#51 RHP Matt Cleveland
Ht: 6’5″ Wt: 190 Level: GCL Mets (Rookie League)
B/T: R/R Age: 03/18/1998 (18) Age Dif: -2.5
Last year: N/A
Acquired: 12th round of the 2016 draft from Windsor HS, Windsor, CT
2016 Statistics: 7 G, 7.1 IP, 0-1 W/L, 12.27 ERA, 2.45 WHIP, 2/6 SO/BB
Profile: Cleveland is one of the few players in this countdown where we will advise you to ignore the stats above. The Connecticut native made seven forgettable appearances in the Gulf Coast League after being selected with the 370th overall pick in the 2016 draft. The GCL has never been a showcase of top talent, but rather an opportunity for teenagers to become acclimated to professional baseball, and that’s exactly how Cleveland used the league.
At 6’5″, Cleveland brings a towering frame to the mound, which he uses to get good extension on the baseball. His long arms wind back pretty far and whip around to a 3/4 arm slot, which tend to lead to an inability to repeat his motion. From a velocity standpoint, Cleveland sits in the low 90s, reaching 95 mph with his fastball. That will likely increase as he fills into his frame (remember, Cleveland will be 19 for the entire 2017 season. The knock on his repertoire has been his secondary pitches, which have been labeled anywhere from below-average to non-existent.
2017 Outlook: There is little doubt that Cleveland will spend 2017 in Kingsport’s rotation. He’ll head there after his first minor league spring training from March to June, an invaluable experience for young pitchers. Cleveland’s willingness to take instruction from the multitude of pitching coaches in the minor leagues will determine his success this season.
#52 SS Milton Ramos
Ht: 5’11″ Wt: 180 Level: Columbia Fireflies (Single-A)
B/T: R/R Age: 10/26/1995 (21) Age Dif: -1.4
Last Year: #19
Acquired: 3rd round of the 2014 draft, out of American Heritage HS, Plantation, FL
2016 Statistics: 107 G, 363 AB, 15 2B, 0 HR, 35 RBI, 31 R, 32 BB, 88 SO, .220/.292/.273
Profile: The Mets went slightly over-slot to sign Ramos, their third round pick in 2014, and he was immediately labeled as a glove-first shortstop. Ramos has already proven that title, as he’s showcased his dazzling leather so far.
However, few players make the major leagues without proving some level of offensive potential, and for Ramos, he hasn’t been able to do it yet.
Coming off an exciting 2015 season, one that saw Ramos hit .317 in 43 games with Kingsport, the 21-year-old looked to do big things as the Columbia Fireflies’ inaugural shortstop. Unfortunately, he just never got it going, finishing with a .220 average and .564 OPS. His 24% strikeout rate was certainly not what the organization hoped for.
2017 Outlook: Colby Woodmansee will likely push Ramos up to St. Lucie, giving him a chance to redeem himself in Hi-A.
#53 RHP Luis Silva
Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 210 Level: DSL Mets/GCL Mets/Columbia Fireflies
B/T: R/R Age: 11/26/1996 (20) Age Dif: -1.4
Last year: NR
Acquired: Signed from Venezuela on July 2, 2013
2016 Statistics: 12 G, 10 GS, 48.1 IP, 2-3 W/L, 3.35 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 33/22 SO/BB
Profile: Signed for a modest $275,000 in 2013, the Mets netted Silva in the same international class that produced top prospects Ali Sanchez and Luis Carpio. Silva made three appearances in the Dominican Summer League before needing Tommy John surgery, knocking him out for the entire 2015 season. While the operation is prevalent in today’s game, not many pitchers are forced to go under the knife at the age of 17.
Silva returned to the mound in 2016, beginning his whirlwind season with the DSL Mets. After two starts there, Silva made his stateside debut in the Gulf Coast League, where he made nine appearances. On September 1, Silva earned a spot-start with Columbia, and he even joined St. Lucie for a few games in mid-August but did not pitch. In ten starts, he held opponents to a .206 average and allowed one home run in 46 innings.
At the time of his signing, Silva was reported to throw a sinking fastball that topped out in the low 90s, but he was able to dial that up to 95 mph in 2016, welcome numbers coming off surgery. He also throws a solid change and curveball in the high 70s.
2017 Outlook: The organization appears to think highly of the 20-year-old, promoting him across four levels a year ago, as well as inviting him to the 2016 instructional league. Silva will likely begin 2017 with the Cyclones, if he doesn’t break camp with the Fireflies.
#54 OF Raul Beracierta
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 206 Level: DSL Mets (Rookie League)
B/T: R/R Age: 05/24/1999 (17) Age Dif: -1.2
Last Year: NR
Acquired: Signed from the Dominican Republic on December 16, 2015
2016 Statistics: 62 G, 211 AB, 7 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 23 RBI, 31 R, 8 SB, 35/19 SO/BB, .327/.397/.403
Profile: The Mets quietly agreed to terms with Beracierta in December of 2015, before sending him to the Dominican Summer League in June. Overshadowed on the DSL roster by names such as Andres Gimenez and Gregory Guerrero, Beracierta stood out among the group, hitting safely in 15 straight games from 6/15-7/2 and eventually earning Sterling Award honors as his team MVP.
The Mets’ minor league brass was able to get a close-up look at Beracierta when he participated in the instructional league last fall. There, the 17-year-old played alongside top prospect Desmond Lindsay and minor league outfielder Tim Tebow.
2017 Outlook: Beracierta should move up to the GCL in 2017, given his strong performance in the DSL.
#55 OF John Mora
Ht: 5’11″ Wt: 195 Level: St. Lucie Mets (Hi-A)
B/T: L/L Age: 05/31/1993 (23) Age Dif: +0.3
Last Year: 24
Acquired: Signed from the Dominican Republic on November 11, 2011
2016 Statistics: 128 G, 439 AB, 15 2B, 7 3B, 5 HR, 42 RBI, 63 R, 8 SB, 72/60 SO/BB, .246/.341/.346
Profile: Mora has the basic skill set to break out at any moment, but he has yet to put everything together over his five seasons in the organization. He hit .296 over his first three professional seasons, but hit a grand total of zero home runs in that time.
Mora has hit ten long balls over the last two seasons, but hit only .261. After averaging 15 stolen bases per year entering 2016, Mora swiped only eight a year ago. In a nutshell, the 23-year-old has flashed each of his tools, but only for short periods have they been shown together.
2017 Outlook: It’s plausible that Mora spends another season (or at least begins it) with St. Lucie, before moving up the ladder to Binghamton.
2017 MMN TOP 100 PROSPECTS