Here we are, the start of the 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.
#50 RHP Steve Villines
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 175 lb Level: Kingsport & Brooklyn
B/T: R/R Age: 7/15/1995 (22) Age Dif: -0.3 (Brooklyn)
Acquired: 10th Round of 2017 Draft from University of Kansas
2017 Stats: 3-2, 1.65 ERA, 19 G, SV, 27.1 IP, 41 K, 0.3 BB/9, 13.5 K/9
The right-hander doesn’t have what many believe is outstanding stuff with an upper 80s fastball, but he is able to dominate because of his deceptive delivery and because he pounds the strike zone. He walked only one batter compared to an impressive 41 strikeouts in his pro debut. The righty also throws a sharp slider and a changeup.
#49 C Ali Sanchez
Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 200 Level: Columbia
B/T: R/R Age: 1/20/97 (20) Age Dif: -1.5
Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent for $690,000 (7/2/13)
2017 Stats: 56 G, 200 PA, 182 AB, 20 R, 42 H, 3 2B, HR, 15 RBI, .231/.288/.264
Previous Rank: 35
Last year, Sanchez had season ending surgery to repair a broken hamate bone marking the second consecutive season Sanchez has dealt with hand injuries. This has hampered him from developing offensively, and it has caused him to drop in the prospect rankings. Even with the injuries and offensive issues, Sanchez remains an outstanding defensive backstop, who excels in every aspect of the game.
#48 RHP Austin McGeorge
Ht: 6’2” Wt: 215 lb. Level: Columbia & St. Lucie
B/T: R/R Age: 11/27/94 (22) Age Dif: -1.1 (St. Lucie)
Acquired: 7th Round of 2016 Draft from California State University, Long Beach
2017 Stats: 2-2, 1.78 ERA, 31 G, 2 SV, 50.2 IP, 0.987 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, 11.7 K/9
Previous Rank: 39
McGeorge combines a low 90s fastball with a wipeout slider to generate not just a high number of strikeouts, but also dominate both left and right-handed batters holding both to batting averages under the Mendoza Line. He also generates a large number groundballs, his 66.2 groundball percentage was fifth highest in the Florida State League.
#47 LHP David Roseboom
Ht: 6′ 2″ Wt: 225 Level: Las Vegas
B/T: L/L Age: 5/17/1992 (25) Age Dif: -0.5
Acquired: Selected by Mets in 17th round of 2014 Draft from University of South Carolina Upstate
2017 Stats: 0-2, 8.31 ERA, 18 G, 17.1 IP, 12 K, 1.788 WHIP, 5.2 BB/9, 6.2 K/9
2017 Pre-Season Rank: 30
Heading into 2017, Roseboom aas coming off a dominating stint in Double-A and the Arizona Fall League, and he entered camp with a shot to make the Opening Day roster. Roseboom impressed, but he would start the year in Triple-A. Ultimately, his season was cut short as he suffered a season-ending foot injury.
If fully recovered, Roseboom should return to form, and he may eventually get a chance to pitch in the majors. In 52 games in 2016, he pitched 57.2 innings and recorded 14 saves, striking out 54 batters and walking 18. He had a 1.87 ERA and 0.902 WHIP while holding batters to a .170/.243/.270 slash line. He features a fastball 87-92, above average changeup and a slider.
#46 2B Luis Santana
Ht: 5’8″ Wt: 175 lb. Level: DSL
B/T: R/R Age: 7/20/1999 (18) Age Dif: -1.1
Acquired: Signed as an International Free Agent for $200,000 (7/3/2016)
2017 Stats: 65 G, 287 PA, 237 AB, 47 R, 77 H, 12 2B, 8 3B, 3 HR, 52 RBI, 16 SB, 4 CS, .325/.430/.481
Santana took significant strides forward in his second year in the DSL. While he doesn’t profile as a power hitter, he did hit the ball with much more authority, and he began utilizing his speed on the bases. His 1.55 BB/K was the ninth best in the DSL and his 165 wRC+ ranked fifth.
Santana received the Mets Sterling Award for the Dominican Summer League Mets II.
#45 RHP Matt Blackham
Ht: 5’10” Wt: 169 lb. Level: Columbia
B/T: R/R Age: 1/7/1993 (25) Age Dif: 2.1
Acquired: 29th Round of the 2014 Draft from Middle Tennessee State University
2017 Stats: 4-2, 1.43 ERA, 40 G, 8 SV, 56.2 IP, 82 K, 0.988 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, 13.0 K/9
Blackham missed the entire 2016 season after suffering fracture of the olecranon in the right elbow. He came back last year picking up where he left off striking out a high rate of batters with a low 90s fastball and a terrific curve. The Mets should be aggressive with him in 2018.
#44 RHP Chris Viall
Ht: 6’9″ Wt: 230 lb. Level: Brooklyn
B/T: R/R Age: 9/28/1995 (22) Age Dif: -0.3
Acquired: Sixth Round Pick of the 2016 Draft from Stanford University
2017 Stats: 0-3, 3.42 ERA, 9 G, 5 GS, 26.1 IP, 31 K, 1.177 WHIP, 4.8 BB/9, 10.6 K/9
2017 Pre-Season Rank: 81
After returning from ulnar disposition surgery, Viall started the season in the bullpen before moving to the rotation to end the season. As Viall noted in a pre-season interview with MMN‘s own Mets Daddy, Viall prefers starting.
It will be tempting for the Mets to keep him in the bullpen as he can ramp his fastball to triple digits in the pen. If Viall wants to be in the rotation, he will need to hone his mechanics and better repeat his delivery. Viall arguably has the best fastball velocity of any Mets minor league starter.
#43 2B Luis Carpio
Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 165 lb. Level: Columbia
B/T: R/R Age: 7/11/1997 (19) Age Dif: -2.5
Acquired: Signed by on July 11, 2013 for $300,000
2017 Stats: 125 G, 535 PA, 474 AB, 53 R, 110 H, 18 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 17 SB, 5 CS, .232/.308/.302
Previous Rank: 19
After surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder and a full season under his belt, Carpio seems better suited to second base which is a position he handles quite well defensively. He showed limited power in 2017 which is something that will have to improve to profile as a second baseman.
Next season is an important one for Carpio as he will need to begin translating his promising skill set into production at the plate.
#42 RHP Mickey Jannis
Ht: 5’9″ Wt: 195 lb. Level: Binghamton
B/T: R/R Age: 12/16/1987 (30) Age Dif: 4.7
Acquired: Signed as Minor League Free Agent (2015)
2017 Stats: 8-7, 3.60 ERA, 21 G, 21 GS, 2 CG, SHO, 122.1 IP, 83 K, 1.251 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, 6.1 K/9
Jannis really began to better harness his knuckleball in the second half of the season culminating with a 1.64 ERA in August. He carried that success forward with a great sting in the Arizona Fall League pitching to a 2.33 ERA. It will be interesting to see how well he’s able to command his knuckler in Vegas.
Jannis limited the longball in 2017 with 0.7 HR/9 and lowered his walk rate to only 7.6%. If he keeps commanding his knuckler in 2018 he could be one of the first call-ups when the Mets need a starter.
#41 RHP Jacob Rhame
Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 215 lb. Level: Pacific Coast League & MLB
B/T: R/R Age: 3/16/1993 (24) Age Dif: -2.6 (AAA)
Acquired: PTBNL in the Curtis Granderson trade (8/20/2017)
2017 MiLB Stats: 0-3, 4.00 ERA, 45 G, 2 SV, 54.0 IP, 66 K, 1.185 WHIP, 1.7 BB/9, 11.0 K/9
2017 MLB Stats: 1-1, 9.00 ERA, 9 G, 9.0 IP, 7 K, 2.111 WHIP, 7.0 BB/9, 7.0 K/9
As we saw with his MLB debut, Rhame has a mid 90s fastball with a slider and changeup that still needs some improvement. In Triple-A, his stuff worked better because he had better control of all three pitches. With more composure in the majors, and with some adjustments to his secondary pitches, we could well see Rhame return to the majors next year and pitch quite well.