Matt Eddy of Baseball America chatted about the list of the Mets top 10 prospects, a list which changed after the Mets traded Justin Dunn and Jarred Kelenic to the Mariners. One thing which was consistently highlighted throughout not just Baseball America’s rankings, but also the chat is the strength of the Mets farm system lies in the infield.
Eddy believes Peter Alonso could be an impact first baseman next season. While he says he admittedly remains both skeptical of Alonso and right-handed first base prospects, he says, “when you weigh the value of the Statcast and TrackMan data that is telling us that Alonso is doing things than literally no other hitter has done, well, that’s convincing data to me. I think a rookie projection of .250 with 25-30 HR and a healthy walk rate is in play.”
For a few years now, Luis Santana has been considered a Mets prospect people should watch. At the moment, even with the updated rankings, Santana fell just short, but that may not be the case for much longer. With respect to Santana, we could expect him to improve upon his 2018 season as Eddy notes Santana “does have a potentially special bat, with his knack for hard contact, plate discipline and just swagger.”
At the moment, the Mets have two notable third base prospects. The first is Mark Vientos, who was the team’s second round pick in 2017. The other is Will Toffey, who was obtained in the Jeurys Familia trade.
With respect to Vientos, he could find himself on the cusp of Top 100 prospect lists next year if he continues to progress the way he has. We may be able to expect that to happen as Vientos did have a “display of power, patience and contact skills at such a tender age.”
Having played in Double-A last season, Toffey is unarguably closer to the majors than Vientos. Whereas Vientos has showed true power early in his career, Toffey has yet to do that. On that topic, Eddy notes, the “Mets are crossing their fingers that offseason shoulder surgery will free Toffey up to get to his power more consistently at Triple-A Syracuse in 2019.”
Shortstop is certainly the strength of the Mets farm system. With prospects like Andres Gimenez, Ronny Mauricio, Shervyen Newton, and even Gavin Cecchini, the Mets boast one of the deeper crops of shortstop prospects in all of baseball. In fact, Eddy believes the Mets shortstop prospects are collectively in the top five in all of baseball.
Gimenez is not just a top 100 prospect, but he is one who is getting closer to being an impact player at the Major League level. When he does get to that point, Eddy is bullish on him, saying, “I think 15 HR is entirely reasonable, based on his expected physical maturation and bat speed. The same maturation applies to Gimenez on defense, where he now grades as a plus defender with a plus arm for most evaluators.”
On Mauricio, Eddy believes that while he may not stick at shortstop, “his hand speed and bat speed also separate him from his peers and indicate significant growth potential”
With respect to Cecchini, Eddy believes he turned a corner last year and showed significant improvement prior to his injury. As a result, Eddy does see him in the mix for a bench spot in 2019.
Overall, Eddy denoted the Mets have truly rebuilt not just the lower levels of the farm system, but also the reputation of the farm system. With these infield prospects, players like Thomas Szapucki coming back from Tommy John, and Desmond Lindsay retooling his swing, Eddy believes the Mets could still have a top 15 farm system. Considering the talent the Mets just traded, that is certainly impressive.