Completing his 2014 Top Prospects features, Keith Law of ESPN released his Mets Top 10 Ranking as follows (Top 100 in parenthesis):
1. Noah Syndergaard, RHP (24)
2. Travis d’Arnaud, C (36)
3. Dominic Smith, 1B (37)
4. Rafael Montero, RHP (60)
5. Brandon Nimmo, OF (92)
6. Kevin Plawecki, C
7. Dilson Herrera, 2B
8. Wilmer Flores, IF
9. Cesar Puello, OF
10. Amed Rosario, SS
Farm system overview
This system has come a very long way in a short amount of time, thanks to solid drafts under scouting director Tommy Tanous and his predecessor Chad MacDonald, and to several very productive trades that brought in three of the Mets’ top seven prospects.
Top prospect Noah Syndergaard saw his breaking ball improve from below-average last year to solid-average or better by summer’s end; Travis d’Arnaud took time off from the disabled list to make his major league debut;Cesar Puello finally put some production behind his tools before serving a suspension for his involvement in Biogenesis.
The Mets’ next few prospects after this top 10 — Gavin Cecchini (No. 11), Gabriel Ynoa(No. 12), Jacob deGrom (No. 13), Michael Fulmer (No. 14) and Domingo Tapia (No. 15), to give you an idea — are all pretty tightly bunched together, with a lot of back-end starters and potential fringe-to-average regulars in the group.
Both Rafael Montero and Syndergaard will likely see significant time in the majors, with Montero getting the call first because he’s further along, and managing his service time is less important than managing Syndergaard’s. Wilmer Flores could stick as a backup at third, second and even left field or first base, if the Mets don’t mind him getting somewhat irregular at-bats. Puello is a dark horse to surface later in the year, especially if Curtis Granderson or Chris Young gets hurt (again).
Nobody really crashed and burned this year in the Mets’ system; the worst drop might be Cecchini, their first-rounder in 2012 and No. 5 prospect last year, now No. 11 and projected by many scouts as a fringe regular or utility guy because his bat looked light in Brooklyn last year.
I could pick any of a number of those control-fiend arms, but shortstop Amed Rosario is the most exciting prospect of the Mets’ second tier (after their top 10 guys). He is a tool shed at shortstop, with a 70-grade arm and 60 raw power that’s going to become more in time, and he’s already showing a good feel for the zone at his age, improving his recognition of breaking stuff last summer and also showing good power out to right-center.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Rosario signed for $1.75 million in 2012 and skipped the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League entirely, instead playing as the Appalachian League’s youngest position player. He’s a ways off, maybe more of a top-50 candidate for 2016, but is the system’s most exciting prospect to dream on.