The 2012 New York Mets Top 40 Prospect List: 22-16

9 Nov

22. Colin McHugh, RHP

Grade: C

Age (as of Opening Day 2012): 24.8

Predicted 2012 Assignment: AA Binghmaton

Optimistic Projection: Back-end starter

Pessimistic Projection: AAAA reliever

Notes: You could make a case that McHugh had the most impressive statistical season of any of the Mets pitching prospects this year. Yes, he was old for the FSL, but he was actually a tick better in the Eastern League, which is a large jump in competition. He’s not an elite prospect or anything, but you could rank him above Gorski if you were so inclined, based on his success at the higher level. (they are basically the same age). I have Gorski higher because I think he is more likely to have a major league career, being left-handed with a good change-up, but again, same ceiling, same floor. I’m also not particularly concerned about McHugh’s performance in Arizona. I sound like a broken record probably, but AFL stats are irrelevant. The AFL is a hitter’s paradise and McHugh’s already thrown a lot of innings this year. Plus, he’s still striking out about a batter per inning.  His struggles do demonstrate that the stuff doesn’t give him much margin for error, though.


21. Erik Goeddel, RHP 

Grade: C

Age (as of Opening Day 2012): 23.3

Predicted 2012 Assignment: Adv. A St Lucie

Optimistic Projection: #3 Starter

Pessimistic Projection: Regular member of the MiLB disabled list.

Notes: Goeddel is more polished than a lot of the arms I am going to rate above him. Early drafts of this list had him as high as #15, and his overall repertoire is a bit better than the Gorski/McHugh/Peavey troika. In the end, the injuries have scared me off enough that I dropped him out of the Top 20. Really, the Mets are so deep in C/C+ guys that you could basically rank them any number of different ways depending on what you want to emphasize, but I just need to see him put together a healthy, successful season before I rate him any higher.

20. Zach Lutz, 1B/3B

Grade: C

Age (as of Opening Day 2012): 25.8

Predicted 2012 Assignment: AAA Buffalo

Optimistic Projection: A bat first third baseman, let’s go with Edwin Encarnacion

Pessimistic Projection: 4C utility guy

Notes: Lutz’s injuries have all been of the fluky variety, so it is not really fair to stick him with the ‘injury prone’ label the same way we might skewer Reese Havens or Fernando Martinez. However, even fluke injuries have their cost, and Lutz has lost far too much development time over the last three seasons. One thing you can say, though, is that when Lutz has been healthy, he has hit. Baseball America rated him as the best power bat in the Mets organization, which seems more an indictment of the system than anything else. (I’d give it to Aderlin Rodriguez personally. And heck, Brahiam Maldonado hits for more power, even if he is org filler at this point) Still, Lutz’s bat is one of the better ones in the system, and he is fairly close to MLB-ready. Unfortunately the Mets are chock full of corner guys who can hit a bit, so Lutz will be back at Buffalo and hopefully able to shake some of his bad luck.


19. Juan Urbina, LHP

Grade: C

Age (as of Opening Day 2012): 18.8

Predicted 2012 Assignment: Short Season A Brooklyn

Optimistic Projection: He probably still has front of the rotation upside

Pessimistic Projection: A marginal reliever of some sort

Notes: This is going to be one of the more controversial rankings of the list. Most sources will probably have Urbina just outside the top 10, a few more upside heavy pundits may even put him inside the top 10. And most sources will have him ahead of Kingsport rotation mate Akeel Morris. I won’t dispute that the upside with Urbina is tremendous, but I am inherently wary of players whose profile gets a large boost from age relative to league. Also I do wonder, as Josh Smolow brought up on my podcast, if some of the hype isn’t due solely to Urbina having major league bloodlines. Look for Urbina to head up a scary rotation in Brooklyn this year, one I will be seeing as much as possible.


18. Albert Cordero, C

Grade: C

Age (as of Opening Day 2012): 22.3

Predicted 2012 Assignment: Adv. A St. Lucie

Optimistic Projection: Defense first catcher, who hits enough to be an average regular.

Pessimistic Projection: Induction into the noble fraternity of fringy back-up catchers.

Notes: Cordero is clearly the best catching prospect in the Mets system, which is, again, more an indictment of the system than anything else. Despite his high error total at Savannah, Cordero projects as an above-average defensive catcher, and if you squint hard enough, you see a bat that can play every day. He hit much better in the second half of the year at Savannah, and I’d like to see how he does in the better hitting environment of the Florida State League, but he still needs to develop some secondary skills if he’s really going to be an every day player. If that doesn’t happen, he should have a fruitful career as an itinerant back-up/3rd catcher type.


17. Akeel Morris, RHP

Grade: C+

Age (as of Opening Day 2012): 19.4

Predicted 2012 Assignment: Short Season A Brooklyn

Optimistic Projection: Front of the rotation starter

Pessimistic Projection: TINSTAAPP

Notes: I like Akeel Morris, okay? It’s not entirely rational, though I always prefer the guy that strikes out more than a batter an inning, even if that 6.7 BB/9 is a bit concerning. He’s at least flashed dominant stuff out of his 19 year old arm. Sometimes these things are based just on gut instinct, and my gut likes Morris more than Urbina or Tapia.  If he can harness his stuff and improve his control in Brooklyn, he could shoot up this list next year.



16. Darin Gorski, LHP 

Grade: C+

Age (as of Opening Day 2012): 24.5

Predicted 2012 Assignment: AA Binghamton

Optimistic Projection: #4 starter, something in the vein of Jeff Francis

Pessimistic Projection: Generic bullpen southpaw without a huge platoon split

Notes: I’ve slotted Gorski a bit above the Goeddel/McHugh/Peavey group, but again, that overstates the differences between them. I have Gorski higher because I think his floor is a bit higher.  Lefties with decent velocity, good command and a good change-up usually end up in a major league pen at least. At worst he could have J.C. Romero’s career. My bias towards Gorski is well known, and one could easily rate him outside the top 20 until he shows he can get AA hitters out. Though there is no reason he couldn’t have shown us that last season, and I still have no idea why he was kept in St. Lucie for the whole year. Especially considering Binghamton was starting future pen arms Moore and Carson, not to mention Tobi Stoner. Flyball rate is a little concerning and merits further watching at Binghamton.


One Response to “The 2012 New York Mets Top 40 Prospect List: 22-16”


  1. A Tale of Two Lefties « Metropolitan Tales - March 3, 2012

    […] year rocketed him onto and up prospect lists in a still somewhat thin Mets system. I ranked him at #16 on my Top 40 list, and most other pundits had him in the same range. John Sickels ranked him […]

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