This is the second installment of the Mets 2018 Top 50 prospects here at Mets Minors. This group was created by all of the writers at MMN expressing their opinions of the prospects we include as well as countless others that didn’t make the list.
#40 RHP Bryce Hutchinson
Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 175 lbs Level: Gulf Coast
B/T: R/R Age: 10/21/1988 (19) Age Dif: -2.4
Acquired: 12th Round of the 2017 Draft from Deland High School (Deland, FL)
2017 Stats: 0–0, 4.70 ERA, 5 G, 2 GS, 7.2 IP, 6 K, 1.696 WHIP, 7.0 BB/9, 7.0 K/9
The Mets selected Hutchinson in the 12 round of the 2017 draft, and they were able to convince the prep pitcher to waive his commitment to Mississippi State by giving him an overslot $360,000 signing bonus. In an effort to get his feet wet and to protect his arm, the Mets had him begin his career in the Gulf Coast League limiting him to just 7.2 innings.
Hutchinson is a promising pitcher who has top of the rotation potential. He’s a strong body pitcher that is already throwing in the low 90s and may get his fastball consistently into the mid or even high 90s as he matures. As of the moment, he is a four pitch pitcher with only the curveball being advanced enough to be a quality and consistent pitch.
#39 RHP Cameron Planck
Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 218 lbs
B/T: R/R Age: 3/5/1998 (19)
Acquired: 11th Round of 2016 Draft from Rowan County High School (Moorehead, KY)
2017 Preseason Rank: 34
Like Hutchinson, Planck was a prep pitcher the Mets were able to entice to skip college by giving him an overslot bonus. Also like Hutchinson, the Mets were careful with Planck by not having him pitch right after he was drafted. Sadly, Planck has yet to pitch professionally as he had shoulder surgery last season. The hope is even with the surgery Planck can get back to being the pitcher many believed he could be when he received that $1 million signing bonus.
As Planck himself noted in an exclusive interview with MMN‘s Ernest Dove, the pitcher throws a mid to high 90s fastball, and he was working on a knuckle curve to compliment the pitch. When he is able to get back on the mound, the hope is he can hone his mechanics, get his fastball back to where it once was, and he can refine his breaking pitches so he can get his career on track.
#38 RHP Stephen Nogosek
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 205 lbs Level: St. Lucie
B/T: R/R Age: 1/11/1995 (23) Age Dif: -1.1 (A+)
Acquired: Trade from Red Sox (2017) in exchange for Addison Reed
2017 MiLB Stats: 3.52 ERA, 19 SV, 69 IP, 1.22 WHIP, 7.2 H/9, 0.9 HR/9, 3.8 BB/9, 10.2 K/9
Nogosek was in taken in the sixth round of the 2016 draft from the the University of Oregon (teammate of Mets 2017 first round David Peterson). The only guy the Mets traded for that doesn’t hit the high 90’s with his fastball does get good movement on his two-seamer.
Also throws from a three-quarters arm slot that can make him tough to pick up. He compliments his two-seamer with a cutter, changeup and slider. Cutter and slider are seen as above average offerings that help rack up his strikeouts.
Seen as a guy that can move fast despite not having a high velo fastball, but his struggles with control could hamper that.
#37 RHP Harol Gonzalez
Ht: 5’11″ Wt: 178 lbs Level: Columbia & St. Lucie
B/T: R/R Age: 3/2/1995 (22) Age Dif: -1.1 (St. Lucie)
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2013
2017 Stats: 9-9, 3.53 ERA, 23 G, 23 GS, 3 CG, 137.2 IP, 100 K, 1.257 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, 6.5 K/9
Previous Rank: 31
On the bright side, Gonzalez proved himself to be a workhorse that can go deep into games. He averaged six innings per start, and he led the South Atlantic League in complete games. Gonzalez was largely able to do that because he attacks the strike zone aggressively, is not afraid to pitch to contact, and he has advanced secondary pitches for this stage of a player’s development. That goes double for his change-up.
On the down side, Gonzalez was not the dominating pitcher he was in the New York Penn League. One of the major reasons why is because the higher caliber of hitter is able to hit his mistakes with more authority and because Gonzalez has lost the ability to keep the ball in the ballpark. With his only having a low 90s fastball, he has to focus on location as opposed to trying to blow it by people.
Perhaps most promising is Gonzalez made adjustments as the year progressed. Over the final two months, he was 4-4 with a 2.43 ERA and a 1.011 WHIP. This was much more reminiscent of his stint in Brooklyn, and the numbers are all the more impressive when you consider his final three appearances of the season were with St. Lucie. Also need to keep in mind that earlier in the season Gonzalez was dealing with a few nagging injuries including a minor wrist issue.
#36 OF Wagner Lagrange
Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 195 lb. Level: Kingsport & Brooklyn
B/T: R/R Age: 9/6/95 (21) Age Dif: 0.7
Acquired: International Free Agent out of the Dominican Republic (2015)
2017 Stats: 58 G, 248 PA, 224 AB, 31 R, 74 H, 11 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 44 RBI, 3 SB, 3 CS, .330/.379/.460
Previous Rank: 37
Lagrange is an immensely talented player who began to translate potential into production during the the 2017 season. Overall, the main thing that stuck out with him was how he began hitting the ball with more authority. The 21-year-old outfielder set career highs in all the power hitting categories, and as he continues to develop, we can well expect him to do it again next year.
One of the main reasons why is Lagrange has an idea of what he is doing at the plate, and he is able to consistently make contact. In fact, he had a remarkably low 10.9% strikeout rate, and he had an impressive 20 walks to only 28 strikeouts. Lagrange was named a post-season All-Star by the Appalachian League for his contributions to the Kingsport Mets.
As good as he is at the plate, he has a canon of an arm making him well suited to either center or right field. Considering his speed and his range, he can play a passable center, but he will be ideally suited to right. Ultimately, if he is going to stick in the corner, he is going to have to see a continued development of his power numbers. Last year was a good start.