Stock: confused, but down a little
Lets toss out Calero's St. Lucie performance in 2009 under the assumption that his shoulder was never right from the time he arrived in Florida. This year, when he says he's healthy, he's been pretty hittable, yielding over a knock an inning, and is striking out below seven batters an inning.
The 22 year-old Beaulac has addressed my major worry about the right-hander from 2008, his increased walk rate in the SAL, by dropping it almost by a half from 2008 to 2009. Even though he's throwing more strikes, he's not giving up any more hits, although his home run rate has increased. His strikeout rate is still a sparkling 10.43. He's very safely among my top 20 prospects and is a guy who probably doesn't get written about or talked about enough.
If I were running the Mets farm system, and clearly I'm not, I would promote Beaulac to St. Lucie displacing Nick Waechter from the rotation.
Stock: Barely holding
2009 looks a lot like 2008, doesn't it?
There are a lot of things to like about Nieuwenhuis's game: he can play centerfield, has the arm for right, and walks in over nine percent of his plate appearances. On the downside, he's striking out in over 20%, and his average is in the .250 range. I'd need to see some improvement in something, to have him rise up the rankings and project him as anything other than a backup.
Antonini's two starts in AAA were a disaster. In AA, Antonini has been in the strike zone more in 2009 than in 2008 with a a little increase in his K/rate and decrease in walk rate. However, the price he's paid for the extra strikes have been extra hits. The Mets recently moved Antonini to the AA bullpen, which indicates that he has slipped in the eyes of his employers. He's still a three pitch guy, fastball, slider and change, and I don't see any of them working well enough to be a quality big leaguer.
That's a bad first half. Veloz, who doesn't yet walk much or hit for any power is going to have to hit .300 to have any offensive value. His strikeout rate is down this year in the FSL to near where it was in the SAL last season, but that's just too many whiffs for a guy with his skillset, who is little threat to drive the ball. He had a big second half in 2008 and will need another similar surge in 2009 or face a dramatic slide in my rankings.