In stark contrast to the Puello news from earlier, it looks like Rafael Montero, Wilmer Flores, and Zack Wheeler have each cracked the PCL Top-20 Prospects on Baseball America. Wheeler came in ranked as #4, Flores at #15, and Montero at #18.
There’s no hiding that most scouts were high on Zack Wheeler — and so were the other managers in the PCL as well. “…he [Wheeler] got off to a slow start with the 51s but righted himself in a hurry, displaying a 94-98 mph fastball that league managers voted the best in the PCL. What impressed managers as much, Bundy said, were his smarts out on the mound.” Wheeler really turned it on down the stretch for the Mets in 2013, so I think he might pan out to be a top of the line pitcher for years to come.
Flores was listed at “2B/1B” — which is testament to how they feel about him defensively. As always, his arm grades out well considering all things — and his claim to fame is his offensive ability. Flores can hit, and he’ll likely get a chance to do just that in 2014. The best place to play him still remains second base — where his bat is well above-average and his range is… well, you can live with him at second base if you’ve got a good shortstop.
It feels like it’s been a while since I wrote about Montero, which is disappointing. He was so fun to cover throughout the year — especially through his dominant stretch in Binghamton. He’s a talented young pitcher, and even though some scouts grade him out to be a back-end of the rotation starter, the consensus is that he’ll crack the MLB rotation at some time in 2014. He turns 23 in October, and I think he’s got top-of-the-rotation upside.
(Photo Credit: Gordon Donovan)