Keith Law released a list of the top sleeper prospect in each organization (subscriber required), stating these are players who he thinks can take the step forward and become top 100 prospects by 2013, and in most cases top 50 prospects. For the Mets he went with the flamethrower from the Dominican Republic. He had this to say regarding Domingo Tapia:
Right-hander Domingo Tapia is 6-foot-5 and hits triple digits as a starter with some sink on the pitch. He pairs it with a solid to above-average changeup that produced a reverse split in his 50 innings in Kingsport last year. He’ll need a more consistent breaking ball to project as a top-end starter, but the velocity and changeup are a good start.
Law had Tapia ranked 7th on his top 10 Mets prospect list so this pick shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since he must really like Tapia. I had Tapia 20th on my personal top 50, Petey Pete had him at 21st, John Sickels had him at 17th, Toby Hyde has him at least in the top 20 so we all appeared to be in the same ballpark, but Law has taken the extra leap of faith.
Do I think it is crazy to have Tapia ranked that high? No, not at all. It is hard not to fall in love with a player with a mid-90′s fastball, that touches triple digits, and with sink. It just boggles my mind how he only struck out 5.8 per nine innings in the lower levels of the minors. Those are supposed to be the levels where you are supposed to be able to succeed with a slightly above-average fastball and Tapia has a true plus-fastball, which leads me to believe his breaking stuff must be really, really bad.
Mets fans actually got a little bonus in the article because Law mentioned how he did not want to repeat sleepers from last year, but wanted to give an extra vote of confidence in Akeel Morris.