If the Mets are truly interested in getting an “A” prospect in return for Carlos Beltran here are some guys they need to consider from potentially interested teams.
1. Jacob Turner – 1st round pick in 2009 and part of the terrific high school crop that featured Zack Wheeler (who we will see later), Shelby Miller, Tyler Matzek, and Matt Purke. The Tigers selected him 9th overall (the second of of the group drafted) and signed him to a major league contract worth $5.5 million. Because of their big investment the Tigers have pushed the 6’5″ 210 lbs. 20-year-old fast and he is already in Double-A with the potential of making the big league ball club next year. Turner is the rare young pitcher that is recognized as a pitcher rather than a thrower and uses his heavy 92-94 mph sinker to pick up a ton of groundballs. He also throws a high 70′s 12-6 curveball and pretty good changeup. Not a huge strikeout guy, but holds his own.
2. Andy Oliver – A big lefty from the 2009 draft that has already reached the big leagues, but struggled. The struggles are more a product of being rushed and spotty command than Oliver’s true talent level. He has plus stuff from the left side with a fastball that has averaged 94 mph, a good changeup, and a sweeping slider. Just needs to fix his command.
3. Casey Crosby – Crosby lost most of his 2008 season to rehab from Tommy John and missed most of 2010 with an elbow injury that doctors never diagnosed because there was no structural damage even though Crosby felt pain. Before the injury in 2010 he was considered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. Has a 92-95 mph power sinker, outstanding curveball, and serviceable changeup. He is a huge risk, but is worth trying to hit a homerun on for Beltran.
4. Nick Castellanos – Was considered one of the best and most polished high school hitters in the 2010 draft and hasn’t disappointed thus far. An absolute monster with the bat. On his way to becoming one of the best prospects in baseball. Doubt he’s dealt.
5. Francisco Martinez – Reminds me of the Mets Jefry Marte with a little more upside. Quick bat, needs to get stronger.
6. Drew Smyly – Doesn’t have the upside of the players above, but is a solid lefty with a good chance to reach the show with his low 90′s fastball, cutter, hard curve, and changeup.
San Francisco Giants
1. Zack Wheeler – The Giants top pick in 2009 who signed for a mere $3.3 million thanks to his 95 mph heat. Usually sits a bit lower with his fastball, throwing it with two seams, and getting an enormous about of tail. Throws a hard curveball with plus potential and a changeup that scouts differ on opinion, but all agree has good tailing action. Has no serious red flag injury concerns with his mechanics. The results have been pretty good thus far. His K% and BB% have been consistent though he has gotten less groundballs this year.
2. Gary Brown – If the Mets do deal Beltran, Brown is right near the top of my wishlist. Brown is the the perfect fit for manning center field in Citi Field. He has plus to plus-plus speed and uses it to play a Gold Glove caliber defense. Has hit extremely well and shown some pretty solid power. With his speed and defense the power has been a bonus.
3. Eric Surkamp – Has been tabbed a middle to back-of-the-rotation starter because of his lack of fastball, but the results have been undeniable and say otherwise. You can’t compete with a 1.78 ERA and 10.65 K/9. Not to mention his 2.80 BB/9 and above-average command. He only tops out at 90 mph, but has a plus curveball and changeup. Vastly underrated in my opinion. Fastball velocity isn’t everything.
4. Brandon Crawford – Never played in Triple-A, but got the promotion to the show this year. He has struggled to hit for average or power thus far, but has dramatically cut down on the strikeouts and played above-average defense at short. If the Mets are seriously worried about Jose Reyes leaving he could be an option.
5. Francisco Peguero – Dealt with knee injuries earlier in the season, but has since recovered. He has plus speed (stole 40 bases last year) and some pop. Known as a high energy player that fans will love and another one who will look good manning the outfield in Citi Field.
Boston Red Sox
1. Anthony Ranaudo – He hasn’t been quiet as good in High-A as Low-A, but I would be flabbergasted if the Mets found a way to come away with him. He has frontline upside with an arsenal that includes a plus 91-94 mph fastball, 76-79 mph plus curve, and average changeup.
2. Kyle Weiland – Recently made is Major League debut that wasn’t so hot. He did show a 91-94 mph fastball and according to the pitch f/x a curveball, slider, and changeup. His deep repertoire allowed him to dominate Triple-A earlier in the year.
3. Will Middlebrooks – Middlebrooks is a very good defender at third base and his bat has been coming around in recent seasons. A big, strong kid who projects for some power, but struggles with controlling the strike-zone.
4. Ryan Lavarnway – The bat and power are terrific. Whether or not he can stick at catcher is the question. I like him and would take the chance on his improving D.
Chicago White Sox
1. Dayan Viciedo – Has just mashed in Triple-A. With his move to right field he can actually fill a position of need.
2. Addison Reed – Many felt he should have been used as a starter, but the White Sox have fast tracked him in the pen. Low 90′s fastball as a starter, mid 90′s in the pen, plus slider, and effective change.
3. Tyler Flowers – Stock has taken a huge hit in recent years, but he is a catcher with some serious power. Wouldn’t be the worst get.
4. Jacob Petricka – Injury prone pitcher who has a plus mid-90′s fastball, but that is about all. Working on a usable curveball and changeup.
5. Jared Mitchell – has struggled with the strikeouts upon his return, but the power has been great. Still raw, but there is a lot of upside.
1. Devin Mesoraco – The best catching prospect in baseball. He has power and defense. Cannot beat it. Would be a coup to get him.
2. Yasmani Grandal – Not too much worse than Mesoraco. Very good defensive catcher who can hit and with some pop. Much more plausible possibility.
3. Yonder Alonso – Really picked up the production with his bat. An above-average hitter, but isn’t that great at first base and is a poor defender in left field, which leaves him blocked if he was a Met.
4. Billy Hamilton – As fast as any player in baseball today. 129 steals in 198 career games. He is quiet raw and not the greatest shortstop defensively. Could move to second base.
5. Zack Cozart – Great offensive shortstop who can field and run pretty well. Looks like he will be a useful player for a while.