With Pacific Coast League action kicking off tomorrow, April 4, MiLB.com has released their top ten prospects to watch from the PCL in 2013. The Mets will have two of the top five players on that list when play opens up tomorrow in Travis d’Arnaud (4) and Zack Wheeler (5).
It’s unclear how long many of these players will remain in the PCL, as they are some of the more exciting prospects in all of baseball, and it may not be long before some of the big league clubs will be calling for some additional help.
The abbreviated list is below. You can see the list in its entirety here.
No. 1. Jurickson Profar (SS, Round Rock Express)
No. 2. Oscar Taveras (OF, Memphis Redbirds)
No. 3 Taijuan Walker (RHP, Tacoma Rainiers)
No. 4. Travis d’Arnaud (C, Las Vegas 51s) – The Mets’ backstop of the future, d’Arnaud is expected to reach Citi Field by the summer — assuming he suffers no setbacks in Sin City. The 24-year-old came to New York in the trade that sent Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to Toronto, and he stayed with the Mets in big league camp until the final week of Spring Training. d’Arnaud is among the Minors’ best defensive catchers, but he also can hit for a high average with plus power — he batted .333 with 16 homers and 52 RBIs in half a season in 2012.
No. 5. Zack Wheeler (RHP, Las Vegas 51s) – Wheeler advanced to Triple-A Buffalo in 2012 after spending most of the year honing his craft in the Eastern League, where he went 10-6 with a 3.26 ERA. His mid- to high-90s sinking fastball is his primary weapon, but he’s not afraid to keep hitters honest by throwing his curveball and slider early in counts. The Mets insist they won’t rush Wheeler to the Majors, but a hot start in hitter-friendly Las Vegas could force their hand.
No. 6. Tyler Skaggs (LHP, Reno Aces)
No. 7. Danny Hultzen (LHP Tacoma Rainiers)
No. 8. Mike Olt (OF/3B, Round Rock)
No. 9. Jonathan Singleton (1B, Oklahoma City RedHawks)
No. 10. Didi Gregorius (SS, Reno Aces)
With questions of Shaun Marcum’s health dominating the Mets’ headlines, many are calling for Zack Wheeler’s call up as soon as the team can keep the extra year of control on April 21. I have been arguing with Joe D. back and forth for awhile now, regarding whether Wheeler is ready or not. I am always arguing in Wheeler’s favor, and Joe D. has been basically telling me I am crazy. I was pleasantly surprised to read that Joe D. was finally starting to come around earlier today:
The more and more I hear rival executives, scouts and coaches say that Zack Wheeler is ready the more I keep leaning toward bringing him up once he’s past the service time issue. If he truly is ready, then what do we have to gain by letting him waste his time in the desert where he will get his bell rung more frequently than not in the hitter friendly PCL?
Who cares about any Super Two ramifications? If Wheeler is as good as everyone says, wouldn’t he be signed to an extension deal that would buy out all his arbitration years anyway? Much like Jon Niese?
Exactly what I have been preaching for months…he should have credited me in his quote