We continue our updated look at the New York Mets top prospects in a farm system that is certainly becoming stronger in the lower levels. This group is led by breakout prospect Jeff McNeil, who is finally getting his chance at the major league level.
No. 20 Adrian Hernandez, OF
Ht: 5’9″ Wt: 210 lb. Level: DSL
B/T: R/R Age: 2/8/01 (17) Age Dif: -0.7
Acquired: IFA from Dominican Republic for $1.5M bonus (7/2/17)
2018 Stats: 44 G, 198 PA, 173 AB, 11 2B, 2 3B 2 HR, 19 RBI, 8 SB/3 CS, .254/.348/.376
Previous Rank: 29
Hernandez was given a large signing bonus by the Mets because of his very raw, but very real, skills, which include above-average bat speed and raw power. While those skills have not yet fully translated, it is important to note he is just 17, and he has been gradually improving throughout his first professional season.
No. 19 Desmond Lindsay, OF
Ht: 5’11” Wt: 196 lb. Level: St. Lucie
B/T: R/R Age: 1/15/97 (21) Age Dif: -1.4
Acquired: 2015 Second Round Pick from Out-of-Door Academy
2018 Stats: 69 G, 273 PA, 236 AB, 10 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 6 SB/5 CS, .208/.311/.309
Previous Rank: 8
Arguably, there may not be a more talented prospect in the Mets farm system. Out of the draft, he was really a first round talent who dropped to the second round due to injury concerns. Those injury issues have continued to emerge with this being the second straight year he has had a season ending injury. If the Mets can get him back on track, they can finally unlock the sheer talent of a player once dubbed an “Offensive Machine.”
No. 18 Gavin Cecchini, 2B/SS
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 196 lb. Level: Las Vegas
B/T: R/R Age: 12/22/93 (25) Age Dif: -2.5
Acquired: 2012 First Round Draft Pick from Alfred M. Barbie High School
2018 Stats: 30 G, 119 PA, 109 AB, 14 R, 11 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, SB/CS, .294/.342/.468
Previous Rank: 19
After a tough year for Cecchini, he spend the offseason dedicated to improving all aspects of his game. That effort showed in not just Spring Training, but also in his resurgent play in Triple-A. With the way he was playing, it seemed as if he was going to receive another opportunity to prove himself in the majors. Unfortunately, he would foul a ball off his foot on May 9, and the injury he suffered has essentially cost him his season.
No. 17 Nabil Crismatt, RHP
Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 222 lb. Level: Binghamton & Las Vegas
B/T: R/R Age: 12/25/93 (24) Age Dif: -3.6 (Las Vegas)
Acquired: Signed as Undrafted Free Agent (5/31/12)
2018 Stats: 10-8, 4.70 ERA, 21 G, 21 GS, CG, 115.0 IP, 1.452 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, 8.7 K/9
Previous Rank: 17
Year-in and year-out, Crismatt continues to be a pleasant surprise for the Mets organization. The reason for that is his plus changeup, which could be the best one in the entire Mets system. With that pitch, he has been able to keep batters off-balance and go deep into games. That said, he could go deeper into games and have more success if he would throw a higher rate of strikes. It will be interesting to see where Crismatt goes from here not only because his essentially being a two-pitch pitcher with below average fastball velocity, but also because he’s a pending minor league free agent.
No. 16 Shervyen Newton, SS
Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 180 lb. Level: Kingsport
B/T: S/R Age: 4/24/99 (19) Age Dif: -1.3
Acquired: IFA from the Netherlands for $50K bonus (6/18/18)
2018 Stats: 35 G, 171 PA, 137 AB, 12 2B, 3B, 4 HR, 26 RBI, SB, .277/.394/.467
Previous Rank: NR
Newton has all the tools to be a successful shortstop. In the field, he has quick hands and is very fluid and a good arm for him to stick at short or move to third. At the plate is where he really shines. He has an excellent eye at the plate as evidenced by his 17 percent walk rate. This eye not only has led to him getting on base, but it has helped him identify his pitch and drive it somewhere.
No. 15 Luis Santana, 2B
Ht: 5’8″ Wt: 175 lb. Level: Kingsport
B/T: R/R Age: 7/20/99 (19) Age Dif: -2.3
Acquired: IFA for $200,000 bonus (7/3/16)
2018 Stats: 35 G, 163 PA, 136 AB, 8 2B, 2 HR, 42 RBI, 4 SB,/2 CS, .360/.460/.463
Previous Rank: 46
Heading into the season, Santana was named in many circles as a sleeper prospect who could break out this season, and judging by his performance so far, Santana is making everyone look very smart. He’s a hit-first second baseman who has shown better range and hands than expected at second. He’s shown a good eye this year and barrels lots of balls. With his level of competitiveness, it seemed like he was a good guy to bet on not just for this season, but for years to come.
No. 14 Christian James, RHP
Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 210 lb. Level: Brooklyn, St. Lucie, Binghamton
B/T: R/R Age: 5/24/98 (20) Age Dif: -1.5 (Brooklyn)
Acquired: 2016 14th Round Draft Pick from East Lake High School (Tarpon Springs, FL)
2018 Stats: 2-2, 2.02 ERA, 10 G, 10 GS, 49.0 IP, 1.122 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 6.1 K/9
Previous Rank: 27
The Mets handling of James this year has been quite curious. He got starts in for high level affiliates in Binghamton and St. Lucie, where he performed well, before being assigned to Brooklyn. One of the reasons James performed well in his two previous stops and Brooklyn is he has three developed pitches, which he knows how to mix to get outs. As he develops more physically, it is expected he will add a tick or two to his 93 MPH fastball.
No. 13 Tomas Nido, C
Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 210 lb. Level: Binghamton, Las Vegas, MLB
B/T: R/R Age: 4/12/94 (24) Age Dif: -0.3 (Binghamton)
Acquired: 2012 Eighth Round Draft Pick from Orangewood Christian High School
2018 MLB Stats: 21 G, 48 PA, 44 AB, 2B, 3 RBI, .159/.208/.182
2018 MiLB Stats: 50 G, 195 PA, 186 AB, 19 2B, 3B, 4 HR, 25 RBI, .296/.323/.473
Previous Rank: 9
When Nido was rushed to the major this season, we did see him struggle at the plate, which could be expected for a player who had never had an at-bat in Triple-A up until that point. Despite his offensive struggles, we did see why many are so high on him with his being an exceptionally gifted defensive catcher, who is already capable of handling a Major League pitching staff. Ultimately, what he will be as a Major League catcher will be determined by his bat. With his aggressive approach, he is a BABIP dependent hitter who will see wild swings in his performance year to year.
No. 12 Simeon Woods-Richardson, RHP
Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 210 lb. Level: Gulf Coast
B/T: R/R Age: 9/27/00 (17) Age Dif: -3.4
Acquired: 2018 Second Round Pick from Kempner High School
2018 Stats: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 G, GS, SV, 6.0 IP, 0.667 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, 10.5 K/9
Previous Rank: N/A
When the Mets selected the two-way player in the second round of the draft, they not only had to convince him to focus on pitching, but they also had to get him to forego his commitment to Texas. They were able to achieve that by offering an overslot bonus. So far, the Mets look like geniuses for doing so as Woods-Richardson has reportedly hit 99 on the gun. He has combined that with a nasty curveball to dominate minor league hitters in his brief professional career.
No. 11 Jeff McNeil, 2B/3B
Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 195 lb. Level: Binghamton, Las Vegas, MLB
B/T: L/R Age: 4/8/92 (26) Age Dif: -3.3 (MLB)
Acquired: 2013 12th Round Draft Pick From Cal State Long Beach
2018 MLB Stats: 9 G, 28 PA, 21 AB, 3 R, 4 H, HR, 2 RBI, .190/.370/.333
2018 MiLB Stats: 88 G, 384 PA, 339 AB, 72 R, 116 H, 26 2B, 5 3B, 19 HR, 71 RBI, 6 SB, .342/.411/.617
Previous Rank: 34
McNeil’s ceiling completely changed this season for two reasons. First and foremost, he has stayed healthy. That has allowed him to stay on the field and show the Mets what he can do. Second, McNeil has developed power. That power completely changes his outlook as a prospect, and it did lead to him getting called-up to the majors. Ultimately with his versatility and increased power, his manager in Las Vegas, Tony DeFrancesco, likened McNeil to Daniel Murphy. Time will tell if McNeil can live up to the praise, or really, if he gets an opportunity to do so.