Savannah, which starts playing on Thursday, has been speculated over and over to continuously have some top talent this season, and the people who speculated these were mostly right. There are a lot of prospects to be watching on this roster, both on the hitters and pitches side. I will list them as a convenience, as well as two potential sleepers for both hitting and pitching.
Pitchers To Watch
Matthew Bowman: A righthanded pitcher drafted in the 13th Round out of Princeton. He throws from 88-92, and has touched 95 according to Paul DePodesta. He throws both a curveball in the low-70’s, which is an average offering, a slider, with more promise, but less consistency, and a changeup in the high 70’s, but is the most consistent off-speed pitch in his arsenal. What really separates him from the rest is the delivery he uses, which is incredibly similar to Tim Lincecum. He is the Savannah’s opening day starter.
Steven Matz: A 2009 Second round pick, out of Melville HS, East Setauket, N.Y. Matz went under the knife in spring training in 2010 with Tommy John surgery, and didn’t pitch for 2 years. He burst back onto the scene, throwing harder than ever, getting up to 98 and dominating the competition in Kingsport, before succumbing another injury. He will be an interesting arm to watch if he can stay healthy.
According to Aaron Fitt of Baseball America, Luis Cessa has the most promise of the three, running his fastball up to 95, but showing an average Changeup and fringy curve. He also lists that Lara and Ynoa both throw 88-92. Ynoa has an average changeup, and below average Slider, while Lara had below average secondary pitches. They all have impeccable control, but will look to develop their secondary pitches this year.
Hitters to Watch
Brandon Nimmo: You know the story, Wyoming kid, potential 5 tool player, I wrote an extensive analysis on March 6th about him. Baseball America ranked him 11th on their top 20 prospects list for the league. It would have been preferable to see him in the top 10, but he has enough time to prove himself to the scouts. He has proved to me from what I’ve seen and reports I’ve had the opportunity to analyze that Nimmo is a legitimate first round draft pick. You can read the rest of my projection and analysis on Nimmo here.
Phillip Evans: A high school shortstop from California, Phillip Evans hit .252 with 5 home runs and an interesting eye at the plate (31 – 48 BB/K) with the Brooklyn Cyclones. He proved doubters wrong as someone who is able to stick at shortstop for the time being. He is an above average hitter with average power.
Kevin Plawecki: The supplemental first-round pick from the 2012 draft. He is an average hitter with average power, but an amazing eye at the plate (25 BB to 24 K). Mitch Petanick has a excellent write-up on Plawecki on his Prospect Pulse segment.
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Here are two more previously unmentioned sleepers:
RHP Julian Hilario: Apparently throws 90-92, touches 94, with a low-80’s slider and stiff changeup.
OF Stefan Sabol: Mets 17th Round Pick, who was a former catcher, a highly touted one at that. He is going to be starting left fielder, and has a lot of power in his right-handed bat.
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In Savannah this year, the Mets are showing a very promising team, featuring two young top picks in Brandon Nimmo and Steven Matz. They also feature a very interesting middle infielder prospect in Phillip Evans. The only thing that is evident, is the lack of hitting prospects on the team besides Nimmo, Evans, Plawecki, and Sabol.
The rotation, which is seven pitchers deep, has a large influx of interesting arms, with Steven Matz headlining the bunch. Pitchers though will be experiencing some piggy-backing. Matt Koch and Logan Taylor will probably piggy-back together, since they both were college relievers, and then relieved in Brooklyn before being converted to starters.
Most of the relievers aren’t high up on the prospect radar, and are mostly of the soft tossing variety except Julian Hilario, who is my sleeper for this year.
Either way, this team has many arms to keep an eye on, and a few high-upside bats as well. It will be interesting to see how this team progresses through this season which begins Thursday evening at 6:30 PM at Historic Grayson Stadium. They should be a fun bunch to watch.