24 - RHP Noah Syndergaard
36 - C Travis d'Arnaud
37 - 1B Dominic Smith
60 - RHP Rafael Montero
92 - CF Brandon Nimmo
I've excerpted Law's comments fairly heavily as I think he provides an admirable level of mechanical detail.
an awesome 2013 season from start to finish.....and still has room for further improvement.Law's out on his own with his assessment of Syndergaard's secondary pitches with his changeup ahead of his curve. When I've seen him, I've thought that his curve is ahead of his changeup.
He already has the build of a workhorse starter, with velocity up to 98 mph that's easy like Sunday morning and the ability to get downhill plane on it when he stays on top of the ball. His changeup is comfortably plus already, but his curveball, a grade-40ish pitch in high school and early in his pro career, is already solid average, and plays up because he gets on top of the ball and releases so close to the plate; hitters swing and miss at it like it's a sharper, harder pitch.
It's very unusual to have a pitcher this young show this kind of athleticism, present command and pure stuff and even if Syndergaard doesn't improve further, he's at least a quality third starter who can handle 200-inning workloads, but the curveball could get a little tighter and push him up to a No. 2 or better.
Syndergaard himself thinks the same. As he said in January, "I feel like my best pitch is my fastball. My second-best pitch from there, which actually improved a lot from last year, is my curveball. My curveball last year was a below-average pitch - like 69-70 miles per hour. And then something this year clicked, and I was able to get it up to 83-84 miles per hour. I feel like my third best pitch is my changeup. [I] just have to keep on throwing it, gotta get a good feel for it, maintain arm speed..."
d'Arnaud would be a top-10 prospect if he could stay on the field, ...
When he's on the field, he's an impact player on both sides of the ball, featuring outstanding receiving (including pitch-framing) ability, an above-average arm, and good relationships with pitchers, as well as above-average power that should lead to 20-25 homers if he plays a full season. His hand-eye coordination is excellent but his approach isn't as polished, as he's not a patient hitter and struggled terribly against both sliders and curveballs in his brief major league time in 2013.
... so for d'Arnaud the main issue is just trying to avoid the trainer's room so he can get 450-500 plate appearances in 2014.
Smith was the best pure hitter in the 2013 draft class, sporting a beautiful left-handed swing and flashing above-average power, along with plus defense at first base and an arm that reached 92 mph when he was on the mound in high school.
When Smith keeps his weight back, he generates big-time power from his lower half, with hard contact thanks to quick, strong wrists. He had a habit of drifting too quickly over his front leg, something the Mets seem to have worked on eliminating. ... his footwork has limited him to first base, where he projects as a 70-grade defender thanks to incredibly soft hands.
His ceiling is an impact bat at first, a cleanup hitter with 25-30 homer power and .300-plus averages to go with outstanding defense.
Montero has a lower ceiling than the pitchers ahead of him on this list -- and even many of the pitchers behind him -- but he's extremely advanced right now and has better stuff than your standard "command right-hander,".... He will show plenty of 93s and 94s and commands the heck out of it to both sides of the plate, pairing it with an above-average slider and an above-average changeup, nothing knockout but all very effective because he can locate..... He has the stuff and control (walking just six men in his final six starts of 2013) to contribute in the majors right now..."I wasn't ready to call Montero's slider "plus" the last time I saw it. I think it's noteworthy that Law does so here.
[He] showed great patience at the plate, a hugely positive marker for a player as inexperienced as he is. Nimmo has great rotation in his swing but can be a little long to the ball because he loads his hands high, behind his left shoulder. He's a fringe-average defender in center -- better with reads than with range -- but he'll be plus in either corner. ... High-OBP guys with other tools, especially defensive ability, are pretty uncommon, and a healthy Nimmo should be an average to above-average regular by the time he's 24.