New York Mets 2019 Top 50 Prospects

Andres Gimenez - photo credit Bryan Green on Flickr

New York Mets Top 50 Prospects for 2019

There has been no other organization this offseason that has moved prospects from up and down the ranks as much as the Mets have during Brodie Van Wagenen’s first winter as General Manager. Starting with the blockbuster that brought Edwin Díaz and Robinson Canó to Queens from Seattle (my analysis here), and a flurry of trades this past weekend that netted Keon Broxton from the Brewers, J.D. Davis from the Astros, and Walker Lockett and Sam Haggerty from the Indians, the Mets have been extremely active in restoring organizational depth at the highest level. The creation of this list has been a moving target to say the least. Trading three picks from the 2018 draft class, (Jarred KelenicAdam HillRoss Adolph), organizational risers (Justin DunnLuis SantanaScott Manea), and pieces acquired from previous trades (Bobby WahlGerson Bautista) signals to the baseball world that Van Wagenen is determined to leave his own mark on the team.

While the Mets will continue to remain active with acquisitions for a postseason push, it’s best to consider this list a snapshot on the date of publication. There should be a few moves to be made on the big league roster, and more of these names could be dealt between now and July 31 (or January 31, let’s be honest given the pace of things). Without further adieu, (and a review of the Midseason Top 50 List) let’s jump into the Mets [remaining] prospects!

2019 Affiliates

Syracuse Mets AAA (formerly Las Vegas as of 2018)

Binghamton Rumble Ponies AA

St. Lucie Mets A+

Columbia Fireflies A

Brooklyn Cyclones Short Season A

Kingsport Mets ROK

GCL Mets ROK

DSL Mets 1

DLS Mets 2


Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster

 

Tier 1:
1. Andres Gimenez, SS/2B (Mid ’18: 1)
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: AA Binghamton
122 G, .281/.347/.409, 6 HR, 46 RBI, 62 R, 125 H, 29 2B, 38/52 SB, 31 BB: 92 K
AFL: 19 G, .125/.250/.292, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R, 6 H, 3 2B, 0/1 SB, 8 BB: 15 K
There is a great deal to be excited about with Andres Gimenez. While on paper it would have made some sense to include Gimenez in the Díaz-Canó trade given he is blocked defensively more than Kelenic is, there had to be a reason that it is Gimenez who is still a Met. One big reason is that there is a five tool star brewing in this kid. The hit tool is advanced and he has a precocious ability to barrel the ball. The biggest question with Gimenez is what might his future power look like. Operating with high hands and a fairly wide legged stance, Gimenez generates loft by dropping his hands and using his strong lower half. From this video I took of Gimenez, he consciously drives the ball the other way instead of slapping it. This type of swing shows there are mechanics for unlocking over the fence power. At peak, there is potential for a 20 HR, 30 SB bat with a high average. He’s a single digit BB% hitter at this juncture, so the OBP won’t be significantly higher. Defensively, Gimenez presents a level of safety in his ability to stick up the middle on the infield; or if he’s needed, he has more than enough athleticism to shift to 3B or CF to get his bat in the lineup. Gimenez leads this talented system because of the potential franchise player he can be.

2. Peter Alonso, 1B (Mid ’18: 2)
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: AAA Las Vegas
132 G, .285/.395/.579, 36 HR, 119 RBI, 92 R, 136 H, 31 2B, 76 BB: 128 K
AFL: 27 G, .255/.339/.510, 6 HR, 27 RBI, 16 R, 25 H, 7 2B, 11 BB: 28 K
Alonso has been destined to wear blue and orange in the World Series…since he was a Florida Gator of course! The advanced college bat has moved quickly after being taken in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft. He’s proven time and time again, especially on the big stage (Futures Game, AFL), that he is ready for prime time. Mets fans would like to put the awkward September behind them when the old regime kept their burgeoning slugger down in the minors. Alonso has had a steady increase in his pull side batted ball profile each year in the minors, but there’s no mistake that he has elite power to all fields. The hit tool will be tested in the majors, though he has a double-digit walk rate to support his offensive profile. It’s not unreasonable to think that Alonso could put up a similar slash and pace to his AFL output: projected across 135 G with the same slash line, Alonso could amass 30 HR, 80 R, 125 H, 35 2B, 55 BB, 140 K. And if he can put up that kind of production in the middle of the order, Alonso will find himself playing in October—far better than a September call up.

 

Tier 2:
3. Mark Vientos, 3B/SS (Mid ’18: 4)
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: ROK Kingsport
60 G, .287/.389/.489, 11 HR, 52 RBI, 32 R, 64 H, 12 2B, 37 BB: 43 K
Like Woods-Richardson (#6), Mark Vientos was one of the youngest in his draft class. Plucked from the baseball-lauded Floridian American Heritage HS as a 2nd rounder in 2017, Vientos catapulted this season as a key cog in the stacked Kingsport lineup. This year saw Vientos’ walk rate double (14.1% up from 7.3% in 2017) and ISO climb nearly 70 points, where he just eclipsed the impressive .200 mark in the process. Vientos biggest progress has not been batted ball distribution, as his pull to opposite field output was nearly identical over the last two seasons, but in both increasing batted ball loft and his ability to pick up spin. As Vientos is able to continue to be more selective and not get beat by soft stuff away, he will unlock his sizable potential as a middle of the order force. Vientos is not fleet of foot, so this is a 3B as he reaches his 20’s. No mistake about it, he is the heir-apparent to David Wright at the hot corner.

4. Ronny Mauricio, SS (Mid ’18: 7)
Age: 17
2018 Highest Level: ROK Kingsport
57 G, .273/.304/.410, 3 HR, 35 RBI, 32 R, 62 H, 16 2B, 3 3B, 2/8 SB, 13 BB: 40 K
Mauricio spent most of the year in the GCL and was able to be promoted for an 8 game stint at season’s end to Kingsport at just 17 years old. For Mauricio to be in the same lineup as both Shervyen Newton (#5), Vientos, and a few others on the list—all while being about three years younger than league average in Kingsport, is nothing short of impressive. Mauricio undoubtedly has the potential tools to be average to plus in hit and game power, while holding down the shortstop position as his projectable frame allows. A switch hitter, Mauricio’s lefty stance is reminiscent of Gimenez’s, with hands high (though a little taller) and silky smooth, effortless stroke made for line drives. Mauricio has shown an adeptness of making contact from both sides of the plate, as he has a sub 15% K rate to go along with a sub 5% BB clip. While Mauricio is not a burner, his wiry frame is somewhat of a mold of clay since the physical development could be significant. Given the extra base output for the youngster, the low K rate is a very encouraging sign that Mauricio has the ability to be an exciting top of the lineup fixture.

5. Shervyen Newton, SS/3B (Mid ’18: 13)
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: ROK Kingsport
56 G, .280/.408/.449, 5 HR, 41 RBI, 50 R, 58 H, 16 2B, 4/4 SB, 46 BB: 84 K
Newton, based on his massive ceiling alone, has the ability to be anywhere in the top of this tier. A switch hitter with power, speed, and plus approach, Newton is a dynamic athlete who has the total hitting package. From highly respected prospect analyst John Calvagno’s (@SALNotesmultiple looks at Newton in 2018, “the swing is long and linear with above average bat speed. A strong young man, the ball really jumps off of his barrel. It’s 60 raw power already with a chance for 70+ at peak. He can already hit the ball out of any part of the park which is quite rare for a teenager. Game power will be dictated by launch angles but it’s potentially a legit 30+ HR bat.” Good gravy! This, coupled with his advanced feel for the strike zone, and potential for double digit steals, makes Newton a surefire big time prospect here for the Mets. In the most breathtaking of forecasts yet for Newton: this just published this week from Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel’s Fangraphs Mets list: “if everything actualizes it’s superstardom.”

6. Simeon Woods-Richardson, RHP (Mid ’18: 11)
Age: 18
2018 Highest Level: ROK Kingsport
7 G/4 S, 1-0, 1.56 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 17.1 IP, 15 H, 4 BB: 26 K
Simeon Woods-Richardson has the gift of a strong right arm and plus athleticism that could have also worked as a third baseman if he were to stick to hitting. But the Mets look like geniuses for drafting Woods-Richardson in the 2nd round and committing to him as a pitcher. A bulldog competitor, Woods-Richardson has a wicked fastball that can clock in the upper 90’s, with the possibility for more as he matures. The curveball is vertical with the high arm slot instead of a sweeping plane, and serves as a good differentiator to the heat. A changeup is his developing third offering, which the feel for it should progress in time as it does with many pitchers. Big picture: this is one of the youngest stateside draftees in the ’18 class, and was only recently converted to full time pitching. Some are really quick to tag a relief pitcher future (where he would be a darn good one), but let’s look at the tremendous opportunity the Mets have in Woods-Richardson to be a mid rotation starter with the possibility for more.

7. David Peterson, LHP (Mid ’18: 6)
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: A+ St. Lucie
22 G/22 S, 7-10, 3.16 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 128 IP, 120 H, 30 BB: 115 K
Peterson is like the supercharged version of Anthony Kay (#10): he’s taller, has better command, a viable fourth pitch, and developed in a slightly more competitive cold weather college program at University of Oregon. On the mound, they offer similarly useful pitch mixes without a true standout offering. His sinker, though, produces a plus ground ball rate, boding well for his future in the rotation. Peterson has a slight hesitation in his delivery before he drives forward which serves as a disruptive timing mechanism for hitters. His mechanics remind me of Jon Lester, and I wonder if the Boston Red Sox thought the same when they tried to draft him out of the Colorado prep ranks in 2014. While Peterson doesn’t bring the same fastball heat as Lester, his sinker, command, and pitchability signal a future rotation arm who has the durability and potential impact to stick around in the majors for a long time.


Tier 3:
8. Thomas Szapucki, LHP (Mid ’18: 12)
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: Did Not Play Due to Injury
Szapucki feels like he’s been ranked pretty high on the Mets list for a while after being drafted in 2015. Szapucki still has age on his side as a high school drafted arm, and a big time fastball-wipeout curve combination that leads the pitching repertoire. Szapucki has the upside to generate a high number of strikeouts at the highest level, and could ultimately fare well in the bullpen. Szapucki last pitched at A Columbus in 2017; and while there is no immediate rush to get him moving through the system, he has the talent to contribute to the Mets plans in short order if he is able to replicate his success and stay healthy.

9. Adrian Hernandez, OF  (Mid ’18: 16)
Age: 17
2018 Highest Level: DSL Mets 1
63 G, .261/.351/.386, 5 HR, 34 RBI, 50 R, 65 H, 12 2B, 9/14 SB, 17 BB: 52 K
Hernandez was a big get for the Mets in the 2017 J2 class who profiles as an eventual corner outfielder with an intriguing blend of all around skills on the field. Hernandez is physically reminiscent of a young Yoenis Cespedes who is on the shorter side but is just flat out powerfully built. While he doesn’t have the 80 arm of Cespedes, I really like Hernandez’s compact swing which generates plenty of raw power. After trading away Kelenic, Hernandez becomes one of the top outfield prospects in the system; that is, if/until Newton or Mauricio find themselves in the outfield in the future.

10. Anthony Kay, LHP (Mid ’18: 10)
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: A+ St. Lucie
23 G/23 S, 7-11, 4.26 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 122.2 IP, 124 H, 49 BB: 123 K
Kay is a year back from Tommy John and had success at High A missing bats, and was most importantly able to log over 120 IP this year. While the command was not pinpoint in his return to the hill, which is to be expected, Kay was able to still put plenty of people away with his low to mid 90’s fastball, curve, and changeup. This is not totally unexpected given Kay pitched at UConn, an advanced college program, and was a tick older for the level than average. Coming from a cold weather program should help him in the early season in Binghamton, Syracuse, and eventually Queens. I really like Kay’s easy delivery and sturdy build, and he has the look of an innings eater.

11. Franklyn Kilome, RHP (Mid ’18: 9)
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: AA Binghamton
26 G/26 S, 4-9, 4.18 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 140 IP, 127 H, 61 BB: 125 K
Kilome, in many ways, jolted his prospect status back to life from a rough stretch in Philadelphia. In his two months to end the season in the Mets organization, Kilome looked like the celebrated high ceiling prospect that garnered him some Top 100 overall prospect rankings in some circles just a couple of seasons ago. Kilome’s unfortunate news of Tommy John surgery at the start of this offseason may put a damper on his outlook as a starter, but he has all of the ability in the world to contribute meaningful high leverage bullpen innings in the future for the Mets if the organization decides to go that way.

12. Tony Dibrell, RHP (Mid ’18: 19)
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: A Columbia
23 G/23 S, 7-6, 3.50 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 131 IP, 112 H, 54 BB: 147 K
Dibrell has moved up from the edges of the Top 20 to the edges of the Top 10 in 2018. It is easy to see Dibrell’s appeal on the mound as an athletic pitcher who’s long limbs make him look taller than his listed 6’3″. There’s not a max effort delivery here and he can bring the fastball as much as 96 MPH as a starter, though sits in the 92-93 MPH range. Dibrell’s command of four pitches and improved control helps his chances of sticking in the rotation.

13. Desmond Lindsay, OF (Mid ’18: 15)
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: A+ St. Lucie
90 G, .223/.317/.325, 3 HR, 33 RBI, 31 R, 70 H, 13 2B, 5 3B, 9/16 SB, 40 BB: 96 K
Lindsay looked like a different ballplayer during the Arizona Fall League, yet his time there was cut short by injury. Lindsay’s stance was more upright in the AFL with a more pronounced hand load than earlier in the season, and he was able to unlock more power with 3 HR in 8 G (whereas he hit 3 HR in 90 G during the season). These adjustments have me optimistic that Lindsay has the athleticism and skills that he can continue to unlock his potential and eventually contribute in the big league outfield.

14. Carlos Cortes, 2B/OF (Mid ’18: 20)
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: A- Brooklyn
47 G, .264/.338/.382, 4 HR, 24 RBI, 26 R, 47 H, 5 2B, 2 3B, 17 BB: 34 K
The Mets clearly like Cortes, since they drafted him twice: in the 20th round in 2016 and in the 3rd round this past summer. I am similarly excited about the Mets keystoner. Cortes has only played at 2B as a professional, though saw time in the outfield before being drafted (where he throws left handed, which makes him automatically one of the more interesting prospects on this list). Cortes, although a bit shorter, has similar physicality to Andres Gimenez: both are very athletic with strong lower half middle infielders. Cortes’ short stroke and hitting abilities have some whispers of a Willie Calhoun type of profile.

15. Will Toffey, 3B (Mid ’18: 14)
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: AA Binghamton
89 G, .248/.374/.433, 9 HR, 51 RBI, 40 R, 74 H, 20 2B, 59 BB: 85 K
OBP! OBP! Toffey is adept at getting on base, as most prospects with ties to the Athletics organization have since the Moneyball era. Toffey hits lefties and righties at nearly an identical splits, boding well for his future as a starter, and actually improved offensively after the midseason trade that brought him to Binghamton. While there may be maximum 15 HR power at the highest level, there is enough there across the board in the profile that Toffey could figure into the Mets plans at 3B in 2019 depending on incumbent Todd Frazier‘s ability to have a bounce back campaign. But with the acquisition of J.D. Davis from Houston, Toffey could figure as a strong side platoon partner if he is not moved or tried out in a corner outfield spot.

16. Freddy Valdez, OF (Mid ’18: 22)
Age: 16
2018 Highest Level: Did Not Play (IFA ’18)
Valdez has yet to suit up in formal contests for the Mets after signing out of the Dominican Republic for $1.45M in this years J2 class. Valdez, like Francisco Alvarez, is a physically mature 16 year old at already an imposing 6’3″ 212lb. Valdez has more wiry strength than his J2 counterpart, and projection in his excellent baseball frame. Valdez is a power hitter with average defensive tools suitable for a corner outfield position.

17. Raul Beracierta, OF (Mid ’18: 26)
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: ROK Kingsport
46 G, .270/.389/.415, 3 HR, 29 RBI, 35 R, 43 H, 8 2B, 7/9 SB, 26 BB: 36 K
Beracierta was one of the more underrated performers on the very solid Kingsport roster in 2018, where he moved around the lineup from either the 2 slot (due to his OBP acumen) or 6 (where his run producing skills play). A short hitting skid in August slightly dipped his impactful statline. A right fielder, Beracierta is poised to take the next step; while the outfield crop is not super deep for the Mets, his 2018 already has him in the conversation among the top outfielders in the system.

18. Jordan Humphreys, RHP (Mid ’18: 18)
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: Did Not Play Due to Injury
Humphreys missed 2018 with Tommy John surgery, so we last saw him on the mound in 2017. Humphreys should get every opportunity to start as long as his health is able to hold up given that he can throw four pitches with excellent command. Even though Humphreys was drafted in 2015 and feels like he’s been around forever, he is still only 22 years old and has at least a solid two years left in the minors to keep seasoning as a starter.

19. Stanley Consuegra, OF (Mid ’18: 27)
Age: 18
2018 Highest Level: ROK GCL Mets
64 G, .212/.302/.349, 4 HR, 39 RBI, 32 R, 51 H, 13 2B, 4 3B, 9/13 SB, 26 BB: 46 K
If you like toolsy, athletic prospects, Consuegra is your outfielder of choice for the Mets. Consuegra was part of the same J2 crop as Adrian Hernandez and Ronny Mauricio, and there’s raw power, speed, and a good throwing arm as part of the toolkit for the Dominican outfielder. Consuegra is a converted SS who should get plenty of opportunities to stick in the lineup as his bat develops due to his impact defensively.

20. Jeremy Vasquez, 1B (Mid ’18: 29)
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: A+ St. Lucie
125 G, .280/.369/.421, 10 HR, 58 RBI, 58 R, 125 H, 25 2B, 62 BB: 91 K
Vasquez came on very strong in 2018. The first baseman has a short, pretty swing from the left side that can generate power. Vasquez opened the season with an eye-popping 29 game on base streak, a testament to his mastery of the zone and prowess in the box. Vasquez can develop into a five hole batter at peak, and will have to keep delivering at the dish given his defensive position as a 1B only at present. If he could get a shot as a left fielder, that would be a great indicator of the organization’s faith in finding his bat a place in the lineup.

21. Ali Sanchez, C (Mid ’18: 28)
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: A+ St. Lucie
88 G, .265/.294/.387, 6 HR, 38 RBI, 37 R, 87 H, 20 2B, 15 BB: 38 K
Sanchez impressed in the Arizona Fall League with his defensive prowess, signaling to everyone that he has big league ready skills behind the dish. Sanchez has plus defensive chops, while the bat may limit him to a fringe starter. Any step forward in the power or on base department would significantly improve his chances of becoming a true starter, since he has the receiving skills to impact the big league club in 2019. If Sanchez can improve his BB rate and power even a touch, he’s a starting catcher because he’s that good as a receiver.

22. Jaison Vilera, RHP (Mid ’18: 23)
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: A- Brooklyn
13 G/13 S, 5-2, 1.83 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 73.2 IP, 50 H, 22 BB: 78 K
The Venezuelan righty has impressed at every stop in his development, and the 192 IP sample of his sub 2 ERA for his career is mighty interesting to go along with the ability to limit contact. Vilera had a blistering four game scoreless streak (26.2 IP) this year, which is simply masterful. Vilera doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but his pitchability and strike-throwing ability maximize his fastball-slider-changeup arsenal.

23. Francisco Alvarez, C (Mid ’18: 17)
Age: 16
2018 Highest Level: Did Not Play (IFA ’18)
Alvarez is a strong hitting prospect that profiles to either stick behind the plate or move to first base defensively. Alvarez’s calling card is his raw power. Already a sturdy 220lb in a sub 6 foot frame, his body has maxed projection which suggests his future defensive home would fit either behind home plate or first base depending on the next few years. The defensive limitation puts pressure on the bat, but the Mets must feel confident he will get there based on the $2.9M commitment they made to him in the 2018 J2 class.

24. Christian James, RHP (Mid ’18: 21)
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: AA Binghamton
15 G/15 S, 4-3, 1.90 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 80.2 IP, 65 H, 21 BB: 54 K
James checked the important prospect box of pitching at three levels in 2018: the fact that he was chosen to make a spot start in AA as a 20 year old speaks to his talent. Taken out of the high school ranks in 2016, James could have an outside chance of contributing to the MLB squad in 2020. While not a K machine, James could carve out a similar path to Corey Oswalt as a back of the rotation or multi inning reliever.

25. Junior Santos, RHP (Mid ’18: 46)
Age: 17
2018 Highest Level: ROK GCL Mets
14 G/10 S, 1-1, 2.52 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 50 IP, 39 H, 6 BB: 39 K
The big 6’8″ righty has excellent control for his age and size, and the Mets moved him stateside in August. Santos has shot up this list because he has the ability to be a workhorse starting pitcher with some ceiling and strikeout upside if he can put it all together. If you need a pitching name to circle for ceiling, Santos is the choice in this range of the list.

26. Chris Viall, RHP (Mid ’18: 24)
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: A Columbia
15 G/15 S, 3-7, 4.75 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 66.1 IP, 61 H, 41 BB: 94 K
A pitcher even taller than Santos, Viall at 6’9″ presents an imposing challenge for hitters. Though he has clearly shown he can miss bats, an uptick in his control will vault him up this list as he takes on an assignment at A+ St. Lucie. Viall could make for a high impact reliever with his ability to blow guys away as a fall back plan, but the Mets would like to harness his command as a rotation stalwart.

27. Walker Lockett, RHP (Mid ’18: NR-San Diego Padres)
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: MLB (San Diego)
AAA: 23 G/23 S, 5-9, 4.72 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 133.1 IP, 145 H, 33 BB: 118 K
The 6’5″ starting pitcher has been traded twice this offseason: first from San Diego to Cleveland, and then as the primary name in the return for Kevin Plawecki along with Sam Haggerty (#44). Lockett operates with a three pitch mix: the fastball sits 92-93 MPH, and he uses his changeup and curveball about equally as his secondary offerings. The profile generates plenty of ground balls, which could present as a challenge the Mets’ infield defense (outside of Amed Rosario at SS). Lockett will serve as a valuable and versatile back of the rotation depth arm that can also give the Mets quality multi inning stints out of the bullpen.

 

Tier 4:
28. Joe Cavallaro, RHP (Mid ’18: 30)
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: AA Binghamton
23 G/ 21 S, 10-6, 3.33 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 127 IP, 111 H, 45 BB: 129 K
Cavallaro, like Christian James, made a AA spot start but played the rest of the year in A ball. Cavallaro is more movement over power arm, featuring a low 3/4 arm slot which helps his sinker/slider/changeup mix play up. Cavallaro was an All Star in Columbia, and just kept on rolling after he was promoted to A+ St. Lucie.

29. Steve Villines, RHP (Mid ’18: 34)
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: AA Binghamton
47 G/ 0 S, 5-4, 3.11 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 10 SV, 66.2 IP, 46 H, 13 BB: 96 K
Villines will evoke memories of Chad Bradford for Mets fans as a side winding righty who racks up strikeouts. Villines doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but you sure can’t argue with the results. He gets the job done, has closing experience, and can help the Mets in a playoff run. He is especially tough on lefties, which bodes well for his future as a righty in the big league bullpen.

30. Gavin Cecchini, 2B/SS (Mid ’18: NR-Has Reached MLB)
Age: 25
2018 Highest Level: MLB
AAA: 31 G, .301/.347/.469, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 15 R, 34 H, 11 2B, 7 BB: 15 K
Cecchini was hampered by a foot injury this season but contributed to the major league team, and figures to do so as well this season. He should get time at multiple spots on the infield. Cecchini has the appeal at offering some power and OBP off the bench as a righty, and could find his way in a platoon during hot stretches with the bat.

31. Eric Hanhold, RHP (Mid ’18: 42)
Age: 25
2018 Highest Level: MLB
35 G/1 S, 5-3, 4.20 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 49.1 IP, 47 H, 16 BB: 57 K
Among the relief corps in the system, Hanhold seems to have the best shot of anyone to be in the mix for saves in the future. Hanhold’s heavy sinker/slider combination is awfully hard for batters to lift, making him an appealing option out of the pen in critical spots. At least at the time of publish, and barring other relief acquisitions, the trade of Bobby Wahl to the Brewers clears a role for Hanhold to break camp with the team if he can pitch well in the Spring.

32. Yoel Romero, 2B/3B/OF (Mid ’18: 48)
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: ROK Kingsport
53 G, .265/.368/.373, 4 HR, 38 RBI, 42 R, 54 H, 12/19 SB, 33 BB: 41 K
Romero fulfilled a minor league manager’s dream by being a versatile defenseman all over the field in 2018. Romero saw slight increases to both pull side and opposite field hit percentages in 2018, a sign that he is both turning on balls and able to drive the ball the other way. Romero had more BB’s than K’s up until the last month of the season, so approach is trending up for the youngster in both strike zone management and going with what the pitcher is giving him.

33. Wagner Lagrange, OF (Mid ’18: 33)
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: A- Brooklyn
62 G, .282/.357/.357, 0 HR, 32 RBI, 31 R, 64 H, 13 2B, 9/12 SB, 22 BB: 43 K
A New York Penn League All-Star, Lagrange should start in the Columbia outfield in full season ball. Lagrange is an athletic hitter who played primarily in left field in Brooklyn, even though his arm is one of his best tools at present. Lagrange has good contact ability and should see his raw power start to creep into games next season.

34. David Thompson, 3B (Mid ’18: 40)
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: AAA Las Vegas
25 G, .244/.314/.359, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 11 R, 19 H, 6 2B, 2/4 SB, 5 BB: 22 K
Thompson had an unfortunate leg injury that deemed him out of action for most of 2018. This was especially tough given he had a strong 2017 in Binghamton followed by a good showing in the Arizona Fall League. Thompson has found himself pretty blocked in the organization by both Will Toffey and J.D. Davis, but could find his way to the majors in 2019 if there is an injury: either with the Mets, or to fill a need with another organization.

35. Anthony Dirocie, OF (Mid ’18: 35)
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: A- Brooklyn
58 G, .274/.375/.447, 5 HR, 36 RBI, 30 R, 54 H, 13 2B, 3 3B, 6/10 SB, 28 BB: 55 K
Dirocie’s had a significant year of development at the plate by slashing his K rate (37% to 27%) and raise his BB rate (5.6% 12.6%). Dirocie is a twitchy athlete who had a knack for the clutch moment in 2018, slashing a mammoth .474/.574/.895 triple slash line in 47 PA with two outs and runners in scoring position.

36. Luis Guillorme, 3B/2B (Mid ’18: NR-Has Reached MLB)
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: MLB
MiLB: 69 G, .304/.380/.417, 3 HR, 33 RBI, 41 R, 75 H, 15 2B, 2/3 SB, 30 BB: 39 K
MLB: 35 G, .209/.284/.239, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, 14 H, 7 BB: 3 K
Guillorme’s best gifts on the baseball field are as a defensive wizard in the infield. Guillorme may very well break camp with the big league club and spell Robinson Canó defensively, though Jeff McNeils breakout 2018 may limit his opportunity. It is hard to envision an everyday job for Guillorme with the Mets any time soon given his power-light profile and their overall organizational depth, but there’s a big league contributor here in their playoff aspirations.

37. Cesar Loaiza, LHP (Mid ’18: 36)
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: ROK GCL Mets
14 G/7 S, 4-2, 1.53 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 47 IP, 27 H, 22 BB: 57 K
Loaiza demonstrated during the DSL that he has rotation upside as a tall lefty with a repeatable, smooth delivery. He was moved stateside during the season due to his 33% K rate and limiting baserunners. Loaiza has projection with the frame at 6’3″ 165lbs, and is one that I really like, along with Junior Santos, to be a breakout candidate in the next year and a half.

38. Jose Moreno, RHP (Mid ’18: NR)
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: ROK Kingsport
8 G/2 S, 3-0, 4.12 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 19.2 IP, 11 H, 8 BB: 26 K
Serving as the Kingsport Opening Day starter in 2018, Moreno’s big fastball and curveball have great separation and a solid foundation of his swing-and-miss arsenal. Moreno’s heater can touch 100 MPH, which will play in any role moving forward in his development. While Moreno dealt with an elbow injury this season, his electric arm is one to watch next year, likely his first taste of full season ball in Columbia.

39. Patrick Mazeika, C (Mid ’18: 31)
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: AA Binghamton
87 G, .231/.328/.363, 9 HR, 39 RBI, 32 R, 68 H, 12 2B, 39 BB: 35 K
Mazeika has some intrigue as a future backup catcher given his ability to put the bat on the ball and limit strikeouts. While there is a likely big league role for him, unlocking some of his raw power in games will significantly boost his ceiling.

40. Tomas NidoC (Mid ’18: NR-Has Reached MLB)
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: MLB
MiLB: 64 G, .272/.300/.431, 5 HR, 31 RBI, 26 R, 63 H, 20 2B, 9 BB: 38 K
MLB: 34 G, .167/.200/.238, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 10 R, 14 H, 3 2B, 4 BB: 27 K
Nido slots in similarly to Mazeika because of the likely backup catching role. In the Mets prospect purge under new leadership, Nido may be the odd man out if Ali Sanchez is able to take a step forward with the bat. Nido has an aggressive hitting approach which limits his OBP, but should at least work his way into the immediate plans at the big league level in 2019 right behind Travis d’Arnaud and Wilson Ramos on the organization depth chart.


Tier 5:
41.
Luis Carpio, 2B/SS (Mid ’18: 32)
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: AA Binghamton
112 G, .219/.289/.365, 12 HR, 40 RBI, 38 R, 85 H, 21 2B, 9/18 SB, 41 BB: 81 K
Carpio spent 111 of 112 games at St. Lucie, earning a late season, single game nod with the Rumble Ponies. Carpio will need to progress with the hit tool to make an impact at the higher levels of the minors but may ultimately settle into a utility role. But it’s hard to fade Carpio too aggressively since he has performed admirably against older competition through much of the last couple of seasons. Carpio is not a prospect to scout the stat line from this year: he is an athletic fielder with some power and speed who has the tools to climb the Mets list next year.

42. Ryder Ryan, RHP (Mid ’18: 43)
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: AA Binghamton
42 G/0 S, 4-3, 3.23 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 53 IP, 41 H, 15 BB: 59 K
Another former Cleveland Indians farmhand, Ryder Ryan rode a successful 2018 as his first full year in the Mets organization. While at the time of the deadline deal for Jay Bruce that was viewed somewhat underwhelming, Ryan has done nothing but to generate excitement about his arrival: he’s halved his walk rate and ridden his fastball-curveball combination to profile as a middle relief arm with a chance for more.

43. Michael Paez, IF/C, (Mid ’18: 47)
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: A+ St. Lucie
121 G, .270/.340/.404, 11 HR, 48 RBI, 54 R, 110 H, 20 2B, 4/12 SB, 41 BB: 79 K
Paez gets a bump in his ranking for a Florida State League All-Star nod, but most significantly due to a December Twitter post that he is beginning to learn the catcher position. Adding to his position versatility will only help his chances of contributing in a utility role in the majors: he played primarily 3B in St. Lucie, but also made appearances at both SS and 2B. I can see Paez being a solid contributor as a 3rd catcher and utility infielder who can also be a platoon partner and pinch hitter who hits well against LHP, a valuable skill set for a National League squad.

44. Sam Haggerty, 3B/SS/LF (Mid ’18: NR)
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: AAA Columbus (Cleveland Indians)
87 G, .243/.373/.396, 4 HR, 37 RBI, 44 R, 68 H, 21 2B, 24/31 SB, 57 BB: 77 K
Acquired on 1/6/19 along with Walker Lockett from the Indians for Kevin Plawecki, Haggerty slots into the bottom part of Tier 4 and serves as an interesting acquisition for a team with aspirations for the postseason due to his versatility (appearing at 3B, SS, 2B, LF, and CF in 2018) and speed. Haggerty gets on base at a healthy clip and is an effective base stealer. The switch hitter could serve as a valuable bench option for Mickey Callaway as soon as Opening Day, though more likely he will start off the season at AAA Syracuse.

45. Matt Blackham, RHP (Mid ’18: NR)
Age: 26
2018 Highest Level: AA Binghamton
39 G/0 S, 5-3, 2.70 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 50 IP, 29 H, 30 BB: 65 K
Blackham put together a solid 2018 campaign, where some envisioned he might get plucked in the Rule 5 Draft this past month. His 10 IP showing in the Arizona Fall League was convincing in his ability to miss bats (11 K) but he allowed more traffic on the bases through contact (8.1 H/9 vs. 6.2 H/9 in season) and walks (8.1 BB/9 vs. 5.8 BB/9 in season) against stiffer prospect competition. There’s some explosiveness to the mid 90’s heater, and enough command to be big league relevant with a second setup option as max outcome.

46. Stephen Nogosek, RHP (Mid ’18: 44)
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: AA Binghamton
39 G/0 S, 1-1, 4.99 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 52.1 IP, 38 H, 39 BB: 58 K
Nogosek may be a big leaguer reliever, but the impact may be limited to the middle relief core if his control flatlines (20 IP, 21 BB at AA in 2018). Like Blackham, Nogosek pitched in the Arizona Fall League, where he put up a WHIP over 2 in 7 IP, walking 6 and allowing 9 H in a relatively small sample.

47. Andres Regnault, C (Mid ’18: 45)
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: ROK GCL Mets
53 G, .333/.420/.573, 9 HR, 45 RBI, 33 R, 64 H, 17 2B, 5/8 SB, 22 BB: 33 K
With the Mets trade of Scott Manea to the Houston Astros, Regnault takes over as my favorite catcher in the system because he can offer an intriguing blend of offense and defense that others higher on the list cannot. Regnault was brought into the organization from Venezuela in the same year as big names such as Andres Gimenez and Shervyen Newton in 2015. The clubs’s DSL 1 Sterling Award Winner, Regnault is a physical catcher who is far away from the show, but an interesting name to monitor this coming summer if a move to the GCL is on the horizon. He and Juan Uriarte should lead the next wave of catching talent to climb through the organization.

48. Jefferson Escorcha, LHP (Mid ’18: NR)
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: DSL Mets 1
20 G/3 S, 5-3, 1.57 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 57.1 IP, 33 H, 12 BB: 63 K
The Venezuelan left hander pitched well in both levels of the Dominican Summer League for the Mets in 2018 after a July promotion both as a starter and reliever. Escorcha has done an excellent job limiting base runners with good control and generating weak contact primarily with his big looping curveball. Escorcha will be another significant DSL pitcher (and fun name) to track as he moves state-side.

49. Trey Cobb, RHP (Mid ’18: 49)
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: A+ St. Lucie
42 G/0 S, 3-2, 3.22 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 12 SV, 50.1 IP, 53 H, 10 BB: 52 K
Cobb put together a great year out of the bullpen by firing a mid-90’s fastball and mixing in a nasty slider. He was the closer in A Columbia for half of his innings this year, and even gave up less contact after moving up to A+ St. Lucie which is a great testament to his arsenal.

50. Bryce Montes de Oca, RHP (Mid ’18: NR)
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: A- Brooklyn, Did Not Play
The physically imposing righty (6’7″, 265lb) was this year’s 9th round selection by the Mets, hailed as a late round steal who fell to them due to injury concerns. However, Montes de Oca has the ability to impact the major league bullpen as a high leverage arm in short order. Drafted twice previously, Montes de Oca has a sizzling triple digit fastball and plus slider that can fast track him to the majors.

About Ben Wilson 9 Articles
Ben covers the New York Penn League and New York Mets minor league baseball for Prospects1500. Ben is a Massachusetts native and Red Sox fan now living in Upstate New York, a haven for taking in Short Season A Ball, AA, and AAA games. Ben has played fantasy baseball for over 15 years and is involved in multiple dynasty leagues, including Scott Greene's Diamond Duos 4. Ben broke into baseball writing with the great support of Mark Nikolov as a team writer at realmccoyminors.com, and has also contributed to notesfromthesally.com. Follow Ben on Twitter @TBDubbs11 for player video and dynasty baseball content.

5 Comments

  1. En, wonderful work as always. But, please correct the caption for Mauricio. He played all year in the Gulf Coast League, then went to Kingsport. He was teammates with Kelenic originally, then rejoined him when he got bumped up to Kingsport for a playoff push.

    • Hi TexasGusCC, thanks for reading. In the wee hours when I wrote Mauricio’s entry, GCL became DSL and I appreciate your comment. As I think we agree, Mauricio’s an exciting player and one to dream on. It is significant that he played in the US at two levels at 17 years old, and will be interesting to see how the new leadership of the Mets develops him over the next few years. Thank you for your readership and support of our work at P1500.

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