No. 15 – Milton Ramos, SS
Last Year: Not Ranked
Synopsis: When the Mets drafted Milton Ramos in the 3rd round of the 2014 draft they knew they were getting a slick fielding shortstop whose glove alone could carry him to the majors. What they’re hoping is that he can develop into is something more.
Upon signing, Ramos was sent to the Mets Gulf Coast affiliate where he would play 51 games, splitting time between shortstop and second base. He slashed just .241/.299/.355 in 185 plate appearances and notched 14 extra-base hits without a home run.
Nobody doubts his glove which has the potential to be special, showing world class range and an above average arm. However some question if he’ll ever hit enough to reach the majors. His swing currently has far too many moving parts, but there’s ability there and he’s plenty athletic enough to make the adjustments necessary. If he can turn himself into just an average hitter– or even a notch below– he can be an everyday player who provides enough value with his glove to earn his keep.
Best Case: Everyday shortstop; lower half of the order hitter; gold glove caliber defense.
No. 14 – Akeel Morris, RP
Last Year: Not Ranked
Synopsis: After struggling with control and durability issues as a starter, the Mets shifted Akeel Morris to the pen in 2012 and the move immediately paid dividends, as the former 10th round pick has turned into one of the minors most dominant relievers.
Morris pitched all of 2014 for the Mets Single-A affiliate in Savannah, where he simply humiliated the league. In 57 innings the right-hander allowed just four earned runs, leading to an eye-popping 0.63 ERA. He fanned 89 hitters on the season and walked 22 to go along with his 16 saves for the Sand Gnats.
The Virgin Islands native isn’t the most dominating physical presence on the mound, but he lets his stuff do the talking. Morris attacks hitters with a fastball that sits 93-95 and has touched the upper 90’s. Once he’s set you up with the fastball he goes to his best offering, a low 80’s changeup that features great deception as a plus offering. The 22-year will mix in a slider to keep hitters honest, but it’s an average offering at best.
Best Case: Closer for the first-division team.
No. 13 – Gabriel Ynoa, SP
Last Year: #17
Synopsis: Gabriel Ynoa is a pitcher who thrives off of his control, and has steadily climbed through the minors with success at each stop. He’s never going to be a guy the scouts drool over, but he’s a solid pitcher with a major league floor.
The 21-year old Ynoa started off 2014 by making 14 starts for the Mets High-A affiliate in the Florida State League. He was then promoted to Double-A Binghamton where he made another 11 starts. In total the righty tossed 148.1 innings to the tune of a 4.07 ERA. He struck out 106 batters and walked just 25 in that span.
As previously stated, Ynoa isn’t going to blow up any radar guns or flash stuff that’s going to make your hair stand up. However he’s improved at every stop despite consistently being young for each league. He throws a low-90’s fastball that has solid sinking action to it. He compliments the fastball with his best offering, a changeup with good fade and deception– flashing plus potential. His third offering is a slider which is solid-average with room for improvement. His delivery is sound, compact and should promote durability.
Best Case: Back-end starter; reliable innings eater.
No. 12 – Gavin Cecchini, SS
Last Year: #11
Synopsis: Gavin Cecchini the younger brother of Red Sox top prospect Garin Cecchini, was a first round pick in 2012 who perhaps hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations set for a player drafted in the first 15 selections.
The younger Cecchini brother split 2014 between Low-A Savannah and High-A St. Lucie and even got a handful of AB’s in Double-A Binghamton. In all, he hit .247/.328/.378 with 27 doubles and eight home runs in 126 games. He also swiped 10 bases in 14 tries.
As a prospect there’s nothing flashy about Cecchini. You won’t find any 7’s on his scouting report. However he’s a solid player with great instinct for both his position and the game in general. He’s got a solid hit tool with a good approach at the plate and improving power that should eventually grade out above-average as a shortstop. Defensively he’s a sound shortstop who will make the routine plays and should stick at the position. As you can see, a lot of solid’s throughout his report, which is a perfect description for him.
Best Case: Everyday shortstop on a second-division team.
No. 11 – Dominic Smith, 1B
Last Year: #4
Synopsis: Another high profile first-round pick for the Mets (11th overall in 2013) who hasn’t yet lived up to the billing. However Dominic Smith is still very, very young and has the ability to breakout.
Smith played all of 2014 in the Sally League for the Mets Low-A affiliate in Savannah. In 126 games he hit .271/.344/.338 with just one home run and 26 doubles. He drew 51 walks and struck out 77 times.
The big first basemen out of California failed to meet many peoples expectations in 2014– his first full season as a professional. His power numbers were almost non-existent, although Savannah is a nightmare for hitters. The sweet-swinging lefty often looked off balance and overmatched in his at bats. However there’s plenty of hope for Smith. Scouts anticipate that he should hit for high averages at a pro, but will likely be more of a gap hitter than one who mashes home runs. He has a good approach at the plate for someone his age, and should draw plenty of walks as a pro which will lead to high OBP’s. Defensively he grades out as plus, but his big body could inhibit his range as he grows.
Best Case: Starting first basemen; middle of the order hitter.
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