ESPN‘s Keith Law released his midseason update of his Top 50 Prospects list.
However this time around the Mets placed four prospects within the top 50 in all of baseball– and that’s with Travis d’Arnaud no longer considered a prospect.
Let’s take a look at the four names and where they placed:
# 16 Noah Syndergaard, RHP
It’s no surprise that Thor is our top rated prospect. The big right-hander is widely considered to be one of the best pitching prospects in the game. It is however a pleasant surprise to see that Syndergaard has risen to 16 despite what many are considering a subpar year thus far. In 16 starts for Triple-A Las Vegas Noah has pitched to a 5.31 ERA while striking out 9.3 batters per nine innings and walking 2.6 per nine.
Thor is back, healthy, and throwing well, even though Vegas is no picnic for pitchers. (He told me before the Futures Game he’s more bothered by the heat than the altitude; when you throw straight downhill it’s probably easier to live with pitching in thin air.) He’s still mostly fastball-changeup, but will show a curveball and slider, neither of which is plus — though the curveball does have some depth thanks to his size (6-foot-6, 240 pounds) and really easy, fluid delivery.
# 32 Michael Conforto, OF
It has to make fans happy to see this ranking. The Mets drafted Conforto with the 10th overall pick in this June’s draft. The 6’1 Oklahoma State product was considered by some to be the best college hitting prospect in the entire draft. He just signed with the Mets nearly a week ago for $2.97MM and is expected to join the Brooklyn Cyclones this week.
Conforto was the most advanced college bat in the draft class this year, leading Division I in OBP despite playing in a major conference (Pac-12, for Oregon State), while showing above-average power and adequate defense in left field. He doesn’t have huge upside, but he’s very close to major league ready and should be at least an above-average regular with a higher ceiling if the power exceeds expectations.
# 34 Brandon Nimmo, OF
After a very impressive 2013 in Savannah the Mets saw fit to challenge Nimmo with an assignment to High-A St. Lucie to begin this season. All he’s done since then was have a breakout season that earned him another promotion, as well as increased notoriety in the prospect world. For the year the Wyoming native has hit .291/.417/.440 and has started to show some of the power many scouts believed would eventually come.
The Mets’ first-round pick in 2011 was primed for a breakout once he escaped the pitcher-friendly environment of Savannah after last season. He’s done just that, showing power at two levels now all while showcasing his trademark patience. I don’t see him staying in center field and he might only be a moderate hitter for average, but very high OBPs and 20-plus homers a year with great defense in right would make for an above-average regular.
# 49 Dominic Smith, 1B
Smith’s stock seems to have dropped a bit when you simply look at the number he’s ranked, but you have to factor in players added to the pool who were drafted this year as well as other break out guys. Smith has had a very impressive season in Savannah, hitting .297/.354/.361, and although he hasn’t hit a homer his 21 doubles are indicator that there may be power to come.
Smith’s lack of power output in low-A is partially the result of his home park, as Savannah is a terrible place for left-handed power hitters, and partially the result of a whole-field approach that has Smith hitting for average while striking out at a pretty low clip — well above the league mean or median despite his youth. Smith does have plus raw power, but we may not see much of it until he escapes the Sally League next year, much as Nimmo’s power didn’t come out until he left Savannah this spring.
To read the rest of Law’s list, click here (Insider only).