>> 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)
>> More photos » Kathy Willens - AP
>> 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 star.
>> 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.