In an article today for Fangraphs, Jeff Sullivan ranked the 30 MLB organizations in talent 25 years of age and under.
Just as a team needs a minor league system brimming with talented prospects, young players that have already broken into the major leagues is just as, if not more, valuable for the outlook of the organization.
Well, as many sources have been quick to put the Mets minor league system in the bottom third of baseball as of right now, this new ranking provides a far rosier outlook. In this ranking, Sullivan looked at players both in the major leagues and minor leagues that are 25 years old or under and tallied up the projected WAR using the Fangraphs Steamer and ZIPS projection models. The Mets actually ranked 7th in MLB (!) when looking at the top 10 WAR performers for each club.
Going a little further into each organization’s depth, when looking at the next ten top WAR performers, the Mets still ranked 7th out of 30 MLB teams in projected WAR. In front of the Mets, you will find the usual suspects, namely the Yankees and Astros, as well as some NL East foes that have burgeoning farm systems, like the Braves and Phillies.
The article does not delve into further depth as to which players made up these rankings for each team, but we can assume the Mets’ pretty picture is buoyed at the top by Noah Syndergaard and Michael Conforto.
Amed Rosario? I’m sure he was in there. But in order to keep the 7th ranking 20 players deep, this is a surprisingly positive reflection of the talent reaching the upper minor leagues in the Mets farm system.
While much maligned for not having MLB ready top talent busting through, the Mets will be sending Luis Guillorme and his renowned glove and on-base skills to Las Vegas this year, along with solid all-around catcher Tomas Nido. Is it possible that this ranking also partly reflects the stable of young power relievers that are also close to MLB ready, such as Jacob Rhame, Jamie Callahan, and Drew Smith? Either way, while we can only surmise the exact composition, this article gives Mets fans a lot to be excited about.
By the way, as if all of that wasn’t good enough: if Bryce Harper leaves Washington at the end of the season, the Nationals window may very well be closing. When looking at the “next” 10 top WAR performers for each club, (in essence players 11-20 according to WAR) Washington ranks in dead last of 30 MLB clubs. In fact, the Nationals have only 10 players in the entire system (majors and minors) that project for positive WAR in 2018. In other words, they are top heavy with aging stars like Max Scherzer and Daniel Murphy. Could this leave them extra prone to an injury-riddled disappointment as happened in 2015? Hard to bet on that, but Sullivan surmises in the article that for Washington, “tough times may be ahead.”
To say nothing of the talent a-ways-away, maybe the Mets near-term window isn’t as small as the naysayers say?