MLB.com released its latest set of prospect rankings tonight, and the Mets have five prospects who made the cut.
Here’s some of what the MLB.com staff had to say about each of them:
Scouting grades: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 60 | Overall: 65
…Syndergaard is a classic power right-hander, and he uses his big frame to throw downhill and induce ground balls. His fastball regularly reaches 98 mph and runs inside on right-handed hitters. Syndergaard’s 12-to-6 curveball is his best secondary pitch, though his changeup has the potential to be a third plus pitch in his arsenal. He has excellent command and posted a 4.75 K-to-BB ratio in 2013.
Many expected Syndergaard to follow the path that Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler blazed and reach Queens early this summer. But some minor injuries and on-field struggles at Triple-A Las Vegas slowed down Syndergaard’s progress this season. He still profiles as a front-line starter and remains on track to make his Major League debut at a younger age than either Harvey or Wheeler.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 35 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 5
…Plawecki has impressive bat control and a knack for making contact. His swing is built more for hitting line drives than for power, but his natural strength gives him a chance for more pop in the future.
Defensively, Plawecki is a good receiver and earns praise for his leadership skills. He has an average arm and his game calling is making strides. Plawecki’s play has alleviated pre-Draft concerns about his ability to stay behind the plate, and he now looks like he’ll be more than capable of being an everyday player in the big leagues.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 50 | Run: 50 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55
…Despite his atypical background, Nimmo has a mature approach at the plate. He lines balls from gap to gap and he knows how to work a walk. Nimmo’s swing has a little length to it, and he has been prone to high strikeout totals early in his career.
Nimmo is a center fielder now, but his average speed may eventually force him to into an outfield corner. His game still needs refining, but Nimmo’s on-base skills and quick hands give him the potential to be a solid Major Leaguer in time.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 60 | Run: 40 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55
Conforto has athletic bloodlines, as his father Mike was a Penn State linebacker and his mother Tracie (Ruiz) won two gold medals in synchronized swimming at the 1984 Olympics. Conforto picked baseball, which proved to be a wise choice as he was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year in 2013 and was drafted 10th overall a year later.
Conforto’s signature tool is his left-handed power, which could produce 25-plus homers on an annual basis once he gets to the Major Leagues. He doesn’t get cheated at the plate, taking a big uppercut hack that produces nice loft on his drives.
Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Arm: 50 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55
…Smith has the potential to hit for both average and power. His hand-eye coordination and advanced pitch-recognition skills allow him to get on base often, while still driving balls.
Smith is a below-average runner, limiting him to first base. He has all the skills necessary to develop above-average defense at the position. Even if Smith’s defense does develop as expected, there will always be pressure on his bat. Scouts are confident he will provide enough offense to make him a solid Major Leaguer in time.
There were a few notable snubs on the Mets’ side, including Dilson Herrera, Steve Matz, and Rafael Montero. Remember, Montero pitched 20 innings for the Mets earlier this season, but did not lose his rookie eligibility, so he was still eligible for this list. Montero was ranked 85th going into the season. It’s interesting that Syndergaard’s struggles only cos him three spots on the list, but Montero’s knocked him off it completely.
Overall, however, this list includes four first-round picks by the Mets (all but one of Sandy Alderson’s first-round selections) and one trade acquisition.
If that doesn’t fire you up, perhaps this will. Along with MLB.com’s new top 100 list, they also released an updated top 20 list for each team, and it includes three new draftees or acquisitions. Glancing over the top ten, you could make a case for almost all of them to be in the overall top 100 list. Here is the list:
- Noah Syndergaard
- Kevin Plawecki
- Brandon Nimmo
- Michael Conforto
- Dominic Smith
- Rafael Montero
- Amed Rosario
- Dilson Herrera
- Steve Matz
- Gavin Cecchini
- Milton Ramos
- Gabriel Ynoa
- Cesar Puello
- Cory Mazzoni
- Jack Leathersich
- Marcos Molina
- Blake Taylor
- Michael Fulmer
- Matt den Dekker
- Logan Verrett
And there you have it.
MetsMerizedOnline will be releasing its own official top 25 Mets prospects tomorrow morning. Stay tuned for that, and tons of other minor league analysis here and at MetsMinors.net.