6. Nick Evans – Evans can play first base or outfield and is projected to grow into a power hitter as he fills out. He has been wildly inconsistent in the batting average department, but has made great strides in 2008. He is improving defensively and has a good feel for the game. He may get a half a season in Buffalo to start the season, but the Mets envision him as their future at first base.
7. Mike Carp – He got off to a torrid start last season and then cooled off considerably, but still managed to hit .299 with 17 homeruns and 72 RBI. It’s important to note that it was the second time around at AA. He strikes out a lot. The Mets never seem to be high on him. He may eventually become a solid first baseman, but I don’t think it will be with the Mets.
8. Lucas Duda – You want a gritty, hard nosed, take no prisoners ballplayer? Well, here’s your guy… Duda hustles and plays like someone from another baseball era, when players actually loved and understood every nuance of the game. He needs a little more plate discipline, but he’s young and so far he’s progressing quite well. He’s cut out to be a cleanup hitter and he loves RBI’s more than homeruns, and that’s a good thing.
9. Eddie Kunz – The Mets call him their closer of the future, but this ground ball pitcher may end up being nothing more than a righty specialist. He hasn’t shown the mental toughness you would expect from a closer. Despite going 1-4 with 25 saves and a 2.79 ERA in AA, he completely imploded after a callup to the Mets and a short time in AAA.
10. Josh Thole - Thole has an enthusiasm for the game that makes him a quick study and able to adapt at each level. He does not have any prodigious power numbers to boast of, but he gets better each year and he could be counted on for 20-25 homeruns a season in time. He is not afraid to get his uniform dirty and has shown an ability to be a leader on the field and in the clubhouse. He had a solid year at Port St. Lucie, batting .300 and earning an All Star nod at catcher.
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