2014 STEP Camp Roster

STEP Camp, which is a slightly extended Spring Training for the Mets top prospects not in Major League camp, began Saturday.

Here’s the full STEP Camp roster.

Pitchers

ThrowsNameFinal 2013 Level
LHPDario AlvarezNYP
RHPTyler BashlorAPP
RHPMatt BowmanFSL
RHPLuis CessaSAL
RHPMiller DiazNYP
RHPChris FlexenAPP
RHPMichael FulmerFSL
RHPJohn GantNYP
LHPDarin GorskiEL
RHPRobert GsellmanNYP
RHPRicky KnappNYP
RHPMatt KochSAL
RHPJake KueblerSAL
RHPRainy LaraFSL
RHPSeth LugoSAL
RHPKevin McGowanNYP
LHPAlex PanteliodisFSL
RHPTim PetersonSAL
RHPTyler PillEL
RHPHansel RoblesFSL
RHPPaul SewaldSAL
RHPDomingo TapiaFSL
RHPRob WhalenAPP
RHPGabriel YnoaSAL

All of the full-season starters for Mets affiliates in the last two years either attended MLB camp or STEP Camp.  This list allows us to construct, with a reasonable degree of accuracy, the bulk of the full-season rotations. The AAA Las Vegas rotation will mostly be filled with players in big league camp (like Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, John Lannan, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jacob deGrom, and Cory Mazzoni).

Rotation Candidates
AA – EL
1. Bowman, 2. Lara, 3. Panteliodis, 4. Pill, 5. Robles, 6. Tapia, 7. Gorski (AAA depending on injuries)
A+ – FSL
Matz (MLB)
1. Fulmer, 2. Ynoa, 3. Cessa, 4. Koch, 5. Kuebler, 6. Lugo
BP: Peterson, Sewald
A – SAL
1. Alvarez, 2. Bashlor, 3. Diaz, 4. Flexen, 5. Gant, 6. Gsellman 7. Knapp, 8. McGowan, 9. Whalen

That looks like a pretty good scramble for the Savannah rotation spots, but it’s not. The Mets have used a six-man rotation in Savannah in the Alderson/DePodesta years and I expect them to in 2014. They’ve also piggybacked at least a few of the rotation spots early in the year to 1. manage workloads, 2. give more guys a chance to throw more. Barring injury, all nine guys listed above will throw plenty of innings for Savannah in 2014. Add Ricky Jacquez, Akeel Morris and Johnny Magliozzi and that’s probably pretty close to the Opening Day staff.

It’s also worth pointing out that none of the 2013 high school draftees were invited to STEP camp. Thus, it seems like a very safe bet that 2nd round pick Andrew Church and 3rd round selection Casey Meisner will begin the year in short-season, most likely Brooklyn.

Catchers
Xorge Carillo, Albert Cordero, Blake Forsythe, Jeff Glenn, Kai Gronauer, Cam Maron, Colton Plaia

Infielders
Corners
Jayce Boyd, Dominic Smith, Aderlin Rodriguez,

Middle Infielders
Dilson Herrera, L.J. Mazzilli,  Gavin Cecchini, Philip Evans, Matt Reynolds, Amed Rosario

The fact that Smith and Rosario are in STEP camp does not mean they will head to Savannah to start 2014. Last year, the Mets brought Gavin Cecchini to STEP camp only to start him in Brooklyn. 

Outfielders
Maikis De La Cruz, Kyle Johnson, Jared King, Eudy Pina, Champ Stuart and Travis Taijeron

I suspect that this means Stuart, who impressed me in a brief look in Kingsport in 2013, will break camp in Savannah. 

38 comments
Philip Mohr
Philip Mohr

Where is Nimmo? Is he in big league camp?

Jeff Steinberg
Jeff Steinberg

Lot of solid pitching in our system now. Guys to watch in 2014: Bowman, Cessa, Fulmer, Gant, Whalen, and Ynoa. They can all may huge strides this season. 

Sylvan Migdal
Sylvan Migdal

Also, a potential data point in the "Smith to Savannah" question: no Matt Oberste. Last year, Cecchini was sharing STEP camp with the guy who beat him out for the Savannah SS job.

Sylvan Migdal
Sylvan Migdal

Considering how raw Champ Stuart is, I suspected the Mets might send him to Brooklyn. I suppose they still might, but this suggests otherwise. I hope he makes something of himself.


The fact that they've got Rosario in camp shows once again just how high on him the Mets are. I'm sure they aren't planning to take him north with Savannah....but I wonder if they might do it (at least temporarily) if Cecchini gets hurt.

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

Very curious what they do with the SAL level glut of SP. Does someone like Miller Diaz get a surprising bump to the FSL? Does a Knapp given his high level college experience?

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

I just don't see any way Rosario is in Savannah. Cecchini's value is derived from his ability to play SS and they aren't moving him off the position for Rosario (good prospect or not). Cecchini pretty clearly has a lot of work to do with the bat so St. Lucie would be pretty ridiculous. Furthermore, Rosario for all his tools and "holding his own" wasn't all that amazing statistically. Not enough to say "this guy NEEDS to be in Savannah". I'd be blown away if Rosario isn't in BK and Cheech in Savannah. Smith on the other hand I suspect IS in Savannah. Stuart in Savannah should be cool. First hand reports from Toby. Interesting skillset... IF he can hit. Never thought Church or Meisner had any chance of heading to Savannah. Too many arms ahead of them (though both are intriguing)

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

@Jeff Steinberg Hard to imagine Gant making "huge strides". He's a mid-/upper 80's junkballer type. He may succeed, some do but he doesn't have a ton of upside. Fulmer, Ynoa, Cessa far outclass the others listed.

natew
natew

@Jeff Steinberg Fulmer is in a different group than the rest of these guys because with a poor performance he will not be written off, where as most of these guys would become barely prospects with a poor year.  His stuff should be on a different level. 

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

@Sylvan Migdal  Oberste was mentioned as a potential OF when we drafted him. He needed off-season surgery (I believe related to his arm) so they may go that direction. I can't recall a single BK guy who repeated who amounted to anything (maybe there is one I don't recall) but a second year, productive college player can't repeat short season. Oberste is either going to need to "find" ab's in Savannah or something wild like throwing him "to the wolves" in St. Lucie. Most of the "experts" happened to like him a lot and his bat had similar comments to that of Boyd. Curious situation.

Former MetBlogger
Former MetBlogger

@Daniel Wexler  I wouldn't consider it surprising at all if Diaz got placed in the FSL.  In fact, I've been assuming that's where he winds up, given his age and dominance at Brooklyn.  

jman
jman

@Daniel Wexler Agreed.  I will be very surprised if Smith isnt in savannah.  He would have to have a terrible camp.  The difference between Smith and Cecchin is that Smith had a great first year and Cecchini struggled.  Smith is also a more adavanced hitter and has already been on many top 100 lists.  I love Rosario but he probably should start in Brooklyn because he just turned 18 and cecchini blocks him.  I love all the pitching we have, having so much is a good problem to have

Sylvan Migdal
Sylvan Migdal

@Daniel Wexler @Jeff Steinberg  I thought Gant has gained velocity, at least to the point of being an 89-91 guy rather than 85-88. He's still young and gangly enough that you could hope for a little more, although I agree he's not in the same prospect league as Fulmer/Ynoa right now.

natew
natew

@Daniel Wexler @Jeff Steinberg 

Cessa, and to a lesser extent Ynoa are known primarily as strike throwers as well.  An increase in hitability this year could sidetrack them as well.  Much more likely with Gant, but it seems like they fit together more than Fulmer

Toby Hyde
Toby Hyde moderator

@Daniel Wexler @Sylvan Migdal  you have a link/source to this Oberste surgery thing? News to me. I thought perhaps you were confusing him with Jayce Boyd, although that would be unlike you....

Sylvan Migdal
Sylvan Migdal

@Daniel Wexler @Sylvan Migdal  Yeah, tough situation. If his arm is healthy they could get him time at 3B, a la Cole Frenzel.

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

@Former MetBlogger @Daniel Wexler  In general they haven't had the latino pitchers skip unless they were overage (Mateo), Robles was the one "surprise". I wouldn't be shocked at all with Diaz in St. Lucie just wouldn't follow their usual trend. They sent Lara/Ynoa/Cessa all to Savannah and all were strong in BK.

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

@jman @Daniel Wexler Yeah agreed with everything here. Smith also appears to be a pretty polished hitter (as polished as you can be for his age) while Cecchini pretty clearly needs to continue working on the offensive side of his game. I don't see a ton of downside to Smith going to Savannah. Yeah, the power numbers likely won't be great given the ballpark but they likely weren't going to be great in BK either. In my opinion Cecchini becomes a non-prospect if he has to move to 2b... so that should be avoided.

Toby Hyde
Toby Hyde moderator

@Jeff Steinberg @Daniel Wexler  A pitcher who can throw strikes and change speeds will put up good to great numbers in the NYP. The fact that the same guy struggles in the SAL or FSL does not mean that they hav "regressed." There might not have been much there in the first place, or at least, not as much as fans want based on the raw numbers. 

Jeff Steinberg
Jeff Steinberg

@Daniel Wexler  I didn't say Gant would be a star. Just meant with another good season under his belt it'll help him get some prospect recognition. A lot of pitchers have had great Brooklyn seasons, only to regress the following year. 

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

@Sylvan Migdal @Daniel Wexler@Jeff SteinbergHe did not top 88 in his one appearance on SNY. I remember this because I was curious about him because he was putting up good numbers and his draft report said mid-80's with potential velocity gains as a lanky former swimmer. Yes, only one start but certainly jibes with the "fringy" velocity more than 89-91 would (as would the Arroyo comps). Still BA mentioned him as worth monitoring but I think 89-91 is overestimating his current FB.
 Toby apparently had Gant 86-89 in Savannah this season.

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

@natew @Daniel WexlerHow many good MLB RH starters throw 86-89? I'm guessing not more than a handful MAX. Even Dillon Gee works 89-91 touching higher and he's a "soft-tosser".
 A fringy FB doesn't just refer to velocity but also the caliber of the pitch.

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

@natew @Daniel Wexler@Jeff Steinberg Nate, Keith Law specifically mentioned Ynoa and Cessa as guys he really liked. I think you are underrating them when putting them with Gant. BA had Fulmer #14, Ynoa #15.

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

@natew @Daniel Wexler@Jeff SteinbergCessa touches mid-90's, Ynoa touched 94 this year. Fulmer doesn't have much more FB than either. Matt Eddy BA- . "RHP John Gant has borderline stuff but exceptional feel to pitch and a great changeup"don't think Ynoa or Cessa would be said to have "boderline stuff"
. Eddy said Ynoa is low-90's and touched 94, Cessa touched 95 in BK. Not sure in Savannah.


Aaron Fitt- I heard a couple of Bronson Arroyo comps on John Gant, a finesse righty with a smooth delivery, excellent feel for his curveball and changeup and fringy velocity.

Cessa and Ynoa have more than "fringy" velocity.

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

@Sylvan Migdal @Daniel Wexler Yeah but Oberste will be 23 in August which means absolute best case is he's 23-24 in St. Lucie (that's with him skipping Savannah) in 2015. That seems like a non-prospect path for a 1b to me. They have had guys put up poor numbers in Brooklyn and still got promoted to Savannah. I mean even Ike Davis (granted 1st rounder) .652 OPS, Boyd only hit .239, Frenzel stunk in BK and was still shipped to Savannah

Sylvan Migdal
Sylvan Migdal

@Daniel Wexler Frenzel's situation was a bit different — he was given a chance to move up from Brooklyn to Savannah and just couldn't hack it. He got sent back down to Brooklyn to be Jayce Boyd's backup, which was pretty much the kiss of death for him as a first baseman. He had to convert to 3B to have any chance at future playing time.


If Oberste *does* wind up repeating Brooklyn, at least he'd be the presumptive starter (unless the Mets draft another college 1B in the early rounds). But I'm hopeful he can play some 3B/LF for Savannah and keep himself in the conversation.


Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

@Sylvan Migdal  Sadly, Frenzel is the first guy I think of when it comes to "well regarded, had to repeat BK". Again, I'm not giving up on Oberste, the guy was a hitting machine in college but he's either going to have to find some time in the OF, play 3b (as you suggested), skip Savannah or pray the Mets don't send Smith to Savannah.

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@Muhammed A. Gretzky @jman@Daniel Wexler  

Stl , TB, The braves do, and have for a while. It's why they continue to be competitive teams while not having MASSIVE payrolls relying over-priced FA's to fill all their needs. They also seem to always trade the right one..


The 2013 Cards top 10 for instance


1. Oscar Taveras, of 

2. Shelby Miller, rhp 

 3. Carlos Martinez, rhp 

 4. Trevor Rosenthal, rhp

5. Kolten Wong, 2b 

 6. Michael Wacha, rhp

7. Matt Adams, 1b

8. Tyrell Jenkins, rhp 

 9. Carson Kelly, 3b

10. Stephen Piscotty, of/3b

-----


I mean that is just ridiculous.

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

@Muhammed A. Gretzky Ballpark is the issue, not Smith's "size". Since 2009 5 players have hit double digit homers while playing for Savannah (Aderlin did it twice).

Muhammed A. Gretzky
Muhammed A. Gretzky

@Daniel Wexler  

Maybe Smith's polished swing along with his increased size (seems to have improved his strength mightily given his offseason photos) can upgrade his power numbers even in Savannah.

jman
jman

@Daniel Wexler Yeah Savannah is one of the worst parks for left handed hitters.  As long as he puts up a decent AVG it will be fine