Las Vegas 51s
MiLB Stats: 110 G, 497 PA, 453 AB, 68 R, 121 H, 27 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 39 RBI, 5 SB, 4 CS, .267/.329/.380/
MLB Stats: 32 G, 82 PA, 77 AB, 4 R, 16 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1 CS, .208/.256/.273/
MMN Rank: 8
After two stellar minor league seasons in 2015 and 2016 that saw him hit a combined .321 (and effectively earn a brief stint with the big league club at the end of the season), Cecchini struggled in Las Vegas. The 23-year-old struck out more and walked less, while his subpar defense remained the same. In a longer (but still limited) cameo in the major leagues this year, Cecchini wasn’t able to find consistent playing time or success, reflected in his numbers. It’s hard to get a read on where the organization sees him fitting in next season, but given his lack of opportunities thus far, the former first round pick is likely headed for another ride on the MLB-AAA shuttle.
Binghamton Rumble Ponies
Heralded as the best defensive shortstop in the system, Guillorme has begun to spend most of his time at second base, as he spent 54% of his innings there. He also made strides at the plate this season, raising his walk rate by nearly 4.5%. In fact, among Mets minor leaguers who played full season ball in 2017, only Guillorme’s teammate, utility man Kevin Taylor, also had more walks than strikeouts. Guillorme, the Mets’ 10th-round pick three years ago, is eligible for the Rule 5 draft this offseason, and it appears likely that he will be placed on the 40-man roster and protected.
St. Lucie Mets
MiLB Stats: 48 G, 194 PA, 176 AB, 25 R, 52 H, 12 2B, 4 HR, 21 RBI, 4 SB, 2 CS, .295/.351/.432
Injuries have limited McNeil to 51 games over the last two seasons, but he showed at least a passing ability to get on base while on the field in 2017. In need of healthy and able bodies late in the season, McNeil was promoted from St. Lucie to Las Vegas on August 17, where he remained through the end of the year. In the field, the 25-year-old has seen time throughout his career at every position except catcher and right field (excluding the mound), and he’s been able to handle them all solidly.
MiLB Stats: 78 G, 248 PA, 217 AB, 34 R, 47 H, 8 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 22 RBI, 2 SB, 2 CS, .217/.310/.369
The Mets’ final selection in the 2014 draft, Burdick has beat long odds to climb fairly quickly through the minor league ranks, making it to Las Vegas for a five-game stint last season. In total, Burdick has played in at least one game for all seven of the Mets’ stateside affiliates. Sentiments aside, the 21-year-old has found difficulties at each stop throughout his career, as his average in 2017 barely bested his previous career high of .210 in 2015. Burdick’s ability to play all four infield positions will help him stick around a little while longer, but it’s hard to envision him amounting to anything more than organizational filler.
Moved from second base to shortstop almost immediately after being selected by the Mets in the fourth round last year, Paez has already endured major ups and downs in his brief career. With Brooklyn in 2016, Paez hit .190 and struck out in 24% of his at-bats. In Columbia at the beginning of this season, the 22-year-old hit .290/.376/.509 with eight home runs in 64 games and was named a South Atlantic League All-Star. After he was promoted to St. Lucie on June 22, Paez’s average plummeted back down to .200, and he was only able to muster two long balls. Clearly, the consistency needs work, and it’s likely that he will remain in the Florida State League to begin 2018.
Coming off a lost 2016 season in which he only played in 20 games following March shoulder surgery, Carpio headed to Columbia this April looking to catch up to his peers. Unfortunately, the Venezuelan native was never able to capture any consistent success. Regarded as a top-ten prospect in the system before his surgery, Carpio was passable at the plate prior to the all-star break, but hit .219 in July before an abysmal August, which saw him collect only 21 hits in over 100 at-bats. A former shortstop, the injury not only made him a surefire future second baseman, but it also guaranteed that it will be multiple seasons before Carpio will be able to prove he can get back to a top prospect status.
Short Season Second Basemen
MiLB Stats: 63 G, 265 PA, 243 AB, 41 R, 73 H, 21 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 19 RBI, 32 SB, 8 CS, .300/.341/.407
Playing under fellow Venezuelan Edgardo Alfonzo with the Brooklyn Cyclones, Rasquin flourished in 2017, putting up one of the best stat lines in the New York-Penn League. His 32 stolen bases set a franchise record, while his 21 two-base hits nearly tied Danny Muno’s 2011 record (23). The 5’9″ Rasquin showed an above-average ability to put the bat on the ball all season long, while his speed put warranted pressure on opposing pitchers. One area of improvement on the offensive side will have to be his 4.9% walk rate, which trailed only Gregory Guerrero (4.5%) for the lowest mark in the system among qualified players. Defensively, Rasquin has bounced around the diamond throughout his career, but due to a lack of trust in the field, Alfonzo penciled him into the DH slot in 35 of his 63 games. It was a bit of a surprise to see Rasquin’s name missing from this year’s instructional league roster, but the 21-year-old is slated to open next season in Columbia.
MiLB Stats: 40 G, 161 PA, 144 AB, 26 R, 41 H, 8 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 4 SB, 2CS, .285/.360/.375
After spending two years in the Dominican Summer League and 17 games in Kingsport to begin the 2017 season, Fermin joined Brooklyn on July 15. He picked up two hits in his first game with the Cyclones, but that was the highlight of his tenure, as a hamstring injury limited him to just eight games after August 2. While he has played a solid amount of shortstop in the past, his arm and range is best suited for second base, where he’ll likely play for Brooklyn next season. Fermin also has age on his side, as he will not turn 20 until the end of May in 2018.
MiLB Stats: 51 G, 218 PA, 192 AB, 29 R, 45 H, 3 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 2 CS, .234/.307/.593
Manzanarez spent the entire 2017 season in Kingsport, after a two-week stint with the K-Mets at the end of last season. His home run on July 15, the first of career, was a walk-off solo shot to lift Kingsport over Johnson City, two batters after Kevin Hall tied the game with his first professional long ball. With a career average under .250, Manzanarez will have to pick up the pace in his fourth season if he wants to stick around much longer.