Yesterday, Kevin Goldstein released his Mets Top 11 Prospect Ranking at Baseball Prospectus. I talked to him about the rankings, and the Mets system. This is part 1 of the conversation, focused on pitching. The position players will be the focus of part 2. I avoided asking questions that I felt were answered directly by his comprehensive writeups.
TH: Lets start at the top. How close was Harvey [pictured at right] and Wheeler at #1 for you, and should Mets fans worry about the difference?
KG: They really shouldn’t. My Top 101 isn’t out yet, but I can tell you that the two are a whopping five slots apart. I went back and forth on them plenty of times and if I did this again in four weeks, maybe Wheeler would be one. They really are that close.
TH: Ok. Same theme. I’ve got Jeurys Familia ahead of Wheeler because 1. he’s had success at AA and 2. throws more consistently harder. Looks like you took Wheeler’s upside. How far apart in some prospect-y world do you have Familia?
KG: Pretty far between Wheeler and Familia for me — hold on one sec. So Familia is good, but what’s good? It’s a fastball that’s arguably better than Harvey or Wheeler, but the secondary stuff is not as good, and with the delivery and the arm soreness, you have to wonder if he’s not just a reliever in the end. It’s at least in the back of your mind, and that matters.
TH: Fair. How much did Jenrry Mejia’s TJ surgery affect his prospect ranking?
KG: It has to play a role, just in the sense that even though the recovery rate for that is fantastic, it’s not 100% and that kind of thing, like Familia, creates questions about future role. Not every pitcher is designed to throw 200 innings a year. In fact, few are.
TH: I like this question, from reader Sylvan: Is there anyone outside of your top 20 who struck you as having especially high upside (but, presumably, too far from the majors to earn a spot on the list)?
KG: How about Domingo Tapia, just as a highly projectable righty with upside.
TH: Yup. How about a ceiling and then a “most realistic” outcome for Darin Gorski?
KG: That’s a helluva start.
KG: I’m kind of laughing because ceiling is No. 4 or 5 starter and that might be the most realistic outcome too. That or a middle reliever.
TH: Chris Schwinden snuck onto the back of your Top 20 list. Really a fifth starter? I figured he’d be a 27th man on the roster, bouncing between AAA and the big leagues.
Kevin: Possibly a fifth starter, and close enough that I was comfortable putting him there.