Top 41 Misses

Last week, I took a mid-season review of my pre-season Top 41 Mets Prospects which you can read here (1-10, 11-19, 21-29, 30-41).
Today, I’ll take a look at a few of my misses, guys who were in the system last winter, who have over-performed my expectations for them and generated some buzz this season.  We’ll start with the hitters.  Pitchers should run tomorrow.

Feel free to use the comments section to tell me who I missed.  Remember, I’m not including 2010 draftees yet.

3B/1B/LF Eric Campbell

Why He Missed the Winter Top 41: Campbell had wrist injuries that completely sapped his power last year.  He hit .248 in Savannah as a 22-year old.
2010: Campbell was one of the Mets’ most pleasant surprises until he broke his left pinky finger and was placed on the AA DL on June 23rd.  He used the whole field to rake at St. Lucie and Binghamton.  He showed a very strong plate eye as well.  He’s versatile defensively as he can play first, third or left field and is capable everywhere if not outstanding anywhere.  One scout I talked to pointed out that he’s a big guy with an unusual build and a knack for getting it done.
I missed: Campbell’s outstanding plate discipline in the SAL and just how badly injuries marred his 2009.
Top 41 This Winter: YES


G AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO AVG OBP SLG BB% SO% XBH%
2009 – A – SAL 95 339 84 23 0 5 48 57 .248 .347 .360 12.2 14.4 7.1
2009 – A+ – FSL 7 22 6 2 0 0 5 1 .273 .429 .364 17.9 3.6 7.1
2010 – A+ – FSL 38 143 48 13 1 4 17 17 .336 .415 .524 10.3 10.3 10.9
2010 AA -EL 30 108 34 7 0 5 9 15 .315 .375 .519 7.3 12.1 9.7

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LF Lucas Duda

Why He Missed the Top 41: I was concerned about Duda’s L/R splits and his overall power production.  Last year, Duda pounded righties at a .320/.421/.516 rate in AA, but lefties were his kryptonite as he hit just .192./283/.225 against southpaws.  Duda had hit 24 combined home runs in his first three professional seasons between Brooklyn, St. Lucie and Binghamton.  Duda plays both 1B and LF, but neither all that well so I wanted to see more power out of the big guy.
2010: He’s slugged a bunch of home runs at AAA that in previous years might have been doubles.  He’s running his lowest strikeout rate of the last two years in AAA with his highest XBH%.  I’ll believe that he’s improved, but I also think he’s due for some kind of correction when his strikeout rate rises back to his AA range.  He still has nasty platoon splits and he’s still not a great defender.  Duda would make a great half of an AL platoon DH tandem.
I Missed: That he’d turn his plate discipline and big body and strength into more usable game power.
Top 41 This Winter: YES


G AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO AVG OBP SLG BB% SO% XBH%
09 – AA 110 395 111 29 1 9 61 91 .281 .380 .428 13.1 19.5 8.4
10 – AA 45 161 46 17 0 6 29 47 .286 .411 .503 14.7 23.9 11.7
10 – AAA 30 113 76 7 1 10 14 21 .301 .365 .646 10.4 15.6 13.3

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SS Wilfredo Tovar

Why He Missed the Top 41: GCL guys need some serious buzz to crack the top 41 because they’re so far away.
2010: The 18-year old Tovar hung tough in the Florida State League when Jordany Valdespin’s injury opened up some playing time.  At the All-Star Break, the Mets flipped Tovar from the FSL to Savannah and promoted Wilmer Flores to St. Lucie.
I Missed: I don’t think I missed as much as Tovar has just really progressed this year.
Tovar can really pick it.  He’s a plus runner with excellent range at short and wonderful soft, quick hands.  He has plenty of arm and scouts love his body control.  At the plate, he makes good contact and works count to a remarkable degree for a player who won’t be 19 until August.
I’m not the only one surprised by Tovar, who has even surprised the Mets.  Mets Minor League Hitting Coordinator Lamar Johnson  explained some Tovar’s development, “He has really calmed it down a lot from last year. [Now] he knows what type of player he is.  I didn’t expect him to come this fast.  He’s come a long way.  The thing that he does well, is he applies the techniques that everyone’s teaching him.”
Top 41 This Winter: Oh, yes.

G AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO AVG OBP SLG BB% SO% XBH%
09 – GCL 38 148 36 5 3 0 8 19 .243 .294 .318 5.0 11.8 5.0
10 – FSL 30 118 29 5 1 0 3 22 .246 .276 .305 2.4 17.7 4.8
10 – SAL 25 85 28 7 0 0 7 6 .329 .394 .412 7.4 6.3 7.4

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CF/RF Juan Lagares

Why He Missed the Top 41: He’d played three years in the SAL, beginning at age 17  in 2007, and never stayed healthy or produced.  He’d moved off of shortstop for left field in 2009.
2010: Lagares was healthy for the first time.  He matured physically.  The skinny kid was gone replaced by a young man with some strength in his arms, chest and legs.  The Gnats coaching staff thought he was the team’s best defensive CF and on a team full of athletes, he was the best athlete in the outfield.  He developed an approach, looking to hit the ball hard into the opposite field gap much of the time.  When pitchers pitched him away, he was perfectly comfortable going with it.
I Missed: I just didn’t see it from an over matched Lagares in 2008 when he was 19.  Kudos to Lagares for continuing to work all these years even when the Mets made the silly decision to assign him to the SAL in ’07 straight out of the DSL.
Top 41 This Winter: I certainly think so.  With a hint of plate discipline in St. Lucie in the second half, Top 20 is a possibility.

G AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO AVG OBP SLG BB% SO% XBH%
09 – SAL 47 168 46 6 2 0 6 42 .274 .305 .333 3.4 23.7 4.5
10 – SAL 67 290 87 13 9 5 7 44 .300 .318 .459 2.3 14.3 8.8
10 – FSL 27 110 27 4 0 2 2 11 .245 .263 .336 1.8 9.6 5.3

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CF/RF Sean Ratliff

2009:
Why He Missed the Top 41: A lot of strikeouts and some extra-base pop from the Stanford product at age 22 in the SAL
2010: More of the same at St. Lucie with the best numbers of his career at AA Binghamton.
I Missed: I don’t think I did.  Ratliff’s rate stats in the FSL this year are almost exactly in line with those from the SAL.  He’s been way over his head for 33 games in the Eastern League.  Now in AA, his walk rate has dropped into the unacceptable range and his strikeout rate is down to its lowest level as a professional which suggests he’s just attacking early in counts.
Top 41 This Winter: The second half at AA will be very telling.  30s at best.


G AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO AVG OBP SLG BB% SO% XBH%
2009 – A – SAL 122 468 124 28 7 15 31 131 .265 .312 .451 6.1 25.7 9.8
2009 – A+ – FSL 7 28 8 2 0 0 0 10 .286 .286 .357 0.0 35.7 7.1
2010 – A+ – FSL 57 222 61 14 3 5 17 66 .275 .331 .432 7.0 27.3 9.1
2010 AA -EL 33 137 48 14 0 8 7 28 .350 .385 .628 4.7 18.8 14.8
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