After the raw potential of Cesar Puello and Wuilmer Becerra, these ranking will take a hard turn for the next eight slots into the realm of “MLB Spare Parts and Bullpen Pieces.” I view all of the next eight as very likely to play in the big leagues, or in Carson’s case already have, but unlikely to be average regulars. The big league at bats and innings this group will provide will separate them from many other players on this prospect list.
Why Ranked Here: Carson made his MLB debut in 2012 and appeared in 17 games overall for the Mets. He struggled, with five strikeouts against four walks in 13.1 innings. Still there’s stuff in here. Carson’s fastball averaged 94.6 mph. In fact, Carson’s results have lagged a bit behind his fastball and raw weapons. Carson’s slider was 84. His command of both pitches was below average. If he can harness both, he could be a pretty nice reliever.
2012: Carson put together a 4.79 ERA in 35.2 innings in AA, a 1.72 ERA in 15.2 innings in AAA and a 4.73 ERA in 13.1 innings in the big leagues.
Dr. Pangloss Says: A good lefty reliever
Debbie Downer Says: Carson never learns to throw strikes, and never reaches a 100 ERA+.
Projected 2013 Start: AAA Buffalo
MLB Arrival: 2012. Back in 2013
Why Ranked Here: Tovar is a skilled defensive shortstop who probably will never hit enough to hold down an every day job.
The tiny guy has quick feet, outstanding balance, lightning-fast hands and plenty of arm to play short.
At the plate, he bats out of a crouch and again, his hands work well. He never strikes out, but he’s just not big enough and strong enough to generate any power at all.
2012: Tovar conquered the Florida State League, poking 17 doubles, and walking in over 11% of his plate appearances. Promoted to AA Binghamton, his walk rate dropped in half, to 5% dragging his line to .254/.308/.332.
Dr. Pangloss Says: A second-tier starting shortstop who makes a living with his glove, contact and learns (again) to draw some walks.
Debbie Downer Says: Up and down guy who spends some seasons on MLB rosters and some in AAA.
Projected 2013 Start: AA Binghamton
MLB Arrival: 2015
#26 – OF Juan Lagares
Height/Weight: 6’1”, 180
Acquired: NDFA (5/5/06)
Born: 3/17/89 (Constanza, DR)
2012 Rank: #7 | Stats
Why Ranked Here: Lagares can play all three outfield positions and hit a little. In the big leagues, he could be an above average corner outfielder, and a little bit below average defensively in center, who is playable as a backup.
Offensively, he’s an aggressive hitter who makes lots of contact with a line drive swing. Although he’s solidly built, he just does not have the high finish that allows him to generate much loft to put the ball out of the wall. He walks very little and has struggled learning a better, more modern-Mets approach.
Lagares was a shortstop through 2009, and one Mets person suggested to me that he could play third (although he’s only played only six games there as a professional – five in Brooklyn) and that would help him make a MLB team as an OF/3B reserve.
2012: Lagares spend the whole season with AA Binghamton. On the plus side, his walk rate of 6.8% was a career-best. The bad news is that it would still be a below average MLB walk rate. The other bad news, is that his power disappeared: his .106 isolated slugging percentage was his lowest over a full season since 2009 in the South Atlantic League as was his 7.1% extra-base hit rate.
Lagares ran an OPS that was nearly 200 points higher against lefties in 2012. (Versus lefties he owned .872 as part of a .338/.387/.485 line in 142 PA while he hit .266/.318/.359 in 401 PA against righties.)
Dr. Pangloss Says: A useful piece of a platoon who can offer a team additional value thanks to his defensive flexibility and ability.
Debbie Downer Says: He just will not hit enough for a team to carry him and he will lose steps and range in the outfield as he ages.
Projected 2013 Start: AAA Las Vegas
MLB Arrival: 2013