No. 10 Jhoan Urena, 3B
Last year: Unranked
Synopsis: The Mets signed Jhoan Urena out of the Dominican Republic in 2011 for $425,000 because of his ability to drive the ball from both sides of the plate. Jhoan set career highs last year in every offensive category hitting .300/.356/.431 with 5 HR’s and 47 RBI’s over seventy-five games. Most impressive is that he righties and lefties well with the same .300 average against both and an OPS of .783 & .805 respectively.
Urena has already shown great patience at the plate while rarely swinging at pitches out of the strike zone and scouts think he has 15-20 homerun potential. His arm is strong enough to stay at the hot corner although he has shown a tendency to make erratic throws.He has soft hands and good agility given his proving to some scouts that he will be able to stick at third base. Scouts have been impressed by the speed he has shown for his build accumulating 23 steals over 186 games albeit with being caught stealing 13 times. However some also think there is a chance that if he continues growing into his build he might have to move to 1B or one of the corner outfield spots.
After the 2013 season Baseball America named him to the Prospect Sleeper List in the GCL. He was a New York-Penn League All-Star last year at Brooklyn and should begin the 2015 campaign with Savannah.
Best Case: Everyday 3B known for his offense much like Pablo Sandoval
No. 9 Marcos Molina, RHP
Last Year: Unranked
Synopsis: Marcos Molina has thrust himself into many top prospects lists this year which was unforeseen by most other than Baseball America’s Jason Parks who listed him at #10 among Mets heading into the season. Now a Top 10 prospect according to BA(#9) and Baseball Prospectus(#7) and with another good year will start showing up in MLB Top 100 lists.
Pitching for Brooklyn last year he had a stellar 1.78 ERA to go with his just as stellar 0.842 WHIP. In 12 games spanning 76 innings he only allowed 46 hits and 18 walks while striking out a whopping 91 hitters. His ERA, WHIP, wins, and strikeouts were all good enough for tops in the New York-Penn League last season.
Molina has a great pitchers frame that allows him to hit mid 90’s on the gun but tends to be in the lower 90’s later in the game. His fastball his already a plus pitch and likes to attack hitters with it. His changeup is his best offspeed offering that has a nice sink to it and good control but he sometimes telegraphs it by lowering his arm angle. To become a successful Major League Pitcher he needs to refine his curveball that has said to be “slurvy” at times
Best Case: Solid #2 starter with similarities to Tyson Ross
No. 8 Rafael Montero, RHP
Last Year: No. 3
Synopsis: Mets fans got a sneak peak of what Rafael Montero can do last year and has continued to impress scouts placing him in almost every experts Top 10 Mets prospects. Prior to the 2014 season he was ranked the #68th prospect in baseball by Baseball America and #85th by MLB.com.
Montero has always been known for his amazing control and while that took a step back last year he was still able to be successful in AAA and in the Majors in the 2nd half. His initial outings for the Mets did not go well posting a 5.40 ERA and 1.55 SO/W but when he came back up in the 2nd half he improved to a 2.90 ERA and 2.08 SO/W. Despite his uptick in walks Rafael was extremely successful at Las Vegas holding a 3.60 ERA, 9.0 SO/9 and only allowing 69 hits and 4 homeruns in 80 innings. Montero throws a four-seamer, two-seamer, changeup and a slider with his changeup being his most effective offspeed pitch.
Montero has good life on his two-seamer and uses his changeup as his out pitch when he is going good. Fans and writers rarely even mention Montero anymore because he has been overshadowed by the electric stuff of Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz. Don’t let that fact let you forget about just how good he can be and important he will be to the Mets pitching future. He has now pitched good at Las Vegas two years in a row and with a solid spring could see himself on the Opening Day roster (5th starter possibility with injury to Wheeler) this year.
Best Case: #2 starter that gives you 200 innings every year, a James Shield type.
ETA: Saw time in 2014, pitch early in 2015 in Flushing
No. 7 Michael Conforto, LF
Last Year: 2014 Draft Pick
Synopsis: The first round pick of the Mets last year, Michael Conforto impressed in his first professional season with the bat and played a solid left field. He made numerous Top 100 prospects including BA(#80), MLB.com(#82), FanGraphs(#77) and his highest by Keith Law at #41.
Michael hit a robust .331/.403/.448 last year at Brooklyn which would have ranked him 2nd in average and OBP if he had enough at-bats to qualify. For a young left handed hitter he stays in on lefties very well as you can tell by his .324/.444/.378 against them. Another encouraging sign for future success is his .364/.436/.521 batting line against older pitchers.
Many questioned Conforto’s outfield defense when the Mets drafted him 10th overall but those doubts have faded after coaches in Brooklyn raved about it after the season. Scouts now see him as an average left fielder with an arm that could be above average. He already has a Major League approach and after working with Cyclones hitting coach Benny Distefano he has a Major League swing as well. He has 25 homerun potential while being able to put the ball in play more than the new breed of MLB sluggers. Conforto will be pushed quickly through the Mets system and after impressing this Spring most think he will skip Savannah and start the season at St. Lucie.
Best Case: Middle of the order bat with good BB/K in the Adam LaRoche mold
ETA: Cup of coffee in September 2016
No. 6 Amed Rosario, SS
Last Year: No. 8
Synopsis: Amed Rosario was signed out of the Dominican Republic for $1.75 million because of his raw offensive tools and his immense all around potential. His potential has brought him into the Top 100 prospects in all of baseball making Baseball America’s list at #98, Baseball Prospectus at #78, Laws at #69, and peaking at #60 in FanGraphs list.
Amed began tapping into his offensive potential last year hitting a .289/.337/.380 with 18 extra base hits and 7 steals in 266 at-bats for Brooklyn. While his batting line might not seem overly eye popping, the fact that he played the entire season at 18 years old and three years below the league average is what does the eye popping. He has above average bat speed and the ball jumps off his bat when he is able to square it up. His swing can be inconsistent at times and has the tendency to get too long.
The ceiling is high for Rosario and scouts have already compared him to the likes of Adrian Beltre, Hanley Ramirez, and Juan Gonzalez among others. He has the chance to be silver slugger type hitter while playing a league average shortstop defensively. He got a cup of coffee to start the season in Savannah and that is were he will start the 2015 season.
Best Case: Perennial All-Star at SS in the Ian Desmond mold
2015 MMO TOP 25 PROSPECTS
25. Cesar Puello, OF
24. Robert Whalen, RHP
23. Michael Fulmer, RHP
22. Matthew Bowman, RHP
21. Champ Stuart, OF
20. Jack Leathersich, LHP
19. Casey Meisner, RHP
18. Wuilmer Becerra, RF
17. Cory Mazzoni, RHP
16. Matt Reynolds, SS
15. Milton Ramos, SS
14. Akeel Morris, RHP
13. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP
12. Gavin Cecchini, SS
11. Dominic Smith, 1B
10. Jhoan Urena, 3B
9. Marcos Molina, RHP
8. Rafael Montero, RHP
7. Michael Conforto, LF
6. Amed Rosario, SS