MMN Top 100 Prospects: #56-60 Led By A Promising Lefty

By Daniel Muras

February 19, 2017 6 Comments

Photo Credit - Allen Greene Photography

Photo Credit – Allen Greene Photography

#56 LHP Sixto Torres

Ht. 6’3” Wt. 225 Level: GCL Mets/Kingsport Mets (Rookie League)

B/T: L/L Age: 3/31/96 (20) Age Dif: -1.0

Last Year: Unranked

Acquired: 17th Round of 2015 Draft from Faith Baptist Christian School, FL

2016 Statistics: 11 G, 9 GS, 55.2 IP, 4-5 W-L, 2.43 ERA, 1.383 WHIP, 51/19 K/BB

Profile: Coming into the 2015 draft, Torres was a relatively well-known prospect, ranking 174th on BA’s top 500 draft prospects list, indicative of a 6th round talent, and projected by John Sickels to be drafted in the 3rd round.

Torres ultimately dropped to the 17th round because of signability concerns. Committed to pitch at Alabama State, Torres was a year older than most high school seniors, meaning that he could be drafted a year earlier than most college prospects, after his sophomore year. Many people thought that he was unsignable or, at the very least, would take a bonus well over slot to sign him. However, he ended up surprising most by signing for the slot value of $100,000.

Torres was assigned to the GCL Mets after being drafted and performed reasonably well, with a 2.84 ERA and striking out 12 in 12.2 innings. He did struggle with control, walking 13 in that span. In 2016, the Mets initially had Torres repeat with the GCL Mets, but he was quickly moved up to Kingsport after showing improved control. In Kingsport, Torres performed well, posting a 2.70 ERA and only walking 2.9 batters per 9 innings, although his K/9 did drop from 9.9 in the GCL to 7.4.

Torres throws a fastball, change-up, and curveball. The fastball sits in the low 90s and has topped out at 94. It also has very good movement to it. Torres’s body is pretty filled out already, so there’s not much projection for extra fastball velocity. It’s possible he can add a tick or two with slight tweaks to his delivery or improved consistency with his mechanics, but it’s unlikely that he adds much more than that. His change-up is the better of his secondary pitches at the moment and sits in the low 80s. His curve is still developing, but it shows a lot of potential, sitting in the mid to high-70s and showing 2-8 movement.

Torres’s mechanics are very clean. He has a good stride and uses more of his lower body than many young pitchers. Mechanically, I see no red flags indicating a possible need to move to the bullpen in the future.

2017 Outlook: I think that Torres can handle an aggressive assignment to Columbia. However, because of how crowded the Columbia rotation will be, Torres will likely be headed to Brooklyn. I fully expect him to take the next step and jump on everyone’s radar in 2017, flashing the mid-rotation upside that he was touted with before the 2015 draft.

#57 LHP Alberto Baldonado

Ht. 6’4” Wt. 250 Level: St. Lucie Mets/Binghamton Mets (Advanced-A/Double-A)

B/T: L/L Age: 2/1/93 (24) Age Dif: -1.5 (Double-A)

Last Year: #80

Acquired: Signed as an IFA from Panama in 2009

2016 Statistics: 47 G, 59.2 IP, 0-2 W-L, 3.77 ERA, 1.575 WHIP, 68/31 K/BB

Profile: Baldonado was signed by the Mets in 2009 as a 16-year old from Panama. He served primarily as a starter until 2014, when his poor command led to a mediocre year in Brooklyn.

Over the last two years, Baldonado has pitched only in relief, with mixed results. In 2015, he was dominant, posting a 1.91 ERA, with an excellent 11.8 K/9 and a high, but tolerable 3.8 BB/9. Last year, he saw continued success in St. Lucie and was quickly bumped up to Binghamton. In Binghamton he began to struggle with consistency and command. Ultimately, he posted an ERA of 5.13 and, while the strikeouts were still good, his BB/9 soared to 5.1.

Baldonado features a fastball that sits in the low-90s and can get up to 94-95. He also throws a low 70s curveball that serves as his strikeout pitch. He throws it more often against lefties, but when he’s commanding it well, he can use it to strike out both lefties and righties.

The big issue with Baldonado is his inconsistent command. When he has good command of his pitches, especially the curveball, he can look dominant against all hitters, not just lefties. However, when his command is off, the curveball becomes an easy take, and he either walks 2-3 batters in an inning or leaves the fastball over the plate where it can get hit hard. For him to be a productive MLB reliever he needs to have more consistent command of his pitches.

2017 Outlook: Baldonado will repeat Binghamton in order to attempt to improve the command of his pitches and find more consistency. If he can improve those things, I think that he could be a very nice reliever for the Mets in the near future. If not, it’s hard to see him being a contributor in a major league bullpen.

#58 RHP Logan Taylor

Ht: 6’4” Wt: 250 Level: Binghamton Mets (Double-A)

B/T: R/R Age: 12/13/91 (25) Age Dif: -0.5

Last Year: #46

Acquired: 11th Round of the 2012 Draft from East Oklahoma St. College

2016 Statistics: 44 G, 5 GS, 85.2 IP, 4-2 W-L, 3.99 ERA. 1.447 WHIP, 99/39 K/BB

Profile: Taylor was drafted in the 11th round of the 2012 Draft from East Oklahoma State College. He was an intriguing pitcher and was considered to have fairly high upside. Taylor initially had a lot of success in the minor leagues, but several injuries resulted in him pitching in only 18 games combined between 2013 and 2014.

Finally healthy, Taylor pitched a full season as a starter in St. Lucie in 2015, with mixed results. Taylor had a 3.69 ERA, only striking out 6.5 batters per 9 innings, while walking 3.6 per 9, a high number for a starter.

In 2016, Taylor was moved up to Binghamton, but was used almost solely as a reliever. His ERA was slightly worse, at 3.99, but his strikeouts dramatically increased to 10.4 per 9 innings. He did continue to struggle with command, walking 4.1 per 9 innings. In the Binghamton pen, Taylor was used more as a long reliever and swingman, pitching more than an inning in 29 out of his 44 appearances, including five starts.

Taylor’s pitch repertoire is very solid. He throws a fastball in the low-90s that will top out around 95. His best secondary pitch is his curveball, which shows good 12-6 movement and is an above-average offering. His change-up is a solid average pitch and is very good for a third pitch. He also mixes in a cutter from time to time. His repertoire is good enough for a starter, but Taylor has poor command, which is what precipitated his move to the bullpen.

2017 Outlook: Taylor will continue to be used as a reliever, likely moving up to Las Vegas to start 2017. It will be interesting to see if he is continued to be used as a long reliever/swingman or if the organization will transition him into a more of a one inning bullpen role. While he will not be the first pitcher called up in the event of bullpen injury on the MLB team, if injuries start to pile up, he could get a call to pitch in Queens and was invited to big league camp.

#59 Austin McGeorge

Ht: 6’2” Wt: 215 Level: Brooklyn Cyclones (Short Season-A)

B/T: R/R Age: 11/27/94 (22) Age Dif: -0.4

Last Year: N/A

Acquired: 7th Round of 2016 Draft from California State University, Long Beach

2016 Statistics: 16 G, 19 IP, 0-1 W-L, 2.84 ERA, 1.474 WHIP, 18/6 K/BB

Profile: McGeorge signed for $175,000, slightly below the slot value of $187,800. In college, McGeorge was used solely as a reliever and had great success, especially in his junior year, when he put up a 0.89 ERA along striking out 13.1 and walking only 2.31 batters per 9 innings. He was assigned to Brooklyn and continued to have success there in the 16 games he pitched.

After Day 2 of the 2016 Draft, while discussing 8th round pick Placido Torres in a conference call, scouting director, Tommy Tanous had this to say about the pitchers drafted at that point: “We selected six pitchers out of those 11 picks. We feel all of them, even Torres, down at the bottom that we took in the eighth round, is a starter.” This seems to indicate that the Mets did view McGeorge as a starter when they drafted him.

Despite this, McGeorge seems best suited for the bullpen. He’s primarily a fastball/slider pitcher. His fastball sits around 90 and tops out at 92. He throws two types of fastballs: a regular fourseamer and a sinker and both have similar velocity. The pitch that will carry McGeorge to the majors, though, is his slider, which features excellent late break that frequently has hitters flailing while attempting to hit it. He was also working on a change-up during his time in Brooklyn, but as of right now, it’s a distant 3rd pitch.

If the Mets do intend to convert him into a starter, development of the change-up will be extremely important. McGeorge’s delivery is fairly high effort and I do have trouble seeing him repeat it 100 times a game, but it’s perfectly fine for a reliever. It also provides good deception, keeping hitters from picking up the ball well out of his hand.

2017 Outlook: I expect McGeorge to go to Columbia or St. Lucie as a reliever. I do not see him as a starter long-term and, with the large number of solid starting pitching prospects in the lower minors, there is not a lot of room for him in a starting rotation. With his advanced feel for pitching and nasty slider, I think McGeorge will move quickly through the system and could be a solid reliever in a few years for the ML team.

Enmanuel Zabala

#60 Enmanuel Zabala

Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 195 Level: Brooklyn Cyclones/Columbia Fireflies (Short Season-A/Low-A)

B/T: R/R Age: 9/29/94 (22) Age Dif: -0.4 (Low-A)

Acquired: Signed as an IFA in 2012 from the Dominican Republic

2016 Statistics: 58 G, 245 PA, 224 AB, 28 R, 57 H, 4 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, .254/.307/.317

Profile: Zabala was signed by the Mets out of the Dominican Republic as a 17-year old in 2012. He was assigned to the Mets’ DSL team in 2013. He was very successful in the organization at first, hitting .263/.372/.366 in 2013 and .301/.356/.367 in 2014 with the GCL Mets.

Upon promotion to the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2015, Zabala began to struggle as his strikeout rate more than doubled from 10.3% to 24.1%, while his walk rate stayed about the same at slightly above 5%. As a result, he only had an OPS of .571 in 2015. He was slightly better in 2016, playing mostly in Columbia, with a .624 OPS and a moderately reduced K rate of 20.1%.

At the plate, Zabala has shown very little power so far. He’s only hit three career home runs and had only eight extra base hits total in 2016. He may have some more power that he hasn’t gotten into games yet, but, at 22, it’s getting to a point where you wonder if it’s ever going to show up.

Zabala does show solid plate discipline. More impressive than his hitting is what Zabala does with on the basepaths and in the field. He’s a plus runner and has stolen a decent amount of bases each year so far in the minors. In the field, Zabala uses his speed and good instincts to be a plus fielder. He should be a valuable asset defensively in center long-term.

2017 Outlook: Zabala will likely start 2017 in center for St. Lucie. He will need to hit for more power and take more walks to establish himself as a player with a legitimate MLB future, although, any extra power is unlikely to show in the pitcher-friendly FSL. As of right now, he has shown an ability to play all three outfield positions, which should help him reach his upside of a 4th/5th OF.

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

36-40 Sewald Ready For Majors

41-45 Group Topped By Urena

46-50 With Two 2016 Draft Picks

51-55 Ramos Slips After Disappointing Season

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  • blue_and_orange

    There was a time … perhaps as recently as 5 yrs ago … when Torres would’ve cracked the top 20. Shows just how deep our system is.

  • danielm – LGM

    You know, looking at a list from 2010 and seeing guys like Kirk, Puello, Thole, along with a bunch of others who never made it (and Matz who was just drafted) in the 11-20 range, makes me think that he could’ve been around 20 or so that year. I’m higher than most on Torres and would’ve had him a bit higher, but there’s no denying that our system is really deep.

  • Is this your first article DanielM? Congrats!

  • danielm – LGM

    Yep, first article. Thanks!

  • Very glad you joined somewhere. Too talented not to write about what you know

  • Michael Mayer

    Very happy to welcome Daniel M to the MMN team.