In the view of Sickels, a Grade A prospect is 'elite,' while prospects with a B grade 'have a good chance to enjoy successful careers.' Grade C prospects are 'common.'
Sickels says the Mets have 12 prospects that get a B, including C Travis d'Arnaud, pitchers Rafeal Montero, Jacob deGrom and Vic Black, 1B Dom Smith, C Kevin Plawecki, infielder Wilmer Flores, 2B Dilson Herrera, shortstops Amed Rosario and Gavin Cecchini and outfielders Brandon Nimmo and Cesar Puello.
"There are a lot of guys who have a chance to be number four/five starters or at least valid relief arms," according to Sickels. "In those terms this is one of the stronger farm systems in the National League: the raw material for a really nice pitching staff is here and there is talent at all levels. Given the attrition rate among pitching prospects, gathering as many pitching arms as possible is a worthy strategy. Everyone tries to do that, but the Mets have actually made it work."
In talking with experts around the game, be it prospect gurus or people in player development with other teams, it seems the Mets have an elite farm system when it comes to pitching. However, if you add in their hitters, the overall system drops to middle of the pack. This is why I'm surprised to see so many position players in John's Top 20.