This will end up as part of the aggregated list at Amazin’ Avenue, and I wrote a ton this year on Mets prospects over there as well, many of whom are on this list. I still feel it is valuable to explain my rankings a bit. I did a top 25 for AA, but 24-30 is very fluid for me, so I will give you a top 30 here.
30. John M. Gant
I just like Gant. I didn’t see the low 90s fastball that BA reported, but I did always think that they could get a bit more velo out of his frame and mechanics.
29. Eudor Garcia
28. Luis Cessa
So I may have been a bit high on Cessa last year, but now I can call him a 2015 sleeper!
27. Domingo Tapia
I still want to believe
26. Milton Ramos
25. Ivan Wilson
I am generally conservative with regards to newly minted draft picks, and once you get down into the third round, you are not usually talking about future top prospects. Ramos and Wilson are certainly interesting though. No one is sure if either will hit, but Ramos reportedly had the best shortstop glove in the draft, and when Wilson does hit the ball, it goes a very long way. Ramos will probably be ahead of Wilson next year, and there is going to be some bias from having seen Wilson’s ridiculous tools up close.
24. Brandon Brosher
Brosher was hurt long before I got to Kingsport, and his broken leg might spell the end for the catcher conversion (see Huber, Justin), but if it doesn’t he’s a very intriguing profile.
23. Jeff McNeil
Mets have a lot of these future utility infielder types, but McNeil is the rawest and most athletic of the group and I would like to see him get more 2B/SS reps in 2015.
22. Casey Meisner
I am lower on Meisner than most. I don’t think he is a better prospect than Taylor frankly. Yeah, the projectability is nice, and he will *probably* end up with more fastball than Taylor, but the secondaries are all soft and the mechanics need a lot of work. He gets the Brooklyn bump, as more of the industry is within a couple hours of NYC than Kingsport, but give me the lefty with the more easily projectable breaking ball for now.
21. Cory Mazzoni
Earlier iterations of this list had Mazzoni a few spots higher, but I don’t see an impact profile in the pen. Without that, and given the long list of injuries in his pro career, I can’t put him in the top 20.
20. Matt Reynolds
Reynolds is in some ways the position player version of Mazzoni. Both were second round picks. Both likely to contribute to the 2015 Mets. I’ll give the edge to the backup infielder over the middle reliever, if only because he will have more opportunities to really impact the team.
19. Blake Taylor
18. Champ Stuart
I like Champ a lot. I am just less confident he will hit than Becerra or Urena.
17. Robert Gsellman
16. Michael Fulmer
Gsellman is almost exactly the same age as Fulmer and will start 2015 only one level below him. I think they could have even pushed Gsellman a bit harder this year. Next season will be big for both.
15. Wuilmer Becerra
14. Jhoan Urena
Urena is the new hotness, popping up on the Top 10 of both John Sickels and Baseball Prospectus’ list. Look, I like the kid a lot. I’m pretty sure I wrote the first really positive report on him this year too. I think he has bat-to-ball ability from both sides, and potentially average game power (~15 home runs). He’s a better athlete than he looks, and while he won’t win a gold glove, he can play third for me. But it’s just not an impact profile right now, and the jump to full-season ball is an underrated hurdle. I want to see him in Savannah before I pull the trigger on him as a top-ten prospect in a pretty strong system.
A lot of the above applies to Becerra as well.
13. Cesar Puello
As of press time, batting .356/.388/.622 in the Dominican Winter League. Will accrue major league service time somewhere and still only 23.
12. Dominic Smith
11. Gavin Cecchini
I have said some less-than-flattering things about these two over the years. Cecchini assuaged some of my concerns this year. Smith did not. Plenty of development time left for both, and they could certainly move up future editions of this list. I will say that having two top-half-of-the-first-round picks this low on your team list this quickly after being drafted is generally not the best sign. I don’t see the same ceiling here that I do with the top ten guys, and the risk here is still very high.
10. Amed Rosario
I don’t think he’ll be #1 on the 2016 list. I could really see him struggling in Savannah in fact. More tools to dream on than Smith and Cecchini, but 10-12 is a pretty tight grouping for me
9. Gabriel Ynoa
“Come on Jeffrey, you are only doing this because you saw that Ynoa was starting to develop the Warthen slider and you don’t want to come in to low on him like you did with deGrom.”
Well, if I’d seen him live this year (stupid rain), I’d probably push him higher, but without really seeing how good the slider has gotten, he basically holds steady for me. People will point to how hard he got hit in Binghamton, but he is not a traditional command and control guy that gets beat around in Double-A. It’s a 55 fastball with sink and run that can make it play up to plus, and a major-league-ready change-up which projects as solid-average. If the slider even gets to fringe-average (it flashed better than that) and he learns to command it a bit better, yeah, that is pretty close to the deGrom starter kit. I’ve comped him to Montero before, and that is certainly another possible outcome. Still, I would not be shocked if Ynoa’s slider takes a jump next year with more reps, and in the end your guys are your guys.
8. Michael Conforto
Talk to me again next Summer.
Going to bet on the stuff, but there is a lot of Mejia here for both good and ill.
6. Rafael Montero
I wrote earlier this offseason that this was my hardest ranking decision. There just isn’t much to separate Nimmo and Herrera. They are both OFP-60-likely-50 types with enough present-day skills that you can feel confident they will contribute to a major league team in some capacity even if one or both fall short of that mark.
2. Steven Matz
1. Noah Syndergaard
I fall in line with the industry consensus here, but would not be shocked if Matz ends up having the better major league career.