Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Inside Pitch and TopProspectAlert's top 10 Mets Prospects

-InsidePitch’s Top 10 Mets Prospects:

10.) Deolis Guerra: 17 year old pitcher who reminds the Mets’ of Yusmeiro Petit, he has to add another pitch to his repetoire. He’s young with a lot of time to improve, and he had a 2.20 ERA last year, his first in the minors.

9.) Jesus Flores: The best catching prospect in the Mets’ system, Flores’ picked up his game last year under manager Gary Carter’s tutelage. He has plus skills defensively and shows power potential, but he has to work on his plate discipline. He’s been rumored to be involved in any potential trade for Dontrelle Willis.

8.) Jonathan Niese: This 19 year old lefty shows promise, but he’s not a fastball pitcher and a portrait of a young Tom Glavine comes to mind. He has an excellent curve, and needs to work on the placement of his fastball and change before he can be declared a major league prospect.

7.) Shawn Bowman: Mr. Hard-Luck, Bowman broke his back in the same place 2 seasons in a row. Three years ago, as Jonathan and I were leaving a Spring Training game in St. Lucie, we were reading through the Mets program and we read that Bowman would eventually become the Mets’ starting third-sacker, as his defense was way above-average and he projected as a power hitter (a la a Ryan Zimmerman-type.) At the time, David Wright had not yet made the jump to the majors, and we were wondering if Bowman would eventually move Wright to first or the outfield. At this point, we’d be happy if Bowman had one injury-free season and lived up to the potential he’s shown the organization for a few years now. We’d settle for a great trade-chip at this point.

6.) Mike Carp: Carp, a big first baseman with plus power potential, could be the eventual heir to Carlos Delgado at first base. He’s only 19, and he was already voted the best defensive first baseman in the Florida State League last year, where he hit .287 with 17 homers. Carp is one of those kids to keep an eye on, as he might be starting 2-3 years from now when Delgado’s career is winding down.

5.) Brian Bannister: It’s sad to see Bannister still on this list, as injuries last year robbed him of his first chance in the bigs. He’s a control pitcher, and he projects out as a 4th or 5th man in the rotation. With the Mets pursuit of either/or Zito and Willis, the expected resigning of Glavine and Hernandez and last season’s emergence of John Maine, Bannister might be hard-pressed to make the roster out of Spring Training. We hope he remains healthy, as we think he’d be a good addition to the staff for a lot of years to come.

4.) Philip Humber: Once the top pitching prospect in the organization, a year removed from Tommy John Surgery and the drafting of Mike Pelfrey has taken Humber somewhat out of the spotlight. He seems to have come back very well from the surgery, and he presents a plus fastball, hitting 91-94 and, like Zito, possesses a wicked curve. His injury forced Humber to develop a change-up, which makes him a more complete pitcher. We think big things will come from Humber, and, in combo with Pelfrey, Bannister and last years’ first pick, Kevin Mulvey, this is the most exciting group of young Mets pitchers since the days of Pulsipher-Isringhausen-Wilson (with, we hope, LOTS more success and longevity!)

3.) Fernando Martinez: Another 17 year old, Martinez was the most sought-after young prospect not draft-eligible a year ago, and Omar scored a great coupe signing him. He has good power for a young kid who will grow into his swing and his body each year. Currently playing center-field, he projects more as a corner outfielder or first baseman. He pulls the ball well, and could be a perennial candidate to win batting titles at every level in the minors. Long-term, he projects as a major talent; let’s hope he’s not rushed too far, too soon and his development isn’t impeded. After all, he’s still only 17 and still learning english. He’s got to get some time under his belt before we can really dream about his major league prowess, but he’s the type of prospect worth waiting for!

2.) Mike Pelfrey: He’s a Randy Johnson-like six foot, seven, making his 95+ mph fastball seem that much faster to batters. He has a good change-up, but his curve is very inconsistent, which causes him to rely on his fastball to his detrement, something he can’t do in the majors. Let’s hope Peterson can tutor him well enough in Spring Training that by 2008 he’ll take his place on our major league staff for many years to come. He projects as a number 1 starter, which is why the Mets might not pursue both Zito and Willis.

1.) Carlos Gomez: A year ago, Jonathan told me that Gomez might be the player we all expect Milledge to be. A year later, his words look prophetic as Gomez is a 5-tool player with a cannon of an arm in the outfield and speed that, we’ve heard, rivals or surpasses Jose Reyes. He hit .341 in Double A during the last 61 games of the season, jumping an entire level in the process. He’s still growing into his power, but Gomez might merely be a year away from the majors, which will also factor into Omar’s decision-making process this offseason. We can’t wait to see him line up next to Beltran, and he might be the best home-grown outfield prospect we’ve ever had.

2007 New York Mets Top 10 Prospects - Compiled by J.P. Schwartz

#1. Mike Pelfrey (23) Pitcher

New York Mets (MLB) 21.1IP 2-1 5.48ERA 179K

Norfolk (AAA) 8IP 1-0 2.25ERA 6K

Binghamton (AA) 66.1IP 4-2 2.71ERA 77K

St. Lucie (High-A) 22IP 2-1 1.64ERA 26K

#2. Carlos Gomez (21) Outfield

Binghamton (AA) 120 Games .281 7HR 48RBI

#3. Fernando Martinez (18) Outfield

St. Lucie (High-A) 30 Games .193 5HR 11RBI

Hagerstown (Low-A) 45 Games .333 5HR 28RBI

GCL Mets (Rk) 1 Games .250 0HR 0RBI

#4. Philip Humber (24) Pitcher

New York Mets (MLB) 2.0 IP 0-0 0.00ERA 2K

Binghamton (AA) 34.1IP 2-2 2.88ERA 36K

St. Lucie (High-A) 38IP 3-1 2.37ERA 36K

GCL Mets (Rk) 4IP 0-0 6.75ERA 7K

#5. Deolis Guerra (17) Pitcher

St. Lucie (High-A) 7.1IP 1-1 6.14ERA 6K

Hagerstown (Low-A) 82.1IP 6-7 2.20ERA 64K

#6. Alay Soler (27) Pitcher

New York Mets (MLB) 45IP 2-3 6.00ERA 23K

Norfolk (AAA) 10IP 1-1 6.30ERA 12K

Binghamton (AA) 19.2IP 0-1 2.75ERA 22K

St. Lucie (High-A) 30IP 1-0 0.60ERA 33K

Brooklyn (Short-A) 4.1IP 0-1 6.23ERA 9K

#7. Kevin Mulvey (21) Pitcher

Binghamton 13.1IP 0-1 1.35ERA 10K

GCL Mets (Rk) 2IP 0-0 0.00ERA 1K

#8. Joseph Smith (23) Pitcher

Binghamton (AA) 12.2IP 0-2 5.68ERA 12K

Brooklyn (Short-A) 20IP 0-1 0.45ERA 28K

#9. Jonathan Niese (20) Pitcher

St. Lucie (High-A) 10IP 0-2 4.50ERA 10K

Hagerstown (Low-A) 123.2IP 11-9 3.93ERA 132K

#10. Mike Carp (20) First Base

St. Lucie (High-A) 137 Games .287 17HR 88RBI

As you can see, 2 different takes on the Mets system, but generally the same players, just in different places.

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