MMN Top Mets Prospects: 35-31 Full of Bats Ready to Break Out

By Joseph Hill

January 14, 2018 6 Comments

(Jacob Resnick/Mets Minors)

#35 2B Michael Paez

Ht: 5’7″  Wt: 175 lb  2017 Level: Columbia Fireflies/St. Lucie Mets

B/T: R/R  Age: 12/8/94 (23)  Age Dif: -0.7

Acquired: 4th Round of the 2016 Draft from Coastal Carolina University

2017 Stats: 127 G, 522 PA, 56 R, 108 H, 30 2B, 10 HR, 66 RBI, 9 SB, 10 CS, 59 BB, 98 SO, .246/.351/.392

Previous Rank: 24

Paez’s 2017 was a tale of two halves, with an .885 OPS in Columbia but only a .594 OPS in St. Lucie following a promotion in late June.

Despite his stature, Paez showed off his power in Columbia with the help of the big leg kick he had learned in college.  At the time of his call-up, he was the league leader in doubles.  As noted, this did not continue in St. Lucie where he struggled.

Despite his struggles in St. Lucie, Paez continued his very good plate discipline skills, both in limiting strikeouts and drawing walks. If Paez rediscovers the power he displayed in college and St. Lucie, he is potentially an above-average power hitter for a middle infielder.

Defensively, Paez profiles more as a second baseman because he lacks the arm strength to play on the right side of the infield. Accordingly, he has primarily played second base, and he looks to stick there next year.

#34 IF Jeff McNeil

Ht: 6’0″  Wt: 195 lb  2017 Level: St. Lucie Mets/Las Vegas 51s

B/T: L/R  Age: 4/8/92 (25)  Age Dif: -1.4

Acquired: 12th Round of the 2013 Draft from Cal State Long Beach

2017 Stats: 48 G, 194 PA, 25 R, 52 H, 12 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 21 RBI, 4 SB, 2 CS, 10 BB, 29 SO, .295/.351/.432

2017 Pre-Season Rank: 37

McNeil had long been profiled as an impatient slap hitter with a “see the ball, hit the ball” approach spraying singles instead of drawing a walk or driving the ball. However, in 2017, McNeil began to drive the ball more.

With his newfound power, which should shine in Las Vegas next year, McNeil should take a real step forward next year.

McNeil has positional versatility and plus speed, smooth movements and good footwork in the field, but he does not have terrific arm strength. Accordingly, second base is his best position.  Still his skill set lends itself to his being a utility type player thereby giving him a him a real chance of making the majors.

Whether he makes it will hinge on but whether his power continued to develop and whether he can maintain his very good contact skills against higher levels of pitching.

#33 LF Quinn Brodey

Ht: 6’1″  Wt: 200 lb  2017 Level: Brooklyn Cyclones/Columbia Fireflies

B/T: L/L  Age: 12/1/95 (22)  Age Dif: -0.5

Acquired: 3rd Round of the 2017 Draft from Stanford

2017 Stats: 63 G, 268 PA, 24 R, 62 H, 10 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 37 RBI, 10 SB, 3 CS, 18 BB, 63 SO, .253/.302/.355

Previous Rank: 31

Brodey, a former star student and two-way player in college, was one of the more athletic players from this past year’s draft class.

This athleticism helps Brodey play an adequate outfield.  While he does not possess great speed, he has shown anticipation, and he makes shrewd routes to the ball.

Brodey is at his best at the plate with a clean, balanced swing.  He has always done a good job of making contact and putting the ball in play, but his power is more of a work in progress. He has decent pitch recognition skills, but is very aggressive at the plate and therefore doesn’t draw many walks.

#32 CI/OF Jhoan Urena

Ht: 6’1″  Wt: 220 lb  2017 Level: St. Lucie Mets/Las Vegas 51s

B/T: S/R  Age: 9/1/94 (23)  Age Dif: -0.7

Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent for $425,000 (7/2/11)

2017 Stats: 135 G, 170 PA, 77 R, 139 H, 34 2B, 3 3B, 14 HR, 70 RBI, 18 SB, 3 CS, 64 B

Previous Rank: 30

Urena finally looked healthy and to be the prospect the Msts believed him to be after he suffered two broken hamate bones in 2015.

With a full season to heal, Urena once again displayed his power potential driving line drives to the gaps.  With the power returning and with Urena’s advanced approach at the plate, he set career highs in hits, doubles, triples, and homers.

Defensively, Urena struggled mightily at third posting a very low .908 fielding percentage.  As a result, he saw increased time at first base, and he was listed as an outfielder in the Instructional Leagues.  It will be interesting to see what position the Mets have him play to start the season.

#31 INF Gregory Guerrero

Ht: 6’0″  Wt: 186 lb  2017 Level: GCL Mets

B/T: R/R  Age: 1/20/99 (18)  Age Dif: -1.4

Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent for $1.5 million (7/2/15)

2017 Stats: 38 G, 154 PA, 17 R, 31 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 12 RBI, 1 SB, 3 CS, 7 BB, 27 SO, .217/.257/.252

Previous Ranking: 21

Guerrero, the nephew of Vladimir Guerrero, was given a huge signing bonus because he was seen as one of the best pure hitters in the 2015 international class.  He was all the more enticing because he had a strong arm with the range and ability to play shortstop.

To date, we have not seen that raw talent translate into production.  The main reason is injuries with a shoulder injury limiting Guerreo to under 154 plate appearances last year.

If Guerrero can return from this shoulder injury, we will hopefully see the return of a player who can generate above-average bat speed, which could actually translate to power. Given his high baseball IQ, and his work ethic, he may still yet hit his ceiling.

Previous Rankings:

50 – 41 Led by Jacob Rhame

40 – 36 Led by Wagner Lagrange

  • Ernest Dove Jr.

    Lots of question marks in this group but also lots of guys with MLB potential.
    Also of note Paez looked REALLY good defensively in st Lucie.
    I’m still pretty high on Urena.
    And I’ll always ride or die with McNeil

  • Agnes

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  • Dave_in_Spain

    Please label the photos with the player´s name! Thanks…

  • Nessim Toledano

    I’m eager to see what Jeff McNeil does with a full year of health. Not sure where or when he got his “impatient hitter” label, but it sounds like an overstatement – he walks 8.3% of the time for his career, his career OPS is .372 and it has consistently been about 60 to 100 points above his batting average.
    I’m also extremely curious to see where the Mets assign him this year – right now, Vegas would appear to have a very overcrowded infield while Binghamton would be short-handed. A couple of guys are going to have to be moved or held back.

  • Nessim Toledano

    Calling it lots of guys with potential sounds rather optimistic to me.
    Paez has something to prove at the plate at this level. Brodey hasn’t done any hitting yet for either power or average. Same for Guerrero, who has also been a big disappointment in the field. And Urena, at least as far as the Mets go – has only one year left to put it together before he hits minor league free agency.

  • Rhonda

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