I was flipping through Baseball America’s most recent issue listing their 100 Top Prospects, and I came across something interesting in their organization reports about the New York Mets. In summary, they state that the Mets now believe they have “one of the most promising stables of right-handed power arms in the game.” This is some very optimistic, yet very bold thinking from the Mets. I like the message they are trying to put out to the fan base. It gives a reason for fans to be excited. But after digging a little deeper, it can also lead to some skepticism at the same time.
We already know about the more prominent young power arms in the Mets system: Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard. However the rest of the names included by Baseball America which the Mets are boasting about are Rafael Montero, Michael Fulmer, Luis Mateo, Domingo Tapia and Corey Mazzoni. This is where we can poke some holes in the Mets’ claims.
Don’t get me wrong. These guys have dynamite stuff, and supporting what the Mets are boasting, the recent MMO Top 25 Prospect list included all of the pitchers named above (aside from Harvey who is no longer a prospect). In fact, every pitcher listed above was in the top ten on the MMO list aside from Mazzoni, who checked in at No. 23. All of these guys touch the mid to upper 90s with their fastballs, with Tapia touching 100 MPH. After reading that last statement, it’s easy to see why these guys are considered power arms.
However, with the exception of a couple of the guys listed above, not many of them have pitched above A-Ball yet. That is obviously where the skepticism comes into play. At single-A, these guys can rely on throwing complete gas and dominate the less experienced hitters at the lower levels. It really won’t be until we see these guys at double-A where we can start making bold claims that the Mets truly have the best crop of right-handed power arms in their system. On paper, these guys look great. Heck, at single-A these guys look great. But let’s wait and see what happens against more polished hitters in the upper levels.
Even Syndegaard is labeled as a guy that has to start developing his secondary pitches, and there is a very good chance he will be considered the top prospect in the Mets organization once Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud are promoted this season.
These pitchers’ have a ton of potential, but as Joe D alluded to in one of his recent posts, there is only so much we can look into guys that have yet to pitch beyond A-ball. The reality of the situation is the fact that probably half of those guys won’t ever pitch at the major league level. It’s just part of the game, and we have to accept it.
Only time will tell how this crop of young fire-ballers’ careers pan out. But I’m not upset that the Mets are boasting one of the best crops of young right-handers in the game. They have a right to make the claim; it will just be better supported once these guys start showing success above the Double-A level.