Keith Law from ESPN released his Major League Baseball farm system rankings today with the New York Mets coming in at No. 21. Law had them ranked No.7 coming into 2017.
Despite losing prospects because of international free agent infractions, Law still has the Atlanta Braves as the top farm system with the New York Yankees second, San Diego Padres third, Chicago White Sox fourth and the Philadelphia Phillies rounding out the top five. The Washington Nationals were at No. 18 and the Miami Marlins still at No. 28 (pre- Christian Yelich trade).
The Mets low ranking is a combination of many different things including promotions of top prospect Amed Rosario, injuries to high ceiling arms like Thomas Szapucki, underpormance of recent picks in Justin Dunn and poor returns from drafts with 2013 being a big one.
Law does see some light at the end of the tunnel thanks to what he believes are two good picks from the 2017 draft, “I thought the Mets nabbed two first-round talents in 2017, however, with top-100 prospect David Peterson and second-round pick Mark Vientos.”
In fact, he recently ranked the left-handed Peterson as his No. 58 prospect in his Top 100 list, though the 2017 first rounder wound up being the only Met prospect on the list.
Law did praise the Mets for developing players that have helped or will help them in the short-term like Michael Conforto, “The Mets’ system has been remarkably productive the past five years, but promotions and failure to get prospects back in trades have hurt them, as did the loss of their first-round pick in 2015 for free agent Michael Cuddyer.”
This certainly won’t be the lowest ranking we see from prospect outlets this offseason and I think that is very fair. Also believe the Mets have a chance for a quick turnaround in that regard. The additions of shortstop Ronny Mauricio (franchise record $2.1 million bonus) and outfielder Adrian Hernandez ($1.5 million bonus) from the international market will help.
The Mets have also already been named the favorites to sign catcher Francisco Alvarez and outfielder Freddy Valdez, two of the top IFA prospects for the next period.
Then you have the Mets making an important selection in June with the No. 6 pick in the draft. For reference of the type of talent you can get at No. 6, A.J. Puk was the 2016 sixth overall pick and Law ranked him as the No. 13 prospect in baseball earlier this week.
I also believe that healthy seasons from lefty Anthony Kay, right-hander Marcos Molina and outfielder Desmond Lindsay could put them in the top 100 conversation and be a big boost to a struggling system.
I wanted to also note that the Mets have a ton of promising relief arms in Tyler Bashlor, Jacob Rhame, Jamie Callahan, Drew Smith, Adonis Uceta, Gerson Bautista, Matt Blackham, Austin McGeorge and Stephen Nogosek that could help as soon as 2018 but relievers still aren’t a big part of overall system evaluation.