Bullpen Banter: State Of The Mets Farm System And Prospect Rankings

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This might make for a good discussion on another slow Mets news day. Bullpen Banter released their Top 15 Mets Prospects which you can check out here. Not surprisingly the list is headed by Zack Wheeler, Travis D’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard respectively from one to three.

Some of the commentary I found more compelling than their rankings. In this excerpt they discuss the system’s overall depth and improvement in the last two years.

Aderlin Rodriguez being out of consideration for the Mets top fifteen prospects is an example of the depth that Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta have created in the two years since taking over the franchise. Take a look at the organization’s top three prospects  Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud & Noah Syndergaard were all acquired in trades orchestrated by Sandy Alderson. Five of the prospects in this listing were drafted by this front office regime. Michael Fulmer (6), Gavin Cecchini (7), Brandon Nimmo (8), Kevin Plawecki (14) and Phillip Evans (15) all were drafted under Paul DePodesta’s watch. It’s not just prospects acquired in trades or prospects drafted by the organization making this list, both Rafael Montero (5) and Luis Mateo (10) were signed as international free agents in 2011.

I’ve had several Mets fans point out to me on social media that it’s sad that this organizations top three prospects came from different organizations and it just proves that the Mets cannot scout their own talent. I don’t really have words for these fans in regards to those statements. Look, in two years, this organization has transformed it’s farm system from an under performing laughing stock to an exceptional example of good scouting and smart trades. This needs to be applauded. Ten players in the top fifteen have been acquired in the past two seasons. That’s tremendous. I doubt many other organizations can say that and back that up with such highly ranked prospects occupying their top list.

What they say is true, but they leave out the fact that it took trading star caliber players to acquire the top three prospects in Carlos Beltran, now of the the Cardinals, and reigning Cy Young R.A. Dickey who was traded to Toronto.

Additionally, they have some concerns about top draft selections Brandon Nimmo and Kevin Plawecki who is being viewed as backup catcher. Plawecki was the compensation pick for losing shortstop Jose Reyes.

The Mets also have some intriguing hitters. Brandon Nimmo is a bit of a head-scratcher. He has a passive approach and trouble with breaking pitches but does project to have plus power. Brooklyn was an aggressive assignment for him given his background as a raw and inexperienced ballplayer. 2012 looks good on paper due to his massive walk rate, but I don’t see a mid-teens walk rate continuing against good pitching. With more experience he should improve against breaking balls and his contact rate should increase. Another worry that he’ll have to move to a corner.

I saw a good deal of catcher Kevin Plawecki on the Cape a couple summers ago and liked him. I still came away with a favorable impression after seeing Brooklyn a few times this summer. I do think Plawecki profiles best as a backup. I’m not sure he will hit quite enough to carry his fringe average at best glove. He was a nice little pick for the Mets and I like him better than most, but with the addition of d’Arnaud Plawecki looks even more like organizational depth.

You can read more from their extensive report which also discusses the state of the pitching which they seem to like very much by clicking here.