Three Mets Make MLB.com Top 100 Prospects… And What it Says About the System

Rafael Montero ST 13 (Baron)You can probably guess which three Mets farmhands made MLB.com’s list of the game’s Top 100 prospects: RHP Noah Syndergaard at #11, C Travis d’Arnaud at #22 and RHP Rafael Montero at #85 (pictured at right).

One note on each:

  • Syndergaard is the #3 pitching prospect on MLB’s list behind only Archie Bradley and Taijuan Walker.
  • d’Arnaud is the oldest player on MLB’s Top 100, and one of seven 24-year-olds.
  • Of the 37 RHP on the list, Montero is one of four at 6’0″ or shorter, joined by Yordano Ventura (KS – #35), Marcus Stroman (TOR – #55), Jose Berrios (MIN – #90).

With three representatives, the Mets are mid-pack. The list is dominated in volume by six teams, the Astros (7), Red Sox (9), Cubs (7), Pirates (6), Twins (5) and Rangers (5) who together account for 39 players.

One thing stands out to me about the three prospects who made MLB’s list: they should all be in the big leagues for the Mets in the second half of 2014, and should graduate from prospect lists. d’Arnaud will be the Mets’ Opening Day catcher. Syndergaard and Montero will likely begin the year in triple-A with Las Vegas. The odds are strong that the Mets, just like almost every team in baseball, will need reinforcement pitching throughout the season. As long as both Syndergaard and Montero are healthy and pitching effectively, they should be in Queens by July.

I’ll mention Cesar Puello here as another player who will likely start in triple-A, who could and hopefully for the Mets, be in a position to help the team’s outfield by the heat of summer.

After that, there’s a pretty big gap between the guys who can reasonably be expected to reach the big leagues for good in 2014 and the next group. The exception is in the bullpen where there is some depth in potential help in the near future. Some of RHP Jacob deGrom, RHP Cory Mazzoni, RHP Jeff Walters, LHP Jack Leathersich, or RHP Erik Goeddel could help in the bullpen in 2014. However, none of these pitchers, despite AA time in 2013, were Top 100 guys.

The next group of potential starting pitchers or average or better regulars are relatively far away. For example, C Kevin Plawecki will start the season in double-A.  CF Brandon Nimmo, LHP Steven Matz and 2B Dilson Herrera will be ticketed for Advanced-A where they will be joined by RHP Michael Fulmer, RHP Gabriel Ynoa and RHP Luis Cessa. Recent first rounders like SS Gavin Cecchini (almost definitely) and 1B Dom Smith (maybe) will just begin their first season in Savannah in 2014. These are the guys who might next represent the Mets on future Top 100 lists. Their development in a-ball in 2014 will shape the perception of the Mets’ farm system moving forward.

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