MMN Top Ten Prospect Tracker: Week Eight

By Mitch Petanick

May 29, 2013 No comments

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1. Zack Wheeler, RHP

Status: Cold

Zack Wheeler returned last Wednesday from the disabled list and has been struggling a bit with his command again. The three starts before hitting the DL, Wheeler was spectacular. In those games, Wheeler accumulated 19 strikeouts to only three walks, and only allowed three runs. The past two games have not gone as well for the Mets top prospect. In his past two games, he has pitched nine innings giving up four home runs and five walks while only striking out six. Even still, Wheeler thinks he’s ready: “I’m just waiting on time,” he said. “I think I’m ready, but it is really not my decision.”

2. Travis d’Arnaud, C

Status: Injured

Travis D’Arnaud will end up on the MLB club at some point in 2013, and his debut is very much anticipated. He would probably be with the team already if not for fracturing his big toe. The team expected d’Arnaud to be out of his walking boot by now, but received word last week that he will be in the boot for two more weeks. d’Arnaud has to get some time in if we are going to see him in Flushing this year. Over the past two seasons, he has only played in 79 games. Sandy Alderson expects that as long as he he returns from the broken foot, he will be with the Mets at some point this season. However, Alderson added that d’Arnaud might not begin playing at Triple-A again until July 1, and he needs to get more minor league games under his belt. “He’s only played in ten or fifteen games over the last year. It’s going to take some time to get back into game shape. Ultimately we need to get him some playing time.”

3. Noah Syndergaard, RHP

Status: Warm

Noah Syndergaard is one of the hottest pitching prospects in the organization this year.  He is dominating Single-A hitters with an overpowering fastball and a much improved off-speed arsenal. He keeps hitters off balance, and has the confidence to go to his breaking stuff, and when all else fails can reach back and pump a 96 mph fastball by you. He had a bit of an off game last week, but he still is having a great season. Through 50.1 innings of work, he has accumulated 52 strikeouts to just 15 walks. His ERA sits at 2.34, and he has only given up one long ball all year.

4. Rafael Montero, RHP

Status: Hot

Rafael Montero made a spot start with Las Vegas yesterday and didn’t skip a beat. Then he went back to Binghamton and took care of business. Montero has easily been the most impressive pitcher in the organization this year, as everyone drops what they are doing to see what Montero is doing on the hill when he’s pitching.

5. Wilmer Flores, INF

Status: Warming Up

Wilmer Flores is still only 21 years old, so what he is doing at Triple-A is pretty impressive. Flores has really turned it up a notch over the past ten games, as rumors about him being a possible call-up for Ike Davis at first base are mounting. Over those ten games, Flores is batting .366 with a home run, four doublesand seven RBI. Flores is quietly having a nice season, and as he gets more comfortable at Triple-A, now has his season average up to .292. I’m not convinced Flores is going to be a superstar at the big league level, but we have to remember he is still 21.

6. Brandon Nimmo, OF

Status: Cold

Brandon Nimmo, the New York Mets’ first round pick of 2011 had been on the disabled list since April 29. Nimmo finally returned from his stint on the disabled list, and was in the lineup for Savannah last night batting second, and playing center field. It was his first game back since April 29, and it showed. Nimmo was 0-for-5 at the plate, extending his hit less streak from before going on the DL to 0-for-25.

7. Domingo Tapia, RHP

Status: Injured

Domingo Tapia was having a great season for St. Lucie before getting sidelined. He has an ERA of 2.23 and 28 strikeouts to only 13 walks on the year. Tapia has as much raw potential as anybody in the Mets system, and perhaps the best fastball in the group as well. When your two-seam fastball sits at 95 MPH, and it actually serves as a change of pace from your four-seam, people take notice. To give a little more perspective on his arsenal, he basically throws a sinker in the high 90′s along with a two-seam in the mid 90′s. The two are actually distinct pitches, and he backs it up with a change-up that comes in at 87-89 MPH, which is a nice drop when you throw as hard as Tapia does.

8. Michael Fulmer, RHP

Status: Injured

Michael Fulmer has been out since tearing the meniscus in his knee during spring training. If there is one glaringly strong pick from the Sandy Alderson era so far, it has to be Michael Fulmer. Fulmer has the potential to dominate major league teams for years, and already has the frame of a pitcher at just 19 years of age. He is coming off a strong year in Savannah where he made 21 starts that spanned 108 innings. He posted a 2.74 ERA and allowed just 92 hits, six of them going for home runs. He struck out 101 and walked 38, resulting in a 2.66 K/BB rate. On a positive note, Fulmer went through an inning of work during an extended spring training game yesterday.

9. Luis Mateo, RHP

Status: Injured

Luis Mateo made two starts this season before landing on the DL. He made one start with St. Lucie and was lights out before being promoted to Binghamton. It was in that game where Mateo felt some discomfort, and has been on the DL ever since. Mateo has shown a lot of maturity and poise on the mound, and I have to make a point out of the fact that he is consistently aggressive as a pitcher and is not afraid to throw any of his pitches in any given count. It is important to consider the floor as much as the ceiling, and Mateo has the makings of a successful late-inning reliever at the worst right now.

10. Gavin Cecchini, SS

Status: Neutral

Gavin Cecchini is gearing up for another season down in Extended Spring Training. He will join up with the Brooklyn Cyclones in June. A Louisiana native, Cecchini was selected by the Mets with the 12th overall pick in the 2012 Draft. The right-handed hitting shortstop batted .246/.311/.330 with 12 extra-base hits, 18 walks and 43 strikeouts for Kingsport last season before a quick promotion to Brooklyn that lasted all of two games.