MMN 2019 Top 50 Prospects: 30-26 Headlined By High Octane Viall

By Christopher Soto

January 21, 2019 No comments

Chris Viall/Photo by Ed Delany

30. Sam Haggerty

Position: 2B/SS/3B/OF     B/T: S/R     Age: 5/26/94 (24)
Acquired: Received from Cleveland Indians in exchange for Kevin Plawecki (1/6/19)
2018 Stats (Akron/Columbus): .239/.369/.384, 21 2B, 4 HR, 39 RBI, 26 SB, 7 CS

After an injury plagued college career, Haggerty was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 24th round of the 2015 MLB Draft as a fringe average hitting second baseman with excellent on-base skills. In his four year career thus far, Haggerty has produced walk rates above 11 percent in each season, including a whopping 16.2 percent in Double-A last season. He also possesses plus speed and knows how to use them on the base-paths. In 2017, he led the Carolina League (Advanced Single-A) in stolen bases with 49 successful swipes in only 112 games and in 2018 he finished tied for 4th in the Eastern League (Double-A) with 24 steals in only 87 games.

While his ceiling is limited by his below to fringe average hit tool and below average raw power, his ability to draw walks, steal bases, and play multiple positions fairly well gives him a chance to develop into a potential bench piece at the Major League level. In addition, at 5’11” and only 175 lbs, one could argue that even at age 24, he could still have a little power projection in him as he puts on some more weight. It will be interesting to see how he responds to and develops in a new organization.

29. Jose Miguel Medina

Pos: OF     B/T: R/R     Age: 10/2/96 (22)
Acquired: Signed as an International Free Agent in 2013 from the Dominican Republic
2018 Stats (Brooklyn): .271/.342/.429, 16 2B, 5 HR, 32 RBI, 12 SB, 8 CS

After a rough 2017 season that saw him struggle in Brooklyn and Columbia, the Mets chose to have Medina repeat Brooklyn in 2018. He did not disappoint his second time around posting the second highest OPS (.770) on the team, while improving on most of his peripherals stats year over year. Most notably, his walk rate improved by 1.7 percent, and his strikeout rate dropped almost eight percent. Additionally, his ISO more than doubled with his setting career highs for doubles and home runs. Moreover, his average improved, which is all the more impressive when you consider his BABIP dropped 41 points.

Medina’s all-around solid performance even earned him a spot on Baseball America‘s Top 20 Prospects list for the New York-Penn League. Having always been known for his short compact swing, Medina’s tall lanky frame has begun to fill out, and he has begun to hit for more power in 2018. At 6’3″ and 180 lbs, Medina certainly still has some more power projection left in him, which he will need to fulfill to profile for a Major League corner outfield role. Medina is defensively sound, has a plus arm, and has good speed so it may be wise to perhaps try him out in center field more often as the current profile fits better there.

28. Stanley Consuegra

Position: OF     B/T: R/R     Age: 9/24/00 (18)
Acquired: Signed as an International Free Agent in 2017 from the Dominican Republic
Previous Rank: 28
2018 Stats (DSL Mets 2/GCL Mets): .212/.302/.349, 13 2B, 4 HR, 39 RBI, 9 SB, 4 CS

While fellow 2017 international signee Adrian Hernandez may have been the bigger prize from the signing period, it was actually Consuegra who found himself getting the call to make his stateside appearance after only 13 games. Despite his low .192 batting average in the Dominican Summer League, Consuegra displayed an advanced approach at the plate and made a lot of hard contact flashing plus power potential.

The average climbed a little higher in the Gulf Coast League but was still a rather low .217. That said, he wasn’t overpowered despite being, on average, three years younger than other players in the league. His strikeout and walk rates were reasonable, and the power numbers weren’t bad either considering his age and maturing body.

Consuegra’s 26 RBIs actually finished among the Top 15 in the Gulf Coast for the category and was second on the team behind fellow 2017 IFA signee Ronny Mauricio. Despite spending more time in right field in 2018 for the GCL team Consuegra is a center fielder long term. He has incredible athleticism, above average speed, and a 70 grade cannon arm due to the fact that he initially grew up as a shortstop.

27. Daniel Zamora

Position: RP     B/T: L/L     Age: 4/15/1993 (25)
Acquired: Received from Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Josh Smoker (1/31/18)
Previous Rank: 35
2018 Stats (Binghamton): 1-1, 3.48 ERA, 2 SV, 1.026 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 12.8 K/9
2018 Stats (MLB): 1-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, 16.0 K/9

The Smoker for Zamora trade has been an unheralded move from the Sandy Alderson regime as Zamora has done nothing but dominate since becoming a member of the Mets organization. Due to his low three-quarters arm slot and extremely wide release point from the first base side, left handed batters have an extremely hard time making solid contact off of him. While it is a small sample from his cup of coffee with the big league club, of the 36 batters he faced at the MLB level, only one produced a line drive batted ball.

While he is immediately thought of as a LOOGY reliever, Zamora has actually been tougher against right handed batters throughout his minor league career. In 2018 for the Binghamton Mets, Zamora faced 126 right-handed batters holding them to a paltry .157/.224/.243 slash line with a 34 percent strikeout rate compared to the .240/.310/.404 slash line with a 36 percent strikeout rate against the 112 LHB he faced. Zamora does all this with basically one pitch, a slider that he uses over 75 percent of the time. While it doesn’t have much velocity (77-80 mph), it does have one of the higher spin rates in the MLB (2640 RPM average) putting it on par with Carlos Carrasco‘s dominant slider. While he doesn’t miss as many bats as Carrasco, Zamora’s slider still produces whiff rates in the 17-19 percent range.

While the team has brought in a number of lefty handed options for the MLB club, Zamora’s superb Double-A numbers and successful short stint with the team last season should put him in a position to at least compete for a role in the 2019 Opening Day bullpen.

26. Chris Viall

Position: SP     B/T: R/R     Age: 9/28/1995 (23)
Acquired: 2016 Sixth Round Draft Pick from Stanford University
Previous Rank: 29
2018 Stats (Columbia):
3-7, 4.75 ERA, 1.538 WHIP, 5.6 BB/9, 12.8 K/9

If you were to solely focus on the velocity and the movement of Viall’s pitches, you would rate him as a superstar can’t miss prospect. His upper 90’s fastball is one of, if not the best fastball in the entire system. His power curve-ball is a solid plus secondary pitch, and he has a pretty decent circle change-up too. The problem is, Viall’s mechanics are extremely inconsistent and he has a significant injury history which has cost him precious development time. After missing most of the 2017 season due to a pectoral strain and ulnar disposition surgery, Viall missed more time during the 2018 season due to a strained shoulder, soreness in this elbow from the 2017 surgery, and eventually ended his season early due to snapping tricep syndrome.

Due to the injuries and the fact that at 6’9″ tall, repeating his mechanics was always going to be a tough task, it may be time for the Mets to move him into the bullpen to utilize his plus stuff. He has shown the ability to crank up his fastball into the triple digits and perhaps, by putting him into a situational role where he can just air it out, it will eliminate some of the more “effort” based mechanical issues. If the move works, he could develop into a serious premium late inning reliever.

Editor’s NoteJarred KelenicJustin DunnLuis SantanaRoss AdolphBobby WahlAdam HillGerson Bautista and Felix Valerio were all in our original Top 50 before they were traded.

Previous Rankings:

50-46 Led by Michael Paez
45-41 Led by Ranfy Adon
Led by Anthony Dirocie
Led by Ryley Gilliam