Friday, January 31, 2014

Mets Prospect Countdown: No. 6-10

by John Vittas

40. OF Darrell Ceciliani
39. RHP Luis Cessa
38. RHP Cameron Griffin
37. SS Jeff McNeil
36. OF Joe Tuschak
35. 1B Matt Oberste
34. RHP Hansel Robles
33. RHP Akeel Morris
32. OF Champ Stuart
31. OF Ivan Wilson
30. RHP Rainy Lara
29. RHP Luis Mateo
28. OF Dustin Lawley
27. 3B Aderlin Rodriguez
26. OF Jared King
25. RHP Miller Diaz
24. RHP John Gant
23. 2B LJ Mazzilli
22. RHP Cory Mazzoni
21. RHP Tyler Bashlor
20. RHP Matt Bowman
19. RHP Robert Gsellman
18. OF Cory Vaughn
17. LHP Jack Leathersich
16. RHP Rob Whalen
15. RHP Chris Flexen
14. RHP Michael Fulmer
13. RHP Gabriel Ynoa
12. SS Gavin Cecchini
11. INF Dilson Herrera

10. Domingo Tapia - RHP

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - Signed as International free agent

Opening Day Age: 22

Projected Opening Day Assignment: High-A St. Lucie

General Numbers: only allowed 87 hits in 101 innings (High-A St. Lucie)
Relevant Numbers: averaged less than 5 IP per start

Positives: Tapia has the hardest fastball in the system, and has been clocked at 100mph. He can generate natural 2-seam run on it too, and teammates have raved about his slider. So if he can ever put it all together, Tapia can be an impact Big League pitcher. But after a tough 2013 that included control issues, it looks like Domingo will be headed to the bullpen soon.

Negatives: Tapia walked 63 hitters and failed to pitch deep into games. He got pulled in the second inning on multiple occasions, and faded down the stretch. Again, it looks like if he’s going to have success, it’ll be as a reliever.

Style: Justin Masterson

Across the John Preseason Rank: 11
ATJ Midseason Rank: 10
Jonathan Mayo Rank: 16
Keith Law Top 10: Not Ranked
FanGraphs Rank: 13
Baseball America Top 10: Not Ranked

9. Jayce Boyd - 1B

Florida State University - 6th Round of the 2012 Draft

Opening Day Age: 23

Projected Opening Day Assignment: Double-A Binghamton

General Numbers: some interesting splits with St. Lucie:
hit 70 points higher against righties, 72 points higher at home, 108 points higher in day games
Relevant Numbers: .330 hitter with an OPS of .871 in his first full Minor League season

Positives: Boyd can flat out hit. His swing is as pretty as they come, and his numbers this year reflect that. The former Florida State star won the system’s “batting title” in 2013, finishing the season with a .330 average. His OBP (.410) ranks second in the system and he rarely strikes out (13.3%). Boyd can hit to all fields and should continue to shoot through the system quickly. Oh, and did we mention he’s an excellent defender, too?

Negatives: With only nine home runs in a full season, many will wonder whether he has enough power to be an everyday first baseman in the League. But if he’s batting .300 and winning gold gloves, does it really matter? Think James Loney numbers.

Style: Michael Young

Across the John Preseason Rank: 38
ATJ Midseason Rank: 15
Jonathan Mayo Rank: 20
Keith Law Top 10: Not Ranked
FanGraphs Top 15: Not Ranked
Baseball America Top 10: Not Ranked

8. Amed Rosario - SS

Santo Domingo Centro, Dominican Republic - Signed as International free agent

Opening Day Age: 18

Projected Opening Day Assignment: Short Season-A Brooklyn

General Numbers: Rosario improved his average by 20 points each month (R-Kingsport)
Relevant Numbers: none, he was 17

Positives: Rosario’s talent is supreme, which is why he’s already a top-10 prospect after just one season in the United States. Scouts say he generates loud contact and has the makings of a five-tool guy. He still has work to in all phases, but he’s already shown the ability to go the-other-way and has a knack for improving. I know his .241 average doesn’t look appetizing, but when you consider he was giving up 2-3 years to most of his opponents, it’s hard to knock is American debut.

Negatives: Amed is Raw with a capital R. You don’t normally mention “18-years-old” as a negative, but the Mets need a shortstop and Rosario is at least three years away. And with any teenager with 200 at bats of professional experience, there is always a considerable risk he will never pan out.

Style: Hanley Ramirez

Across the John Preseason Rank: 68
ATJ Midseason Rank: Not in Top 50
Jonathan Mayo Top 20: Not Ranked
Keith Law Rank: 10
FanGraphs Top 15: 4
Baseball America Top 10: 7

7. Kevin Plawecki - C

Purdue University - First Round of the 2012 Draft (35th Overall)

Opening Day Age: 23

Projected Opening Day Assignment: Double-A Binghamton

General Numbers: .305 average in first full pro season (A-ball Savannah & St. Lucie)
Relevant Numbers: lowest K-rate of all full-season players (8.5% of ABs) (A-ball)

Positives: Batting .305 in his first full season of pro ball, the former Purdue backstop grew as both a catcher and hitter in 2013. His pitch recognition and sound swing accounts for the high average and low strikeout totals. He’s a smart, durable, line-drive hitter with pop to the pull side. There’s a place for that at the Major League level. Some even say he could challenge Travis d’Arnaud for the starting job in 2015. While d’Arnaud will have 2014 to prove himself, Plawecki may not be as far away as some think.

Negatives: His arm is said to be a liability, but his other skills can hide it to an extent. He’s improved his blocking and game management, quelling most major defensive concerns. He won’t hit 30 home runs, but what catcher does?

Style: AJ Ellis

Across the John Preseason Rank: 13
ATJ Midseason Rank: 8
Jonathan Mayo Rank: 10
Keith Law Rank: 6
FanGraphs Rank: 6
Baseball America Rank: 5

6. Brandon Nimmo - OF

East HS (WY) - 1st Round of the 2011 Draft (13th Overall)

Opening Day Age: 21

Projected Opening Day Assignment: High-A St. Lucie

General Numbers: 71 walks (2nd most in the system)
Relevant Numbers: 2 home runs in 110 games (A-ball Savannah)

Positives: Nimmo has the makings of a star. He has the potential to be a five-tool player and the attitude of champion. However, that potential has not been met as of yet. Nimmo has filled out since going pro, but it hasn’t translated to any extra power to this point. However, he’s an above-average defensive outfielder, plays hard, works counts and runs well. There’s a good foundation, just don’t expect Brandon in New York any time soon.

Negatives: 131 strikeouts in 110 games is a HUGE red flag for someone who’s tabbed as a dominant talent. He might be better served with a more aggressive approach at the plate. Nimmo is already showing deficiencies against southpaws (.635 OPS vs. LHP; .794 vs. RHP) and the Mets didn’t draft him 13th overall to be a platoon player.

Style: left-handed hitting Hunter Pence

Across the John Preseason Rank: 7
ATJ Midseason Rank: 5
Jonathan Mayo Rank: 5
Keith Law Rank: 5 (92nd in baseball)
FanGraphs Rank: 14
Baseball America Rank: 8

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