> New York Mets Top 20 Prospects for 2010
> Carew_tiny by John Sickels on Jan 8, 2010 1:25 AM EST Comment 157
> comments New York Mets rookie outfielder Fernando Martinez (AP
> Photo/Kathy Willens)
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> New York Mets rookie outfielder Fernando Martinez (AP Photo/Kathy
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> Top 20 New York Mets Prospects for 2010
> All grades are EXTREMELY PRELIMINARY and subject to change. Don't get
> too worried about exact rankings at this point, especially once you get
> beyond the Top 10. Grade C+/C guys are pretty interchangeable depending
> on what you want to emphasize. Complete reports on these and over 1,000
> other players will be in the 2010 Baseball Prospect Book, now available
> for pre-order, shipping on February 2nd!
> 1) Jenrry Mejia, RHP, Grade B+: He needs to refine his breaking ball and
> a full year of Double-A/Triple-A is necessary in my view, but he also
> has number one starter potential. I hope they don't rush him.
> 2) Wilmer Flores, SS, Grade B+: Considering the age/competition
> differential, he had a pretty good year. Hard to get a handle on him
> sabermetrically as a result, but I'll give him some slack.
> 3) Fernando Martinez, OF, Grade B+: People are now too negative on him.
> The guy was the equivalent of a college sophomore last year. If a
> college sophomore got drafted and hit .290/.337/.540 in Triple-A, people
> would be drooling over him. He's made significant progress refining his
> tools. My main concern now is health and durability, which keeps him
> from ranking higher.
> 4) Ike Davis, 1B, Grade B: Showed he could hit for power, also has a
> fine glove. But I think he looks more like a solid regular than a future
> 5) Jon Niese, LHP, Grade B: Assuming the hamstring is OK, I see him as a
> slightly above average starting pitcher, classic number three guy.
> 6) Reese Havens, SS, Grade B-: He'll need to switch positions, and
> health is an issue. Has power and draws walks, and I think the batting
> average will come up if he stays healthy.
> 7) Kyle Allen, RHP, Grade B-: Significantly underrated prospect who
> deserves more attention than he's received. Breakout candidate for '10.
> I expect this ranking will surprise people.
> 8) Jeurys Familia, RHP, Grade B-: Like his teammate Allen at Savannah,
> Familia could break through big in '10. This is another ranking I expect
> will surprise people.
> 9) Brad Holt, RHP, Grade C+: I don't like the way he fell apart in
> Double- A, but the arm strength still deserves respect. Perhaps he might
> do better in relief.
> 10) Ruben Tejada, INF, Grade C+: At worst a fine utility guy, but given
> his youth (age 20) and contact hitting ability he could get beyond that.
> I like him as a sleeper for long-term success.
> 11) Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF, Grade C+: The strikeouts scare me a little,
> but he has a broad range of skills.
> 12) Eric Niesen, LHP, Grade C+: You have to love the velocity and
> movement on his pitches, but command still holds him back.
> 13) Jefry Marte, 3B, Grade C+: Didn't handle the rush job as well as
> Flores did, but he's too young to give up on. Plate discipline a big
> 14) Cesar Puello, OF, Grade C: Excellent tools, showed speed and power
> potential in the Appy League but weak plate discipline worries me. Could
> rank much higher next year if he handles more advanced pitching.
> 15) Josh Thole, C, Grade C: He can hit for average, but has no power and
> defense is mediocre. Sounds like a bench guy to me.
> 16) Juan Urbina, LHP, Grade C: He was born a week after I got my
> master's degree. I'm getting really freaking old. Has the raw potential
> to rank higher than this but let's see him pitch first.
> 17) Steve Matz, LHP, Grade C: I think cold-weather high school pitchers
> are often underrated in comparison to their warm weather counterparts.
> We'll see if Matz fits that profile.
> 18) Brent Rustich, RHP, Grade C: If he can stay healthy, he could help
> in the Mets pen sooner than expected.
> 19) Tobi Stoner, RHP, Grade C: Could contribute in '10 as fifth starter/
> long relief type.
> 20) Dillon Gee, RHP, Grade C: Like Stoner, he can contribute this year,
> assuming his shoulder rehab has gone well.
> OTHERS: (Grade C): Eric Beaulac, RHP; Shawn Bowman, 3B; Robert Carson,
> LHP; Zach Dotson, LHP; Lucas Duda, 1B; Clint Everts, RHP; Carlos Guzman,
> OF; Zach Lutz, 3B; Roy Merritt, LHP; Scott Moviel, RHP; Sean Ratliff,
> OF; Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B; Armando Rodriguez, RHP; Nick Santomauro, OF;
> Josh Satin, UT: Scott Shaw, RHP; Josh Stinson, RHP; Robbie Shields, SS;
> Nelfi Zapata, C.
> Most of those Grade C guys could slot in the 14-20 spots depending on
> what you emphasize. I am rushed for time on the book and didn't spend
> hours and hours worrying about the 14-20 Grade C ranks, so please bear
> with me.
> First I want to clarify something I wrote earlier about propaganda and
> groupthink surrounding the Mets system. Everyone is vulnerable to the
> lure of crowd opinion. . .even people who regard themselves as
> independent observers still absorb biases, or conversely, they fight so
> hard against other people's biases that they go too far in the other
> direction. This is especially true for any organization which has a
> substantial media presence surrounding it and a motivated fanbase. It
> cuts both ways: a run-of-the-mill Grade C prospect can easily get
> overhyped, but at the same time a guy who is really an excellent
> prospect can fall victim to unrealistic expectations. Fernando Martinez,
> as I point out above, is absolutely still an elite prospect, yet people
> are disappointed in him through no fault of his own.
> Part of the problem with analyzing the Mets is the weird way they have
> handled prospects. Some guys, particularly the Latin American signees,
> have been rushed way too fast, while others have been handled very
> cautiously. I'd be a lot more confident in sabermetrically analyzing
> Wilmer Flores if he'd been playing in the New York-Penn League for
> example. However, you write your baseball book with the data you have,
> not the data you wish you had.
> On the pitching side, the Mets have something potentially special in
> Jenrry Mejia, although they really need to be careful about how they
> handle him in '10. His secondary stuff still needs work, and I think
> they are asking for trouble if they rush him. Niese is ready now, and
> while he's not spectacular I think he will have a good career. Holt and
> Niesen have upside but need to sharpen their command. There are other
> Grade C types who can help as utility pitchers soon, but I'm very
> intrigued by the pitching the Mets have gathered in A-ball. Allen and
> Familia look like breakout candidates to me and I'm going to rank them
> aggressively. Lefties Matz and Urbina provide some long-distance
> On the hitting side, Martinez can still be a star, but he's got to stay
> healthy. I think 400 Triple-A at-bats would do him a world of good.
> Flores' numbers in the Sally League aren't great, but he was the
> youngest guy in the circuit and we have to cut him some slack for that.
> Ike Davis should be a solid hitter, while Tejada, Havens and Nieuwenhuis
> can at least be contributors and maybe more. Thole is one of the guys I
> think is overhyped. Marte and Puelo have potential but are too raw to
> rank higher at this stage.
> Overall, I think the Mets system is stronger at the top than a lot of
> people think, but at the same time they could use more depth in Grade
> C+/ B- types. Some of the Cs have the potential to improve greatly.