The Mets finally have enough young talent to trade for an impact hitter, according to multiple talent evaluators. And if they include a big-league pitcher in the deal, such as Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler, they have enough talent to pull off a blockbuster...
The current price to trade for an elite hitter requires at least one of your top 20 prospects, including two of your team's top 10, who is also among the overall Top 100 in the league.
The Mets have four top-100 prospects, according to MLB.com -- 19-year old Jarred Kelenic, 20-year-old Andres Gimenez, and 23-year olds Peter Alonso and Justin Dunn.
In terms of valued players from their top 10 that are not included in the top 100, a small survey of MLB insiders say the Mets can offer up infielders David Thompson and Mark Vientos, starting pitcher David Peterson, closer Franklyn Kilome and 17-year-old SS Ronny Mauricio, who was an international signing in 2017.
To read more about Gimenez and Alonso, check out the post I wrote here on Tuesday...
The scouts I talk with that have watched Dunn all say he can be a big-league, mid-rotation starting pitcher as soon as next summer, though he may be most valuable if used as a closer, which is where he thrived in college.
Also in the rotation, it seems like it'll be only a matter of time before we see Peterson, who I expect to be the big arm we hear a lot about in spring training. I'm told he has an innate ability to adjust the speed of his fastball in a way that should be deceiving at any level, but his command is especially effective when paired with his slider and 6' 6" presence on the mound.
Vientos was drafted with Alderson's second pick in 2017. At just 18-years-old, he's said to have incredible bat speed and a consistent swing to all fields. On the other hand, Thompson, 24, has only raw power, as he's lacking in most other areas of his game. That said, his potential for big-league home runs is difficult to ignore...
Kelenic is 19 years old and limited in experience, yet he's described by anyone that has watched him as someone with a natural instinct for hitting.
"He already has a veteran's sense of the strike zone. He's selective, will draw a walk and yet consistently gets his barrel on the ball," an American League source high on Kelenic told me. "He also has a cannon for an arm."
Mauricio is young, at just 17, and has yet to play above Low-A. However, as a switch-hitting shortstop with advanced bat speed, a fantastic glove and raw power, it's easy to imagine him becoming one of the better prospects in baseball within the next few years.
His height, swing and power is reminiscent of a young Alfonso Soriano, according to MLB.com.
The organization's most valuable asset may actually be its young relievers, which is ironic given how they need to improve their big-league bullpen.
"There isn't a team in baseball that doesn't need young, controllable relievers," an analytic scout told me. That said, he added, "The Mets have enough depth to deal one or two of those young arms."
Among the team's crop of young, live, bullpen arms, Kilome (who the Mets got from the Phillies this past summer for Asdrubal Cabrera) will get the most attention this winter.
"He's the definition of a high-ceiling pitcher," a Phillies source told me after the trade. "He'll need to keep from leaving his fastball over the plate, though. He can get away with it now, but it's easy to see how MLB hitters will crush him. He has time, though, and is more than capable of improving."
In addition to Kilome, people inside and outside the organization seem to most like Eric Hanhold, Drew Smith, Tyler Bashlor and Jacob Rhame. Mets coaches have said that if all of the above can improve on their breaking pitches in and out of the zone, each will be candidates to emerge as at least a useful option next season.
The bottom line is that, after being ranked among the worst farm systems in baseball at the start of last season, by summer Baseball America ranked the Mets at No. 19 overall.
That said, from what I can gather out of a variety of baseball sources, while the Braves, Padres, Pirates and Cardinals are viewed as having the most high-quality, 'tradable,' minor-league talent in the game, the Mets have suddenly joined the Brewers and Dodgers as being next on the list.
In the early part of this decade, the Mets graduated their top 1-2 prospects each season with good success. Wilmer Flores, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Travis d'Arnaud, Steven Matz and Amed Rosario all graced the organization's top two spots at some point since 2011, so their reputation for properly valuing their elite talent is justified.
The knock, however, and what has limited their ability to make deals, had been the system's depth, as the bulk of the names on published lists either flamed out, never got hot or derailed their respective careers due to injury. This no longer sounds like it is the case...
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!