31. INF Phillip Evans
Ht: 5’9″ Wt: 220 2016 Level: St. Lucie & Binghamton
B/T: R/R Age: 9/10/92 (24) Age Dif: -1.3 (AA)
Last Year: N/A
Acquired: 11th Round Draft Pick in 2011
2016 Statistics: 105 G, 419 PA, 389 AB, 53 R, 125 H, 30 2B, 8 HR, 41 RBI, .321/.366/.460
Profile: Perhaps out of anyone ranked in MMN’s top prospect list, Evans is the most surprising name to be here. Based upon his 2016 season, and the talent he possesses, it seemed like he was going to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft. He likely could help a team right now as a utility player, and he still has some upside to be more than that.
The main reason people believed Evans would be selected in the Rule 5 Draft was his bat. The Eastern League batting champion had his best year as a hitter. When he moved up to Double A, Evans hit the ball with much more authority than he had in his previous stops. Overall, Evans is an aggressive line drive hitter who is going to hit a fair amount of doubles.
In the field, he is a utility player mostly due to his size and his arm. The ideal position for him due to his size and his arm strength is second base. With that said, he will likely be a utility player if he reaches the major leagues. Accordingly, Evans should begin to learn the outfield, much like Matt Reynolds did last year, to increase his utility.
Mike M adds…
I’m weary of the breakout season Evans had given his high BABIP (.384), low walk rate (4.9%) and that he’s primarily a pull hitter. The good news is the ball comes of the bat hard for Evans, but I would like to see him have a more well-rounded approach at the plate. Despite the small frame, Evans is athletic and works hard to stay in great shape.
2017 Outlook: Due to the glut of middle infielders projected to start the year in Triple A, it is likely Evans repeats Binghamton. If he hits like he did last year, and with a few injuries at the major league level, Evans should find his way onto the Las Vegas roster before the season is over.
32. RHP Ricky Knapp
Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 215 2016 Level: St. Lucie, Binghamton, Las Vegas
B/T: R/R Age: 5/20/92 (24) Age Dif: -0.5 (Binghamton)
Last Year: N/A
Acquired: 13th Round Draft Pick in 2013
2016 Statistics: 13-6, 2.69 ERA, 25 G, 24 GS, 3 CG, SHO, 163.2 IP, 115 K, 1.143 WHIP, 6.3 K/9
Profile: Knapp is the end result of when your father, in Knapp’s case Rick Knapp, was a former major league pitching coach. Knapp has good, clean mechanics which he repeats with ease. He has good command of all of his pitches, and he knows exactly when to throw them. And while this isn’t always teachable, Knapp is poised on the mound.
Knapp is a true four pitch pitcher with no true plus pitch and his fastball sits at 88-92 MPH. As noted above, he gets the most out of each of these pitches with location and with knowing exactly when to throw each pitch. He typically pitches to contact, which helps him to go deeper into games. In fact, Knapp threw the most complete games out of anyone in the Mets farm system last season with three. Despite pitching to contact, Knapp is able to keep a low ERA mostly due to his ability to generate a lot of ground balls.
2017 Outlook: Last year, Knapp received a few spot starts with Las Vegas, which is likely where he will start the 2017 season. Look for Knapp to struggle while pitching in Las Vegas as pitchers who have similar stuff and who pitch to contact like he does typically struggle in the Pacific Coast League. Still, Knapp is a good pitcher who has a future best suited to the back end of a major league rotation. If the Mets have the same rash of injuries they experienced in 2016, it is possible Knapp gets a call to the major leagues.
33. RHP Jordan Humphreys
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 225 2016 Level: Kingsport & Brooklyn
B/T: R/R Age: 6/11/96 (20) Age Dif: -1.4 (Brooklyn)
Last Year: N/A
Acquired: 18th Round Draft Pick in 2015
2016 Statistics: 3-6, 3.58 ERA, 13 G, 13 GS, 75.1 IP, 85 K, 1.168 WHIP, 10.2 K/9
Profile: After an outstanding season in the Appalachian League, Humphreys is starting to make a name for himself. His name was scattered across the Top 10 in most pitching categories, and he was the league leader in strikeouts.
Like with most young pitchers, Humphreys best pitch is his fastball. While he throws it in the low 90s, batters tend to either swing and miss it, or they drive the pitch into the ground. At the moment, Humphreys has been developing a change-up to compliment his fastball. While it will trick batters at the lower levels, he needs to improve the pitch more for it to become a true weapon. He also has an inconsistent curveball. Like most Mets pitchers with a future, he is likely going to need to learn the slider.
While he could still further mature and develop into a major league starter, at the moment, Humphreys appears to be a pitcher who can be a quality bullpen arm.
2017 Outlook: With the Fireflies rotation appearing to be set, Humphreys could begin the 2017 season with the Brooklyn Cyclones where he will need to work on his secondary pitches if he wishes to continue a career trajectory as a starting pitching prospect.
34. RHP Cameron Planck
Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 225 2016 Level: High School
B/T: R/R Age: 3/5/98 (18) Age Difference: N/A
Last Year: N/A
Acquired: 11th Round Draft Pick in 2016
2016 Statistics: N/A
Profile: From the glorious long hair to the mid-90s fastball, it’s as if Planck came out of central casting to be the next Mets starting pitching prospect. But Planck didn’t come from central casting, he came from Kentucky, and in reality, he almost didn’t come to the Mets at all.
Planck initially committed to pitch for the University of Louisville, and he seemed intent on going there. As a result, Planck dropped in the draft. The Mets were able to entice Planck to skip college and begin his professional career by giving him a $1 million signing bonus. To put it in perspective, a $1 million bonus is typically given to a team’s second round draft pick.
Due to the high number of innings he threw in high school, and the time it took to sign him, the Mets agreed to not have Planck pitch during the end of the 2016 minor league season. Accordingly, his first action in a Mets uniform did not occur until the Instructional Leagues.
His fastball already sits in the 90-94 MPH range and tops out at 96. His changeup showed improvement in instructs and he told MMN’s own Ernest Dove in an interview that he’s now throwing a knuckle-curve.
2017 Outlook – Planck appears as if he will start the season as part of the Fireflies rotation. While there, Planck has to work on repeating his delivery while also working on his secondary pitches. Depending on how quickly he improves his mechanics and secondary pitches, he could end the season with St. Lucie.
35. 3B Eudor Garcia
Ht: 6′ 0″ Wt: 240 2016 Level: Gulf Coast & Columbia
B/T: L/R Age: 5/17/1994 (22) Age Dif: 0.6 (Columbia)
Last Year: #22
Acquired: 4th Round Draft Pick in 2014
2016 Statistics: 55 G, 224 PA, 204 AB, 27 R, 56 H, 14 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 31 RBI, SB, .275/.326/.426
Profile: Garcia got a late start to the season because he was suspended 80 games for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. When he did play, his numbers dipped despite his repeating the level.
As a hitter, Garcia still has much promise. He has a compact left-handed swing, and he knows what he wants to do at the plate. He has shown signs of promising power, and if he took a more patient approach at the plate, he could one day be a very good major league hitter.
At this time, the question is what will Garcia’s position ultimately be. While he has the athleticism for third base, he does not possess the arm strength for the position. That would suggest he would be best suited to moving to first base or even DH in the future.
2017 Outlook: Garcia seems ticketed to begin the year with St. Lucie. After what was a lost year for him, and with the Mets having a strong draft class behind him, he has a lot to prove this season.
2017 MMN TOP 100 PROSPECTS