Top 41 Prospects Review: #1-10

#1 1B Ike Davis

Why Ranked Here: I liked that Ike played everyday and had learned to turn his power into game production in his first full minor league season in 2009.

What Happened: The 23-year old beat up on AAA pitching for a week and a half while Mike Jacobs sucked it up at first base. Davis was installed as the Mets’ everyday first baseman from the day of his call up on April 19.  He’s been a few runs above average both at the plate and in the field, and by WAR is the fifth-most valuable Met.

Stock: I feel good about ranking Davis #1 coming into the season.  This might have been my best call.

G AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
10 IL 10 33 12 3 0 2 9 5 0 0 .364 .500 .636
10 MLB 75 275 71 16 0 11 32 71 1 0 .258 .337 .436

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#2 OF Fernando Martinez

Why Ranked Here: Martinez had yet to turn his plus batspeed into monster game production because injuries kept taking him out of the lineup, cutting short his development.  Specifically, when he  becomes more selective, he will draw more walks and hit for more power because he’ll be swinging at better pitches.

What Happened: He strained his hamstring and missed a whole month from May 9th to June 11th.  The 21-year old refused to walk early, but has become more patient as the season has gone on.

Stock: Down.  Seattle did not regard Martinez as a worthy centerpiece on which to build a deal for Cliff Lee.  Martinez is no longer considered an elite prospect in baseball.  A big second half could change that, but he’ll have to stay on the field every day.


G AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
10 IL 48 179 46 12 0 7 11 38 1 0 .257 .322 .441

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#3 RHP Jenrry Mejia

Why Ranked Here: I loved the special velocity on his fastball which cuts and dives.

What Happened: Jerry Manuel got his way, and put the 20-year Mejia on the big league roster, hoping to have Mejia take hold of the magical eighth inning role.  Mejia wasn’t ready (15 BB/17 K in 27.2 IP) and pitched to a -0.1 WAR.  Mets fans saw the potential in his explosive arm, and his cutting fastball which generated lots of grounders, however, his very spot on the roster combined with Manuel’s inconstant usage, caused much angst and tearing of garments among the Mets faithful.  Returned to AA to stretch out as a starter, the Mets had Mejia throw 60 pitches every fourth day for the first three starts, and Mejia came down with a sore shoulder.  He’s rehabbing now.

When he’s healthy, he’ll head to the AA rotation, where he belongs work on his fastball command and his secondary stuff.

Stock: Baffled.  But really pretty similar to last winter.

ERA G/GS IP H R ER HR BB SO BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB HR/9 GB%
10 MLB 3.25 30/0 27.67 29 10 10 2 15 17 4.9 5.5 1.1 0.7 66.3
10 EL 2.70 2/2 3.33 4 1 1 0 4 5 10.8 13.5 1.3 0.0 50

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#4 LHP Jon Niese

Why Ranked Here: I thought before the season the lefty was ready for a big league rotation job.

What Happened: Niese has established himself as a rotation regular.  He’s fourth on the Mets’ pitching staff in WAR at 1.3 trailing only Johan Santana (2.1), Mike Pelfrey and the shocking R.A. Dickey (1.4).

Stock: Up.  Gone from our lists for good.

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#5 C Josh Thole

Why Ranked Here: He can hit and get on base.

What Happened: Thole got off to a dreadful start for Buffalo hitting .172/.242/.259 in April, but was a force after a brief big league call-up.  After May 1, the 23-year old hit .318/.411/.523 in AAA, with 17 extra-base hits in 107 AB, adding a little power to his contact oriented game.  Oh, and he’s hit in the big leagues.

Defensively, his six passed balls were tied for second in the International League and he threw out only 18% of baserunners.  On the plus side, he’s handled RA Dickey’s knuckler well.  Will his offense make up for his arm?  My answer is simply, yes.  He’s a better hitter than Rod Barajas (.238/.276/.432) and should play regularly in the second half if the Mets are interested in fielding their best team.

Stock: UP


G AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
10 IL 48 165 44 19 1 2 22 25 0 0 .267 .353 .430
10 MLB 10 17 9 1 0 0 3 1 0 0 .529 .600 .588

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#6 SS Wilmer Flores

Why Ranked Here: Brilliant hand-eye coordination potentially presaged the possibility of an offensive force when he grew up.

What Happened: The 18-year old Flores was the best hitter in the SAL for the first five weeks of the season, and then very ordinary in the next four.  Promoted to St. Lucie, he hit safely in 16 of his first 17 games at advanced-A at the age of a high school senior.  He’s still a few years away, but there’s lots to like here.  Note that he just doesn’t strike out.  His hands are tremendous, and an asset at the plate and in the field.

Stock: UP

G AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
10 SAL 66 277 77 18 2 7 23 37 2 1 .278 .342 .433
10 FSL 19 85 32 5 0 1 2 11 0 1 .376 .391 .471

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#7 RHP Brad Holt

Why Ranked Here: He used to have a plus fastball and nice pitcher’s build.

What Happened: As Mets pitching coordinator Rick Waits told MMiLB, Holt “He just got confused.  He was thinking about way too much.  We sent him down to St. Lucie to get his stuff together a little bit.”  That’s the nice way of saying that the 23-year old Holt has easily been the biggest disappointment in the Mets’ system in 2010.  Remember Holt dominated advanced-A last year.  This year, he has a K/BB ratio of nearly one.

Stock: DOWN.


ERA G/GS IP H R ER HR BB SO BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB HR/9 GB%
10 EL 10.20 10/9 30 43 35 34 2 23 25 6.9 7.5 1.1 0.6 39.1
10 FSL 5.95 4/4 19.67 19 14 13 0 13 15 5.9 6.9 1.2 0.0 30.3

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#8 CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

Why Ranked Here: He’s a good athlete who learned drive the ball to all fields during the ’09 season with St. Lucie leading to a breakout second half.

What Happened: He blew up.   The 22-year old is  leading the EL in doubles and extra-base hits and is eighth in the league in batting average and fifth in slugging.  Scouts aren’t sold that he can play center field everyday in the big leagues, but there’s a growing consensus that he’s a big leaguer and if he keeps hitting like this, he’d be an asset anywhere.

Stock: UP!

G AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
10 EL 76 320 98 29 2 14 22 75 12 4 .306 .348 .541

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#9 RHP Jeurys Familia

Why Ranked Here: Big build, big fastball.

What Happened: He added velocity to his fastball, but is walking almost 6.7 guys per 9 innings.  He leads St. Lucie with 19 wild pitches.

Stock: Down.  Love the velo. Like the strikeouts. Hate the walks.  ‘Pen in the big leagues?


ERA G/GS IP H R ER HR BB SO BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB HR/9 GB%
10 FSL 5.85 14/14 64.67 60 51 42 2 48 63 6.7 8.8 1.3 0.3 48.3

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#10 2B Reese Havens

Why Ranked Here: The 2008 first round combines power and patience to produce an intriguing package at second.

What Happened: He hit and then he got hurt.  Or more specifically, he was hurt, then he hit, then he got hurt again.  He’s currently sidelined with a strained oblique.

Stock: Depends on his health.  On June 10, the day before he left the B-Mets game with his latest oblique flare-up, it was up.  Now, it’s merely hurting.

G AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
10 FSL 14 57 16 2 1 3 8 18 0 1 .281 .369 .509
10 EL 18 68 23 2 1 6 6 15 0 2 .338 .400 .662

There are 18 comments

  1. theperfectgame

    It may sound like a tired argument, but Martinez’s struggles are still mitigated by his age. Think about it, he’s been around forever, right? Even in the upper minors it seems like he’s been around forever. Care to guess how many guys in the National League are younger than Martinez? Five: Starlin Castro, Mike Stanton, Ruben Tejada, Jason Heyward, and Madison Bumgarner. How ’bout the International League? Three: Jesus Montero, Freddie Freeman, and Rick Porcello. That’s it. And to put it even further into perspective, there are only thirteen guys in the EASTERN League younger than Martinez! Yes, he has to stay healthy, and yes, his stock has slipped over the last 2 years. But he still deserves far more slack than he gets. And he won’t be out of options until the beginning of the 2013 season, so despite the fact that it seems like he’s been around forever, he still has the luxury of time.

  2. Chip Armonaitis

    Not to be disrespectful, but you sound like his agent….you are quite convincing.

    To me this is a guy who was sold as a great talent, and because he did not fail, continued to get this reputation. But what has he done, without qualifiers.

    He has been good for his age…. but that is a qualifier.

    Has he put up a season like Flores, or Niewy, or Thole

    I think he is the next Alex Ochoa, Lastings Milledge, Ambiroux Concepcion (spelled incorrectly I know).

    I hope he proves me wrong….

  3. MetsFosucks

    Sorry i disagree strongly with your ranking. I’ll give Ike Davis and Jonathan Niese the first two spots due to their success in the majors.But here’s where i have different guys in the remaining spots. Number three Wilmer Flores the kid is just exciting and if he adds power to his game and finds a permanent position the sky’s the limit for him. Number four Kirk Niewenhuis he’s got some power but is he really a CF and can he cut down on the strikeouts looks like he’s a good second half player. Number five Josh Thole struggled early in the season but has really come on he can hit a younger version of Paul Lo duca wonder if his defense as a catcher can improve? Number six Jenry Mejia said all along he needed to be in the minors the front office plan to stretch him out that quickly when they eventually admitted it that he wasn’t ready for prime time very fortunate they didn’t make him injured his arm more seriously. Number seven Reese Havens yes he’s injury prone but when he’s on the field he can hit and he takes walks, hope too see him sometime before the minor league season ends this year. He needs a lot of winter ball to try to catch up on his lost time.Number eight Fernando Martinez i really question his talent now or if he can ever live up to the early expectations the Mets had for him. Would trade him in a deal for a good young SP or prospect

  4. MetsFosucks

    Sorry lets make number eight Ruben Tejada he’s earned it and number nine Fernando Martinez and number ten would be Brad Holt i’ve been saying this about Holt since he came back from his injury that he may still not be fully healthy. As we all know how the Mets FO handles injuries i would not be surprised if this was case. I dod know a lot of the pitching prospects have taken a big step backward in their development this year. Should we question the pitching coaches at double a and St. Lucie with the job they are doing?

  5. jblay28

    I dont think the guy above me understands what it was Toby was doing for this post…these arent his rankings at this time and point they were the rankings he made at the beginning of the season and where they have gone (up or down) since then …

  6. imissthemojo

    Thanks to the commenter below for beating to the punch on one thing…

    Second, the Mets AND Holt both dismiss any nagging injuries. While his performance may “appear” he may not be fully healthy…I really don’t think health is the issue in this case. I don’t know the answer with Holt…his case has really become a mystery to me.

    I wouldn’t go to the point of questioning the pitching coaches…I really think the status of pitching prospects is due them possibily outperforming their abilities at times and really come back to reality. The depth of pitching in the farm system really is not good at all. If you’re watching the parent club…then you’ve seen just about the best they’ve got.

  7. theperfectgame

    Haha, no, I’m not his agent. And perhaps I’m higher on him than I should be. I just think that people are too quick to write him off and that people who dismiss the age argument aren’t thinking it all the way through. Last year it looked like he was putting it all together, and he actually would up hitting .290 and slugging .540 as one of, if not the, youngest hitter in AAA.

    Note: Hindsight is 20/20. Buuuut, the problem really started for Martinez in 2007. In 2006, he was having a solid season for the Hagerstown Suns (then the Mets A ball affiliate), especially wince he was a 17-year-old at the time. Toward the end of the season, he was promoted to St. Lucie where he struggled to hit just .202 in 130 or so PA. It seemed logical that Martinez would start out 2007 in St. Lucie as an 18-year-old, but instead he was inexplicably sent to AA Binghamton. For reference, if Wilmer Flores, who we all agree is very young for his level, had been on the Fernando Martinez track, he would have started 2010 in AA. Relative to Martinez, the Mets have shown tremendous patience with Flores. Anyway, two injury-plagues seasons in AA have been followed by two injury-plagued seasons in AAA and here we are. But on the bright side, he is finally starting to be playing in an age appropriate league. Even next year, though, (and I’m assuming he’ll repeat AAA) he’ll be among the youngest in the league,

    He’s never put up the numbers that you’d expect from a top prospect, but when you consider that he’s spent his entire professional career hitting against pitchers who were on average 4-5 years older than him, the numbers he has put up begin to look a little more impressive. If he can’t stay on the field and start putting up legitimate numbers over the next 2 seasons or so, then we can talk about Alex Ochoa and Alex Escobar. But not yet.

  8. NateW

    How would Martinez get four option years? They optioned him during ’09 and again this spring. Seems like beginning of 2012 would be the breaking point on his options. I dont see why he wouldnt play as a bench OF at the least by then tho, so its not really a problem.

    I like the point about him still being young for his development, but I do think at some point people get tired of being patient.

  9. theperfectgame

    Nate,

    They did option Martinez in ’09, but since he spent less than 20 days on optional assignment, the option year does not count. He was optioned for the first time on June 19th, then recalled 4 days later on June 23rd to replace the injured Carlos Beltran. Then he hit the DL himself on July 9th, where he spent the rest of the season. So, the good news was that 2009 didn’t cost the Mets an option year, the bad news (from the Mets’ perspective) was that Martinez accumulated ML service time the entire time he was on the DL. Although all things considered, that’s definitely a trade-off they’d make.

    And I agree that at some point people get impatient. But my point was that the people who are impatient right now are not keeping things in perspective. On July 14th, 2006 Fernando Martinez was 17.76 years old and on his way from the SAL to the FSL. Currently, the youngest player at either of those 2 levels is the FSL’s Ramon Flores, who is 18.3, or half a year older than Fernando was. On July 14th, 2007, Fernando was 18.76 and making his first go at the Eastern League. Currently, the youngest Eastern League player is Portland’s Jose Iglesias, who is 20.52, almost 2 full years older than Fernando was. I’m just saying, there are prospects who were rushed, and there are prospects who were really rushed. And somewhere beyond that you’ll find Fernando Martinez.

  10. MetsFosucks

    First off i do know how to read so don’t question me on that, plus i understand exactly what Toby was saying. He talks about each prospect and how they are currently so this is where my opinion does not agree with his whether you like it or not. As for the pitchuing coaches once again i have to question the Mets and the people they hire to develop their prospects this is my opinion if you disagree and have a different fine live with it but my mindset is not going to change one bit. This org. from top to bottom is very poorly run so i question all injuries on the majors and minors league team on how they take care of it. Rest and cortisone shots that they have been recommending in the past for their injured players how has that worked out.

  11. Not4Nuttin

    That was funny MetsFosucks, in that you contradicted yourself right in the middle of slamming someone who was simply trying to help you out.

    To be clear, Toby has assiduously avoided updating his rankings during the season. Rather, he leaves the prospects in the same ranking order as his pre-season list and just provides updated information for each. Jblay was just trying to clarify that for you. People on this site tend to avoid the ridiculous nonsense that occurs on seemingly every other blog – with people attacking other posters.

    On the one hand you say you know how to read, but then you argue that Toby’s rankings order is wrong, and seemingly do so based in part on this year’s performances. Can you say apples to oranges?

    But looking past the semantics of all that, I think you raise an interesting point – with so many of our top pitching prospects underperforming, could there be an issue with the coaching? Worth considering and looking into, though its hard to understand why you wouldn’t be willing to keep an open mind about that premise – unless you have had the opportunity to really see all of the underperformers pitch this year and last, so you can definitively state that the pitching woes are all the blame of the coaching staff.

  12. metsfan

    METSFO SUCKS
    You are an absolute idiot. The only reason people are trying to help you is to be nice. This is because you can even understand the concept that this is not where toby thinks the prospects are now, but rather their rankings from the beginning of the year. Toby is just giving everybody an update on how they are doing so far this year, without the hassle of making a new list. You’re an idiot for the fact that you are so stubborn that you wont even take someone’s polite advice when you are so obviously wrong.

  13. MetsFosucks

    You need to apply the idiot label to yourself do not presumed to tell me what i comprehend moron, you and no one else will change my opinion whether you like it or not. I’m entitled to my POV just like the saying says opinions are like a holes everyone has one. Its funny how someone had the nerve to point out how this website is different from others and here you are attacking someone get a life.

  14. fonzy888

    MetsFosucks is a very special poster. He has a big bright smile and all of the camp counselors think he has a terrific disposition. He knows his home address and telephone number by heart, and he has been making tremendous strides in tying his shoes (even though he still wears velcro more often than not). Let’s everyone respect him for the bright, special boy that he is!!

  15. josesthyroid

    go to Mets.com and argue like children because that’s the place where everyone and there mother agrues over everything possible, don’t do it here please. Enough already!

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