The New York Mets may have to turn to prospects to fill holes in 2018, but which ones have the ability to contribute in the majors?
Sandy Alderson told us all we needed to know about the Mets farm system at the Winter Meetings in Florida, courtesy of the New York Post‘s Mike Puma:
Alderson on trade possibilities: "Our minor league system right now is not brimming with prospects."
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) December 10, 2017
Yeah, that about sums up the Mets prospect pipeline entering 2018. Few blue-chip prospects remain, but that can be attributed to the 2017 promotions of top prospects Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith.
So even though the Mets don’t have the next big thing waiting in the wings, they do have players that can make contributions in 2018. The question is, who should we be keeping an eye on this spring?
A 22-year-old shortstop, Guillorme’s glove gives off the impression of a young Omar Vizquel. The comparison is lofty, but both are on the smaller side (5-foot-9) and posses that slick-fielding ability that makes you want to see a second look.
The thing that makes him such a great fielder is his hands. Take a look at them on display below.
Can't get enough of Luis Guillorme's bat catch… pic.twitter.com/3CT1TOOxhf
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) October 19, 2017
All kidding aside, Guillorme’s fielding is MLB ready. But the questions about his ability to stick in Queens will revolve around his bat.
The good news is he made strides in 2017 to make a push for the next level. Although he may never hit for power (two career home runs), he walked 72 times in 2017, good enough for a .376 OBP. If he can get on base consistently and continue to flash the leather, he could be a contributor at second base this season if the Mets fail to address the gaping hole at the keystone this winter.
Molina almost lost his entire 2016 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He was able to make seven appearances in the Arizona Fall League in order to prime himself for a rebound campaign in 2017.
And rebound he did. Despite a 5-10 final record, Molina showed the promise that made scouts gush over him before the surgery. Across two levels, Molina tossed 106.2 innings, compiling a 3.21 ERA in the process.
It was a positive season for one of the Mets top pitching prospects. The path to MLB may not be the clearest at the moment for Molina in 2018, but if he can continue to impress at Triple-A Las Vegas this season, he could earn the call for the stretch run and contribute in the rotation or the bullpen.
Callahan was part of the trade-deadline return for the Mets after they sent Addison Reed to Boston. Callahan’s season in Boston’s Triple-A affiliate, Pawtucket, was a forgettable one. He appeared in 22 games and pitched to a 4.03 ERA in his time up North.
But he was able to turn things around after making the trip to Las Vegas for the Mets, as he dominated the Pacific Coast League to the tune of a 1.80 ERA in nine appearances with a 9.0 K/9 ratio.
A former second-round pick, Callahan will be 24 in August and throws heat. He has reportedly touched 98 mph with his fastball, his best pitch. He also has a capable cutter and a work-in-progress splitter to go along with it.
Although the Mets signed Anthony Swarzak to help bolster the bullpen, they still need to fill out the earlier innings with quality arms. Callahan has a chance to compete for a bullpen spot after showing he can compete at the major league level following his September call-up. He appeared in nine games for the Mets, allowing three earned runs and seven hits in 6.2 innings of work, walking one while striking out five.
Of the three prospects on this list, Callahan seems most likely to contribute to the Mets in 2018.