Our team at MetsMinors.net and MMO have been very busy over the last few weeks as we prepared to begin rolling out our 2014 Top 40 Prospects for the New York Mets.
This past season was one of many surprises that saw fortunes of many Mets prospects rise and fall. It was a great year for the organization as several prospects made their Major League debuts and appear to be here to stay – none more prominent of course than our No. 1 Prospect in 2013, Zack Wheeler. Other highly ranked prospects to debut included Juan Lagares and Travis d’Arnaud, both of whom will likely grab starting jobs next season at their respective positions.
We have plenty of new faces on this year’s list, and as usual, we will try to pack in as much insight and analysis as we can as we go deeper into the list, including much of our own first hand observations and what we’ve learned from the Mets minor league development team along the way. So without further ado, lets get right to it…
40. Jhoan Urena, 3B
Weight: 200 LBs
DOB: 9/1/1994 (19 years old)
Hit: 40/45 Power: 35/50 Arm: 55/60 Field: 45/45 Speed: 45/45
Jhoan Urena was recently named to Baseball America’s GCL Sleeper List — and for good reason. He was signed in 2011 for $425,000 as an International Free Agent out of the Dominican Republic. Urena is a big guy for a third baseman, but many scouts compliment him on his mobility. He also covers himself a little with an above-average arm and demonstrates good hands, so he might actually stick at third base down the line. His range is around average, but still pretty impressive for a guy his size.
That’s quite an important thing to note, considering he packs some extra power in his swing because of his body type. He’s a switch hitter — which is always good to see — but seems to be more proficient as a left-handed hitter. Urena slashed .299/.351/.376 in 157 at-bats for the GCL Mets in 2013 with six doubles, three triples, no home runs, and four stolen bases. I know it’s weird to see me give a potential average power rating for a guy that hit zero home runs, but word is he was purposely looking to make more line drive contact. It makes sense, since he bumped his average up about 20 points from the DSL.
Urena finished the year on a strong note, going 11-for-33 (.333) with three doubles over his last ten games.
It’ll be really interesting to see what the Mets do with Urena. The simple decision would be to let him play in short-season Kingsport and start him at third base. However, depending on what players the Mets draft and subsequently send to Brooklyn for 2014, he also could find himself repeating at GCL again. I’d like to see him try to get that immense power he’s shown during batting practice into some real game situations, but Brooklyn might not be the best place for that…so we’ll see. In any case, it’ll be some time before we start thinking about Urena at the MLB level.
Thoughts from Joe D.
I obviously haven’t seen Urena myself, but in speaking with two people who have watched the GCL extensively, what impresses everyone most is above average bat speed and how quickly his hands move through the zone. He has a fluid swing that is not as long as most power hitters, and he generates most of his power from his lower torso and his powerful arms.
MMN Top 40 Prospects
40. Jhoan Urena
(Photo Credit: B. Green)