Cream Of The Crop: Mets Top 20 Prospects

Alex and Brenden will be creating their own top 20 prospects per organization. The methodology is simple: they develop their own top 20’s, average them together, then have friendly arguments about who should be higher or lower. The next organization up for them to review is the New York Mets

State of the System Address

Alex –

This system obviously took some hits with all of the trades this offseason, which hurts the overall farm. I really like the top 5, it’s a high-end top 5 but drops off a bit after. This system is built on high upside young guys. How they develop will make or break this system. But if they prove they can develop guys like Mauricio/Santos and even Jaylen Palmer into their ceilings…they could have some special talent for years to come. It could use more depth and SP3 types though.

Brenden –

Starting with the Mets, I have decided to switch up how I do these top 20’s. I decided to create Fantasy Values (FV) for each player that I will include towards the end of each of my writeups. I based my FV projections off of a great article done by Fangraphs. So please look to that article if you want to see their definitions for the FV values I create (we at Baseball Farm are currently on creating our own definitions on the 20-80 scale but will be using Fangraphs for now).

Now onto the Mets’ system itself. This system has lost some talent over the past couple of months with players like Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, and others all being dealt in order to help the big league team win this year. The system is led by their top two prospects, a host of younger talented prospects, then finally a host of SP 4 and reliever types. The Mets used their depth to help their team win now but if they can develop their young talent correctly, this could be a very interesting system very soon.

1. Andres Gimenez, SS

Age – 20

HT/WT – 5-11/165

Handedness (Bats/Throws) – L/R

Current Level – AA

Alex’s Take –

Gimenez is a fairly electric player to watch. At the plate, he flashes an advanced all fields approach that is mature for his age. He has a nice fluid swing and he should be a low K-rate bat at maturity. I see the potential for a 60 hit if everything comes together. Defensively, Gimenez shows all of the makings of a plus defensive SS at times looking like a 60 field and 60 arm player. Combined with above-average speed, this should take some pressure off of his already plus bat as he brings so much to the table away from the plate.

Just freshly turned 20, Gimenez is still growing into his “man muscles” and will add strength, giving me a reason to believe 45 raw power. What troubles me about Gimenez is that he is consistently an over 50% GB rate player who has shown zero signs of improving that. However, his swing has good loft to it and he does get the ball airborne and hits it hard when he does. I am a bit troubled by the sub 20% line drive rate. It means he will be more subject to BABIP swings and could have some real cold periods at the plate. The poor showing in the fall league doesn’t concern me though, he’s proven he can make good hard contact at a young age for his levels, runs well and has a glove that will force his bat into lineups. I do think he will be a better real life than fantasy player however and reminds me quite a bit of Amed Rosario. Future Value grades are 65/50/55 for me.

Brenden’s Take –

So first off, I have to take a moment to admit when I’m wrong. Before doing a deep dive into this system, Gimenez was a guy I couldn’t get behind while he’s been receiving so much love from so many other prospectors. So Gimenez was a big guy for me to take more extended looks to see if I could see if I could see what everyone else was seeing. Suffice it to say, I finally see that Gimenez is a really fine player. Gimenez is an athlete that is so much fun to watch play. Potential plus hitter who shows a great understanding of the strike zone. I would like to see him walk a bit more, but with his hit tool that isn’t too much of a worry of me at this moment. A great runner who exploded for 38 SB’s across two levels in 2018 but do want to see him refine his skills there as he was caught 14 times (though a 73% SB rate isn’t too bad). He hasn’t hit for much power now and probably won’t reach 20 HR down the road, but I love the swing and he utilizes his lower half well and think 15 could be well in reach at his peak. Defensively he’s a plus defender that would fit so nicely at SS and if it wasn’t for Rosario at the Major League level that’s where he would profile.

Overall, I think Gimenez will be an above average regular at the major league level that hits for good average, double-digit pop, SB threat, and plays plus defense that could make an All-Star game or two at his peak. My FV values for him would be 60/50/55+ with his ceiling being an All-Star level player with his floor is that of an average regular.

Ceiling – .280/.350/.465 15/25+

Floor – Utility Player

Expectation – .270/.340/.450 12/25

Risk – Moderate

ETA – 2020


2. Peter Alonso, 1B

Age – 24

HT/WT – 6- 3 245

Handedness – R/R

Current Level – AAA

Alex’s Take –

Anyone in their right mind will love Peter Alonso. He’s by all accounts a good dude, with a great work ethic, who hits absolute moonshots. He’s broken Statcast twice! Is there going to be some swing and miss to his game? Sure, but he will take plenty of walks too! He won’t be Joey Gallo swing and miss either. Probably 30% K-rate with a 10+% BB rate. I’m ok with that. Will he have a sub .300 BABIP? Yeah, he pulls the ball at extreme rates and hits flyballs at extreme rates. He’s also pretty damn slow. Doesn’t matter. If he’s hitting .240 with a .340 OBP hitting 30 plus bombs, that’s really not bad and he will probably be advancing runners flying out to deep right. Is he good defensively? Hell no, but he has a great work ethic and will keep improving each year. And he won’t be that much worse than some of the guys who play the position. Great clubhouse guy, who’s going to get on base and make ESPN top 10’s often. I love Alonso. 80-grade raw power, 80-grade dude. Future Values are 55/40/50 for me.

Brenden’s Take –

80 GRADE POWER. Honestly, I think that’s all I need to say for Alonso. I think light tower power would be an understatement for him and that power will be more than enough to carry him in the majors. Other than that, there’s not much else to his profile. I don’t see him being able to hit better than .260 in the majors and he offers little speed or defensive value at 1B. True first basemen like Alonso always have some risk because they must hit to be a major league player because if they don’t they don’t carry any other value. Alonso has no problem reaching his power in the game, so I don’t expect him to become a AAAA player or anything like I’ve seen many other 1B prospects become but it’s something to always keep in mind when evaluating 1B prospects. If he hits .260 with 40 bombs I don’t see anyone complaining.

I have FV projections of 55/50/55 for him because, from a fantasy standpoint, the average or slightly below hit tool (.250-.260 avg) and no speed value will take a bit out of his overall value in our FV projection system. This is why Gimenez is the number one guy to this system as compared to Alonso because Gimenez offers a more rounded statistical profile.

Ceiling – .260/.355/.585 40/0

Floor – .240/.330/.570 30/0

Expectation – .255/.350/.580 35/0

Risk – Low

ETA – 2019


3. Mark Vientos, 3B

Age – 19

HT/WT – 6-4 190

Handedness – R/R

Current Level – RK

Alex’s Take –

Vientos is a guy who really grew on me during the 2018 season. One of the youngest players in the 2017 draft class, Vientos was 18 for the full 2018 season and over 2 years younger than the standard player in the Appalachian league. That didn’t stop him from putting up a 287/389/489 line while drastically cutting down his K-rate (22.0% to 16.4%) and doubling his BB-rate! At 6-4 190 as a freshly minted 19-year old, Vientos is still growing into his frame and power. Already driving the ball with authority, I think Vientos has 70 raw power and I think could be a 60 game power guy at maturity. He uses all fields and isn’t FB or GB heavy, so I see a decent BABIP despite below average speed and a potential 55 hit tool down the line. Vientos has a well above average arm at third, but is below average defensively and has a lot to clean up. Although he was drafted as a SS, he looks like he should stick at 3rd and has plenty of time to clean up the glovework. Overall, I think we are looking at a potential 55 hit/60 power 3B who has shown the ability to make adjustments at a young age. That’s an impact player. Future Values are 60/40/55.

Brenden’s Take –

One of my favorite younger under-the-radar prospects around. In case you haven’t been paying attention, he’s really starting to pick up steam around prospect circles. He was one of the youngest players drafted in 2017 and only just turned 19 about a month ago. I think he has all the potential to be an OPS monster with both power and on-base abilities. He shows mastery of the strike zone, walking almost as much as he struck out in 2018. He is already starting to show the ability to tap into his raw power, and he still has a ton of projection in his frame. I don’t think 70-grade raw power at his peak physical projection is off the table for him, especially for a kid who posted a .200 ISO in 2018 at just 185 lbs and will probably reach 230 lbs or so at maturity. I also love his swing. However, at his size, it does get a tad long at times and causes him struggles with timing. These issues are very common at his age for players of his size but he’s more advanced than most expect. He profiles nicely at third with a very strong arm, but lacking range that will only get worse as he matures. There is a chance he could get moved to the OF or 1B but I think he can stick at third personally.

I have Vientos projected for FV values of 60/40/55 at this moment. I think he has slightly lower power potential to Alonso but I also think he will be the better overall hitter thus why I gave him a ceiling bump to 60, unlike Alonso. Vientos still has a lot of development to do and he doesn’t have the defensive abilities to fall back on if he falters with the bat. So, I give him a 40 FV floor which is that of a bench player.

Ceiling – .270/.375/.500 30/2

Floor – Bench Player

Expectation – .260/.365/.460 24/0

Risk – High

ETA – 2022


4. Ronny Mauricio

Age – 17

HT/WT – 6-3 170

Handedness – S/R

Current Level – RK

Alex’s Take –

Mauricio, who signed for an impressive $2.1 million out of the Dominican Republic may not have stats that pop off of the page, but his raw tools are extremely exciting! Just 17 and growing into a 6-3 (maybe 6-4) frame that has room for 40 more pounds, Mauricio already has electric bat speed. Skipping the DSL entirely and immediately heading stateside, Mauricio was often the most impressive player on the field playing against older competition. Defensively, he shows good mechanics but is very raw. With his size, a move to third or RF seems like a real possibility, both of which fit his 60-grade arm and size profile. As he fills out, I expect Mauricio to be a 45 runner and don’t expect him to contribute many steals. However, with his bat speed and frame, I think 60 raw power is a real possibility and I like the hit tool’s ceiling to be a 50-55 at maturity. There is a very long way to go and a lot COULD go wrong here. But there is potential here to be a plus player on both sides of the ball and he looks great for his age. He’s a name you will be seeing on dynasty lists for quite awhile. Future Values are 65/45/50 right now.

Brenden’s Take –

The $2.1 million-dollar man who made his stateside debut at just 17 years old in the Gulf Coast League. One of the top 2017 J2 signings, Mauricio has a sweet swing from both sides of the plate. It’s free and easy showing impressive bat speed and strong hands. There is a lot of projection in him physically, but according to Baseball America’s more recent report on him from their top 10 Mets’ prospects (where he also ranked 3rd by the way), he has filled out more physically than most anticipated at this age. Defensively, he’s a tad raw but he has all the tools to be a plus defender at short, except for his range. He has below average top speed and while his hands, plus throwing arm, and footwork is everything you want in a SS, I think his range is going to force him to move away from short long term (potentially 3B or RF). He displays an aggressive approach at the plate, but his natural feel to hit allows him to make great contact. He might not be a high on-base guy at his peak, but his hit tool should more than make up for that.

I see a potential plus hitter with plus power, that might not be able to stick at short but should be an above average defender somewhere on the field. It’s hard to do FV projections for players so young with limited professional experience but at the moment I have him at 60+/40/50+. I think he has immense potential but not ready to give him above a 60 yet, so I chose 60+ to indicate there’s room to grow there. I see a major league player with Mauricio but there is a lot of development left for him to accomplish.

Ceiling – .275/.335/.470 20/0

Floor – Bench Player

Expectation – .260/.325/.450 15/0

Risk – High

ETA – 2023


5. Shervyen Newton, SS

Age – 19

HT/WT – 6-4 180

Handedness – S/R

Current Level – RK

Alex’s Take –

Newton, a native of the Netherlands, was an absolute steal by the Mets for $50k. Athletic and wiry at 6-4 180, the 19-year-old is an across the board smattering of tools. Newton has a very odd profile because, at 19, he’s one of the most patient players I’ve scouted in all of the minors. There is some swing and miss to his game (as evidenced by the 31.6% K-rate) but he walks at a much more absurd 17.3% rate! More importantly, his quality of contact is exceptional. He drives the ball to all fields, hits an exceptional amount of line drives and isn’t GB or FB heavy. Extremely low pop up rate. I really like the hit tool! I’ve seen it as low as a 40 and I just don’t buy it. I think he has a ceiling of a 60 hit. K’s will be there, but his discipline and quality of contact overwhelm that for me.

With his 6-4 frame and just 41.2% GB rate, I see 60 raw power in his near future. With his quality of contact, I think that will be a legit 55 game power, maybe a full 60. He’s not a burner, but is athletic and runs at about a 50-grade clip. Not bad for 6-4. Defensively, he’s an advanced player with a 55 arm and I think he could stay at SS, although he has the tools for 3B and RF if needed. I came into scouting Shervyen not expecting to be as high on him as I am, but I fell in love with this kid. He requires projection, but he could go FLYING up lists next year. Future Values are 65/35/50 right now.

Brenden’s Take –

The Dutchman that hails from the same academy that produced fellow Team Netherlands MLB compatriots Juirckson Profar and Jonathon Schoop finally made his stateside debut in 2018. Newton and Mauricio are very close to me in this list. Newton is similar to Mauricio that if it wasn’t for their size they could potentially stay at SS and are both pretty mature for their ages. Newton is often lauded for his makeup and leadership skills and just seems to have that undefined X-factor scouts look for. Switch hitter that has a lot of physical projection left in his frame that could lead to 70-grade raw power down the road. Love his swing from both sides and it produces easy doubles power right now, which should develop into home run power down the road. He has a patient approach at the plate, which occasionally gets him into trouble as he gets into too many 2-strike counts. Still, he does walk a good bit. So similar to what I said about Vientos, Newton could potentially be an OPS machine if everything breaks right.

For FV projections I think Newton and Mauricio are in the same boat at 60+/40/50+. Part of me thinks Newton could have the higher ceiling but it’s so close and they have so much development left no need to make drastic differences between the two.

Ceiling – .265/.380/.480 30/5

Floor – Bench Player

Expectation – .255/.360/.460 24/2

Risk – High

ETA – 2022


6. David Peterson, LHP

Age – 23

HT/WT – 6-6 240

Handedness – L/L

Current Level – A+

Alex’s Take –

It was interesting to watch people be incredibly high on Peterson as he dominated A ball, then write him off when he faltered in High A last year because he was the exact same pitcher at both levels. The hefty lefty is a “pitchability over stuff” guy who doesn’t have the raw stuff of some other arms on this list but is by far the most polished arm in the system. Peterson mixes a 90-93 MPH sinking fastball that should generate a ton of groundballs with a decent slider/change combo and a meh curve. He throws from a low arm slot that limits his extension and plane, which is a shame with his 6-6 frame. He has plus control and a decent command of his pitches however and while he won’t ever be a high K-rate guy, he should be a high GB-rate guy who gets out of trouble. Has the frame and profile to be an innings eater. His floor seems to be close to his ceiling of an SP4 innings eater type, but his stuff doesn’t really play up in the pen, so he needs to get to the rotation. Future Values are 50/40/50 on him.

Brenden’s Take –

The Mets love big-bodied pitchers and Peterson fits the bill. The 6’6” left-hander out of Oregon focuses on one thing while on the mound and that’s generating groundballs, and he’s been very successful at it. Here are his ground ball rates at 3 different stops across the last two years since being drafted: 62.5% at A- in 2017, 66.7% at A in 2018, and 62.9% at A+ in 2018. Those are elite groundball rates and they are generated by his sinker that sits in the lower 90’s. His slider and changeup are both average to slightly above average and he is able to throw all three pitches for strikes at any time. I really like the changeup since it shows nice arm side tumbling action.

My FV projections for Peterson are as follows: 50/45/50. He’s a high floor prospect and barring injury he will reach his ceiling of an SP 4, possibly a fringy SP 3 but groundball pitchers often don’t have the highest of ceilings and Peterson is no different. This might seem like a high ranking for Peterson, but this system has lost some depth recently and Peterson is a high floor pitcher that many teams would love to have.

Ceiling – SP 4

Floor – Swingman

Expectation – SP 4

Risk – Low

ETA – 2019


7. Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP

Age – 18

HT/WT – 6-3 210

Handedness – R/R

Current Level – RK

Alex’s Take –

Woods-Richardson is basically the anti-Peterson. Very projectable and just freshly turned 18, the young righty already has two potential 60 offerings. He throws a nice fastball living 92-93 but already touching 97 in his debut, with room for more velocity as he grows into his body. His hammer curve is a legit swing and miss pitch and helped him to his nearly 40% K-rate in his debut. His changeup lags behind the other two pitches since he never needed it in HS, but it has the potential to be another plus to double plus offering with his elite arm speed. Much remains to be seen about whether Simeon can fill into his projection, learn to sequence, develop the change and hold his velocity in longer outings…but the ceiling is very very high here. The floor already looks to be a late inning RP with two 60 grade pitches at just 18. A possible helium prospect in 2019. Future Values are 65/45/50.

Brenden’s Take –

From a raw stuff perspective, Woods-Richardson might be the best pitcher in the system. The fastball sits around 93 but peaks around 97 with a high spin rate and he has room to grow so I expect him to sit around 95 at his peak. The curveball is a plus pitch for him as well, that has a lot of vertical movement to it and is a legitimate out pitch. He also possesses a changeup, that is fringy at the moment, but I like its potential as it shows good arm side fade at times. There still are concerns with him though. I think there are a fair amount of durability concerns with him. There are multiple reports of him struggling to maintain velocity late into starts and his motion is high effort.

Personally, he’s screaming reliever to me. Still, I can’t deny his high upside if he can quell the durability concerns I have. I should mention that these durability concerns aren’t that different from most high school pitchers, so my concerns might be overblown but I feel they are worth mentioning. My personal FV projections for him are 60+/45/50, with the floor and expectation FV’s being as a reliever. His stuff is almost reliever ready right now and I want to see some of the durability concerns answered before I give him an expected FV of a starter.

Ceiling – SP 2/3

Floor – Middle-Late Reliever

Expectation – SP 4 

Risk – Very High

ETA – 2022


8. Thomas Szapucki, LHP

Age – 22

HT/WT – 6-2 180

Handedness – R/L

Current Level – A

Alex’s Take –

Szapucki has an electric fastball/curveball combo that should produce tons of swings and misses. His heater lives 93-95 and touches 97 with riding life and explodes out of his hand! He throws a power hammer curve that buckles knees and will continue to be a swing and miss pitch. His change is very inconsistent but has good sinking action to it. Probably a 50 ceiling but a 40 now due to inconsistency. Szapucki has issues getting out of whack mechanically and will likely have issues harnessing his stuff at times. But the stuff is dominant enough to override those issues for the time being.

The real concern here is durability. In just 83 professional innings over 3.5 seasons, Szapucki has had back issues, shoulder issues and Tommy John surgery. He was shut down in 2016, 2017 and missed all of 2018. That’s a real concern. With his delivery concerns, durability concerns and elite two pitches, Szapucki has real bullpen concerns. However, he has the stuff to dominate in that role and has shown he can be dominant as a starter when healthy. Szapucki and Woods-Richardson form a clear top 2 stuff-wise within the organization. And Szapucki’s upside if he’s healthy is just too much to rank him any lower. Future Values are 60/45/50 with health.

Brenden’s Take –

Szapucki was a guy that I really wanted to put a little higher but just really struggled to justify it. We will start with the obvious red flag with that he missed all of 2018 with TJS. Let’s cover some of the good though. He has a lethal combination of a high spin-rate fastball and curveball. The curveball registered the highest spin rate of any while at a Perfect Game showcase before he was drafted according to Baseball America. The fastball sat around 93 with tremendous life and could up it up to about 96. I think one of the first things that jump out at you regarding Szapucki was his low 3/4 arm slot that is basically sidearm. Usually, when you see these types of pitchers, people generally think reliever, but Szapucki impressed me immensely with his ability to repeat the delivery and the ease of it. So personally, I think there is plenty of opportunities for him to become a starter. Before his injury, there were a lot of concerns with his control and the lack of the third pitch. The changeup was fringy at best, the last time anyone saw him pitch in a game.

Szapucki has a lot of talent but there are also a lot of question marks that I’m hoping are answered in 2019 with his return to the mound. Currently, I have FV projections of 60/40/45. I think he has middle of the rotation potential and assuming he’s healthy has a good reliever floor with the fastball and curveball combo. As much as I want to say he will be a starter for sure, it’s hard for me to give him an expectation grade of a starter until I see how he returns from TJS this season and hopefully answers a large number of durability questions.

Ceiling – SP 3

Floor – Middle-Late Relief

Expectation – Late Relief

Risk – High

ETA – 2021


9. Junior Santos, RHP

Age – 17

HT/WT – 6-8 220

Handedness – R/R

Current Level – RK

Alex’s Take –

I wrote about Santos a few weeks back here. The freshly minted 17-year-old Domincan righty stands 6-8 220 and signed for $275k in 2017. Since my write up, Santos has been added to the Mets system rankings by MLB Pipeline, FanGraphs, and Prospects Live to name a few. I am still the high guy on Santos though. Santos is absurdly athletic for his size and age, mechanically looking much much more polished than you’d expect! He also has a more advanced starters arsenal than you’d expect for what was a 6-8 16-year-old pitching in the DSL and as one of the youngest players to make an appearance in Rookie ball.

Santos has hit as high as 94 on the gun, which is insane for a 16 year old, and lives 90-92. More impressive yet is that he works in a sharp low 8o’s slider with bite that flashes 50 and a plus plus change with both sink and tumble that mimics his fastball arm action and is a swing and miss pitch with good velo separation from his heat. It is a nasty changeup. At his size and age, Santos is the definition of projectability and could realistically add as much as 5-7 MPH to his fastball and more power to his offspeed, which could mean triple-digit heat with 2 60 grade offspeed if it all comes together. Combine that with the absurd extension he gets from his 6-8 frame and the perceived velo will be off the charts.

Santos absolutely dominated the DSL last year to the tune of 1-1 with a 2.80 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 36K/6BB ratio over 45 IP in 10 starts. The Mets noticed this dominance and made him the 4th youngest player in the Gulf Coast League, where he made 3 appearances out of the pen, again dominating hitters. In his 3 relief appearances as the youngest player in the league, he went 5 scoreless innings, giving up just 4 hits and zero walks, while striking out 3. Not bad for a 16-year-old. I expect Santos to experiment with adding a 4th pitch in 2019 and think he could explode onto the scene like Michel Baez did in 2017 and think he has a similar upside to Baez. Future Values are 70/30/60 but a very wide range of possible outcomes.

Brenden’s Take –

This ranking is tough for me. There is so little information on Santos that I can’t give any real opinions of mine since the only good video on him by Baseball America was taken down before I could take my own look at him. This is one where I’m going to defer to my partner as he was able to break down the video before it got taken down and wrote up this terrific piece (seriously if you haven’t, you need to). 6’8” pitcher that shows an athletic delivery with a fastball that was hitting 94 at 16 years old, sign me up. Obviously, there’s a lot of concerns with a pitcher of this age and usually, pitchers of that size have a lot of troubles repeating deliveries. I will hold off giving FV evaluations until I can get my own real looks on Santos for now, but he’s squarely on my radar.

Ceiling – Top of the Rotation

Floor – Doesn’t make the Majors

Expectation – Hard to say but Alex would kill me if I put anything but Middle of the Rotation

Risk – Very High

ETA – 2023


10. Anthony Kay, LHP

Age – 23

HT/WT – 6-0 220

Handedness – L/L

Current Level – A+

Alex’s Take –

Kay was a high profile pitcher from UConn, drafted 31st overall by the Mets in 2016 for well under slot. His MLB debut was delayed by TJS. When he finally debuted in 2018, Kay proved he could handle a decent workload throwing 122 2/3 IP albeit with fairly meh numbers. Kay has a fastball that sits 92-93 and can touch 95 with a curve and change that are both interesting but lack command and are currently below average offerings. Kay does a good job sequencing and I like his mechanics, but I do think he’s ultimately a bullpen arm. His breaking ball needs a lot of work for me and he doesn’t quite have raw stuff to get through lineups 3 times with just his fastball/change combo. The upside is a lefty Beau Burrows for me, but I think his stuff plays up more in the pen. Future Values are 50/40/50 for Kay.

Brenden’s Take –

Anthony Kay while pitching for UConn was almost strictly a fastball/changeup pitcher, but a very good fastball/changeup pitcher. The fastball sits 92-94 and he can manipulate it multiple ways. He can throw it up in the zone with good rising action (read: high spin rate so the ball doesn’t drop), he can cut it, sink it, and run it into the right-handers. The changeup is also a good pitch for him that shows good tumbling action toward his arm-side. He required TJS shortly being drafted in 2016 and didn’t make his professional debut until 2018, so he has missed some development time. However, he has returned with an improved third pitch. He has added a curveball to his arsenal on his return to the mound and according to Baseball America, it reaches near 3,000 RPM (the average for an MLB curveball is about 2,500 RPM). He is still working to throw the pitch consistently, but it can be an above average pitch for him. His return to the mound was uninspiring though. He posted a 4.54 ERA at A ball in 69.1 innings and a 3.88 ERA at A+ but his K-rate dropped from just over 10.0 K/9 to about 7.5 K/9. Important to note he recorded FIP’s of around 3.50 at each stint in 2018 but the K-rate drop is a worrying sign that his stuff might not be good enough to get more advanced hitters out.

Currently, I have FV projections of 55/40/50 for Kay. He has 3 average to above average pitches and shows pitchability which makes me think he can succeed as a potential SP 3-4, but I can’t ignore the reliever risk. With his smaller frame and uninspiring return to the mound, there is a decent chance he ends up in the bullpen. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for now and will be in wait-and-see mode going into 2019 to see if another year removed from TJS can prove my expectation of a starter correct, while also proving my colleague wrong.

Ceiling – SP 3/4

Floor – Middle reliever

Expectation – SP 4

Risk – Moderate

ETA – 2021


11. Franklyn Kilome, RHP

Age – 23

HT/WT – 6-6 175

Handedness – R/R

Current Level – AA

Alex’s Take –

Kilome will miss 2019 with Tommy John, but his stuff is electric. His fastball lives 95-96 and will touch as high as 98 and he works off of that with a curve that will flash plus. He’s developing a change that lags behind currently. The change will determine if Kilome is a starter or an RP when all is said and done. Kilome struggles mightily with sequencing and is still a bit raw and projectable for a 23-year-old. But with his stuff upside and being regarded as a plus makeup and work ethic, I like his chances. I think the pen is more likely than the first inning, but his stuff would play up and he could be a guy who touches 100 with a nice curve out of the pen. Future Values are 60/45/50 if he comes back healthy.

Brenden’s Take –

Kilome was acquired by the Mets in the Asdrubal Cabrera trade and has often been lauded for his work ethic and durability (reportedly never missed a bullpen session or start). Of course, right on cue, Kilome underwent TJS shortly after being acquired and will miss the 2019 season. Kilome is well-equipped with a fastball that sits 93-95 and touches 97 and high-70’s bender that creates a lethal combo for any pitcher. He is lacking a third pitch as his changeup is fringy at best and his control and command are slightly below average. He is still projectable, and the fastball and curve will give him a steady floor in the bullpen where I think his stuff plays up nicely and could potentially approach triple digits and drop the devastating curve as well.

My FV projections for Kilome are 60/45/50 with his floor and expectation is that of a reliever. Can’t count him out yet as a starter where if he develops a little more control and a third pitch could be a middle of the rotation guy but the bullpen is where he will be in my opinion. The bullpen could be a friendly place for his future where I can see closer potential in him with his stuff. The only reason for Kay being ranked above Kilome, in my opinion, is that I still see Kay sticking in the rotation which gives him a bump in my eyes. If Kay can’t show improvements I expect to see in 2019, Kilome will easily jump regardless of whether he’s pitching in 2019 or not.

Ceiling – SP3

Floor – Mid RP

Expectation – Set Up RP

Risk – High

ETA – Late 2020


12. Francisco Alvarez, C

Age – 17

HT/WT – 5-11 220

Handedness – R/R

Current Level – N/A

Alex’s Take –

Signed for $2.7 million (thethird-highest bonus in the 2018 J2 class) Alvarez is an absolute masher at the plate. He has a simple swing but generates tremendous power from it. I think he is going to put up eye popping stats at the lower levels and has all of the tools to hit for average and power at the higher levels. Defensively, he shows the ability to develop an average arm behind the dish and is a bit of a question mark receiving and framing. Conditioning is a bit of a concern with Alvarez, who is already 5-11 220 lbs at 17 and isn’t a premier athlete by any means. But I want to give him the benefit of the doubt and see what kind of shape he gets in with MLB team resources available to him. Regardless of conditioning, Alvarez can hit. The bat will play somewhere. He reminds me a lot of Jesus Montero as a prospect, who was a unanimous top 10 prospect at one point in time. Future Values are 65/35/55 for Alvarez.

Brenden’s Take –

This boy gonna mash. Alright, I’m done that’s all you need to know.

Seriously though, Alvarez the young Venezuelan catcher who was signed for a cool $2.7M (the Mets highest 2018 J2 bonus) is someone that you need on your radar in deeper dynasty leagues. He has a strong lower half and generate impressive bat speed and is looking to punish baseballs with a swing tailormade to hit the baseball a long way. There are a lot of questions regarding his abilities to stay behind the plate, mostly regarding whether he can stay in shape enough to stay nimble enough. He’s already pretty big at 220 lbs at just 16 years old so he will have to stay on top of his conditioning to stay there defensively. At this moment, he’s surprisingly nimbler than I expect when throwing and has a good arm but is still raw defensively.

My FV projections for Alvarez are 60+/35/50. Don’t pay too much attention to the expectation FV value, I think he’s too young and raw to have a good feel for what I really expect from him, but I do think that bat is going to be what carries him. It would be a bonus if he could stay behind the plate as I think he has potential 30 HR power with an average hit tool which will play where ever he ends up defensively.

Ceiling – 280/360/510 30/1

Floor – Jesus Montero

Expectation -265/335/460 20/0

Risk – Very High

ETA – 2024


13. Adrian Hernandez, OF

Age – 17

HT/WT – 5-9 210

Handedness – R/R

Current Level – N/A

Alex’s Take –

Hernandez, a surprisingly similar height weight to the aforementioned Alvarez, is a much different body type. Built with a solid compact athletic build, Hernandez looks like a shorter Yasiel Puig in uniform and has a similar plus power/speed combo. Hernandez is a solid but not spectacular defensively in the outfield and shouldn’t be held back by his glove. The concern here is the hit tool. Hernandez has a lot of moving parts to his swing and will get out of whack. This is holding back his 55 raw power from showing up in games and resulting in high k rates. I really like Hernandez’s quick wrists and use of all fields, which are encouraging signs that the hit will improve. Raw but toolsy is the profile here. High ceiling but a long way to go to reach it. Future Values are 55/35/45 for me.

Brenden’s Take –

A shorter Yasiel Puig is the comp my partner gives to Hernandez and I can’t help but agree. Hernandez is a quick twitch athlete with a compact frame at just 5’9” and 210lb. Incredibly interesting power/speed profile that is raw but one worth keeping an eye on. Defensively he’s average across the board so that won’t hold him back and can play CF or LF, not sure he has the arm strength to play RF but could probably play there in a pinch. The swing is unrefined and a tad stiff but the bat speed and power he generates is undeniable. I’m impressed with his professional debut in the DSL. I usually don’t put too much stock in DSL performance, but I was happy to see him flash his power/speed profile (5HR/9SB) there with a limited strikeout rate (18%). Going to wait until he reaches stateside before I start trusting the numbers he puts up, but I’m happy to see him not scuffle in the DSL.

The raw power/speed prospect currently grades out as 55+/35/45 for me. Really like his potential but he presents a lot of risk. Similar to Alvarez, don’t stare at my expectation FV value too hard it’s purely a guess at this point but I do like Alvarez a tad more at this moment.

Ceiling – 265/320/460 20/30

Floor – 4th Outfielder type

Expectation – 245/300/420 15/20

Risk – Very High

ETA – 2023


14. Will Toffey, 3B

Age – 24

HT/WT – 6-2 205

Handedness – L/R

Current Level – AA

Alex’s Take –

Toffey, a former star at Vanderbilt, came over from Oakland in the Jeurys Familia trade. The arm and glove at third base are the carrying tools here. Toffey has the makings of a potential stud third baseman defensively, with a plus glove and double plus arm. He has fantastic discipline and put up a .394 OBP in AA after coming over in the trade. He won’t offer a ton of average as he lacks plus speed or power, but he gets the ball airborne at an extremely high clip and should hit a ton of doubles. While he lacks the power of a Matt Chapman or Matt Carpenter, that’s the profile here. A high OBP plus defensive 3B who will hit the ball in the air. Future Values are 55/40/45 with a lot of the value coming from the glove.

Brenden’s Take –

Toffey hails from well-known college baseball powerhouse Vanderbilt. Vandy is best known for producing coveted arm after coveted arm, but Toffey was an offensive and defensive standout since he was a freshman. At the next level, his best path to the majors will be his defense where I grade him as plus at the hot corner. Average hit tool and while he does have favorable batted ball profile with a 50% fly ball rate when traded to the Mets in the middle of 2018, I don’t think he has enough power to take advantage of it. He also displays terrific plate discipline with walk percentages 15% or higher in his 2 seasons since being drafted.

I think Toffey is a safe bet to be a major league player with his plate discipline skills and plus defense with a batted ball profile that if harnessed correctly could make the most of his power. I have a 50/45/50 FV projections for him with him being at worst being a platoon or good bench piece for a major league team.

Ceiling – 260/370/470 17/3

Floor – AAAA Depth

Expectation – 245/335/420 13/1

Risk – Medium

ETA – 2020


15. Jordan Humphreys, RHP

Age – 22

HT/WT – 6-2 225

Handedness – R/R

Current Level – A+

Alex’s Take –

Humphreys missed the end of 2017 and all of 2018 with an elbow injury, but before the injury, he was 10-1 with a 1.79 era, 0.87 WHIP and 83K/12BB in 80 2/3 innings over 13 starts between A and A+. If he returns fully healthy, he mixes a low 90’s fastball that has solid movement with a decent changeup/curve combo and a middling slider. Sequencing and location is the name of the game with Humphrey’s and he’s amazing at it. Just watching his raw stuff, you would question how he could possibly have put up the kind of season he had in 2017. But when you watch him pitch, you see a chess player on the mound setting hitters up pitch after pitch. I think the ceiling is a SP 4 here, but I think the floor is similar if he’s healthy. I love watching a true pitcher on the mound. Future Values are 50/40/45.

Brenden’s Take –

When watching Humphreys, I think the first thing that stands out or doesn’t stand out is his stuff. It’s an average arsenal across the board with a low 90’s fastball, slow breaking curve, changeup, and a fringy slider. Honestly, my first thoughts are am I watching the right pitcher because his numbers ever since being drafted in 2015 are simply terrific. Just to give a small snapshot here are some numbers from his 2017 season at A ball: 1.42 ERA, 10.33 K/9, 1.16 BB/9, and just 0.26 HR/9 in 69.2 innings. So Humphreys is a pitcher that needs a closer look and the answer is pretty simple. Humphreys is an artist on the mound. Painting the corners with his entire arsenal. Inside, outside, up, down, it doesn’t matter he can throw his pitches anywhere he wants at any time. He keeps hitters unbalanced and simply knows how to pitch.

I fully expect his numbers to normalize a bit as he progresses because I think he’s simply taking advantage of less experienced hitters but his ceiling (and floor) are squarely right around an SP 4 and that’s about where I have his FV values, 50/45/50. You might be wondering why I’ve made no mention of his 2018 season and that’s because he missed the 2018 season due to TJS. Should hopefully return in 2019, and we will see how he looks upon his return.

Ceiling – Sp4

Floor – Swingman

Expectation – SP5

Risk – Medium

ETA – 2021


16. Tony Dibrell, RHP

Age – 23

HT/WT – 6-3 190

Handedness – R/R

Current Level – A

Alex’s Take –

Command is going to either make or break Dibrell. A plus athlete, he has good raw stuff on the mound. His fastball lives 92-93 with extension from his long arms and will touch 95-96. Dibrell also throws a hard slider that it a plus pitch when it is on, a decent changeup and an average curve. The traditional starters mix all show average or better, but at times with lack consistency and command. Dibrell has good arm speed on the mound and could add more velo as he fills out his frame. A non-power 5 school arm from Kennesaw State, Dibrell is a bit raw and needs to learn to sequence his pitches a bit better. As such and with his command concerns, Dibrell has reliever risk and his stuff would play up in that role. But if he can refine his command and sequencing, he could become an SP3. Future Values are 55/40/40. Mostly due to him looking like an RP more likely than a starter.

Brenden’s Take –

Tony Dibrell played just down the road from where I grew up at Kennesaw State and at one point in time really wanted to play baseball there (that was before I realized I wasn’t that good). When first looking at Dibrell I saw a pitcher with a good college track record at an underrated baseball program with wicked arm speed and still some projection in his body. He also possesses an above average changeup and a decent breaking ball. The more I watch him though, the more I’m a little disappointed. He has those long limbs but I feel like his delivery is all arm, and he gets by because he has tremendous arm speed. He doesn’t maximize his lower half and finishes basically standing up while short arming with little extension in the load phase of his motion. I really want to see some mechanical changes with Dibrell to take advantage of his athletic frame, so he doesn’t have a motion that puts so much pressure on his elbow which has seen a lot of innings since his college days.

Dibrell receives FV projections of 50/40/40 with his floor and expectation projections being that for a reliever. I think he has the arm speed and stuff to potentially be a mid-back of the rotation guy but I have my concerns regarding his pitching motion and hope to see improvements there because I want this kid to succeed.

Ceiling – Sp3

Floor – 7th inning RP

Expectation – Long Reliever

Risk – High

ETA – 2021


17. Christian James, RHP

Age – 20

HT/WT – 6-3 210

Handedness – R/R

Current Level – AA

Alex’s Take –

James is a command/sequencing “pitchability” over raw stuff type pitcher who exploded as a prospect to the tune of a 4-3 1.90 era 1.066 whip and just 54K/21BB in 80 2/3 IP last year. The strikeout rate isn’t a mirage, James is a bit of a soft tosser who thrives on soft contact over swing and miss, but he excels at getting it. It’s worth noting that his k rate went up to 9k per 9 in his spot starts at A+ and AA while his whip dropped. It’s possible he unlocked something there, but I couldn’t see it on tape. Overall he’s a typical high floor/low ceiling arm. Future Values are 50/40/45.

Brenden’s Take –

The Mets love dipping into the state of Florida for potential pitchers that could develop more velocity and James fits that mold. With a fastball that sits lower 90’s and room on his frame there is a fair expectation to add a few ticks to his fastball as he develops. James also has a nice breaking ball and average feel for a changeup. James is more of a pitchability guy who exudes confidence on the mound from the tape I’ve been able to watch. There’s not a lot of game tape on James right now and after the season, posting a 2.01 ERA at A- in 2018 I’m interested to get more looks at him next year at Columbia. He also only posted a 5.65 K/9 in that same span which isn’t super exciting but can’t deny the overall results.

James looks to be a SP 4 at his ceiling which coincides with my FV projections of 50/40/45. James doesn’t have the stuff to make it in the bullpen, so he will need to show that his weak contact approach can be enough to lead him to the majors on a regular basis.

Ceiling – SP4

Floor – Mop Up Duty Reliever

Expectation – Swingman

Risk – Medium

ETA – 2021


18. Desmond Lindsay, OF

Age – 21

HT/WT – 6-0 200

Handedness – R/R

Current Level – A+

Alex’s Take –

Lindsay was once a high profile prospect on many sleepers lists, but after 4 years and a plethora of injuries that shine is wearing off. Lindsay still has exciting footspeed with solid bat speed and discipline, with some centerfield ability. He’s also just 21 years old. But his skills seem to have declined slightly each year. There are still moments where you see the raw tools shine through, so he deserves his spot on this list, but he looks less like an everyday CF and more like a future 4th outfielder at this point. Future Values are 55/35/40 for me.

Brenden’s Take –

Lindsay is a player that many Mets fans could be more disappointed isn’t higher at this point. He has been in the top 10 of Mets prospects for Baseball America for the last three years, but not in 2018. He has the raw tools to be a good player but between injuries and inconsistencies, he just hasn’t put it together yet and it’s fair to question whether it ever will. He has plus raw power and speed right now, but it hasn’t translated into a consistent power or speed threat in the numbers that matter at the end of the day, home runs and steals. He has a lot of contact issues that doesn’t seem to stem from swinging at bad pitches if you look at his walk rates (11.0% in 2018) but I have read reports of having trouble with his eyesight. Now he doesn’t have the same deteriorating eye condition but thoughts of Tommy Pham do jump to mind here.

If he can somehow put it all together he could be an above-average regular with power and speed but if he doesn’t I think at best he’s a AAAA player who makes some MLB appearances and occasionally pops but can’t sustain success. That gives him a 55/35/40 FV projection from me.

Ceiling – 265/335/460 15/15

Floor – 5th Outfielder

Expectation – 4th Outfielder

Risk – High

ETA – 2022


19. Ryley Gilliam, RHP

Age – 21

HT/WT – 5-11 175

Handedness – R/R

Current Level – A-

Alex’s Take –

Gilliam, who has appeared as a closer for Clemson and Team USA, is a bit undersized but is an electric fastball/curve relief arm. There is legitimate closer upside here. He has a high effort delivery and is prone to high walk totals. But his 92-96  fastball with excellent life and hammer curve make him damn hard to hit. Gilliam struck out 31 batters in his 17 inning debut allowed just a 5.71 Hits per 9. Command/control is going to be the key here. But Gilliam has the raw stuff to jump all the way to the MLB this year after being drafted in 2018 and could become a solid closer if he develops his command. An exciting arm to watch. Future Values are 50/40/45 all as a reliever.

Brenden’s Take –

Best curveball in the Mets’ farm system. The thing should be illegal. Gilliam was the closer for Clemson and he dominated with a good fastball that sits 91-94 and can touch 95-96 when needed but it’s all about the hammer curve. He unleashed the pitch against short-season A-ball hitters striking out 31 batters over 17 innings, 3 away from striking out 2 an inning. He has a bit of a funky delivery which helps with his deception.

I’m still trying to decide whether or not he has closer potential. He will be a fast riser and should be an impact reliever but I’m still unsure he can consistently close the door at the end of games. For the moment I will give him a ceiling of a low tier closer or high set up man with the floor of a middle reliever, which sets him up for 50/40/45 FV projections.

Ceiling – Closer

Floor – 7th inning RP

Expectation – Set Up Role

Risk – Low

ETA – 2020


20. Jaylen Palmer, SS/3B

Age – 18

HT/WT – 6-3 195

Handedness – R/R

Current Level – RK

Alex’s Take –

Palmer, a local kid from Holy Cross High School in Flushing, NY was an area scout steal by the Mets. A late bloomer who grew from 5-5 to 6-3 in high school and could still be growing has defensive skills that belie his size. With a Carlos Correa type build and excellent bat speed that shows plus raw power potential as he grows into his frame and decent foot speed, there is massive upside in Palmer’s profile. One of the younger players in the class, Palmer showed more advanced game than expected slashing 310/394/414 in rookie ball with 5 steals in just 25 games. He has fantastic discipline and took 36.1 % of his batted balls to opposite field. An under the radar HS bat, Palmer is still raw but better than expected with tremendous upside. One of my guys I have filed away to make sure I keep a close eye on in 2019. Future Values are 60/30/45 with so many directions his prospect status could go.

Brenden’s Take –

Ever hear the story of star NBA player Anthony Davis? Talented player that had a late growth spurt in high school and was able to retain his skills he had developed when he was of smaller stature and turned into one of the best players the game of basketball has ever seen. Palmer could have a similar story. The once smaller shortstop had a late growth spurt and now is an incredibly interesting baseball prospect. Okay, I don’t think Palmer will become the Anthony Davis of baseball, but I couldn’t help of think of Davis’ story when reading up on Palmer.

Palmer is all about projection. Long-limbed athlete that has a quick bat, good speed, and a strong arm. He’s currently a SS and could stick there but I think a move to the OF is more likely (but admittingly it’s almost impossible to project with Palmer). On top of all these raw tools that Palmer possesses, he didn’t have a half bad debut considering how raw we think he is. He slashed .310/.394/.414 at Rookie ball which I think is impressive for what I’ve seen on tape. His strikeout percentage will need some work (27.0%) but all in all, a successful debut and much better than I would’ve anticipated. Hard to give FV projections for a player so young and raw who could be molded into anything, but I’ll give him a rough 55+/35/45 right now. High ceiling, low floor, and I think he shows enough defensive ability where he could carve out an MLB role down the road but Palmer is one to keep an eye on.

Ceiling – 285/370/500 25/15

Floor – Never Reaches MLB

Expectation – 260/345/460 20/8

Risk – Very High

ETA – 2024


Honorable Mentions

Freddy Valez/OF/6-3 215: High bonus ($1.45 mil) J2 signing from 2018. He has solid power upside but a bit long of a swing with some moving parts. Already 6-3 215, he’s going to be a massive human and his raw power mirrors that. Game tape didn’t impress me all that much, but I did really like his arm in right field. Looks like a high power/High K right fielder to me with home run upside.

Jaison Vilera/RHP/6-0 190: Fastball/slider/change righty with below average stuff but good sequencing and command. Career 18-5 record with a 1.73 ERA, 0.99 WHIP across 247 career IP. Hasn’t faced high-level bats yet.

Carlos Cortes/2B/5-7 195: Draft-eligible 2018 sophomore who signed for $1.0 mil as a third-round pick. Stocky frame, throws ambidextrously (righty at 2B and lefty in the outfield). Has tremendous raw pop and decent discipline. Was solid at South Carolina last year and had a nice cape. Draws Willie Calhoun comps that hold up on tape but has a better work ethic. Drafted twice by the Mets, who clearly like him.

Stanley Consuerga/OF/6-2 170: Hyper projectable young outfielder. Long swing currently that holds back his profile and he hasn’t yet grown into his frame. Plus defender with a strong arm, quick-twitch athlete with good speed and projects for plus raw power once he fills out his frame. 2017 J2 guy.

Tim Tebow/OF/6-3 245: Former Heisman winner and NFL “QB”. He’s not good but he’s entertaining. Did you know he was born in the Phillipines?

Photo credits: MiLB, MLB, MLBPipeline, Ray Teadora (@rteodora1)

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