August Stock Watch: Final month of the regular season

The minor league regular season ended on Monday, so it’s time for the final stock watch, a monthly look at the Mets pre-season Top 41 prospects. We did this routine in May and June, and July.

(Again, guys who were not on the preseason Top 41 (Matt Reynolds, Jhoan Urena, Michael Conforto, etc.) will get their own post soon.)


1. RHP Noah Syndergaard
Stock: Still the best in the system

Syndergaard’s last nine games were pretty good: 2.61 ERA and 58 strikeouts (28 percent ) against 17 walks (8.2 percent) in 48 1/3 innings, while allowing opponents to hit .262/.340/.344. At 133 innings this year, plus a playoff start, most likely, Syndergaard should be up near 175 innings as his limit in 2015.

2. C Travis d’Arnaud
Stock: Up – he’s graduated.

Travis d’Arnaud has hit .264/.305/.472 with 12 doubles, a triple and nine home runs with 10 walks (4.8 percent) and 29 strikeouts (13.8 percent) in 53 games since his return from Triple-A. That’s a distinct, low-walk, low-strikeout profile.

3. RHP Rafael Montero
Stock: In neutral

He’s bounced between Triple-A and the big leagues in the last month and for the most part done OK. It’s hard to see an impact starter here, but maybe there’s a MLB starter in here.

Puello Swing Finish ST 144. OF Cesar Puello
Stock: Down

In his last 12 games since August 18, Puello has hit a scorching .364/.472/.659 with five walks, four HBP, and 11 strikeouts. He still finished the season by hitting .252/.355/.393 in 104 games at age-23 in his first exposure to Triple-A. Oh, and he hit .312/.409/.532 in 127 PA against lefties. Platoon piece anyone?

5. INF Wilmer Flores
Stock: Still auditioning in the big leagues.

So, the Mets have given Flores a chance to play almost everyday and in the last 31 games, just past his 21st birthday, he has hit .247/.286/.323 with four walks and seven strikeouts.

6. CF Brandon Nimmo
Stock: Up.

After finishing up the first half at .322/.448/.458 in the Florida State League, Nimmo earned his promotion to Double-A Binghamton. Now pretty clearly the top position player in the system, the 21-year-old hit .263/.330/.394 in 26 games in August. Worth pointing out here: for the year, Nimmo hit .304/.419/.485 against righties and .232/.347/.317 against lefties.

7. LHP Steven Matz
Stock: Up

Did you realize how good Matz was in August? Did you!? In five starts, the southpaw had a 0.90 ERA, with 24 hits, four runs — three earned — with 32 strikeouts (28 percent) against five walks (4 percent) in 30 innings. He’s worked on his command and his curveball, and he’s the best Mets pitching prospect not named Noah.

8. 1B Dominic Smith
Stock: Resting comfortably

Smith did not finish particularly well, hitting .218/.306/.333 in 24 games in August, but he did show strike zone control (10 BB and 13 K) and connected for his first triple and his first hom erun. He finished his age-19 season in Savannah, at .271/.344/.338 in 126 games.

9. SS Amed Rosario
Stock: Unchanged

The teenager finished his time in Brooklyn at .289/.337/.380 with a 16 percent strikeout rate and a 6 percent walk rate he was consistent across his time in Brooklyn, running OPSes between .702 and .737 for each month as a Cyclone. He was given a chance in Savannah in May, and the game looked fast for him. Now he’s back for the SAL playoffs. The teenager is very focused on hitting to the opposite field, as his heat map from MLBFarm.com makes plain.

10. 2B Dilson Herrera
Stock: Up.

He’s a big leaguer! Working as the youngest position player in Double-A, Herrera hit .340/.406/.560 with a 10.4 percent walk rate and a 19 percent strikeout rate. His 166 wRC+ was second in the league to the Red Sox Mookie Bets among all batters with at least 150 PA. In short, he was ridiculously good. I wrote about the 20-year-old at more length here. There’s an everyday second baseman in here, and maybe an All-Star level guy if everything clicks.


11. C Kevin Plawecki
Stock: Up

Plawecki finished with a solid August at .305/.356/.432 in 15 games to finish his first 43 games in Triple-A at .283/.345/.421 with 14 walks against 21 strikeouts. He could be a cheap backup to Travis d’Arnaud as soon as next year. The Mets seem pleased by his progress defensively as we discussed here.

Ynoa Delivery (Devyatkin)12. SS Gavin Cecchini
Stock: Oh, boy.

After a ghastly July (.163/.230/.239, 3 XBH, 8 BB, 16 K in 27 games) Cecchini rebounded with a beastly August for St. Lucie: .286/.403/.459 with 10 XBH, and 21 walks against 14 strikeouts. The 20-year-old is up in Double-A for the Binghamton playoff run, and given his finish to the season, looks ready to start there in 2015.

We discussed him in the mid-season promotion feature. In short, there’s a big leaguer in here, but his bat will have to keep improving for me to think there’s an above-average everyday guy.

13. RHP Gabriel Ynoa
Stock: Holding

Ynoa finished off his first look at Double-A with three straight seven-inning starts to conclude the year. However, in 11 starts, he struck out just 42 batters in 66 1/3 innings, a scary-low rate of 15 percent for the fly-ball oriented 21-year-old. Our feature on him is here.

14. RHP Michael Fulmer
Stock: Slipping

Fulmer was solid in the FSL, and earned one start in Double-A, on August 19, which did not go well (3 1/3 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 1 HR, 3 BB, 1 K). After that outing, he was diagnosed with bone chips in his right elbow that ended the former supplemental first-rounder’s year.

15. RHP Vic Black
Stock: Up and gone.

He’s a big leaguer now. (Unchanged since July.)

16. RHP Jacob deGrom
Stock: Up and gone.

He’s a big leaguer now. (Unchanged since July.)

17. RHP Domingo Tapia
Stock: Down.

Repeating the FSL, Tapia struck out 56 and walked 51. It’s time to put him into the bullpen and see if the results improve.

18. RHP Jeff Walters
Stock: Down

Walthers, who was added to the 40-man roster in the fall, was ineffective in Triple-A and then had Tommy John surgery. (Unchanged since July.)

19. RHP Cory Mazzoni
Stock: Down

Mazzoni ran a crazy 41/2 K/BB in August on his way to a 4.30 ERA for Las Vegas. He’ll go to the Arizona Fall League to continue his 2014 after the 51s season ends, but with little record of durability or success at the minors’ highest levels, I think he’s headed for the bullpen for his MLB career.

20. LHP Jack Leathersich
Stock: Down

When the Mets needed a left-hander for the big league bullpen, they called on Dario Alvarez and his 5 2/3 innings above Single-A over Leathersich and his two years in Double-A. Ouch.


21. RHP Luis Mateo
Stock: Down

Mateo’s Tommy John rehab tour stalled in Brooklyn where, at last check, he was throwing “lots” of 89-90 mph fastballs. The Mets basically sent him home. Not good.

22. CF Champ Stuart
Stock: Up

Stuart had a poor August in terms of batting average, as he hit .220/.261/.321 with five walks against 39 strikeouts as he expanded the zone and chase early and often. He also let his swing get long. It felt, for a period, as though he was starting every count at 0-2. And yet, his modest isolated slugging percentage of .101 was his highest in any month of more than 10 games this year. The speedster will head to St. Lucie to begin 2015. His speed and defense could very well get him to the big leagues, and if he hits at all, he’s a starting centerfielder.

I wrote about Stuart here and here.

Personal note: I enjoy watching Stuart run.

Stuart Dives into 3B23. OF Ivan Wilson
Stock: Slipping

As I wrote in July, “Wilson is big and strong, but strikes out a ton.” In 58 games in the Appalachian League, he hit .176 with 11 homers and 99 strikeouts! His pitch recognition might never improve, but I’d send him to Savannah to start 2015 to give him as many gams as possible.

His profile, about his adjustments, big and small, is here.

24. RHP Luis Cessa
Stock: Down

Cessa was good in August, striking out a batter an inning for the first time in the FSL. Still, for the year, he ran a 4.00 ERA in a pitcher-friendly league.

25. RHP Robert Gsellman
Stock: Up

Gsellman, who get the game one start in the playoffs for Savannah, did not allow a run in three of his last four appearances. His curveball made progress this year, and when it was on, he was very tough. He’s a realistic back-end starter type.

26. RHP Chris Flexen
Stock: Down

Just when he was starting to figure it out, he heads under the knife to have bone chips removed and for Tommy John surgery. (Unchanged since July.)

27. RHP Casey Meisner
Stock: Wobbly

Meisner was lights out in August/September: 5 GS, 30 2/3 IP, 28 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 1.47 ERA with 4 BB against 32 strikeouts. He’ll get his shot in the Savannah rotation in 2015.

Keith Law saw Meisner pitch for Brooklyn early in the year, and was unimpressed, saying he was “throwing 87-91 mph with an above-average curveball but no command or deception.”

28. RHP Andrew Church
Stock: Down

Last year’s second-round pick ran a 3.81 ERA in August with 19 K/8 BB in 26 innings. For the year, he fanned just 31 and walked 14 in 52 2/3 innings. There’s no guarantee he makes the Savannah rotation to start 2015.

29. C Juan Centeno
Stock: Unchanged

He’s still a low-end backup catcher. (Unchanged since July.)


30. SS Wilfredo Tovar
Stock: Slipped.

Tovar returned from thumb surgery in June and hit .238/.293/.305 in the final month for the B-Mets. Now 23, maybe he’s a big league bench piece, but more and more, he looks like an up-and-down guy who provides organizational depth as an emergency SS/2B.

31. 2B LJ Mazzilli
Stock: Up some

A really good August (.342/.383./459) helped Mazzilli earn a trip to Las Vegas for the playoffs to give the 51s another middle infielder. He hit for a little more pop in the FSL than he did in the SAL, but his walk rate drifted back into the dangerously low territory at 5.8 percent.

He says some advice from Yogi Berra in early May helped turn around his season. Scouts describe his work at second as mechanical, but he he’s on pace to start 2015 in Double-A.

lj-mazzilli-2132. OF Jared King
Stock: Down

King’s August was his best month of 2014: .318/.362/.477 with nine doubles, a triple and two homers in 28 games. A broken leg kept him out for a few months, but he still only hit three home runs in 80 games between Savannah and St. Lucie.

33. RHP Erik Goeddel
Stock: Down

Goeddel was hit hard in August: 10.2 IP, 17 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 HR, 1 BB, 12 K. He left Vegas with a 5.32 ERA, so it’s cool that he gets a month of big league money. Is he worth a 40-man roster spot this winter?

34. CF Matt den Dekker
Stock: Same

While turning 27 in August, the Mets gave den Dekker a shot to prove he could be the long half of a left field platoon. He’s responded by hitting .255/.367/.314 with three doubles in 60 PA over 17 games. In other news, the Mets are still looking for a left-fielder for 2015.

35. OF Cory Vaughn
Stock: Down

In 115 games between Double-A and Triple-A, Vaughn hit .210/.305/.342 with 17 doubles and 10 home runs.

36. RHP Logan Verrett
Stock: Down

Verrett’s August was pretty good, driven by an opponents’ batting average of .168, he ran a 2.84 ERA in 38 innings. Maybe there’s enough slider to play out of a big league bullpen, but after a 4.33 ERA in 28 starts for Vegas at age 23/24, it’s hard to argue he’s a big league starter.

37. RHP Akeel Morris
Stock: Up, but only a little

Morris’ numbers were just sick: 0.63 ERA in 57 innings with 89 strikeouts (42 percent) against 22 (10 percent) walks. He was the best reliever in the SAL with an opponents’ batting average of .103. His fastball touched 95 and his changeup was too much for SAL hitters. His breaking ball improved, although it’s still spotty, at best. If Gonzalez Germen can pitch in the big leagues, Morris can too; his fastball is better.

38. RHP Ricardo Jacquez
Stock: Down

Didn’t pitch at all in 2014.

39. RHP Bret Mitchell
Stock: Down

After an early injury and ineffectiveness in St. Lucie, he salvaged his season with a solid turn for Savannah (28 IP, 2.57 ERA, 8 BB, 34 K). Still down.

40. 3B Pedro Perez
Stock: Down

Moved off of third base to accommodate Eudor Garcia in Kingsport, Perez played 22 games at first for Brooklyn where he hit .193/.236/.217. Ouch.

41. SS Luis Guillorme
Stock: Up, a little

His August: .311/.349/.350. A slick defender, his skills in the field will keep him employed all the way to Double-A, and likely up to Triple-A too. His swing works, but he has to put everything he has into it to hit ordinary line drives to the outfield. He will need to add strength to profile as a big leaguer.