The New York Mets farm system is not what it once was a few years ago. But that does not mean that their top prospects lack superstar potential.
The New York Mets farm system has diminished over the years. They once possessed a farm that was top five and featured the likes of Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey and many more.
Ah, those were the days. But hey, don’t jump off the Brooklyn Bridge just yet on my account. Over the course of a half-season, things change drastically.
Even with a thin system, the Mets do have some talent at the top end of their system. Here are the New York Mets top 10 prospects heading into 2018:
10. Luis Guillorme, 2B/SS
2017 AA Stats: .283/.376/.331, 136 H, 1 HR, 43 RBI, 72 BB, 70 R, 4 SB
Luis Guillorme played the entire 2017 season for the Mets’ Double-A affiliate, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (that team name irks me every time I hear it). Guillorme was not talked about much throughout the 2017 season, but he helped the Rumble Ponies finish 85-54.
Luis projects as a lead-off hitter with plus plate vision. He showed his plate vision with 72 walks, which led the team and was second in the Eastern League. His .376 on-base percentage led the Rumble Ponies in the 2017 season as well. Scouts rave about Guillorme’s quick hands and defensive prowess. They compare his defense to that of Amed Rosario.
Guillorme will be 23-years-old when the season starts and he has a chance to crack the Major League roster at some point in the 2018 season.
MLB ETA: Late-2018
9. Desmond Lindsay, OF
2017 A Stats: .220/.327/.388, 47 H, 8 HR, 30 RBI, 33 BB, 40 R, 4 SB
Desmond Lindsay fell into the second round of the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft due to a hamstring injury that nagged him throughout high school. The injury forced Lindsay to miss all of his senior year of high school.
The fact that he did not play for a full year and was still taken high shows the talent that Lindsay possesses. However, that same hamstring injury has continued to nag him in his pro career so far. He struggled mightily at the Single-A level in the 2017 season while just playing in 65 of the team’s 138 games.
Scouts rave about Lindsay’s power-speed combo, but he has yet to show both since he cannot stay on the field.
MLB ETA: Mid-2019
8. Marcos Molina, RHP
2017 A+ – AA Stats: 5-10, 3.21 ERA, 106.2 IP, 86 SO, 1.125 WHIP
Marcos Molina signed with the Mets at 17-years old. He seemed to be on the fast track in 2015 when he skipped past Low-A and advanced to High-A out of the New York-Penn League. However, injuries have derailed him since. Molina underwent Tommy John surgery and missed all of the 2016 season.
On top of that, in 2017 he hit the disabled list as well and it cut his season short. Scouts say Molina has the ability to have three “plus” pitches at the big league level if he can stay healthy and continue to develop. His fastball sits in the 93-95 MPH range with late-cut. Health is key for Molina and he will look to stay healthy for the entire 2018 season.
MLB ETA: Early-2019
7. Mark Vientos, SS/3B
2017 R Stats: .262/.318/.398, 50 H, 4 HR, 26 RBI, 15 BB, 23 R, 0 SB
Mark Vientos had the chance to go in the first round of this year’s MLB Amateur Draft, but an inconsistent senior year of high school saw his stock slip a bit. The Mets snagged him in the second round which many thought was a great value pick.
Vientos possesses plus-power and plus-arm strength. He played shortstop in his first year with the organization, but many see him becoming the third baseman in the future. He has all the tools to become an everyday starter at the MLB level, but will need to improve on his plate discipline before doing so.
MLB ETA: Late-2020
6. Tomas Nido, C
2017 AA Stats: .232/.287/.354, 85 H, 8 HR, 60 RBI, 30 BB, 41 R, 0 SB
Mets fans caught a glimpse of Tomas Nido in 2017 as he was called up to the big league club in September. He only had 10 at-bats, but was able to collect three hits in his limited plate appearances. Nido dropped off a bit at the plate in 2017 after batting .320 in 2016 at the High-A level. The reason for his success in 2016 was the improvement in plate discipline. In 2017 Nido walked the most he ever has, but his strikeouts rose once again.
Defensively, Nido improved astronomically last season as he had a 45 percent caught stealing percentage. Nido’s 45 percent is 17 points higher than the Mets’ catchers combined in 2017. If Nido can show improvement at the place once again in 2018 he may be called up sooner than many expect.
MLB ETA: Late-2018
5. Peter Alonso, 1B
2017 A+ – AA Stats: .289/.359/.524, 102 H, 18 HR, 63 RBI, 27 BB, 52 R, 3 SB
The Mets have been shopping for a first baseman this offseason as they seem to be unhappy with Dom Smith. There have also been rumors swirling around that the Mets may look at trading Smith. Why is that after he was so highly touted?
Alonso has shown great power in the minor leagues in his first two seasons. Smith has never hit more than 16 homers in a full season, whether it be in the minors or the big leagues. On the other hand, Alonso hit 18 last year which was his first full season in the minors. Alonso may be pushing Smith out the door quicker than the Mets originally planned.
MLB ETA: Early-2019
4. Thomas Szapucki, LHP
2017 A Stats: 1-2, 2.79 ERA, 29.0 IP, 27 SO, 1.172 WHIP
Every MLB team dreams of having a left-handed starting pitcher who can reach the high-90’s with their fastball. Thomas Szapucki is just that.
Szapucki has dominated the minor leagues up to this point in his career. He has yet to record an ERA above a 3.00. However, he has failed to record more than 52 innings in one season because of injuries. In 2016, Szapucki had a shoulder problem that extended to the beginning of 2017. Then in mid-2017, Szapucki went down with Tommy John.
He has the stuff to dominate at the next level, but he has yet to stay healthy and that is a big concern.
MLB ETA: Early-2020
3. Justin Dunn, RHP
2017 A+ Stats: 5-6, 5.00 ERA, 95.1 IP, 75 SO, 1.563 WHIP
Fans love hometown players. Justin Dunn was born in Freeport, Long Island, and has the chance to make a name for himself with the Mets. He was originally a reliever at Boston College, but scouts wanted to see him in the rotation. BC made Dunn a starter and he dominated there as well.
Dunn struggled in his first full season at High-A in St. Lucie. However, he has the ability to become a top of the rotation starter due to his four-pitch arsenal, according to scouts. The biggest question is his durability as a starter. Dunn may eventually move back to the bullpen. Either way, Dunn will soon make a name for himself in the big leagues.
MLB ETA: Early-2019
2. David Peterson, LHP
2017 A- Stats: 0-0, 2.45 ERA, 3.2 IP, 6 SO, 1.364 WHIP
David Peterson was selected by the Mets in the first round of this year’s MLB Amateur Draft. Therefore, there is not much to go off of when he comes to his pro career. However, when you look at what he did in college it is hard not to believe that Peterson is going to be something special. Peterson proved to the scouts how high his ceiling is when he struck out 20 batters in a single-game in his junior season.
Peterson’s fastball will not blow many batters away as it ranges from 89-94 MPH. Rather, it is Peterson’s control and ability to change speeds that has scouts drooling at his potential. It will be exciting to see what he can do in a full season in 2018.
MLB ETA: Late-2019
1. Andres Gimenez, SS
2017 A Stats: .265/.346/.349, 92 H, 4 HR, 31 RBI, 50 R, 14 SB
At just 18-years-old, Andres Gimenez is way ahead of the game. Gimenez played for the Mets’ Single-A affiliate, Columbia Fireflies, in 2017, 3.5 years younger than the average Single-A player. Scouts rave about Gimenez’s ability to be an all-around shortstop at the MLB level.
The only problem is the Mets hope they already have their shortstop of the future in Amed Rosario. That means Gimenez is going to have to move over to second base or the Mets will use him as a trade chip. Fans should hope that the organization decides to move him to second rather than trade him.
Rosario and Gimenez can make an outstanding duo up the middle for years to come. The only tool missing from Gimenez’s game is the power, but he is far from a slap hitter. He drives the ball gap to gap while possessing plus speed and plus fielding ability. He has the potential to be a star at the pro level if he continues to develop.