It’s been a while since things have gone the Mets’ way, but things are really looking up for them now. With Harvey and Wheeler already in the Big Leagues (though Harvey is expected to miss the full season after Tommy John surgery) and Noah Syndergaard waiting in the wings, the Mets could have one of the best rotations in baseball in a couple of seasons. Travis d’Arnaud will be behind the plate from the get-go this year, and there are some other very promising bats waiting in the wings. The Mets will look to steal the back page of the New York papers from the Yankees with their influx of top, young talent.
1. Noah Syndergaard/ Pitcher
Working on his his ark, working all by himself, Noah has cemented himself as perhaps the top pitching prospect in all of baseball. While he’s trying to pitch his way onto the Mets this April, he’ll likely need to wait until mid-season to make his MLB debut. When he does, there will be no looking back. Syndergaard should have an immediate impact as a high strikeout, low ERA pitcher. On most teams, he’d be a bonafide ace. On the Amazins, he may slot in as a #3. Make no mistake though. Syndergaard should be an ace in the Big Leagues and should be one of the top targets in dynasty drafts this year as well.
2. Travid d’Arnaud/ Catcher
Unlike the other players on this list, d”Arnaud has already arrived at the Big League level. With just 112 MLB plate appearances, he still qualifies as a rookie. While he hit just .202 with one homer last year, d”Arnaud should show his pedigree with the bat before long. If he puts things together in a hurry this year, he could emerge as a Rookie of the Year candidate. In his prime, d”Arnaud could develop into a .290-.300 hitter with 15-20 homer pop. He has all the makings of a perennial all-star.
3. Dominic Smith/ First Base
When the Mets selected Smith 11th overall in last year’s draft, the question immediately came up. Will he hit for enough power to be a Big League first baseman? So, what did he do? He went out and hit .301 with a .398 OBP in Rookie ball… with just 3 homers. Smith’s hitting ability is not in question. But his power remains very much in doubt. In today’s game, teams expect 25+ long balls from their starting first baseman. So the pressure is on Smith to either develop more power… or hit for such a high average that the Mets can overlook his lack of power and hand him the first base gig anyway.
4. Rafael Montero/ Pitcher
In many organizations, Montero would be a touted as an ace. For the Mets, he looks like a future 4th starter. That is, in a word, Sick! Montero should be a high strikeout pitcher in the Bigs. While his ERA may not stay as low as Syndergaard’s, the rest of Rafael’s peripherals are pretty solid. If there’s a knock against him, he could stand to give up fewer homers. But that’s being hyper-critical of the 23 year-old fire baller.
5. Kevin Plaweicki/ Catcher
The good news? Plawecki has all the makings of a high average catcher with 10 HR pop in his future. The bad news? That’s only good enough to be the back up in Queens. Plawecki is a good defensive catcher, so a positional switch is not necessarily in the cards for him. With d’Arnaud ahead of him on the depth chart, it may take a change of scenery for Kevin to get his crack.
6. Dilson Herrera/ Second Base
Dilson is the first of 4 middle infielders on the bottom half of this list, and he looks like he could be the best of the bunch. Part of the return from the Pirates in the Marlon Byrd deadline deal last year, Herrera had a solid year in A ball. His average was .267, and he connected for 11 homers and swept 14 bags. He could cap out as a 15-20 HR guy, but does need to cut down on the Ks as he moves up to the higher levels.
7. Amed Rosario/ Shortstop
Rosario held his own as a 17 year-old in Rookie ball, with a .241 average and 3 homers. Those numbers don’t tell much of the story, however. Rosario is considered a top defensive shortstop with projectable offense. He’s still quite a ways from Citi Field, but he’ll be an exciting prospect to watch for the next few years.
8. Brandon Nimmo/ Outfield
Breaking up the run on infielders is Mets’ 2011 draft pick Brandon Nimmo. Nimmo is an interesting prospect because he really hasn’t played that much baseball yet. He comes from the baseball hotbed of Wyoming, so it’s hard to take anything he did before pro ball very seriously. He’s still proven to be a little rough around the edges, but he’s one of those “toolsy” guys that scouts love. The jury’s still out on him, but he has shows flashes of the ability that made him a high draft pick.
9. Gavin Cecchini/ Shortstop
That’s not a misspelling. Gavin is Red Sox top prospect Garin’s little brother. While he’s not quite the prospect that his brother is at this point, the younger Cecchini has a bright future of his own. He’s not a burner and he’ll probably never hit more than 7-8 homers in a season. But he has excellent makeup and strong defense. Those defensive abilities should get him to the Big Leagues. Without much power or speed, it will take a high average and good on base skills to keep him there. I wouldn’t bet against him at this point.
10. Wilmer Flores/ Shortstop?
Flores is a better hitter than any of the middle infielders ahead of him on this list. The problem is that nobody seems to know where he can fit in defensively. If he manages to stick in the infield, he’s a very intriguing prospect, with 20 homer potential. If he eventually has to move to left field because of defensive concerns, he’ll have an uphill battle.
11. Cesar Puello/ Outfield
That’s right, the Mets’ Top 10 List has 11 players. That makes this list One Louder than any other Top 10 lists you’ll find. (If you’re too young to get that reference, go ask your parents) Puello really doesn’t deserve a spot on the top 10 at this point. The 50 game suspension for PEDs last season put his minor league success up to this point in question. Still, it’s hard to ignore his talents and leave him off of the list entirely. With 16 homers and 24 steals to go with a .326 AA average, Puello remains an interesting prospect for the Mets.