1) OF Ivan WilsonBats/Throws: R/R
Height/Weight: 6'3", 220 lbs
Acquired: 3rd Round, 2013 (Ruston (LA) HS)
Born: May 26, 1995 (Simsboro, LA)
Wilson drifts back two spots in the rankings from a year ago because he justified my excitement over his power and potential to play centerfield while striking out roughly a million times in the Appalachian League. This is quite a profile. He is big, strong and fast. He's a developed 6'3" who covers ground in center, propelled by thick calves. He throws well.
When his long swing connects with a baseball, it really goes. Wilson led the Appalachian League in both homers (11) and strikeouts (99) while playing in 58 of the K-Mets' 68 games. This is a combination of "all or nothing" approach and mechanics that one would never see at the higher levels of professional baseball. One third of Wilson's 33 hits were dingers.
However, Wilson struck out in 47% (!!!) of his Appalachian League plate appearances. That is extraordinary. Oh yeah, he hit .176 overall. He graduated high school young for his grade, and he will not turn 20 until May. I would like to see the Mets challenge him with an assignment to Savannah. There was no outfielder in Brooklyn in whom the Mets should be investing those Sand Gnat at-bats in over Wilson. Will he struggle? Most assuredly. It does not matter. He needs the playing time and has the potential to make it a worthwhile gamble.
2) C/1B Brandon Brosher
Height/Weight: 6'3", 225 lbs
Acquired: 36th round, 2013 (Springstead HS)
Born: February 17, 1995 (Spring Hill, FL)
2014 Overall Rank: NR | Stats
He's a deep sleeper learning to catch who might really be able to hit. However, a broken foot limited his 2014 season to only seven games. Overall, he certainly had the baseball talent to go in the top 10 rounds, but he scared off many teams in the 2013 with a college commitment, where he was going to be a pitcher primarily. The Mets took a flyer on him and after deciding that his future in baseball included a bat and a nice signing bonus, Brosher turned pro.
Brosher's swing looked terrific for a week in the Appalachian League. In his first seven games in the circuit, he hit .387 (12-for-31) with four homers on his way to a .774 slugging percentage. He was short to the ball for a big guy with real strength to drive the ball. In that brief period, he showed an extremely aggressive approach (2 BB/11 K) that likely would have hurt him over a full summer in the League, or against higher level pitching. Still, power behind the plate is a very valuable commodity.
Brother played a few games as a left fielder in 2013 in the Gulf Coast League, but the Mets converted him to a catcher for the 2014 season. Mets' catching coordinator Bobby Natal seemed pleased by the progress Brosher was making before his injury, while acknowledging that he had a long way to go.
However, can he catch as a professional?
Best-case Scenario: MLB catcher low on OBP with the power to make it not matter
Worst-case Scenario: He's hit for roughly one week as a professional. He's not a catcher, and he won't see double-A.
Projected 2015 Start: Savannah. Brosher just turned 20, but if his foot is ready, needs the game reps both behind and at the plate.
MLB Arrival: 2018/2019
3) SS Milton Ramos
Height/Weight: 5'11", 160 lbs
Acquired: 3rd Round, 2014 Draft (American Heritage HS)
Born: October 26, 1995 (Hialeah, FL)
2014 Overall Rank: NA | Stats
The Mets’ went a little overslot to sign Ramos for $750,000 in the third round of the 2014 draft. A high schooler with a reputation as a slick defender, he began his professional career in the Gulf Coast League. With Gavin Cecchini, Amed Rosario and Luis Guillorme in front of him in the system, he is unlikely to move quickly. Ramos, who is under 6'0" and of slight build, will need to hit some to prove that he belongs above Guillorme and Wilfredo Tovar. His more premium draft position helps carry that argument in the absence of meaningful professional results. (Ramos is one of the few players ranked in my Top 41, who played stateside in 2014, who I have never seen play baseball live.)
He hit .241 with a .299 on-base percentage and a .355 slugging percentage in his first 51 professional games as a 19-year-old. While that doesn’t look like much, it compares well with both Cecchini and Rosario in their US professional debuts in the Appalachian League in 2012 and 2013, respectively. His slugging is sustained by five triples, which is partly a reflection of the fact that Ramos can run a bit, and GCL defenses employ inexperienced baseball players. However, can he hit?
4) 3B Eudor Garcia
Height/Weight: 6'1", 215 lbs
Acquired: 4th round, 2014 draft (El Paso Community College)
Born: May 17, 1994 (El Paso, TX)
2014 Overall Rank: NR | Stats
The Mets were intrigued with Garcia's offensive potential, and plucked him out of Texas Community College in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. It's a long way from that level of collegiate play to professional baseball, even the Appalachian League.
So, what's to like about Garcia? He has a big frame at 6'1" with usable strength. In batting practice, he shows that he can use his strength in his swing, drilling line drives to the gaps.
So, what's the worry? When I saw Garcia in July, his timing was not good. He uses a very small load, and a "walk away" step in his front foot. He was consistently late with his short stride. That threw off his hand timing. When he tried to compensate with his hands, he messed up his hand path. And yet through it all, even when he was out of whack, he had enough bat to ball ability and strength in his wrists to poke hits into the gaps. That's no small thing. It's not that he needs to rebuild the swing, but instead will have to really learn his swing, something Lamar Johnson, the Mets hitting coordinator preaches as the first order of business for all of his young hitters. Numerically, there is little exceptional either good or bad from Garcia's first 55 games as a professional. He walked at a reasonable rate, and did not strike out much (14%), but did not hit for much power. Ideally, as he figures out how to get his foot down on time and his hands moving with rhythm, he will drive the ball better in game situations.
What's the other worry? Defense. Garcia was pudgy. The Kingsport coaching staff worked with him everyday on mobility drills and the things he will need to learn to stay at third base. Still, it will be up to Garcia to keep the weight off to allow his feet to work at third. His arm is enough to play third, but his hands need the repetitions in the minors. I did not see the power to carry him across the diamond at first base if he has to move off of third.
Best-case Scenario: MLB 3B
Worst-case Scenario: Org talent
Projected 2015 Start: Savannah. He'll play first mostly, and third when Jhoan Urena does not.
MLB Arrival: 2019
Fun True Fact: There has never been a player named Eudor who has played in the big leagues.