And we wrap up my mid-season(ish) look at my pre-season Top 41 prospects in the system with this one. There. I'm a completist. It's done.
I don't want to come off as negative about this group. Mejia and Nieuwenhuis were on the right track until they're seasons ended early with injuries. Puello and Flores are still very young, and particularly Puello has shown serious growth in the second half. For a top five prospect, the only way to improve your status is to be great, (as Harvey was in the FSL), or make an impact in the big leagues. There's still plenty to dream on here for Mets fans.
Part 7 on players ranked 6-10 is here. Part 6 on players ranked 11-15 is here. Part 5 on players ranked 16-20 is here. Part 4 on players ranked 21-25 is here. Part 3 on players ranked 26-30 is here. Part 2 on players originally ranked 31-36 is here. Part 1 on players originally ranked 36-41 is here.
Each player’s name links back to his original scouting report from before the 2011 season.
#1 – RHP Jenrry MejiaWhat I thought: “Mejia has top of the rotation stuff, big league experience and will begin 2011 in Buffalo, just a few good starts and a MLB injury away from a return to the big leagues.”
Reality: Whoops, I didn’t mean an injury to Mejia. After five pretty good starts in AAA, Mejia’s UCL gave way and he headed for Tommy John Surgery. That’s too bad, and the timing means he’ll miss at least the first half of the 2012 minor league season, if not longer. Mejia’s ERA outperformed his peripherals in AAA, but in part, that’s because his stuff has so much movement, it’s both hard to control and hard to hit.
Stock: Down a little. Look, he’ll miss much of the 2012 season. As long as he recovers fully, and there’s no reason to think he won’t, he’ll be a big league piece of some kind by 2013.
#2 – RHP Matt HarveyWhat I thought: Harvey, the Mets top pick in the 2010 draft had big-time potential.
Reality: He has not disappointed. He’s throwing hard, and making progress with his curveball and slider, although the changeup remains a distant fourth. He’s had to improve his command, which remains a work in progress. Ignore the AA ERA. His fundamental rates in AA are nearly identical to advanced-A.
Also, he seems to be figuring out AA; his last three starts have been outstanding.
#3 – SS Wilmer FloresWhat I thought: Despite questions about his eventual position and power, Flores was going to hit for average.Reality: There are still questions about his position and power potential and he he's hit for some average. If you’re looking for things to make you think positively, he turns 20 this week, and doesn’t strike out. Flores is basically the same player he was a year ago. In a sense that's a good thing, but at least by the numbers, it's hard to pick out areas where he's progressed in a real big way. Stock: Down some.
|2010 - SAL||277||77||18||2||7||23||37||.278||.342||.433|
|2010 - FSL||277||83||18||1||4||9||40||.300||.325||.415|
|2010 - Total||554||160||36||3||11||32||77||.289||.334||.424|
|2011 - FSL||403||111||20||1||8||22||50||.275||.317||.390|
|2010 - SAL||8.8||12.1||7.5||2.3||.298|
|2010 - FSL||8.0||13.8||3.1||1.4||.338|
|2010 - Total||8.4||12.9||5.4||1.8||.318|
|2011 - FSL||6.6||11.4||5.0||1.8||.293|
#4 – OF Kirk NieuwenhuisWhat I thought: He was the most advanced position player on the list, had shown game power, speed and patience and played center.
Reality: Nieuwenhuis, who turns 24 on August 7, was off to a nice start with AAA Buffalo until shoulder injuries ended his season after 53 games, costing him big league time in 2011. However, there were two nasty indicators in Nieuwenhuis’ time with Buffalo that call his ability to transition seamlessly into the big leagues into question: a 26.7% strikeout rate and a .407 BABIP. I wanted to see what would happen with more time in AAA. However, rather than making his big league debut this season, Nieuwenhuis is sitting on the disabled list.
Stock: Down a touch.
#5 – OF Cesar PuelloWhat I thought: I liked his power potential, that he had the speed and athleticism to play center and the way he made adjustments in the second half in Savannah.
Reality: The 20-year old suffered through a trying first half at (.239/.296/.347) where despite some gains in the power department, his plate discipline disappeared.
Oh, and then he got crazy hot, finishing July on a .382/.407/.764 run with 11 extra-base hits in his last 15 games. The power seems to be here. I’m reassured. If he can do it all the way through August, I’ll be really impressed and his stock might even be up.
Stock: Down, but not much.