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

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


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

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



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.

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


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.

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



CF/RF Sean Ratliff

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.

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

There are 9 comments

  1. theperfectgame

    Shawn Bowman, but does it count if the org also missed? Just kidding. Nice recap, Toby. I think you’ve got it pretty much covered. But…

    I know he was terminally old when the Mets drafted him (23.5? Ack!) and that the Mets didn’t do him any favors sticking him in Savannah last year, but it’d be nice to see Josh Satin get a little love. Yeah he strikes out 20% of the time, but he’s held at that rate at 4 levels. And the fact that he walks about 11% of the time has to somewhat mitigate that. Plus, his triple slash of .308/.398/.441 would certainly play from 2B, right?

    He should get a crack at whichever upper level 2B job isn’t going to Reese Havens next year so I’m thinking maybe with a solid first half in 2011 he could squeeze into the Top 41 misses next year.

    I don’t have illusions of the next Chase Utley here, but I do think Satin could find a Major League bench role, especially if he can add a little more defensive versatility.

    Am I way off base?

  2. theperfectgame

    Yeah, I have no doubt he’d be on the list if he were younger. I’m just saying that even given his age, I think that he warrants a little consideration for the back end of the list next year. I mean, if they start him in AAA in 2011 and he continues to produce, is it that big a deal that he’ll be 26 as opposed to 25, or even 24? He might not have the ceiling of some of the younger guys on the list, but he also doesn’t have a lot of their what ifs, and at some point, production is production. Some guys just get started late, too, and keep in mind, he’s only been playing professionally since ’08.

  3. Toby Hyde

    Satin’s a nice ballplayer and all, but the average Eastern League ISO is .136. Satin’s is .116.

    He has little value as a utility player because he can’t play short or third.

  4. josesthyroid

    How about some pitching love like Josh Stinson, Brandon Moore and Mark Cohoon? Those three guys are having some pretty good seasons. Cohoon has slowed down since he jumped up to AA from the Sally, but he an unbelievable 1st half and now just has to catch up to AA hitting. I know his velocity doesn’t project to the ML but he did dominate down in Savannah. Also Stinson looks great this year and looks like a sleeper for next years Top 41 based on his #’s. Brandon Moore is another guy that has slowed down since being promoted. I’m not sure if I read it here or another sight about hitters not swinging at his breaking stuff anymore but again, hopefully he can adjust and regain for.

    As for Satin, as stated earlier, this guy just hits at every level and I thought the same thing about him being a professional utility guy like Joe McEwing. Any chance he can play a little OF in a pinch and get some ground balls at 3B as well? If he can play 2B and even 1B, he CAN play 3B, it’s just a matter of getting some reps there. He just has a bat that can hit at any level, his glove has always been his problem , especially with Reese (I rarely play, but I’m really good when I do) Havens ahead of him in Binghamton.

    Toby, I like your work and keep up the good work. Although I think you should do a new TOP 41 list twice a year instead of just once in the winter. A lot changes during the course of the year and I think it would be nice to do one around now and then another one right before the season starts. Something to think about.

  5. acerimusdux

    I’m going to have to disagree on Lagares over Ratliff. Yes, I would still have some doubts about Ratliff’s swing and approach, but I think he’s still ahead of Lagares. You (rightly) question his walk rate, but he’s still walked 15 more times than Lagares, in less PA. He doesn’t have the speed and the same level of defense in CF, but he clearly has the power for the corner, which I think Lagares doesn’t. He has a higher strikeout rate, but only to the degree you’d expect given the difference in power. They are very different types of player, but does Juan have much an edge there on tools and upside?

    Finally, Ratliff is two years older, but he is also performing two levels higher. Lagares has played some in A+ this year, but has a .600 OPS at that level. On top of that, this is Lagres’s 5th pro season at this point. He’s had plenty of time to adjust. Ratliff is only in his 3rd season, and was especially raw for a college pick in 2008. He had been primarily a pitcher earlier in his career, and so his experience as a position player was more equivalent to a typical sophmore. He still had solid numbers, and was thought at draft time to have a chance to go in the top 2 rounds had he returned to school and continued to progress.

    Ratliff still has some work to do, and I think the doubts overall are similar to this year’s 4th rounder Cory Vaughn. I think both guys have shown enough potential to rank top 30 at this point, despite the flaws. Lagares is the guy I’d have 30’s at best. Ratliff is the guy I might think even has a shot at top 20 if he manages to continue to perform over the second half. Heck, BA had him at 22 coming into the year, and that was based almost entirely on scouting and upside.

    @Nick & JT, Satin, Moore, and Cohoon are all guys who are interesting to discuss, having good years, but I still don’t think any are top 30 at this point, so not really misses. Those are guys who might be in the discussion at the back end of this year top 41. Stinson is maybe a bit more interesting, but probably more as a reliever, so not super high ceiling either.

  6. theperfectgame

    “We’ll start with the hitters. Pitchers should run tomorrow.”

    Jose, these are just the hitters. Pitchers are gonna be in a separate list tomorrow.

    “Satin’s a nice ballplayer and all, but the average Eastern League ISO is .136. Satin’s is .116. He has little value as a utility player because he can’t play short or third.”

    Fair enough Toby. I’ll have to hold out hope that Satin will make it to your midyear list of oversights in 2011 :-)

  7. Toby Hyde

    Fair points. however, on the point you raised at the end of the first paragraph, yes, Lagares has a significant edge in athleticism. Also, you just can’t hand waive away the two years’ difference between the two.
    You could make the experience argument you made for Ratliff for Lagares as well. Lagares has missed a lot of time the last few years with various injuries. I just see Ratliff as a corner OF who will struggle to put up league average OBPs, severely limiting his upside.
    There’s two months left of season….we will revisit this in the offseason…

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