StartersGabriel Ynoa Michael Fulmer Luis Cessa Rainy Lara John Michael Gant
This is the second-most interesting rotation in the system after the Noah Syndergaard/Steven Matz combo in triple-A.
Ynoa has feel and an average fastball and is young. However, one concern is that in the second half of 2014, in double-A, his strikeout rate dropped to 15%. That's not good enough. He'll to find a way to miss more bats to have success in double-A and then the big leagues.
Fulmer, the Mets' supplemental first round pick in 2011, was actually pretty good in the second half of 2014: 2.75 ERA, 24% strikeout rate and a 7.5% walk rate in advanced-A. Perhaps he was finally over the knee and biceps troubles that had held him out of action for much of 2013. Either way, there's a plus big league fastball in here, and the makings of a plus, if inconsistent, slider. His command and changeup will dictate whether he will be a big league rotation member or bullpen piece.
The Mets are skipping Gant over advanced-A St. Lucie straight to double-A. That's a pretty nice expression of confidence in his mental ability to adjust at the minors' important funnel point. It's also pretty strange considering just how good he was all year for Savannah in 2014. Gant works off a below average fastball, and a changeup and a curve which he can throw for strikes. He keeps hitters off balance and uses his long limbs and odd rhythm to create a little deception in his delivery. Mistakes that he could get away with against a-ball hitters in Savannah, will turn into big problems in double-A.
Cessa was a little better than league average in advanced-A last year, but did so with a very low strikeout rate. Whether he misses enough bats to succeed at the upper levels is a rather open question.
Likely RelieversMatt Koch Domingo Tapia
Tapia's had two years to figure it out as a starter in advanced-A, but the results just weren't there. It's time to put him in the bullpen and let him throw 98 mph bowling balls.
Koch is another guy who throws almost all fastballs. It won't work as a starter in double-A, but maybe he will thrive in the 'pen.
Definitely RelieversJon Velasquez Chase Huchingson John Church Adam Kolarek Dario Alvarez Paul Sewald Beck Wheeler Seth Lugo
That's a lot of lefty in one place with Alvarez, Kolarek and Huchingson in the same bullpen.
InfieldSS: Gavin Ceccini3B/1B: Aderlin Rodriguez/Dustin Lawley2B: TJ RiveraUtil: Josh Rodriguez
I saw enough from Cecchini last year, in his age 20 season, to think he was a big leaguer. I don't know what kind yet. He's made good progress with his offensive game, adding strength, but he will need to continue to do so to handle big league pitching. He's probably a big league utility guy, but he can certainly change that projection with further offensive development. He got off to an awful start in advanced-A after a midseason promotion, but hit .286/.403/.459 in August with 21 walks against 14 strikeouts in 30 games as a 20-year-old. Any hint of that level of production in double-A and he's a Top 5 Mets prospect.
Aderlin Rodriguez, who turned 23 in November, has been parked in advanced-A, where he's hit only .248/.289/.400 in 193 games for the last two and half years. When he gets into a ball, it will go a long way, but his approach is still lacking.
TJ Rivera and Josh Rodriguez will keep second base warm for LJ Mazzilli, who is serving a 50-game suspension for a second violation for a drug of abuse.
OutfieldBrandon Nimmo Jayce Boyd Gilbert Gomez Jared King Eudy Pina
Brandon Nimmo, my top-ranked outfielder in the system, just celebrated his 22nd birthday with a return engagement in Binghamton. In 65 games with the B-Mets last year year, he hit .238/.339/.396 with six homers and 12 doubles. Basically, his poor performance against double-A lefties (.152/.278/.239 - 92 AB) swallowed his very nice numbers against righties (.291/.379/.493 -148 AB). Nimmo continues to get stronger. The question is whether he will ever see the ball well enough from lefties to play everyday. If not, there's no shame in making a nice big league living raking against right-handers and playing good outfield defense in the corner and the occasional centerfield to give a manager a platoon advantage. If he does figure out how to hit lefties, he's a comfortably above average everyday player.