As the 2018 Minor League Seasons comes to an end, the Mets Minors staff made an All-Star team of minor leaguers. This list is strictly based on numbers, age and prospect status did not play a role into our decisions. We want to give recognition to all players that had a good season in the minors. We started with the team with our starting lineup.
Justin Dunn, RHP
Level: St. Lucie & Binghamton
Stats: 8-8, 3.59 ERA, 24 G, 24 GS, 135.1 IP, 156 K, 1.330 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, 10.4 K/9
MMN Rank: 3
Dunn put a disappointing 2017 season behind him by dominating right out of the gate. With St. Lucie, he had a 2.36 ERA in nine starts prompting his promotion to Double-A. With Binghamton, Dunn continued to post impressive strikeout numbers striking out 10.5 batters per nine innings. Overall, he had all of his pitches working for him, and he began going deeper into games averaging 6.0 innings per start for Binghamton. In total, Dunn looked like the guy once considered a Top 100 prospect. More importantly, he looked like a staff ace.
Jaison Vilera, RHP
Stats: 5-2, 1.83 ERA, 13 G, 13 GS, 73.2 IP, 78 K, 0.977 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, 9.5 K/9
Arguably, Vilera was the most dominant pitcher in the New York-Penn League leading the league in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts. Even with all the outstanding performances in the Mets minor leagues this season, there was no pitcher who led their league in all three categories. This continues the pattern of dominance Vilera has followed since he made his debut in the DSL two years ago.
Junior Santos, RHP
Level: DSL & Gulf Coast
Stats: 1-1, 2.52 ERA, 14 G, 10 GS, 50.0 IP, 39 K, 0.900 WHIP, 1.1 BB/9, 7.0 K/9
While he has been overshadowed by some of the bigger names from last year’s impressive international signing class, Santos has been making a case for himself. The 16 year old has pitched beyond his years by not just controlling his pitches well, but also by showing a slider and changeup beyond his years. The end result was him being stingy in issuing free passes, his keeping the ball in the ballpark, and his posting a simply outstanding 6.50 K/BB ratio.
Willy Taveras, RHP
Level: Gulf Coast & Kingsport
Stats: 7-1, 2.35 ERA, 11 G, 11 GS, 65.0 IP, 57 K, 1.015 WHIP, 1.9 BB/9, 7.9 K/9
When looking at Kingsport, we have seen the tremendous offense discussed at length. Those discussions have overlooked the contributions and simply dominant stretch put together by Taveras. The 20 year old was undefeated with a 5-0 record in seven starts. In those seven starts, he averaged 6.0 innings while walking one or fewer batters in five of those seven starts. He would not walk more than two batters in a game. More impressive than any of that was Taveras was at his best in pressure situations. With runners on base, Taveras limited opposing batters to a .139/.191/.198 batting line.
Christian James, RHP
Level: Binghamton, St. Lucie, Brooklyn
Stats: 4-3, 1.90 ERA, 15 G, 15 GS, 80.2 IP, 54 K, 1.066 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, 6.0 K/9
MMN Rank: 14
The Mets had so much faith in James and his abilities, they had him pitch for Binghamton and St. Lucie before having him start the opener for Brooklyn. That was the start of a terrific season for James where he was just a hair behind his teammate Vilera on the leader boards. In fact, James was second in the league in ERA, sixth in WHIP, and fifth in innings pitched. What really stands out is how strong James ended the season going 2-1 with a 1.38 ERA while limiting opposing batters to a .151/.221/.186 batting line over his final four starts.