The Mets currently boast a minor league system that ranks in the top half amongst the other organizations in the league. This ranking is primarily due to a crop of promising young right-handed pitchers.
In the most recent edition of Baseball America, they gave their 2013 rankings for pitching prospects. They separated it into three categories: Right-Handed Pitchers, Left-Handed Pitchers and Relief Pitchers. The Mets had five right-handed pitchers ranked in the top 75 right-handed pitchers in the minors. They are Zack Wheeler (5), Noah Syndergaard (19), Luis Mateo (65), Rafael Montero (66) and Michael Fulmer (75).
There were very few teams who had as many, or more, right-handed pitching prospects listed in their top 75. After looking at that list, it’s hard to fathom that the Mets aren’t ranked in the top ten, or even top five minor league systems. However, it’s when you look at the rest of the positions that you get a better idea of why the Mets are sitting just outside the top ten, and probably closer to the middle of the pack.
Baseball America goes on to rank the top 50 left-handed pitching prospects, and no Mets’ prospects cracked their top 50. Not even Jack Leathersich (ranked No. 16 on MMO’s Top Prospect List) or Darin Gorski made the list. On Baseball America’s top 35 relief pitcher rankings, Jeurys Familia came in ranked at No. 15.
When you do the math, Baseball America ranked a total of 160 pitchers. The Mets had six players ranked, good for about 4% of the pitchers ranked.
The minor league system is carried by that crop of right-handed power pitchers, two of which cracked the top ten on MLB.com’s rankings (Wheeler and Syndergaard). Travis d’Arnaud and Wilmer Flores lead the pack of position players, but once you get past those names, the system really starts to thin out. The system is very top-heavy, but that doesn’t mean that some of the other guys won’t step this year to help boost the Mets system to new heights. The talent is there, these guys just have to start performing.
Here is a list of position players you should keep an eye on in 2013:
Brandon Nimmo, OF
Gavin Cecchini, SS
T.J. Rivera, 2B
Camden Maron, C
Vicente Lupo, OF
Phillip Evans, SS
Wuilmer Becerra, OF
Wilfredo Tovar, SS
As you can see from the list, there is no shortage of shortstops in the organization, and there are actually a few more that I left off this list. On MLB.com’s position rankings, no Mets’ players rank in the top ten of their respective position aside from d’Arnaud and Flores. While some of the players listed above may never crack a top ten list on MLB.com, they do have the potential to make some noise and boost the system’s prospect rankings. Keep an eye on those guys and look for some Prospect Pulse features on them in the near future.