We recently finished out Top 50 here at MMN but will now give a chance to each writer to express their own opinions on which players they felt should have been included in the list or are in the next group of players just outside the list:
Level: Las Vegas & Binghamton
Stats: 7-13, 5.35 ERA, 1.439 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 5.1 K/9
Knapp is a four pitch pitcher who locates well and pitches to contact. If you’re looking for an old Met for comparison’s sake think Dillon Gee. This is a profile that could work in the Majors, but as we have seen with succesful MLB pitchers in Matthew Bowman and Seth Lugo, it is a recipe for struggles in Las Vegas. Certainly, Knapp proved that to be true when he went out there and dominated for Binghamton going 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA in four starts.
Level: Columbia, Brooklyn, St. Lucie
Stats: .241/.327/.336, 14 2B, 3 3B, HR, 18 RBI, 30 SB, 5 CS
The main thing Zanon has going for him is he has elite baseball speed. He is able to utilize his speed to steal many bases at a highly successful clip. He’s able to utilize his speed to cover a lot of ground in the outfield. Ultimately, the question for him is his bat. He got off to a great start at the plate in April before suffering a concussion, and again when he returned from the disabled list in June. If he can stay healthy and become more consistent at the plate, which seemingly go hand-in-hand for him, he promises to rise quickly next year.
Stats: 4-1, 2.39 ERA, 1.122 WHIP, 4.0 BB/9, 6.6 K/9
After the Rays gave up on Griset being a left-handed starting pitcher, the Mets swooped in, and they have made him a left-handed reliever. Griset has rewarded the Mets faith by holding left-handed batters to a downright stingy .143/.225/.200 batting line last year. Impressively, since joining the Mets organization in 2015, he has allowed just one home run to a left-handed batter in 202 plate appearances. More than anyone in the Mets system, with his low 90’s fastball and a terrific curve, Griset is the LOOGY of the future.
Level: St. Lucie, GCL, Columbia
Stats: .151/.214/.207, 7 2B, HR, 6 RBI
In 2016, it looked like the Mets had a real find with their fifth round draft pick Woodmansee. In fact, despite the team having drafted other collegiate shortstops higher than him, it was Woodmansee who played short for Brooklyn. Heading into the 2017 season, he was also the one who skipped Columbia and was assigned to St. Lucie.
Things did not work out for him last year as he had an injury riddled season. When healthy, Woodmansee is a player who promises to be a good fielder at all infield positions, and he has a promising bat. He makes good contact, and he profiles as a player who could develop power as he rises through the Mets system. Long story short, Woodmansee is still the talented player he was in 2016 when everyone took notice. We should rediscover that again this upcoming season.
Stats: .348/.413/.486, 16 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 24 RBI, SB
More than anyone else on this list, Terrazas really earned his way onto the list. Terrazas took advantage of an uncertain third base situation as the Appalachian League season started. Terrazas earned the everyday spot by posting a remarkable 141 wRC+. The switch hitter hits well from both sides of the plate, hits to all fields, and is willing to draw a walk. In some ways, he is reminiscent of Wilmer Flores in that he has a projectible bat, but the team needs to find an infield position for him. If he continues to hit and eventually develop some power, the Mets will find a position for him quickly.
Stats: 1-0, 2.10 ERA, 5 SV, 0.896 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, 13.0 K/9
If not for a season ending injury, Kuhns would have likely made the Top 50 list. The 2016 draft pick came to the Mets a bit raw as a pitcher as he did not focus on being a pitcher until his senior year at Santa Clara. When healthy, he’s got a mid to high 90s fastball and a surprisingly advanced slider, and he uses that combination to generate high strikeout totals.
Level: Kingsport & Brooklyn
Stats: .266/.368/.430, 15 2B, 8 HR, 38 RBI
Vasquez played his first two years of collegiate ball at Florida before ultimately deciding to transfer to Nova Southeastern University. The decision was understandable as he was blocked from his natural first base position by Mets 2017 second round draft pick Peter Alonso. The adjustment to the outfield was not a natural one for Vasquez, and he struggled in all areas of his game during his sophomore year.
At Nova Southeastern, Vasquez rediscovered his stroke and his confidence. He began to hit for more power, and he showed good knowledge of the strike zone. So far, those skills have translated to the minors as he raked in Kingsport. If he continues this disciplined approach at the plate while continuing to develop power, the Mets will be the same position Florida was. If that happens, that will be a good thing for both the Mets and Vasquez.
Stats: 5-5, 3.61 ERA, 3 SV, 1.332 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 6.8 K/9
Last year, with his featuring a heavy sinker, Taylor was being touted as a potential future closer of the Mets. That’s what happens when you have 20 saves with a 1.87 ERA in St. Lucie, and you follow that up with a dominating stint in the Arizona Fall League. This all earned him an invitation to Spring Training, where by and large, he impressed Mets brass.
Last year, the opinion on Taylor seemingly changed considerably. By and large, that is the result of his struggling right out of the gate in Double-A and his posting a 3.61 ERA. This should be surprising when you see his walk and strikeout numbers were not too far off of what he posted in St. Lucie last year. Digging a little deeper, you will see Taylor yielded a surprisingly high .330 BABIP. With a BABIP correction more towards the .300 norm, you should once again see a dominating back-end reliever next year.
In fact, we may have already seen the start of that. From July 9th to the end of the season, Taylor made 14 apperances going 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA and 1.200 WHIP. In his lone appearance in the Eastern League playoffs against the Trenton Thunder, he pitched a scoreless inning. That’s success he can build off of to put together a strong 2018 season.
Level: Midwest League (A) & Columbia
Stats: 3-4, 4.14 ERA, 6 SV, 1.325 WHIP, 3.6 BB/9, 10.3 K/9
Ryan has a big arm, but he is a big project. He’s got the tools to be successful. His fastball tops out around 97 MPH, and he was considered to have the best fastball in the Indians 2016 draft class. He uses that fastball along with a slider to generate a high number of strikeouts. He’s also got the pedigree with his father, Sean Ryan, having made it to Triple-A in the Phillies system, and his uncle Jason Ryan having pitched two years for the Minnesota Twins. He remains a project with him only recently focusing on becoming a pitcher, but in the end Mets fans should prove happy to have both Jay Bruce and Ryan.