Wuilmer Becerra, Casey Meisner and Luis Guillorme will be carrying the prospect torch on this team.
OutfieldersWuilmer BecerraPatrick BiondiVincente LupoJohn MoraStefan Sabol
Becerra, the fourth piece of the R.A. Dickey deal, is an exciting prospect. I have him ranked as one of the 10-best Mets position prospects and in the top 20 overall coming off a 2014 season in which he hit .300/.351/.469 (AVG/OBP/SLG) in 58 games in the Appalachian League as a 19-year-old. He looks the part of the big leaguer – big and strong, with broad shoulders and muscular legs. He has plus raw power and a plus arm. For now, he’s a little better than an average runner. The simple question is whether he will develop the consistent hitting mechanics and pitch recognition that will allow him to be an everyday corner outfielder. In the span of a few days in Kingsport last summer, I saw multiple stances, loads and hand paths. That's a rough way to do business. If he finds something that feels comfortable, and is repeatable, look out. The tools are there, but it’s a long way from Kingsport to the big leagues.
Lupo turned 21 last November, after hitting .278/.415/.504 with nine doubles and seven homers to go along with 29 walks in 44 games for Kingsport. He is quite patient for a young hitter and it serves him well. However, he is, at best, an awkward left-fielder. He will need to improve dramatically to avoid being a liability defensively. Lupo lacks the body or physical gifts of his opposite corner-mate in Becerra.
Biondi and Sabol are repeating the SAL, Sabol for the third year.
InfieldersLuis Guillorme Jonathan Johnson Jon Leroux Pedro Perez JC Rodriguez
The 20-year-old Guillorme is a joy to watch field, party because he clearly enjoys playing defense so much. He rushes to the baseball with a seemingly preternatural feel for where the ball is headed. He reaches both grounders and popups that appeared beyond his reach. Once he gathers in the baseball he is creative and sure-handed in whipping the ball to the appropriate base. The one knock on him defensively is that his arm is only average at best. In limited exposure, I have already seen him track down plays deep in the hole than he had arm to throw out the runner at first. That's the bad news. The good news is that he might have prevented any further advance by a runner with his range. At the plate, Guillorme has to put everything he has into his left-handed swing to smite soft line drives to the gaps. His defense will keep him employed for a long time, but he'll need to find a way to do some damage at the plate to stick in the big leagues.
It is surprising with Jhoan Urena promoted to advanced-A, that the Mets did not choose to start Eudor Garcia, last year's fourth-round pick, in the SAL. Garcia hit .262/.327/.347 in 55 games in the Appy league and when I saw him early in the season was clearly struggling with his timing. However, he has some strength and hand-eye coordination and would be better served by 70 games in the SAL than two and a half months in extended spring training before a trip to Brooklyn.
CatchersTomas Nido Tyler Moore
I thought Nido, who the Mets went overslot to sign, had some nice ingredients now three years ago when I saw him in Kingsport, in that he had enough arm to catch, and some strength in his swing. However, he swung at everything (4 BB/21 K) in his first attempt with Brooklyn in 2013, and repeated the level in 2014. To be fair, he had more success in 2014, hitting .277/.325/.335 in 58 games. Now 21, he's no longer young for the level. The SAL will be an interesting test to see whether he can regain some prospect sheen.
PitchersCasey Meisner Corey Oswald Josh Prevost Scarlyn Reyes Martiers Arias Alberto Baldonado Shane Bay Gaither Bumgarner James Duff Cameron Griffin David Roseboom Carlos Valdez Brad Weick
Meisner is the guy to watch for here.
In his age 19 season, Meisner was ok in the New York Penn League but far from dominant in a way that foreshadows a successful big league career. I missed Meisner in my brief look at the Cyclones in 2014, so I am looking forward to watching him up close in 2015. Meisner flashes potential in his offerings and a huge 6'7" frame, that should, in theory create plus velocity and downward plane through the strike zone.
For the second straight year, Meisner did his best work in August at the end of the season. In 2014, his stuff improved, if the reports I read were accurate. Early in the year, he was reportedly 87-91, but later he was 90-94 with his fastball. That's a fairly important difference as it moves him from a below average MLB fastball to the range of average to plus. There’s a chance that he will settle in with average velocity from a 6’7” frame and an average secondary offering in his curve.
His last five starts for the Cyclones: 30.2 IP, 28 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 32 K. That’s a 1.47 ERA, a 3% walk rate and 27% strikeout rate.
The Mets limited Josh Prevost, a local pick out of Seton Hall, to 19.1 innings out of the Brooklyn bullpen in 2014. Polished college pitchers who can spot a fastball or spin a breaking ball for strikes should not have a problem in the SAL. Prevost should post some pretty numbers.
Hey, Brad Wieck, the 7th round pick in 2014, is 6'9". That'll be fun.