Acquired via the 2014 Draft
Conforto, the Mets first round pick at No. 10 overall, hit .316/.385/.439 from August 1 through September 1 for Brooklyn in the New York Penn League, with 10 walks and 21 strikeouts in 29 games. After the Cyclones were eliminated from playoff contention, Conforto was promoted to Savannah, alongside Amed Rosario and Jhoan Urena, for the Gnats' playoff run. As a Gnat in two games, he was 3-for-9 against Asheville with a pair of doubles.
Conforto, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, was too advanced for both the NYP and the SAL and will face much tougher tests in 2015 in both the advanced Single-A Florida State League, and perhaps the Double-A Eastern League if he makes it that far. Conforto basically looked the part as a polished college hitter who made loud contact. However, the carry did not come easily for him, in the few games I saw. If he's going to be an impact player in the big leagues - a true star - he will need to develop greater power.
Our feature on his attempt to tweak his swing to unlock more power is here.
SS Milton Ramos
The Mets' third round pick, Ramos, who Baseball America called, "far and away the best defensive shortstop in the [draft] class" improved in every month as a hitter in the Gulf Coast League. His OPS by month with plate appearances in parentheses:
- June - .258 (28)
- July - .645 (71)
- August - .795 (86)
3B Eudor Garcia
Garcia, the Mets' fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft had a slow August, hitting .214/.292/.310 in 22 games with Kingsport in the Appalachian League. He finished his first professional season at .262/.327/.347 with 16 walks against 32 strikeouts in 55 games. There is bat-to-ball ability and some natural strength in here, but he needs to fix some of the timing mechanisms in his swing if he is going to hit for any power. Moreover, he must get in better shape to stay at third base as a professional.
He belongs somewhere in the back half of this winter's Top 41 Mets prospects. Garcia will be 21 next May, and Savannah is the right level for him, but Jhoan Urena will likely get the first crack at the level. Even so, Garcia should head to Savannah where he can play 1B/3B/LF/DH so he gets the extra 70 games of game action before the NYP starts in June. There is no point in leaving him in extended spring training.
Our profile on Garica is here.
RHP Erik Manoah
The Mets' 13th-round pick in 2014, out of South Dade High School in Homestead, FL (Miami area), Manoah signed for $300,000, tied with 15th-rounder Gabriel Llanes as the fourth- and fifth-highest in the Mets-draft class, and just $5,000 less than Garcia. In this pre-draft video he was 88-92 from the right side with a slurvy breaker. Even in that brief video look, he showed at least two different release points (the first one is lower than subsequent offerings). He also does not finish his delivery well over his front side. Listed at 6'2", 215 lbs, he appears to be in better shape now than in his high school days. He was actually really effective in August in the GCL, pitching to a 1.69 ERA and an opponents' batting line of .170/.333/.170, but he still walked nine in 16 innings.
Manoah will slide into the back half of the Top 41 this offseason. Likely, he will head to a short-season team in 2015, likely Kingsport rather than Brooklyn, but he's an interesting wild card to follow over the next few years.
RHP Gabriel Llanes
Llanes signed for the exact same amount as Manoah, despite a draft spot two rounds lower. He's taller (6'3"), and leaner (185 lbs) and has a more fluid delivery and appears to be much more flexible. On video, there's also more effort in his delivery and some head knock as he pulls his head to the left before releasing the ball. He worked exclusively as a reliever this year in the GCL. His August was nothing special: 10 hits allowed in eight innings on his way to a 4.50 ERA.
Like Manoah, he'll likely be a back end of the Top 41 type guy and should be in Kingport after a stay in extended spring training to start 2015.
Acquired Via Trade Since Opening Day, 2014
LHP Blake Taylor
The return to the Mets for Ike Davis, who has been below replacement level in 2014 (-0.4 bWAR), Taylor is more promise than anything else at this point. In August, Taylor allowed 14 runs in 16 innings for Kingsport on 29 hits with 16 walks and 12 strikeouts. That's... not good. Apparently the Mets and Pirates have very different philosophies about developing pitching prospects. Jeff Paternostro of Amazin' Avenue saw Taylor recently and discussed his progress with Kingsport Mets pitching coach Jonathan Hurst.
Taylor just turned 19 and, as a lefty with a chance at a MLB rotation, will likely sit in the top 25 of our Top 41 this offseason.