The 2012 New York Mets Top 40 Prospect List: Introduction, Sleepers and 40-30

8 Nov

Fine Print Disclaimer

This is my list and mine alone, nothing here should be assumed to reflect the views of anyone  else at Amazin Avenue. Also, let’s not go batty about the ordinal ranking, as the difference between the #27 prospect on this list and the #35 is really kind of negligible. That’s not to say I won’t argue with you about it, because it is either that or discuss David Wright trade rumors and that is depressing.

We are also ranking 40 guys, plus a few deep, deep sleepers, so we are well into the fringes of what one might consider a ‘prospect.’ If you want to argue that Taylor Whitenton or Mark Cohoon should be in the Top 40 over Eduardo Aldama or Matt Budgell, well, like I said, I’ll have that argument, but let’s not take it too seriously. Grades are included to give you an idea of where the tiers are for me. Grades are modeled on what you would find at minorleagueball.com.

I’m pretty well set on my Top 15 and their order. After that, things were a bit more fluid for me, but I have my reasons for the order and I’m sticking with it now. So with that out of the way…

Let’s start with some deep sleepers I like for 2012, in no particular order

C Blake Forsythe: I have to make a conscious effort to stop myself from typing Brooks Fordyce every time I want to write about Forsythe. The ‘other’ catcher at Savannah, Forsythe has shown the ability to take a pitch and some decent pop considering his home stadium. That said, he has some real contact issues and needs some work on his receiving skills. Catcher development paths can be odd, so he is worth keeping an eye on in St. Lucie this year.

OF Travis TaijeronMashed at Cal Poly Pomona and then mashed some more at Brooklyn. I am leery of polished college guys raking in short season ball, especially one that will probably end up limited to a corner outfield spot. That said, the Mets have had a pretty good track record with both small college guys and California guys, so I’m eager to see how Taijeron does in full season ball this year.

1B Allan Dykstra: Now, most of you probably know plenty about Allan Dykstra, but I would just like to remind everyone one more time that Alderson traded Eddie Kunz for a real life possible future big league bat, even if it is a fringy one. At worst, he might some day replace Val Pascucci in Ted Berg’s heart.

RHP Robert GsellmanOne of the three interesting prep arms that the Mets picked up in the 2011 draft along with Matt Budgell (who will be in the 30-40) and Christian Montgomery (who I want to get some solid velocity reports on before I rate). Classic tall, projectable right hander who will be back in short season ball this year and is frighteningly young. (18.7 on Opening Day 2012)

C Jeffrey Glenn: Camden Maron’s platoon mate in Kingsport, Glenn is also an athletic prep catcher with a bit more pop than Maron. Curious to see if they push either of them to full season ball this year, as the Mets have been conservative with both.

40-31 in breve

40. Eduardo Aldama, RHP: I really can’t say with any sort of certainty if DIPS theory holds in the New York Penn League, but Aldama’s peripherals were much better than his performance. Could be a breakout candidate in pitching friendly Savannah.

39. Chris Schwinden, RHP: Looked pretty bad once the BABIP started to normalize in the 2nd half of the year. Perfectly reasonable rotation depth, but might be closer to Dylan Owen than Dillon Gee.

38. Matt Budgell, RHP: Projectable prep arm who might actually be skinnier than me right now. (6’2”, 150? Really?) I like him a lot, but I am going to be very conservative until I see more professional data.

37. Darrell Ceciliani, CF: Not exactly the follow-up year he had in mind after a strong 2010 at Brooklyn. I was never as high on him as most, but he’s certainly young enough to bounce back and can probably play a major league centerfield.

36. Josh Satin, 2B/3B: #HAILSATIN. Perfectly reasonable choice for the 25th man on the 2012 Mets, though strikeouts will be an issue. Better defensively than advertised, too.

35. Robert Carson, LHP: Good fastball and a decent slider, but he’s just a bullpen arm for me. I could see a team grabbing him in the Rule 5 if the Mets don’t add him to the 40 man.

34-32.

Logan Verrett, RHP

Cory Mazzoni, RHP

Tyler Pill, RHP

You can pretty much rate these guys as you like. I’m not entirely sure any of them are starters, but all they all offer some polish and a solid mix of offerings. Mazzoni has the most velocity, but the list of successful starters that throw a split instead of a change is short (though impressive). Pill and Verrett are both pitchability guys. Pill was a two-way player (and comes with fellow CSF alum Justin Turner’s ringing endorsement), but personally I like Verrett best and consider him a sleeper for 2012. All three should handle the low minors fine, but I am being conservative until we get some full season data. I could see rating all three in the 20-30 range and I don’t know that there is too much difference between these guys and the Peaveys and Goeddels of the world.

31. Wilfredo Tovar, 2B/SS

Very good defender who makes decent contact and walks a little bit. Hideously rushed by the old FO. Numbers look bad, but don’t underestimate how much hitting in Historic Grayson Stadium sucks for right-handed batters. Of course, you probably shouldn’t read too much into his AFL numbers either. Arizona is just as easy as Savannah is tough. Glove could get him to the majors.

And now, the Top 30…

30.  Jack Leathersich, LHP

Grade: C

Age (as of Opening Day 2012): 21.7

Predicted 2012 Assignment: Class A Savannah

Optimistic Projection: Late inning reliever

Pessimistic Projection: 7th guy in the bullpen

Notes: The Mets plan to use Leathersich as a starter in 2012, but it does seem that a move to the bullpen is a near certainty. His velocity plays up in the pen (there were reports of him touching 98) and the less looks hitters get at his somewhat funky mechanics, the more successful he will be. His 2011 #s at Brooklyn were outstanding in an admittedly small sample, but it remains to see if his stuff will play in longer outings. There is closer upside if the slurvy breaking pitch comes around, but lefties with this kind of velocity usually find a place somewhere regardless. As an undersized lefty that throws hard, Wagner is the obvious comp, but Leathersich doesn’t have anything approaching Wagner’s breaking pitch right now.

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