MMN Top 100 Prospects: #36-40 Sewald Ready For Majors

By Corne Hogeveen

February 10, 2017 15 Comments

Photo Credit: Allen Greene Photography

Photo Credit: Allen Greene Photography

#36 LHP Jake Simon

Ht: 6’2″  Wt: 190  Level: Kingsport Mets (Rookie League)

B/T: L/L  Age: 01/21/1997 (20) Age Dif: -2.0

Last year: #29

Acquired: Drafted in the 11th round of the 2015 draft from Ball HS, Galveston, TX

2016 Statistics: 12 G, 63.1 IP, 2-5 W/L record, 4.83 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 66/31 SO/BB

Profile: The Mets drafted Simon as a 11th round pick in the 2015 draft. He wasn’t the only lefty starter the Mets picked as Thomas Szapucki and Max Wotell were drafted in front of Simon, while P.J. Conlon and Sixto Torres got drafted after Simon by the Mets. When the Mets drafted Simon he got a $400,000 thousand signing bonus, which was $300,000 over slot value, to keep him away from his commitment to Rice University.

Simon did not have a great year in Kingsport this season as he allowed 70 hits in 63.1 innings pitched and also walked 31 hitters in that span. In his minor league career Simon owns a 1.57 WHIP, which has to come down for him to be successful.

Simon has a fastball that mostly sits between the 88-92 range with the possibility he will add some MPH when he fills out. Simon also has a curveball which had more tilt to it this season, but still needs to work on commanding it. His changeup is a below average pitch right now that needs more depth.

He does have a smooth delivery which he repeats nicely. Simon just turned 20 this January so there is a lot of potential in the young lefty. If he improves his control, Simon could be another good arm in the Mets system.

2017 Outlook – Simon could be part of the Columbia Fireflies rotation to make his full season ball debut. I look to see if Simon improves his control and the development of his secondary pitches. If Simon is able to limit walks he could be a breakout candidate. He’s certainly an intriguing lefty to keep an eye on in 2017.

#37 2B Jeff McNeil

Ht: 6’1″  Wt: 165 Level: Binghamton Mets (Double-A)

B/T: L/R  Age: 4/8/1992 (24) Age Dif: -0.3

Last Year: #26

Acquired: Drafted by the Mets in the 12th round of the 2013 draft, out of California State University Long Beach, CA

2016 Statistics: 3 G, 12 AB, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 SO, .250/.357/.583

Profile: It was a lost year for McNeil who managed to play just three games in 2016. McNeil underwent surgery early in the season for a sports hernia and was expected to miss just six to eight weeks. However, McNeil could not return to the field in 2016 at all and played only the three games in early April.

It was very unfortunate as McNeil coming off a career year in 2015. He hit .308/.369/.377 in 2015 between the St. Lucie Mets and Binghamton Mets. He was a mid-season and post-season All-Star in the Florida State League.

McNeil is not a big man, but he’s very athletic which shows in his ability to play a lot of positions well. In 2015, he played 34 at shortstop, 59 at second base, 28 at third base, two at first, one in center, and got some exposure to left field during the Arizona Fall League.

Another part of McNeil as a player is his ability to steal bases as he stole 45 in four minor league seasons while getting caught 13 times. McNeil owns a .304/.375/.391 career stat line in the minors. He hasn’t shown much power to this point with five career home runs, but he puts the ball in play as he’s only struck out 135 times in 1098 at-bats.

Mike M adds…

McNeil has quickly been forgotten in part thanks to a great year by Phillip Evans which has him seen as the best utility type player in the Mets system. For me, McNeil is still the better major league prospect given his patience at the plate, speed and not just the ability to play multiple spots, but being a good defender at a few of them.

2017 Outlook: I expect McNeil to start in Binghamton and move up to Triple-A Las Vegas when a roster spot opens up. He did add some muscle prior to the 2016 and hit a home run in just three games in 2016, so we could see an increase in power from McNeil in 2017.

paul sewald

#38 RHP Paul Sewald

Ht: 6’3″  Wt: 205  Level: Las Vegas 51s (Triple-A)

B/T: R/R  Age: 05/26/1990 (26) Age Dif: -0.7

Last year: #33

Acquired: 10th round of the 2012 draft, from University of San Diego, CA

2016 Statistics: 56 G, 65.2 IP, 5-3 W/L record, 19 SV, 3.29 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 80 K/21 BB

Profile: Sewald has flown under the radar his entire minor league career while posting great numbers throughout. Sewald in his minor league career has a 2.20 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and he struck out 10.7 per nine over five minor league seasons.

In 2016, his ERA and WHIP both went up, but are still impressive considering he pitched in the Pacific Coast League that averaged 4.78 runs per game.  After the All-Star break Sewald was very good with a 1.85 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP in 24.1 innings with 32 strikeouts.

Sewald isn’t overpowering as he mostly sits in the high 80s-low 90s with his fastball. His biggest weapon is his wipe out slider. Sewald pounds the strike zone and uses the lower half of the zone well. He’s a smart pitcher and looks at scouting reports to see how to attack a certain hitter. Our own MetsDaddy compared Sewald to Addison Reed, while I compared him to Sergio Romo. Both relievers who’ve had a ton of success in the majors with using their slider a lot.

2017 Outlook: Without the Mets recent additions to sure up their pen I think Sewald was fighting for a spot of the 2017 Opening Day bullpen and rightfully so. In our Top 30 roundup I had Sewald as the player thought was snubbed from the Top 30. Sewald will likely return to Las Vegas to begin 2017, but he will see a big league mound before the season is over.

#39 OF Champ Stuart

Ht: 6’0″  Wt: 185 Level: Binghamton Mets (Double-A) & St. Lucie Mets (High-A)

B/T: R/R  Age: 10/11/1992 (24) Age Dif: -1.3 (Double-A)

Last Year: #60

Acquired:  6th round of the 2013 draft from Brevard College, NC

2016 Statistics: 114 G, 459 AB, 12 2B, 7 3B, 8 HR, 34 RBI, 72 R, 40 SB, 6 CS, 45 BB/168 SO, .240/.314/.349

Profile: It’s pretty easy which tool stands out for Stuart. Stuart has 80-grade speed, is a good basestealer and a good defensive outfielder. Unfortunately he also has some flaws in his game that he needs to improve if he wants to be more than a pinch runner/defensive replacement player in the majors.

Main issue with Stuart is his strikeouts. In 2016, between the St. Lucie Mets and Binghamton Mets, Stuart struck out 168 times. Throughout his minor league career strikouts have been the main issue with Stuart. He strikes out a ton and sports a .319 career on base percentage. That is not high enough to utilize his elite speed.

Stuart also uses his speed to play an above average center field where he gets good reads, goes back on the ball well and has a solid arm.

After the 2016 minor league season, Stuart got some reps in the Arizona Fall League. He hit .300/.329/.400 with twelve stolen bases in 19 games for the Scottsdale Scorpions.

2017 Outlook: Stuart has to show his ability to get on base to take the next step as a player. His speed is an intriquing tool, but like the old baseball saying says ”you can’t steal first.” Stuart will play in Binghamton as he looks to adjust to the league he batted .201/.264/.261 in 43 games during the 2016 season. It’s not out of the question to see Stuart in the big leagues in September as a pinch runner and defensive specialist.

#40 SS Colby Woodmansee

Ht: 6’3″  Wt: 190 Level: Brooklyn Cyclones (Short Season-A)

B/T: R/R  Age: 08/27/1994 (22) Age Dif: -0.1

Last Year: N/A

Acquired: 5th round of the 2016 draft, from Arizona State University, AZ

2016 Statistics: 64 G, 249 AB, 11 2B, 2 HR, 29 RBI, 30 R, 4 SB, 3 CS, 19 BB, 75 SO, .257/.305/.325

Profile: In his first pro season Woodmansee was selected to the New York-Penn League All-Star Game. Woodmansee started off great in June with a .405/.450/.432 in nine June games. After his great start his numbers dropped significantly.

Woodmansee makes hard solid contact when he connects, however he does swing and miss a lot as is seen by his strikeout numbers in Brooklyn. He will need to shorten his swing and lay off breaking balls to succeed at the next level.

Big question for Woodmansee is if he can stay at short. He is a pretty tall somewhat slow shortstop who compensates that with a good arm and good athleticism. For now, I believe his defense his strong enough to keep him at shortstop as a bat first guy. He has quick hands that help him defensively at short and help provide good bat speed that could give him above average power for the position.

2017 Outlook:

I expect Woodmansee to be the starting shortstop for the Columbia Fireflies. Woodmansee won’t wow you with any single too, but with hard work he can be a solid player with multiple average tools.

2017 MMN TOP 100 PROSPECTS

1-5 Led by Amed Rosario

6-10 Led by Justin Dunn

11-15 Led by Wuilmer Becerra

16-20 Led by Luis Caprio

21-25 Led by Josh Smoker

26-30 Two Possible 2017 Mets Bullpen Pieces

31-35 Batting Champ Tops Strong Group

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  • Jamets

    Sewald could still be fighting for roster spot as the guy to replace Familia for the first month of the year. He deserves a shot.

  • I still want champ to make it. I just do.

  • Buddy3

    We just need to trade another pitcher to the Orioles for cash and we will have a roster spot for him.

  • Michael Mayer

    Could/should be, but think they carry a 6th starter or longman instead.

  • Jamets

    I’m thinking Reed, Robles, Salas, Blevins, Smoker, Sewald, Lugo. Sewald would have to have a strong spring.

    Not a fan of Ynoa or Montero and I’m hoping they don’t use Wheeler there.

  • Michael Mayer

    Where you been? Ynoa got traded!

  • Jamets

    That’s what I get for spending a couple of hours actually working – totally out of the loop.

  • Michael Mayer

    lol, O’s for cash. I think they could go Reed, Robles, Salas, Blevins, Smoker, Lugo and Gilmartin.

  • danielm – LGM

    Same. Still really do like Champ. If only he could learn to make contact.

  • Rocky Thompson

    Since Edgin is out of options, I would expect him to make 25 man roster.

  • TexasGusCC

    A few thoughts:
    – Everyone love Stuart’s speed, but he needs to do what Jose Oquendo did. Buy Rod Carew’s video, and do everything it says. Forget the long swings, just hit ball.seems like everyone loves him possibly because no one wants to see so much talent not succeed.

    – Can’t understand how Paul Sewald wasn’t drafted in Rule 5. I realize he doesn’t impress with velocity, but why not take a shot? Mets are again very fortunate in Rule 5.

    – Jeff McNeil seems to be a AAAA player. An infielder without a position, no power, and no defense. Is he better than TJ Rivera, who probably isn’t an MLB starter? McNeil needs to add some muscle and hope to have a “Kelly Johnson-type” career. Bench players make a few bucks too.

  • TexasGusCC

    While it’s pretty funny that the Mets have sold two pitchers they couldn’t keep to the Orioles this winter in Verrett and Ynoa, what isn’t funny is that they aren’t ready to give up on Montero.

    After all the disappointments, they still value his potential. I’m glad for that, but wonder if this year isn’t the end of the line for Montero if he can’t cut it.

  • Michael Mayer

    Agreed on Sewald, limited upside but to me he’s a definite ML reliever. I think he gets some of the Rivera stuff, nothing flashy and older guy that wasn’t high pick.

    McNeil is a better defender than Rivera and it’s not particularly close.

  • Michael Mayer

    The only thing I can think of with Montero is that his slider has been better than Ynoa’s, and we know how much Mets/Warthen value sliders.

  • Generationk2.0

    Can champ get really good at bunt hits ? Also really think that jeff mcniel is TJ rivera 2.0 from all thats been said about him