The 2013 season was one where we saw some New York Mets prospects rise to the occasion, and in some cases, turn our heads—and in other cases there were prospects that completely fell off the map. Predicting which prospects pan out is not an easy task, and there are times where we fall in love with prospects, then fall out of love with them, only to fall in love with them all over again as was the case with a number of prospects in 2013.
This is all about the prospects we fell in love with in 2013. This is about the prospects that made us smile a little bit about the future of our New York Mets, even when the present may be making us frown a little bit. So here it is, the 2013 New York Mets All-Prospect Team.
Catcher: Kevin Plawecki
2013 – 449 AB, 60 R, 137 H, 38 2B, 8 HR, 80 RBI, 42 BB, 53, .305/.390/.448 (A, A+)
Plawecki earned the nickname Dr. Doubles in 2013, and it seemed that any time you tuned into a Savannah or St. Lucie game, he was smacking a double in the gap. Every night this past summer, you would read on Twitter something to the effect of “Plawecki with another double.” His numbers in 2013 were incredibly impressive, as he has shown how an advanced college bat can make an impact in the minor leagues—at the lower levels anyway. He made an easy transition moving from short season A-Ball to advanced A-Ball, but the true test should be in Binghamton in 2014.
First Base: Jayce Boyd
2013 – 458 AB, 68 R, 151 H, 29 2B, 9 HR, 83 RBI, 61 BB, 61 K, .330/.410/.461 (A, A+)
Allan Dykstra had a breakout year, but Jayce Boyd did more in 2013 to build his stock than just about any other player in the Mets organization. His batting average with Savannah was ridiculous and after making the jump to St. Lucie, he just kept on hitting. Like Plawecki, Boyd is another advanced college bat. He ripped through lower level pitching like a kid ripping through a pinata at a birthday party. Also like Plawecki, his true test will come this season when he should start the season with Binghamton. Due to his size, there have been some knocks on Boyd regarding his homerun numbers, but his swing is extremely pretty for a right-hander, and as he learns to add loft and backspin to his batted balls, the home runs will come. The kid plays solid defense too.
Second Base: Wilmer Flores
2013 – 424 AB, 69 R, 136 H, 36 2B, 15 HR, 86 RBI, 25 BB, 63 K, .321/.357/.531 (AAA)
The first thing that you generally hear when most people are talking about Wilmer Flores is in regards to his inability to play any defensive positions effectively. The other thing you tend to see is shock on people’s faces when they see he is still on 21 years old. We tend to forget how young he is because we have been talking about him for so long. The bottom line is that the guy can hit. Most coaches will tell you that if you give them a guy that can hit, they will find a position for him—the Mets will find a position for him.
Shortstop: Wilfredo Tovar
2013 – 441 AB, 70 R, 116 H, 14 2B, 4 HR, 35 RBI, 33 BB, 49 K, .263/.323/.340 (AA)
Shortstop is a position that will always be one where the glove is more important than the bat, and Wilfredo Tovar brings his glove with him to the ballpark everyday. He is the closest thing that the Mets have to an major league ready shortstop, as was evidenced when the team called Tovar up from Binghamton after Ruben Tejada suffered a fractured fibula. Tovar started the season very slow offensively, but the second half of the season he came on strong, posting a .299/.359/.421 line earning him a spot on the All-Prospect Team.
Third Base: Zach Lutz
2013 – 389 AB, 62 R, 117 H, 27 2B, 13 HR, 80 RBI, 54 BB, 102 K, .293/.377/.479 (AAA)
Zach Lutz performed about as well offensively as anyone in the Mets organization last year, posting a .293 average to go along with 13 homers and 80 RBI. Lutz is about as solid a hitter the Mets have in the organization—and unlike some other guys on this All-Prospect team, he has proven himself against upper level pitching. The problem is Lutz is getting older and David Wright isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. If the Mets can’t use Lutz, it would be nice to see him get a chance with another team because he has excellent upside with regards to his bat.
Left Field: Dustin Lawley
2013 – 489 AB, 72 R, 128 H, 35 2B, 26 HR, 96 RBI, 36 BB, 113 K, .262/.314/.513 (A+, AAA)
Dustin Lawley led all Mets minor leaguers in home runs and RBI in 2013 (26/96). He spent the majority of the season with St. Lucie, but made a brief appearance with Las Vegas at the end of the year. Here is a kid that was signed out of college in 2011, and has made it to Triple A within two seasons. He has solid power and can be a guy that definitely finds himself in the Mets’ outfield mix sometime in 2014.
Center Field: Brandon Nimmo
2013 – 395 AB, 62 R, 108 H, 16 2B, 2 HR, 40 RBI, 71 BB, 131 K, .273/.397/.369 (A)
Brandon Nimmo had his shares of ups and downs in 2013. There were times where he was the hottest hitter in the organization—he started off the 2013 season like gangbusters. A wrist injury side tracked him, but he still was the top performing centerfielder in the Mets organization in 2013. He didn’t hit for a ton of power (only two home runs), but he did manage to get on base almost 40% of the time (.397 OBP).
Right Field: Cesar Puello
2013 – 331 AB, 63 R, 108 H, 21 2B, 16 HR, 73 RBI, 28 BB, 82 K, .326/.403/.547 (AA)
Cesar Puello had an outstanding 2013 season. Unfortunately, more will remember this past season for his 50 game suspension due to the suspicion of using performance enhancing drugs. We don’t know which drug he took, or if he took any drugs at all, so rather look at this season’s performance as a direct result of cheating, let’s look at it as what it was—the arrival of what many people consider a 20/20, five tool player. Puello should start the 2014 season in Las Vegas, and it will definitely be a very important season for the young slugger. By the way, Mets fans shouldn’t be too hard on the kid, after all, Marlon Byrd was suspended for PED use recently and that didn’t stop anyone from cheering for him last season.
Starting Pitcher: Rafael Montero
2013 – 12 W, 7 L, 2.78 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 155.1 IP, 136 H, 35 BB, 150 K (AA, AAA)
This was a pretty easy choice. There wasn’t a pitcher in the Mets system that you would rather have on the mound in 2013 than Rafael Montero. He used pinpoint control to dominate hitters at both Double and Triple A. He climbed through the Mets’ system in just three short seasons. When Montero walks a batter, it’s so rare that the pitching coach goes out to the mound to make sure he isn’t sick. He is a player we will definitely see at Citi Field in 2014, barring injury or trade.
Relief Pitcher: Jeff Walters
2013 – 38 SV, 2.09 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 56.9 IP, 46 H, 16 BB, 60 K (AA)
Jeff Walters was the man that Binghamton called on to shut the door on opposing teams at the end of close games, and he did not disappoint, closing the door 38 times last year. He has an excellent strikeout to walk ratio, and averaged over one strikeout per inning in 2013. For his efforts, he was selected as a 2013 Post-Season All-Star in the Eastern League, and the relief pitcher of choice for the 2013 All-Prospect Team.