Three Mets Prospects Highlight BA Top 20 Prospects

An article by posted on October 5, 2009

Baseball America has begun to release their top prospects lists by league. Yesterday, they unveiled their Top 20 Prospects for the Florida State League.

You can read the complete list here.

The Class-A St. Lucie Mets had three players make the grade; SP Jenrry Mejia at #7, 1B Ike Davis at #9, and CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis at #13. Incidentally, all three had been promoted to Binghamton at some point this season, so you may see one or two of them appear in the Top 20 for the Eastern League. Especially Ike Davis who raked after he was promoted. 

SP – Jenrry Mejia

Mejia has a 94-95 mph fastball, and he can cut or sink it depending on the situation. He flashes a plus curveball, though it’s inconsistent and he struggles to locate it at times. Unlike a lot of young pitchers, he’s willing to throw his changeup, but it has too much velocity and only rates as an adequate pitch at this point. Mejia has a solid pitcher’s frame. His delivery and lack of secondary stuff could lead to an eventual move to the bullpen.

Mejia was having a solid season at PSL, but hit a brick wall after being promoted to Class-AA Binghamton where he went 0-5 with a 4.47 ERA. The Mets are high on the righthander, but he has a long way to go before he is ready to help. He is one of the Mets minor leaguers playing in the Arizona Fall League this year.

1B – Ike Davis

Thanks to his quick hands, Davis has plus power. He uses a squared-up stance that some managers felt left him too often hitting off his front foot, but in his defense, he’s not bothered by breaking balls and off speed stuff.

Along with his power, he stood out for his work at first base with good hands, solid agility around the bag and an above-average arm for the position.

Davis had tremendous season after a questionable start to his Mets career in 2008 when he failed to hit one homer. Hitting homeruns was not a problem this season as the Mets top pick slammed 20 dingers while batting .298 between PSL and Binghamton. He also finished with a .524 SLG and a .906 OPS, which suggests even more improvement in the power department. If Davis continues to hit like this in AAA next season, he may get a shot to take over first base for the Mets in 2011. Davis is currently playing in the AFL after playing with Team USA in the World Cup. 

CF – Kirk Nieuwenhuis:

As a tall, rangy center fielder with power, Kirk Nieuwenhuis had FSL managers reaching back in their memory banks for a comparison….

When the season began, Nieuwenhuis was a high-ball, opposite-field hitter. Pitchers found they could bust him inside with fastballs, but he worked on shortening his swing and creating a better hand path, which made him much tougher to contend with. …

While Nieuwenhuis did make some nice adjustments, there still are concerns that he swings and misses too much. Despite his size, he’s a tick above-average runner who’s even faster underway. Though he played center field in 2009, his lack of overwhelming speed eventually will force him to right field, where his strong, accurate arm will fit well.

Nieuwenhuis strikes out too much and needs to shorten his swing, but has plenty of upside as indicated by his .843 OPS . Those 38 doubles may translate into more homeruns as he develops his power. BA suggests a potential move to RF where his powerful arm could become a good asset. It’s still too early to say he has a solid major league future ahead of him, but he is certainly one to keep an eye on.

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