1. Zack Wheeler, RHP
The MMN top prospect heading into 2013 enjoyed his most dominant start of his young MLB career on July 10th against the San Francisco Giants. He was in control for most of the game, throwing plenty of first pitch strikes, using his fastball wisely, and keeping his pitch count down.Wheeler went a career-high seven innings, allowing one run on three hits, three walks, and five strikeouts. In five big league starts, he’s 3-1 with a 3.54 ERA. He’s been enjoying the All-Star break, and will commence his season today at home against the Philadelphia Phillies. (Matt M.)
2. Travis d’Arnaud, C
d’Arnaud is still rehabbing in Port St. Lucie, and according to manager Terry Collins last week, the top catching prospect is doing everything except playing in games. He’s throwing, hitting some batting practice, and catching bullpens. He’s due to be evaluated by doctors on Monday, hopefully getting the news that he’s cleared to start playing in minor league games again. In 36 at-bats with Las Vegas before getting injured, d’Arnaud was hitting .250/.429/.472 with one home run and eight RBIs this season. (Matt M.)
3. Noah Syndergaard, RHP
Well, it was bound to happen. In his first start back with Binghamton following his appearance in the MLB Futures Game over the weekend, Syndergaard struggled with his control a little bit. After walking just four hitters in his first 20 innings pitched in the Eastern League, Noah walked three Flying Squirrels in five innings pitched Wednesday at NYSEG Stadium. He earned the no decision and remains undefeated since getting promoted, but allowed three runs and seven hits (two homers), along with five strikeouts. (Matt M.)
4. Rafael Montero, RHP
With the Triple-A AS break timed with the MLB one, Montero hasn’t had a chance to pitch against this week. He did, however, toss a scoreless inning in the Futures Game and did so effortlessly. I’m really not fond of Montero pitching in the PCL or in Las Vegas itself, but I’ll have to deal with it because there is no need to add him to the 40-man roster yet and the Mets want to prevent his clock from starting.
5. Wilmer Flores, INF
Similar to Montero, Wilmer Flores hasn’t had much time on the field again this week because of the Triple-A AS break. Flores was slated to the start the game at second base, but had to pass on the chance to let an ankle injury heal up. The injury is considered minor, so Flores should return to raking soon. He went into the break leading the PCL with 75 RBIs.
6. Brandon Nimmo, OF
Oh, how bad I want to say something positive about Nimmo — I couldn’t explain in words. I’m waiting for the form we saw earlier in the season; I’m waiting to see him tear it up again. But ever since he returned from injury, he’s been a different player. Even with a two-hit game Thursday night, he still has only six hits in his last 32 at-bats, giving him a .188 average over that span. He still has only one home run on the year as well, which is tough. It’s beginning to look like Joe D. was right back in January when he said there’s no way Nimmo doesn’t stay in Savanna for the entire season.
7. Domingo Tapia, RHP
Just when I thought Tapia had turned a corner with regard to harnessing his control of the strike zone, he makes a fool out of me. He put together a decent performance on July 9th. Despite getting the loss, he only walked one and struck out seven over 6.2 innings pitched. His next appearance came on July 15th, and he reverted back to the Tapia we’ve mostly seen in 2013. He allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits, four walks, and one strikeout in 1.2 innings pitched. It was the sixth time he’s walked three or more hitters in his last 10 starts.
8. Michael Fulmer, RHP
Status: Warming up
The weather has prevented the St. Lucie rotation from getting into any kind of rhythm. Fulmer made his second start in High-A on July 14th, but it was obviously cut short because of the rain. He allowed one run on one hit (a homer), one walk, and one strikeout in three innings pitched against Dunedin. He’s tossed eight innings since completing his rehab in the GCL, and owns a 4.50 ERA heading into his next start.
9. Gavin Cecchini, SS
He’s still working his way back from the ankle injury that sidelined him earlier this month. He did get the walking boot removed off his foot yesterday, though.
10. Jack Leathersich, LHP
Leathersich has been on shaky ground recently. The strikeouts are there in abundance, as always, but six earned runs in his last eight-and-two-thirds innings is pretty bad for a reliever. As I tried to note earlier this week, the PCL and Las Vegas pose perhaps the worst possible environment for the young fireballer, so don’t get too down on him.
(Remember. the next Top 10 Tracker will reflect our updated Midseason Top-25 Prospects as we continue to roll that out on MetsMinors.net and them Metsmerized Online, so keep an eye out for that!)