We have finished our 2017 Top 30 Mets Prospects here at MMN, so now it’s time to take a look at how the group breaks down by position, how they were acquired, and who just missed.
I want to preface this by saying that we left off Anthony Kay, who the Mets took with the 31st pick in the 2016 draft. We decided to leave off the talented left-handed starter because he has yet throw a professional pitch and will miss the entire 2017 after having Tommy John surgery in October.
2017 MMN TOP 30 PROSPECTS
1. Amed Rosario, SS
2. Dominic Smith, 1B
3. Robert Gsellman, RHP
4. Thomas Szapucki, LHP
5. Desmond Lindsay, OF
6. Justin Dunn, RHP
7. Gavin Cecchini, INF
8. Brandon Nimmo, OF
9. Andres Gimenez, SS
10. Tomas Nido, C
11. Wuilmer Becerra, OF
12. Peter Alonso, 1B
13. Marcos Molina, RHP
14. Ali Sanchez, C
15. T.J. Rivera, INF
16. Luis Carpio, INF
17. Merandy Gonzalez, RHP
18. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP
19. Gregory Guerrero, SS
20. Chris Flexen, RHP
21. Josh Smoker, LHP
22. Ricardo Cespedes, OF
23. P.J. Conlon, LHP
24. David Thompson, 3B
25. Harol Gonzalez, RHP
26. Nabil Crismatt, RHP
27. Luis Guillorme, SS
28. Corey Taylor, RHP
29. Andre Church, RHP
30. David Roseboom, LHP
Here is how the list breaks down by position:
Right-handed pitcher – 10 (two relievers)
Shortstop – 6 (including Cecchini/Caprio whom both might play 2B in 2017)
Outfield – 4
Left-handed Pitcher – 4 (two relievers)
First Base – 2
Catcher – 2
Third Base -2 (Counting Rivera at 3B)
The Mets have a ton of minor league talent at the shortstop level which you can see with the six players in the Top 30. That’s not including T.J. Rivera who has experience at short, Milton Ramos who might be the best defensive shortstop in the system and Colby Woodmansee, the Mets 2016 5th rounder.
Possibly even more incredible is the ten right-handed pitchers on this list despite the Mets trading Michael Fulmer, John Gant, Luis Cessa, Matt Koch, Casey Meisner and Robert Whalen as well as losing Matthew Bowman in the Rule 5 draft.
Now lets take a look at how the Top 30 Mets prospects were acquired:
Drafted – 16
International Free Agency – 11
Free Agents – 2 (Rivera, Smoker)
Trade – 1 (Becerra, part of Noah Syndergaard deal)
It’s not shocking that four of the 16 drafted players came from the first round and three from the second round. But what round have the Mets recently found two gems? How about the 13th round in which they got Conlon in 2015 and Gsellman in 2011. That’s not the end of the 13th round success though, they also drafted the previously mentioned Bowman in 2012, Kevin McGowan (invited to ML camp) in 2013 and Erik Manoah (traded for Fernando Salas) in 2014.
It was a large group of writers from MMO/MMN that worked to put this list together and while we agreed on most of the rankings each writer had a specific snub from the Top 30 they wanted to mention below.
Mathew B – Catcher Patrick Mazeika
Patrick Mazeika is a name that should be on Met fans’ radars, as the 8th round pick in the 2015 Draft has done nothing but rake since signing with the team. He opened the 2016 season with the Columbia Fireflies however, due to an elbow injury, he started the season on the disabled list. When he returned in late May, Mazeika posted a strong line of .305/.414/.402 in 70 games, and had almost as many walks (38) as strikeouts (39). His fared well against both righties and lefties, with a .810 OPS against RHP, and .845 OPS against southpaws.
MetsDaddy – Right-handed reliever Paul Sewald
While Sewald does not have outstanding stuff, he has consistently produced. He’s coming off a successful season as the 51s closer that saw him record 10 saves with a 1.85 ERA in the second half. Those numbers are good anywhere, but in the hitter’s haven that’s the Pacific Coast League, they’re outstanding. With results like this, the Mets are going to be hard-pressed to overlook him next year.
John S – Utility guy Ty Kelly
Kelly really doesn’t get much respect from fans, which I find odd since he is an easy guy to root for. Granted he is nothing more than a bench player, but so are most of the position players after 15, and he did so in the Majors. He does bring better than passable defense at multiple positions and much needed speed to the bench. He will get on base at a high rate as well.
Corne H – Right-handed reliever Paul Sewald
Paul Sewald is one that I would have liked to see in the Top 30. He’s a closer that’s had success at every level in the Mets system. His strengths are good control with a very good slider. A 3.29 ERA in the PCL was impressive to me. For his career he has a 2.20 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and has struck out 307 batters in 258 innings.
Ernest D – Outfielder Kevin Kaczmarski
I believe in the true talent and ability of outfield prospect Kevin Kaczmarski. Last year he showed an ability to make strong and solid contact. I was able to witness the lift he puts on the ball with his swing and I would not be surprised to see his home run totals climb as he progresses through the system, and out of the large ballpark at Tradition Field and the Florida State League. He’s another lefty swinging outfielder down on the farm but you can simply never have enough talented hitters and the talent is definitely here with Kevin.
Mike M – Right-handed pitcher Cameron Planck
The 6’3”, 18-year old had every intention of going to the University of Louisville where he had already verbally committed to when the Mets drafted him in the 11th round of the 2016 draft. The Mets convinced the Kentucky native to skip college by giving him a whopping $1,000,001 signing bonus. He didn’t pitch during the regular season, but did make his debut in the Instructional League where he also improved some of his mechancics. His fastball already sits in the 90-94 MPH range and tops out at 96. His changeup showed improvement in instructs and he told MMN’s own Ernest Dove in an interview that he’s now throwing a knuckle-curve.
Jacob R – Right-handed pitcher Tyler Bashlor
Bashlor was lights out for Columbia last year, striking out 68 in 50.1 innings while walking only 28. His strong fastball (95-98 mph) and change-of-pace stuff keeps hitters off balance, and should serve him well in St. Lucie this season. Considering he missed two full season after Tommy John surgery, Bashlor has a nice projection as a solid bullpen piece in the future.
We will be continuing the countdown here at MMN where we will be going up to 100 prospects for the first time. Beyond the guys listed as snubs above you can expect to see reports on Phillip Evans, Ricky Knapp, Jhoan Urena and Eudor Garcia.
I want to thank all the writers that helped compile this list and did the extensive reports. I also want to thank the MMO/MMN community for their interest in reading and learning more about the Mets farm system.