but not as much as he used to have, and it’s further undermined by his power-based approach. He was streaky at South Carolina, getting hot in the second half of his draft year. Scouts who see him when he’s running well think he has elite offensive ability, and given the defensive and physical limitations, Cortes will have to be an elite offensive force to be more than a platoon corner bat. We’ll probably know if that’s possible in the next year or so.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYM)
Age 17.9 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/45 50/55 20/50 55/50 40/50 50/50

Signed for $1.5 million in 2017, Hernandez is a physical power/speed center field prospect who showed a proclivity for pull-side lift as an amateur. Built like an M-80 at 5-foot-9, 210 pounds, Hernandez lacks body-based power projection, but he already has some pop, and his frame is so compact that it’d be surprising if he thickened enough to necessitate a move out of center field. He had a pull-heavy, somewhat limited approach to contact as an amateur, but his first pro summer was free of statistical red flags. How his bat-to-ball skills and plate discipline develop will dictate his future role, and it’s hard to have great feel for either of those variables. He’s here largely because we like the defensive profile and raw power.

16. Junior Santos, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYM)
Age 17.4 Height 6′ 8″ Weight 218 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 45/50 40/50 40/55 91-94 / 97

Trenta-sized teenagers who throw in the mid-90s don’t typically have any idea where its going, but Santos threw strikes so efficiently for two months in the DSL that the Mets thought him fit for an August promotion. He made his stateside debut just before his 17th birthday and walked just six hitters in 50 innings all summer. So Santos has rare size, precocious velocity, and control, though much of the rest of the profile has room for improvement. He exhibits neither notable raw spin nor feel for locating his current breaking ball, a low-80s slurve. There’s a strong chance Santos tries several iterations of various breaking balls during the course of his development and the one(s) he ends up with will probably look much different than what he’s currently using. At this point in his development, we just care about the raw spin, a trait of limited malleability, and Santos’ is just okay. It’s reasonable to hope he grows into elite velocity. The fact that he’s throwing this hard at this age and at this size is encouraging, though he’s less projectable than one would probably assume given his age and height. All talk of Santos’ physical progression centers around reshaping his current frame rather than just adding mass, as he’s already pretty filled out. This clouds the fastball projection somewhat, but he’ll probably still end up throwing really hard. There’s need for significant development throughout the rest of the repertoire, and it’s more likely that a portion of that happens (resulting in a back-of-the rotation or bullpen role) than it is that all of it does (resulting in stardom). He signed for $250,000 in 2017.

Drafted: 4th Round, 2012 from Providence HS (FL) (SDP)
Age 24.7 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 50/55 50/55 40/45 92-95 / 96

Lockett, who made his major league debut in 2018, was first traded from San Diego to Cleveland for teenage right-handed pitcher Ignacio Feliz and then to the Mets in the Kevin Plawecki deal later in the offseason. He has a mid-90s sinker that has significant tail when Lockett is locating it to his arm side, but it’s hittable and straight in most parts of the strike zone. His fastball’s movement pairs well with a power, mid-80s changeup that also has arm side action; Lockett works left-handed hitters away with these two offerings. His curveball has good shape and bite, but Lockett struggles to set it up for whiffs because his fastball is hittable in the top of the zone. He needs a weapon that works in on the hands of lefties, like a cutter. If he can find one, he’ll be a fine backend starter.

18. Sam Haggerty, 2B
Drafted: 24th Round, 2015 from New Mexico (CLE)
Age 24.6 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 45/45 20/30 60/60 50/55 50/50

Haggerty was acquired from Cleveland in the January Kevin Plawecki trade. He’s an athletic, multi-positional defender with hands, actions, and arm strength enabling him to play all over the infield, and speed that might make him a plus corner outfield defender as he continues to play and learn the position. A switch-hitter with a simple swing and conservative approach to contact, Haggarty’s best offensive skill is his eye for the strike zone, which has enabled him to walk at a 13% career clip. He is limited from both a power and bat-to-ball standpoint, so it’s possible his patience will be irrelevant if big league pitching decides he’s not a threat to do damage on his own and make it a point to let him put the ball in play. Through Double-A, though, this hasn’t happened. The oft-injured Haggerty fell all the way to the 25th round of the 2015 draft because he dealt with an oblique injury during his draft year and underperformed. His oblique was an issue again in 2017 and he missed some time with a shoulder issue during the early part of 2018. He projects as a versatile defensive replacement and pinch runner.

19. Tony Dibrell, RHP
Drafted: 4th Round, 2017 from Kennesaw State (NYM)
Age 23.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 45/50 45/50 50/55 40/45 90-92 / 94

Dibrell looked like a second round talent at times in college but his velocity and command varied pretty wildly during his draft year at Kennesaw State, and he fell to the fourth round. In his first pro season Dibrell, though somewhat old for the league, tied for the Sally League lead in strikeouts. His velocity held in the low-90s all year and his combination of mechanical deception and four viable pitches projects to fit in the back of a rotation.

Drafted: 14th Round, 2016 from East Lake HS (FL) (NYM)
Age 20.6 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/45 50/55 40/50 40/55 88-92 / 94

Precipitation and misfortune forced Double-A Binghamton to play three double-headers in a row in late May (not on consecutive days, but still) and, suddenly, the club was in need of pitching reinforcements. The Mets promoted James directly from extended spring training to make a spot start, just three days after his 20th birthday. It’s further evidence of James’ advanced on-mound craftsmanship, which enables him to succeed with limited stuff. He has now had two strong years of performance at short-season affiliates on the back of a sinking and tailing upper-80s fastball and a slurvy 78-82 mph breaking ball. James’ delivery is pretty rough but it doesn’t appear to detract from his command, and it may actually help make him tougher for hitters to time. Little things like that are important, as his stuff exists on the margins. If his command maxes out, he’ll be a sinker balling backend starter.

21. Ryley Gilliam, RHP
Drafted: 5th Round, 2018 from Clemson (NYM)
Age 22.4 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops
55/60 55/55 40/45 92-94 / 96

Gilliam was the ace starter for one of the most prospect-laden prep teams in the country in 2015, Kennesaw Mountain HS, which was led by 11th overall pick catcher Tyler Stephenson (Reds) and center fielder Reggie Pruitt (Blue Jays), who got a $500,000 bonus in the 24th round. Gilliam could’ve received a low-to-mid six figure bonus out of high school, but instead went to Clemson, where he mostly relieved, a role that agrees with his aggressive approach and standout fastball/curveball combination. Gilliam’s command backed up a bit in 2018, which is why he lasted until the fifth round despite being the sort of up-in-the-zone four-seam fastball and power curveball reliever that clubs now favor due to TrackMan data. If he can dial in his delivery and command, there’s quick-moving setup man potential for the 22-year-old.

35+ FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2012 from Barbe HS (LA) (NYM)
Age 25.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 196 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+

Cecchini posted promising strikeout and walk rates in the early part of his career and then suddenly began hitting for power in 2015 and 2016 at Vegas before returning to career norms in 2017. On paper, Cecchini was very intriguing as a young pro because he played shortstop and had such terrific control of the strike zone, but eyeball evaluations were more generic, indicating a bench role at best, and were incongruous with Cecchini’s performance, especially when he suddenly had power. He was sidelined for much of 2018 after he was struck by a pitch on the foot, but he put enough balls in play to note that his pull rate was up and his ground ball rate was down, and a hitter with this kind of innate talent would suddenly become very interesting if a swing change were to coax out some more power. At 25, Cecchini is probably just an up/down utility type, but that’s also what we thought about Jeff McNeil at this time last year.

23. Nick Meyer, C
Drafted: 6th Round, 2018 from Cal Poly (NYM)
Age 21.9 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+

Meyer is a pretty straightforward prospect, easier to project with fewer unknowns that the teenage prospects in this area of the list. Meyer is an accomplished defender, with a plus arm and at least above average defensive ability. He has some pop (45 raw power, game power below that) and is a solid athlete, but there isn’t much impact with the bat. He leans more contact-oriented in his approach, but often won’t make consistent hard contact, with some timing, pitch recognition, and plate coverage shortcomings at present. He seems likely to reach the upper minors and with some improvement, would get on a 40-man roster and get at least some big league time. If he can improve a little more offensively, then he could carve out a solid career as a backup.

24. Ryder Ryan, RHP
Drafted: 30th Round, 2016 from North Mecklenburg HS (NC) (CLE)
Age 23.7 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+

Ryan stood out as a prep sophomore for his big raw power and arm strength, both as a catcher and a pitcher in the low-90s on the mound. He peaked early in that regard, signing for $100,000 late in the 2016 draft when his catching and hitting didn’t progress and he was mostly just a mid-90s arm that occasionally showed command or a breaking ball. That projection has mostly held, as three years later Ryan has reached Double-A as a short reliever, but his breaking ball is consistently average to above and his command has improved, so there’s a clear path to becoming a middle reliever. The Mets acquired him in late 2017 in the Jay Bruce deal with Cleveland.

Drafted: 18th Round, 2015 from Crystal River HS (FL) (NYM)
Age 22.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 223 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+

Humphreys jumped on most fans’ radar when the 18th round pick, who signed for $150,000 out of a Florida high school, put up gaudy numbers over 26 starts in 2016 and 2017, before needing Tommy John surgery in August of 2017. He should be back on the mound in 2019, but there isn’t as much upside as his numbers would suggest, even if everything comes back as it was before. Humphreys works with three pitches that are all average to slightly above to go with similar command, but his control is above average. The upside is as a No. 4 starter and the reasonable expectation is more of a No. 5 starter, spot starter, or long reliever. This is the kind of pitcher who will excel statistically in the lower levels, where hitters generally aren’t selective and aren’t used to a pitcher who can command three MLB-quality pitches, but that’s the expectation in Double-A. Humphreys is another in a long line of a stated Mets draft strategy: low-bonus, later-round high school pitchers (all from Florida in this case) like John Gant, Erik Manoah, and Christian James. Saul Gonzalez from the 2018 draft, Bryce Hutchinson from 2017, and a couple others in the ‘wait and see’ bucket also fit this description.

Other Prospects of Note
Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.
Outfield Projects
Freddy Valdez, OF
Stanley Consuegra, OF

Valdez, 17, got $1.5 million in July 2018. He’s a traditional corner outfield power prospect; physical, with a huge frame and natural feel for lift. He’s athletically limited and may end up in left field. Consuegra worked out at shortstop when he was an amateur but his footwork belonged in the outfield and he’s already out there full time. He’s a lean, projectable power bat and will be 18 next season.

Catching Depth
Ali Sanchez, C
Juan Uriarte, C
Wilfred Astudillo, C

Sanchez is an above-average defender with a plus arm and might be a backup, but his bat is so light that that’s probably his ceiling; he might just be a third catcher. Uriarte had a breakout statistical 2017 and had kept his body in check when he broke camp and headed to Brooklyn, but he fouled a ball off of his leg in his first at-bat and didn’t play the rest of the year. He’s picked up offseason reps in Mexico. Astudillo is a squat catcher who has notably low early-career strikeout rates, if you can believe it.

Relief-types
Daniel Zamora, LHP
Bryce Montes de Oca, RHP
Jose Butto, RHP

Zamora got some big league time last year. He’s a low-slot lefty with a pretty extreme horizontal release point who throws a ton of his above-average frisbee slider. His fastball only sits in the upper-80s, so he’s going to have to have pinpoint fastball command to profile as more than lefty specialist. Montes de Oca, 22, is a physical, fireballing reliever who touches 100 but has had injury issues, including a Tommy John in high school and nerve transposition surgery in college. Butto, 20, could be a traditional mid-90s, above-average breaking ball reliever.

Can Play Shortstop
Edgardo Fermin, SS
Luis Carpio, SS

Each of these guys can pick it at short but probably won’t hit enough to be more than a utility type at peak. Fermin has a knack for barreling balls at the top of the zone, though, which we like.

Individuals Who Didn’t Fit Into Another Group
Joe Cavallaro, RHP
Brailin Gonzalez, LHP

Cavallaro is a side-arming righty with a slider that spins at 2650 rpm. He had a good year in A-ball at age 22 and might be a reliever. Gonzalez, 19, is a semi-projectable lefty who can spin a plus slider. He sat in the upper-80s last year and needs more velo to come.

System Overview
The Mets have been aggressive this winter under new GM Brodie Van Wagenen, dealing top 100 prospect and 2018 first round pick Jarred Kelenic and fringe top 100 prospect Justin Dunn, along with a 40+ and three 40 FV prospects. This will likely send what was an average farm system at season’s end to one somewhere in the 20s when we re-rank the farm systems later this winter. The system will produce an everyday player early in 2019 in first baseman Peter Alonso, but he’s the only prospect likely to return any real big league value next year. The exciting part of the system this year will be at Low-A Columbia, where the No. 3, 4, 5, and 7 prospects should all start the year; all show potential to be top 100 prospects in the next 12-18 months. Given the posture Van Wagenen has taken so far, these prospects will either be the potential center pieces of blockbuster deals or the wave of cost-controlled starters who will show up in about three years when the current big league group is losing its effectiveness. This new regime will carryover the same amateur scouting group but will have a new leader internationally, with Omar Minaya overseeing the effort after former director Chris Becerra left for the Red Sox.

Several league sources have told us that the Mets don’t scout beneath full-season ball, which is the opposite of what most others teams are doing as data comes to be a greater and greater part of the player evaluation process at the upper levels of the minors. The Mets haven’t acquired a player below full-season ball since Blake Taylor was the Player to be Named Later in the 2014 Ike Davis deal with Pittsburgh. As New York makes several trades, it appears they’ve mistakenly limited the talent pool from which they’re drawing by only caring about full-season prospects, something that the new regime has to live with this offseason, even if they desire to change it next year, because they simply lack reports on a lot of players.

We hoped you liked reading Top 25 Prospects: New York Mets by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel!

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LHPSU
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LHPSU

“Several league sources have told us that the Mets don’t scout beneath full-season ball”

Mind = blown

FrancoLuvHateMets
Member
FrancoLuvHateMets

I know the new front office wants to expand scouting/analytics department and hopefully ownership signs off on it. But yeah, i hate the Mets right now.

javblake8
Member
javblake8

It blows my mind that a team can just disregard the bottom 2 levels of the minors. My questions to them would be do they just not care or do they see zero value in scouting prospects below A-ball (which also makes no sense)?

maguro
Member
maguro

So they scout 15 year old Dominicans, but not pros in short season ball. That’s…interesting.

Red
Member
Member

Just wondering if this had any impact on Luis Santana being traded to Houston (rookie ball infielder Eric wrote up). I would have to imagine you’d have a full arsenal of info and reports on your own guys, even if bizarrely skipping the rest of lower developmental leagues. But then again, lolmets, so I’m not sure.

MattyD
Member
Member
MattyD

This is pretty shocking, but maybe it’s the right call? It costs resources to scout all those guys and for guys so far away, everyone knows you’re looking at a lottery ticket. Are you going to have better info than team that controls them after watching them for 3 games and writing a report? And you can decide to scout individuals for in-season trades that are brewing.

Wild ass numbers: move the needle from 1.0% chance to make the majors to 1.1% at a cost of $250K for the scouting department… Not worth it.

vivalajeter
Member
vivalajeter

I sort of agree with MattyD. At first I was shocked, but then I wondered how valuable it is to scout the low minors. They presumably know about their own players, so they’re not going to give away any hidden gems for free.

For decent players on other teams, I would imagine the Mets would have scouted them before they were drafted (or signed internationally) but they are no longer scouting them until they reach full season ball. Sure, they won’t steal away a hidden gem from another team – but that’s unlikely to happen anyway.

It would be interesting to see an example of a trade that happened due to other teams scouting low-level ball.

As for maguro’s question about scouting 15 year old Dominicans – the obvious answer is that they have a chance to sign that Dominican player when he’s eligible, since he’ll be a free agent. Low-level minor leaguers are already locked in to a team.