Mets Minors: Top 5 Third Base Prospects

philip-evans

We have voted on our Top 5 prospects at each position in the Mets minor league system and today we look at third base. We have already covered shortstopsecond base, and catcher.

Third base is a thin part of the Mets farm system despite breakout seasons from our #5 and #1 prospects on this list.

#5 Phillip Evans

Ht: 5’9”     Wt: 220 lb     B/T: R/R    Age: 9/10/92 (24)

2016 Level: Binghamton Mets/St. Lucie Mets

Stats: 105 games, 389 AB, 53 runs, 125 hits, 30 doubles, 8 HR, 41 RBI, 24 BB, 60 K, 1 SB (1 CS) .321/.366/.460

Evans won the batting title on the final day of the Eastern League season in 2016. He had a solid season for the Binghamton Mets hitting .335/.374/.485 in 96 of his 105 games this season.

The 24-year old, had a good season hitting wise, but still struggled to  In 105 games he walked just 24 times.

In his career Evans, is a .255 hitter with a .318 on base percentage which is not great. This season in Binghamton was a breakout season for Evans, as he hit over .300 for the first time in his career (over a full season). Personally I don’t think this approach will be successful on the long run for Evans, but would like to see him proving me wrong.

I expected him to be a part of the talented Las Vegas 51s infield that could include Amed RosarioDominic Smith and Gavin Cecchini.

#4 Blake Tiberi

Ht: 5’11”     Wt: 205 lb     B/T: L/R    Age: 2/16/95 (21)

2016 Level: Brooklyn Cyclones

Stats: 56 games, 196 AB, 21 runs, 46 hits, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR, 24 RBI, 22 BB, 32 K, 2 SB (6 CS) .235/.316/.316

The Mets drafted the third baseman in the third round (100th overall) of this years draft out of the University of Louisville. When the Mets drafted Tiberi BA editor John Manuel said this:

The main thing for him is he’s a left-handed power bat, and you’re really buying the bat, and it’s a matter of, do you think he can play third base? I guess it’s more of an all-field bat than a power bat. He hit in the Cape (Cod League) last summer, and he has enough home run power, you wonder if those type of guys will develop more home run power over the course of their career. He’s a bigger guy. You wonder if he has the requisite athleticism and agility for big league third base. 

Tiberi struggled to start his pro career with the Cyclones this season. After 17 games with the Cyclones Tiberi was hitting just .177 and didn’t hit his first home run until his 41st game with the Cyclones.

Overall, Tiberi had an up and down season as he hit just .160 in June, .261 in July, .218 in August and .333 in four games in September. Biggest surprise to me was his ability to hit lefties as he hit .333 against the southpaws.

I don’t think we have seen the best of Tiberi and expect his bat to be much better in his second year in the organization. I expect Tiberi to play third with the Columbia Fireflies in 2017.

#3 Eudor Garcia

Ht: 6’0”     Wt: 240 lb     B/T: L/R    Age: 5/17/94 (22)

2016 Level: Columbia Fireflies/GCL Mets

Stats: 57 games, 211 AB, 27 runs, 59 hits, 14 doubles, 1 triple, 5 HR, 32 RBI, 18 BB, 45 K, 1 SB (0 CS) .280/.335/.427

Garcia missed the first 80 games due to a PED suspension. He came back playing most of his games for the Columbia Fireflies this season and showed off his good bat in 2016.

He didn’t put up the same power numbers as 2015 but he still showed decent power with 20 of his 59 hits for extra bases. The big third baseman played 31 of his 57 games at third. He also played some first and designated hitter to get his bat in the lineup.

Garcia won’t impress you in the field and he showed that with a .932 fielding percentage in 29 games with the Fireflies. Garcia doesn’t have good range or smooth hands at third base which could get him eventually shifted to first base.

His bat on the other hand is promising. His quick swing and ability to hit for power and average is a promising tool for the young third baseman. I expect him to play for the St. Lucie Mets in 2017. Garcia his biggest issue is his lack of walks and high amount of strikeouts. He needs to work on that to become a better all-around hitter.

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#2 Jhoan Urena

Ht: 6’1”     Wt: 230 lb     B/T: S/R    Age: 9/1/94 (22)

2016 Level: St. Lucie Mets

Stats: 115 games, 383 AB, 52 runs, 86 hits, 17 doubles, 2 triples, 9 HR, 53 RBI, 42 BB, 75 K, 0 SB (1 CS) .225/.301/.350

Urena had his second straight down season, but we still have him at second in our list. Urena played the entire season for the St. Lucie Mets. He started the season as the regular third baseman then moved to first when David Thompson got promoted to the St. Lucie.

Urena struggled in the first half hitting just .197/.266/.303 to go with four home runs and 18 RBI in 61 games. He was much better in the second half .257/.340/.406 with five home runs and 35 RBI.

Urena hit nine home runs in 2016, the team leader for St. Lucie. in a very tough hitters league. Urena ended the season strong as he posted a .380 on base percentage in August.

The talent is there for Urena now he needs to show it. Urena was rushed to High-A ball after his All-Star season with the Cyclones in 2014. Don’t give up on Urena just yet, as he is still just 22 years of age and still has some raw talent.

#1 David Thompson

Ht: 6’0”     Wt: 220 lb     B/T: R/R    Age: 8/28/93 (23)

2016 Level: Columbia Fireflies/St. Lucie Mets

Stats: 116 games, 432 AB, 74 runs, 121 hits, 34 doubles, 2 triples, 11 HR, 95 RBI, 29 BB, 90 K, 6 SB (0 CS) .280/.333/.444

It was a breakout season for the 23-year old. The former fourth round pick of the 2014 draft proved himself as an RBI machine this season. Thompson drove in 95 runs in 116 games. To put that in perspective, that’s a 132 RBI season over 162 games.

Most of his damage Thompson did was with the Fireflies where he drove in 58 in 61 games before his promotion to the Florida State League.

Thompson is seen as a powerful third baseman with a good idea at the plate. This year in 55 games in St. Lucie he hit six home runs. and had 34 doubles overall this year.

Thompson excelled when the pressure was one. He hit .296/.358/.507 with runners in scoring position. To put in perspective, Thompson hit .229 with the bases empty. This is the main reason why he had so many runs batted in, plus he had Vinny Siena in front of him in Columbia. In Columbia, Siena had a .435 on base percentage.

It’s interesting to see where Urena and Thompson will start the 2017 season and if they will both play third base? For now it seems like the Mets prefer Thompson at third and given his age the Mets could be aggressive and start him in Binghamton.

Honorable mention:

Jeff McNeil, 24, was also mentioned but made our top 5 list at second base. McNeil was limited to just three games with Binghamton this season hitting .250/.357/.583 before going down. McNeil had a great 2015 season were he hit .308/.369/.377 between the St. Lucie Mets and Binghamton Mets.

Other players we discussed were Kenny Hernandez (GCL Mets, Hansel Moreno (DSL Mets), Franklin Correa (Brooklyn Cyclones) and Reed Gamache (Kingsport Mets).

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About Corne Hogeveen 23 Articles

Dutch Mets fan since 2006. Love to follow the Mets minors and their top prospects and learn all I can about them. Give me a follow on Twitter at @cornehogeveen.