RHP Noah Syndergaard is ranked No. 14, C Travis d'Arnaud is ranked No. 23.
"The plan has been, since Sandy [Alderson] took over, is to build up the organization, build up the minor league system, get some of these young talented guys up here. And I think it's coming true," Terry Collins told reporters this past weekend, according to MLB.com.
Rafael Montero and Wilmer Flores are not on the list. This is interesting, because I expect to see their names tossed around by fans trying to create mock trades before Wednesday's trade deadline. Montero and Flores are good young players, with promise, but when discussing acquiring elite hitters on other teams, it's going to take Syndergaard, Wheeler and d'Arnaud, and this is why.
In my recent MetsBlog Podcast, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo talked about Flores and said:
"The big question is: Where does he play defensively? They've been trying to find a defensive home for him for a long time. Third base is probably his best position ... When all is said and done, his best position is batter's box."
Flores is a bit of mystery. I don't think the Mets trust him on the infield to be a big-league first baseman right now, despite some fill-in starts at first in Triple-A the last few weeks. And, they certainly aren't going to promote him and have him learn the position on the big stage. At the same time, he's not going to play third for the Mets, and he's too slow to play shortstop. So, he's either going to have to hit A LOT and be an offensive-leaning second baseman for the Mets; or he'll be a left fielder, because they say he doesn't have the arm or range to play center or right field; or, he'll eventually get traded and try to play third some place else.
The buzz from Las Vegas is that he's looked better and more comfortable at second base of late, so maybe Daniel Murphy soon starts his inevitable switch to a super utility guy (playing some first base, as well) and Flores starts getting time for the Mets at second? I don't know. I'm reaching, because Flores just doesn't have a clear cut path to Queens.
In regards to Montero, the Mets have been pushing him hard since Spring Training to media and other teams. The thing is, he's been in the league for such a short amount of time, and he came on so fast, my guess is that he's just starting to get on people's radar. The word is now out. Plus, he got a ton of attention during the Futures Game. My bet is he'll be on a Top Prospect list next year.