Now that the 2015 First-year player draft has concluded, I felt compelled to update Mets Top Prospect list that I composed for GotC during the offseason. If you would like to examine the first list, you can do so here.
After years of blue-chip prospects in the upper levels of the minors, the Mets now have a system flush with extremely young talent. Of the top ten prospects listed below, five are 20 years old or younger. Thus, you may be seeing some unfamiliar names in this midseason edition of the Mets top prospects. Enjoy!
Steven Matz: Preseason Ranking, #2, Mid-season Ranking, #1
Coming off a year in which he sported a 2.25 ERA across two leagues, not many expected Steven Matz to improve his statistics in the ban-box that is Triple-A Vegas. Somehow, though, the lefty noted as a “gamer” found a way to improve.
Currently, the southpaw leads the Pacific Coast League in ERA (1.94), Wins (6), and Strikeouts (75). It won’t be long until we see Matz in the big leagues.Mar 7, 2015; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets Michael Conforto (39) drives in a run against the Atlanta Braves during the spring training baseball game at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Conforto: Preseason Ranking, #7, Mid-season Ranking, #2
Michael Conforto’s five-ranking jump on the MMO prospect list can be credited to both the flurry of promotions of higher-valued Mets youngsters as well as a blistering start to the 2015 season.
The 2014 first round pick made easy work of High-A St. Lucie before earning a call to Binghamton, where he has continued to hit. Overall, the former beaver owns an .871 OPS and a stellar 34:26 K/BB ratio in 2015.
At this pace, a midseason 2016 debut is looking conservative.
Amed Rosario: Preseason Ranking, #6, Mid-season Ranking, #3
Amed Rosario has quickly embraced full-season ball. Only 57 games into the season, the Santo Domingo native has already improved upon the total number of doubles and stolen bases he collected in 2014.
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His slash line of .275/.315/.374 is not great. However, we have to remember this kid is just 19 years old, nearly four years younger than the Low-A league average.
In fact, Rosario has not faced one pitcher younger than him this season. Due to his age, Amed’s improvements are that much more impressive.
Brandon Nimmo: Preseason Ranking, #4, Mid-season Ranking, #4
Brandon Nimmo’s stock has remained steady thanks to mixed results at Double-A. The lefty is hitting a strong .297 with a .788 OPS. However, Nimmo has slugged only two home runs and nine extra-base-hits in total. Power is generally the last tool to manifest in a prospect, but in his fifth professional season, you would have hoped to see a bit more pop.
An interesting side note: Nimmo has not stolen or attempted to steal a base this year. Last year, the Wyomingite had 14 steals in 18 attempts, so maybe the 2011 first rounder is not 100%.After a big 2014 season, Gavin Cecchini will look to get back to elite prospect status this summer.
Gavin Cecchini: Preseason Ranking, N/A, Mid-season Ranking, #5
I have to be honest, I really love what I am seeing out of Gavin Cecchini in 2015. He has gotten considerably stronger, evidenced by his career-high .470 slugging percentage, and his line-drive swing is finally starting to produce results.
“Cheech” has struggled in the field, committing 14 errors in 223 chances, but as few scouts questions his defensive ability, we can chalk those errors up to inadequate infields and inexperience rather than a lack of talent.
I am excited to see how the former 12th overall pick performs in the second half of the season.
Dominic Smith: Preseason Ranking, #10, Mid-season Ranking, #6
The victim of much criticism after an early slow start, Dominic Smith has turned around his season. Consider his improvement.
In April, Smith batted .220 with a .500 OPS. In May, the lefty hit .276 with a .750 OPS. And in June, Smith has again increased his output with a .333 average and an astounding 1.036 OPS.
If he can continue this positive trend, we may see Smith at first base in Binghamton in the near future. He is still just 20 years old.
Casey Meisner: Preseason Ranking, N/A, Mid-season Ranking, #7
Pegged by MLB.com Prospect Analyst Jim Callis as a breakout candidate in his exclusive interview with GotC, Casey Meisner has lived up to those expectations halfway through 2015. In ten starts for Low-A Savannah, the 20-year-old owns a 6-1 record boosted by a sparkling 1.82 ERA.
Already two years younger than the average Sally league player, though, Mets may just keep him in Savannah for the remainder of the season to develop. At 6-7, 190 pounds, Meisner should be able to add weight and consequently a few ticks to his fastball, which already sits in the low-to-mid 90s.
Nevertheless, the big righty is making a name for himself in the lower minors and could see some time in Binghamton by season’s end.June 05, 2011; Flushing, NY, USA; New York Mets mascot Mr. Met throws t-shirts to the crowd during a game against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Braves 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Andrew B. Fielding-US PRESSWIRE
Wuilmer Becerra: Preseason Ranking, N/A, Mid-season Ranking, #8
Now with two straight strong campaigns under his belt, Wuilmer Becerra could make the R.A. Dickey trade the steal of the generation. The cavernous Greyson Stadium has hardly limited the Venezuela native; he sports a .288 batting average, a .340 on base percentage, and a career-high .845 OPS through 54 contests.
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In addition to the strong offensive game Becerra has showcased this year, the 20-year-old also has revealed good speed, solid range right field, as well as a strong arm.
He is still pretty far away from the major leagues, but Becerra has the chance to develop into a five-tool player. I would not be surprised if he emerged as a top-five organizational prospect at this time next year.
Desmond Lindsay: Preseason Ranking, N/A, Mid-season Ranking, #9
The newest Mets top prospect, Desmond Lindsay offers an impressive combination of quickness, athleticism, power, and bat speed. Lindsay has a lot of developing and strengthening to undergo as a professional, but his four-tool potential earns him an early spot on the Mets top prospect list.
Hopefully, we’ll catch the Mets first draft pick in Brooklyn this summer. For more on Lindsay, check out my full profile here.
Robert Gsellman: Preseason Ranking, N/A, Mid-season Ranking, #10
Like many on this list, Robert Gsellman has catapulted himself from a mid-level prospect into the top ten. This jump is not hard to understand when you look at the numbers: in eight Low-A starts, the 6-4 righty owns a pristine 1.76 ERA and 1.9 BB/9 ratio.
Gsellman may need to put on a little more weight in order to sustain a 200 inning workload, but he has a good build for a starting pitchers. In his arsenal, his curveball is his trademark offering. Baseball Prospectus states that the hook is “already an above-average major league pitch”. His fastball tops out at 92 and his changeup is closer to average.
With an ideal frame and strong command of all three pitches, Gsellman could develop into a No. 3 or No. 4 starter, which the Mets would surely take from a 13th round pick.