MMO Mets Top 25 Prospects – #15 (Lupo) To #11 (Cecchini)

An article by posted on January 17, 2013

MMO TOP 25 PROSPECTS

After the writer formerly known as Satish took his take on prospects 20-16, I will continue the list that is working its way down to the final ten. As I mentioned in the first post of the series, which you can read here, the list was compiled after much deliberation, arguing, and name-calling.

15. Vicente Lupo, OF

Height: 6’0
Weight: 180 LBS
Age: 19
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

VICENTE LUPOSigned as an international free agent in July of 2010, Lupo showed a penchant for extra base power at a young age. While his 2011 season was marred with a dangerous bout with malignant hypothermia that ruined his DSL season, the strongly built slugger came back with a vengeance. 2012 saw Lupo explode in the DSL where he posted a .343/.508/.600 batting line while drawing as many walks as strikeouts (1:1 BB/K ratio) –  something seldom seen in power hitters. Of his 70 overall hits, 31 were for extra-bases. While not possessing top-flight athleticism, he has the bat you look for in a corner outfielder. According to what Mets executives said last week in response to some questions from Joe D., Vicente will be playing stateside in 2013, so look for him at Kingsport or possibly even Brooklyn this Summer.

Outlook: Lupo has promising power and makes good contact as well. The most difficult thing to teach is a solid batting eye, and Lupo already exhibits a good eye. His .500 on-base percentage last season was off the charts and bodes well for future success. It would probably take some aggressive pushing to see Vicente reaching Triple-A before 2016, but he has the power, the discipline, and the potential, so don’t put it past him.

14. Phillip Evans, SS

Height: 5’10
Weight: 185 LBS
Age: 20 (21 in September)
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Phillip Evans 1The 2011 15th round pick who received a significant over-slot $660K bonus has been good, but not what has been expected overall. Evans has exclusively played shortstop though he profiles more as a second baseman due to his stocky build. The 2012 season saw Evans get his first full-season of short-season at-bats. The biggest downside in his numbers were the lack of more power, hitting .252 but only slugging .337. While the bat didn’t regress, the progression that should have occurred hasn’t. Evans is still young so the jury isn’t out on him yet.

Outlook: Evans projects as a 10-15 HR player with a solid batting average and a decent glove as well. Hopefully the 2013 season will see Evans get his first real taste of full-season ball in Savannah and that he will continue to progress with his bat, while hopefully getting some reps at second now that the system is well stocked at short. Evans still has the potential to grow as a hitter, but needs to stop pulling the ball so much and start spraying the ball to all fields. He must also become more consistent defensively where he has a knack to make some flashy plays, but sometimes flubs a routine grounder. The Mets have a lot invested in him so he’ll get every chance to succeed.

13. Cory Vaughn, RF

Height: 6’3
Weight: 225 LBS
Age: 23 (24 in May)
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

cory vaughnVaughn, the son of former big leaguer Greg Vaughn, was selected by the Mets in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. Cory Vaughn spent the entire season in St. Lucie and managed a 23 HR/21 SB campaign. Despite a low batting average which should follow the youngest Vaughn every season, he exhibited two tools that should get him some MLB plate appearances. The high strikeout rate will always be a product, but the ability to draw walks and put up plus-power as the closest Mets farmhand with right-handed power will keep him in the prospect sphere for at least another year

Outlook: Cory Vaughn will go to Binghamton where he will try to translate his power and plate discipline into a skill that can possibly lead to a promotion to Las Vegas in late 2013, and potentially be in play for the Mets’ 2014 outfield. Vaughn is the only true right-handed outfielder who is close to the MLB level and it will be a good test to see his performance in Binghamton against more advanced pitchers. He has all of the tools and his power/speed potential is addicting to say the least. If he can get the barrel on the ball more consistently, we may have something very special here.

12. Matt den Dekker, CF

Height: 6’1
Weight: 205 LBS
Age: 25 (26 in August)
Bats/Throws: Left/Left

Matt den Dekker has only been in the Mets farm system for three years, but his name has been relevant since his drafting as a legitimate centerfield prospect. Den Dekker torched Binghamton upon his arrival in 2012, but struggled after his promotion to Buffalo and saw his strikeout rate increase to nearly 30%. He has a great feel for centerfield and could get by on his spectacular defense as a major leaguer, but his ability to hit advanced pitching will determine how quickly or if he advances to the Mets.

Outlook: Matt den Dekker is the closest MLB prospect the Mets have to man the outfield at Citi Field. The only downside is that he’s another left-handed hitter which means he would have to outperform the glut of other Mets left-handed hitters to earn a promotion. He is likely a superior defender to Kirk Nieuwenhuis, but with his inability to consistently make contact and a poor split-performance, den Dekker is likely to begin the season in Las Vegas and won’t make a trip up to Flushing, New York until he can improve some elements to his game. If he can square up more and reduce the strikeouts he could make an appearance late in the 2013 season and end up playing a significant for role for the 2014 Mets. It’s a big “if” but it’s not out of the question.

11. Gavin Cecchini, SS

Height: 6’1
Weight: 180 LBS
Age: 19
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

gavin cecchiniLouisiana native Gavin Cecchini was selected by the Mets with the 12th overall pick in the 2012 Draft. The right-handed hitting shortstop batted .246/.311/.330 with 12 extra-base hits, 18 walks and 43 strikeouts for Kingsport last season  before a quick promotion to Brooklyn that lasted all of two games. Cecchini flashed some of the skills that drew the Mets to him in the first place, but his bat remains a work in progress. He has a quick and compact line drive swing, but doesn’t generate much power. Defensively, he displayed some solid glove-work, and range, but his arm was mostly average. He should be able to stick at shortstop and become an adequate defender.

Outlook: Cecchini doesn’t have any singular outstanding tools and his game will not be based on power or speed, but he can spray the ball to all fields and get on base while playing at a premium position. He recently turned 19 and will spend most of 2013 honing his skills at extended spring training until the Summer when he’ll likely join the Brooklyn Cyclones. It’s too early to project what we have in Gavin and when he’ll be ready for the majors, but the talent is there and we should know more about him after another year of development. For now, the Mets can remain confident that they have a potentially good shortstop who will hit for a high average and have gap power.

On Friday, we’ll begin counting down the next ten prospects one by one as we work our way to the top of the food chain. Here is a list of ineligibles for this year’s prospect list: Robert Carson, Josh Edgin, Matt Harvey, Collin McHugh, Jenrry Mejia, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Elvin Ramirez and Jordany Valdespin.

MetsMerized Top 25 Prospects

25. Danny Muno

24. Aderlin Rodriguez

23. Cory Mazzoni

22. Cesar Puello

21. Juan Lagares

20. Hansel Robles

19. Kevin Plawecki

18. Rainy Lara

17. Jacob deGrom

16. Jack Leathersich

15. Vicente Lupo

14. Phillip Evans

13. Cory Vaughn

12. Matt den Dekker

11. Gavin Cecchini

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