Again, this is a post-season review of my Preseason Top 41 Mets Prospects, which I’m making part of the Mets’ minor league season in review.
As far as the Top Prospect review pieces, part five, on players 16-20 is here, part four, on players 21-25 is here, part three, on players 26-30 is here, part two on players 31-35 is here, part one, on players #36-41 is here.
#11 – RHP Michael Fulmer
What I Thought: I liked Fulmer’s size, build and raw stuff (an average or better fastball, and the ability to spin a breaking ball) in a brief viewing in the Gulf Coast League in 2011.
Reality: The Mets challenged Fulmer with an opening day assignment to Savannah and he responded very well, improving over the course of the year against older competition. Pitching Coach Frank Viola raved about Fulmer’s aptitude, work ethic and maturity from day one. His fastball at 93-95 mph, ate up SAL hitters. He and Viola prioritized working on his slider over the curveball. As the year went on, scouts’ grades on the pitch inched upward. He started throwing his changeup more, although it tended towards too firm. He made some mechanical adjustments, tucking his front hip, to give him better tempo and timing in his delivery.
On the Next Top 41? Top 5.
#12 – 2B Jordany Valdespin
What I Thought: He would play second base in the big leagues, where his lack of plate discipline would hurt his value.
Reality: Bingo. He played second an a whole bunch of centerfield in the big leagues where his lack of plate discipline (4.9% walk rate) hurt his value on the way to a .286 on-base percentage.
Stock: Similar. Valdespin is who we thought he was.
On the Next Top 41? Nope. Graduated.
#13 – LHP Darin Gorski
What I Thought: Coming off a dominant 2011 in the Florida State League, Gorski had a chance to stick at the back end of a big league rotation.
Reality: Gorski was ordinary at AA. The key was that his command regressed. His walk rate climbed back to the rate of 2010 in the South Atlantic League and his strikeout rate dipped to its lowest rate in full-season ball.
On the Next Top 41? Yeah.
#14 – RHP Domingo Tapia
What I Thought: He was big and threw hard and had a changeup and that was enough for me.
Reality: He’s big, and he throws really hard out of a low arm slot with movement, and that makes him a fine prospect. Tapia, who regularly hit 99 mph, has one of the best fastballs in the system alongside only Zack Wheeler. His two-seamer can be unhittable at times with sink. He started working more with a four-seamer as well as the year went on. His second pitch is a changeup at 88-91 that when it’s right, disappears down. Up, it becomes an ordinary fastball. His breaking ball came and went; at times he showed the makings of a viable slider, but he threw it less during the second half to focus on his two fastballs and changeup.
Stock: Up a little.
On the Next Top 41? Duh.
#15 – 3B Aderlin Rodriguez
What I Thought: I loved Rodriguez’s power.
Reality: He led all Mets’ minor leaguers with 24 homeruns. He figured out the South Atlantic League as a 20-year old hitting a very loud .307/.368/.555 from May 1 until he was promoted to advanced-A St. Lucie on July 12. After a slow first two weeks in July, in the FSL, he bounced back to hit .278/.321/.519 in 21 games in August. Rodriguez made modest improvements defensively at third and started working seriously at first base, playing 10 games at the position between Savannah and St. Lucie.
On the Next Top 41? Definitely.
|2012 SAL Total||83||318||87||21||1||16||29||71||.274||.336||.497|
|SAL After May 1||59||218||67||15||0||13||21||47||.307||.368||.555|
|2012 SAL Total||10.8||20.2||8.2||4.5||.305|
|2012 Since May