I’m busy working on MMO’s official Mets Top 25 Prospects list. I should start rolling it out in reverse order beginning next week. As I near the completion of all my research and start to fit in all the pieces of the puzzle as best as I can, I’m finding it so interesting to see how much things have changed from just one year ago.
So many prospects have fallen out off last year’s Top 25, while many new rising Mets prospects replace them. Several players who were near misses last Winter, have had breakthrough seasons in 2012 and locked up spots in the MMO Top 25, while others saw their stock fizzle. While ranking all of these players, some of the decisions are obvious and easy, but then you come to some choices that are much more difficult to assess and require a more thorough examination.
There’s a nice battle shaping up for who the Mets’ best hitting prospect is between Wilmer Flores and Brandon Nimmo. The winner will get slotted in the No. 2 spot behind what we all know will be my No. 1 Mets Prospect, Zack Wheeler. I still have about a month before I need to make my final decision, but I thought it would be something that the MMO readers could debate between now and then. So I invite you to examine these two talented prospects and give me your closing arguments on both of them.
Brandon Nimmo will be 20 years old when next season begins, and right behind him is 21 year old Wilmer Flores. Both are very exceptional talents, but one already has over five years of professional experience under his belt and has sped through system like a bullet – that would be Flores. Nimmo, on the other hand, got his first real taste of pro ball in Low-A Brooklyn in 2012 where he posted a .248/.372/.406 slash in 321 plate appearances.
At 16-years old, Flores had already raced through Kingsport, Brooklyn and finished the season in Single-A Savannah in 2009. Between all three levels he posted a .307/.347/.468 slash in 308 plate appearances. But last season was the breakthrough the Mets had been hoping and waiting for. After dominating the Florida State League in St. Lucie, Flores was promoted to Double-A Binghamton where the young infielder held his own against much older competition and surprisingly his numbers got even better. Flores finished his 2012 season with a .311/.361/.494 slash in 275 PA for Bingo, and hit a combined .300 with 18 home runs and 75 RBI in 493 at-bats between both levels with only 60 strikeouts.
Nimmo has shown an enormous amount of patience at the plate in his first taste of regular playing time for the Cyclones, walking 78 times in 266 at-bats. But that was offset by a high propensity for strikeouts and the Cheyenne, Wyoming native whiffed an alarming 78 times. When Nimmo did make contact, he showed an ability to drive the ball to all fields and 28 of his 66 hits were for extra bases including six home runs and 20 doubles.
Neither Nimmo (1 SB, 5 CS) or Flores (3 SB, 2 CS) did much in the way of stolen bases last season, though Nimmo does have much better speed.
Deciding which one is the better prospects is a nice problem to have, because which ever way you go the Mets win. So while I deliberate over my final decision, have fun debating this among yourselves. Only one fot these Mets prospects can take the No. 2 spot. Which one will it be?