Baseball Prospect Nation: Mets Top 15

An article by posted on January 3, 2012

 

Baseball Prospect Nation posted their Mets Top 15 on Tuesday and here are their top five:

1. Zack Wheeler (RHP)
Acquired for outfielder Carlos Beltran, Wheeler immediately jumped to the top of the Mets prospect list. He is a physical right-hander with a big fastball and knee buckling curveball. His fastball will routinely sit at 93-94 mph and touch 97 on a regular basis. His curveball is best when throw harder in the upper-70s and it can be a devastating out pitch. His change-up and cutter both need work but he shows feel for both pitches at times. With two outstanding pitches and improving command some scouts project Wheeler as high as a number two starter in the big leagues.

2. Matt Harvey (RHP)
The Mets were aggressive going after Harvey in the 2010 draft, finally inking him to a $2.5 million deal after picking him in the top ten. While he can rival Wheeler’s peak velocity at 97 mph on occasion, he sits regularly at 92-94 mph with some boring action. He has a very good slider that earns 60-grades in the low-80s. While he throws a curveball and change-up as well, both are below-average pitches that need work. If he continues to improve the change-up he only began throwing in 2011, Harvey could also profile as a number two starter with a better chance to reach his ceiling in the middle of a big league rotation.

3. Cesar Puello (OF)
Despite continued middling numbers, numerous scouts I spoke with this year are still very high on Puello because of his raw tools package. He offers above-average raw power that could enable him to hit 20+ home runs annually if he can swing at better pitches. He is extremely aggressive at the plate and lacks the pitch recognition to make that work for him. While he has played center field he is unlikely to stick there and he could profile as an athletic right field defender with a plus arm. The biggest obstacle for Puello is pitch recognition and plate discipline and if he can make strides in that department he could be a very good everyday player.

4. Brandon Nimmo (OF)
Nimmo was a major departure from the norm for the Mets in terms of their drafting philosophy. With the 13th pick the Mets spent $2.1 million to ink the Wyoming prep product. Nimmo is a classic toolsy athlete that simply hasn’t played a ton of baseball and he could be a huge developmental project that takes a lot of time. He has the speed and baseball savvy to handle center field and his arm is an average tool. Nimmo will require the most work at the plate where he must develop his hitting ability against more advanced competition. There are still questions about just how much power he will develop.

5. Jeurys Familia (RHP)
Familia made big strides in 2011, throwing more strikes and missing more bats for the first time in his career. A change in his delivery led to added angle on his fastball that sits in the 93-95 mph range and will touch 98 on occasion. His breaking ball and change-up both remain inconsistent with the curveball harboring more potential long term. Throwing strikes – let alone quality strikes – has always been a battle for Familia, and while he did make improvements in that area last year he still has a ways to go. With a big fastball some scouts still see Familia in the back of a bullpen while others more bullish on him believe he can be a mid-rotation starter.

Rounding out their Top 15 are:

6. Michael Fullmer (RHP)

7. Reese Havens (2B)

8. Jenrry Mejia (RHP)

9. Kirk Nieuwenhuis (OF)

10. Aderlin Rodriguez (3B)

11. Erik Goeddel (RHP)

12. Cory Mazzoni (RHP)

13. Wilmer Flores (SS)

14. Domingo Tapia (RHP)

15. Phillip Evans (SS)

You can read about them here.

I haven’t seen Cesar Puello ranked this high before which I found very interesting. He gets most of his analysis based on scouting reports and talking to various scouts around the league. Wilmer Flores is about as low as I’ve ever sen him and he is suddenly following a similar like trek on these prospect lists as Fernando Martinez has.

His take on Nimmo is rather ominous, but usually when you draft toolsy guys like that it can be very hit and miss – mostly miss. We need to see Nimmo get a full season in rookie ball or one of the developmental leagues this season and then we will know a lot more.

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