On Rosario, here’s what they had to say:
“Always holding his own at every level, Rosario dominated across two stops in 2016 offensively. He’s always had very good contact skills and extra-base power has started to show up more consistently as he drew more walks and continued to fill out his ultra-athletic and projectable frame. He could approach Major League average pop in time.”
“Rosario has excellent speed and should continue to be a base-stealing threat. There is no question he’ll be a shortstop long-term, with the potential to be an elite-level defender thanks to his range, hands, footwork and plus arm.”
On Smith, they had some high praise as well:
“Smith continues to have a very advanced approach at the plate with outstanding bat-to-ball skills, leading to the consistent batting average, good walk and low strikeout rates. He started to add extra-base pop in 2015 and that translated to more over-the-fence power, particularly in the first half, in the move to Double-A in 2016. He then made adjustments and hit for a higher average in the second half of a year that included a trip to the Futures Game.”
“Smith continues to show outstanding defensive ability at first, with very good footwork and excellent hands. With his run-producing ability showing up more consistently, he is looking more and more like the everyday first baseman the Mets saw when they drafted him.”
While it was nice to see Rosario and Smith make the grade, I was surprised that we didn’t have at least one or two more Mets prospect on the list.
Last week, ESPN’s Keith Law released his Top 100 Prospects, and in addition to ranking Rosario at No. 3 and Smith at No. 29, he also had room for three more Mets prospects – in particular three promising young arms that have have had many a scout buzzing.
Law had right-handers Justin Dunn and Robert Gsellman ranked at No. 84 and No. 76 respectively, and left-hander Thomas Szapucki came in very high at No. 60. Here’s what he had to say about the Mets’ southpaw:
“Szapucki was the Mets fifth-round pick in the 2015 draft as a 19-year-old senior out of high school in West Palm Beach, but he pitched just two innings that summer after he signed, so he came into 2016 as just another guy in the system.”
“Then he delivered a true breakout season, as he moved from the Appy League to the New York Penn-League and dominated at both stops. He did so working a 92-96 mph fastball with a wipeout curveball and good command of his pitches, as well as a nascent changeup.”
We’ve been talking a lot about prospect rankings this month as we roll out our MMO Top 30 as well as sharing a half dozen other Top Prospect Lists. But the big takeaway for me is that despite all the talent the New York Mets have graduated over the last few years and some of the young talent we’ve traded away, we still have ourselves an impressive system that was recently ranked the seventh best in baseball.
It’s a true testament to the incredible dedication and commitment to excellence by Sandy Alderson, Tommy Tanous, and the entire Mets scouting and development team. I’m so proud of the job they’ve done and continue to do.