Halfway through the minor league season, it’s time to check in on my pre-season Top 41 prospects. I’ll go through #11-29 tomorrow and finish up with #10-1 on Wednesday morning, or at least that’s the plan. The half review will also check in on guys I missed on who deserved to be ranked, (hint: Lucas Duda & Eric Campbell) and then I’ll check in to see if there are patterns in my hits and misses to find ways I can do it better.
I’m going to warn you, this post will be a little grim, but the next few installments in the series will be better.
Why Ranked Here: With a low-90s fastball and a slider that flashed plus at times and a K/9 over 11 in the SAL in ’09 Beaulac was a mini-sleeper for me as a future nice MLB bullpen piece entering the year.
What Happened: Beaulac’s K rates have gone from awesome to awful. He’s walking 4.5 guys per nine with 17 wild pitches in advanced-A with St. Lucie.
Why Ranked Here: He’s a toolsy young outfielder, who the Mets drafted in the 16th round in 2009. The Mets paid $125,000 him to sign, the team’s sixth largest bonus in the draft class.
What Happened: The 20-year old has been hurt and thus far limited to four games for Kingsport.
Stock: Holding. He’s still a toolsy young outfielder.
Why Ranked Here: He was invited to big league camp.
What Happened: Despite making one big league appearance when the Mets were very short on arms, he’s pitched like a dude who belongs at AAA and nothing more.
Why Ranked Here: The 22-year old Valdespin is a good athlete and a plus runner.
What Happened: He began the year playing short for St. Lucie, but got hurt at the end of April, allowing Wilfredo Tovar to play short in his absence. Valdespin has since moved to second to accommodate Wilmer Flores. The .300 batting average is nice, but if he’s going to move up the ladder towards the big leagues, as a top-of-the-order type with below average power, simply he must learn to take a walk and do it now, since he’s not young for the level.
Why Ranked Here: I moved Moviel down 25 spots from 2009 to 2010. I saw the 6’11” RHP in perhaps his best career start in 2008, and held on to that image of what he could become, a groundball machine. However, last year, by his own admission he lost the feel for his curveball and picked up slider.
What Happened: The FSL beat him up as a starter where he had a 6.34 ERA and 32 walks against 46 strikeouts in 65.1 innings, unacceptable rates in both categories. He was pushed to the bullpen when Brad Holt moved down to St. Lucie, but he’s struggled in that role (6 BB, 3 K, – 7 IP) initially.
Stock: Barring a big second half, off the list next year.
Why Ranked Here: The Mets’ third rounder had an unimpressive debut with Brooklyn. Scouts didn’t think he could play short.
What Happened: Shields had Tommy John Surgery last fall. He’s played in 15 games in the GCL, 11 as a DH and four now as a SS.
Stock: With a strong showing at Savannah (or St. Lucie) in the second-half, Shields could move back up.
Why ranked Here: I talked to a scout who was impressed by his tools
What happened: I’ll admit, I tossed a dart on this one, and thus far, missed. There’s not a lot separating guys at the bottom of the top 41, and I went with a good scouting report. He’s now 20, and will be 21 in September. He’s drawn zero walks and has struck out 11 times in his first 16 games while repeating the GCL.
Why ranked here: I thought he’d be a nice lefty piece in the Mets bullpen
What happened: Takahashi was a decent lefty piece in the Mets ‘pen. Then, when the Mets were short on arms, he made two great starts. However, the magic ran out when he put up a 5.79 ERA in his five June starts. That shouldn’t obscure the point that he’s been effective out of the ‘pen with 35 K and 15 BB, six of which were intentional, in 29 innings of relief.
Stock: Graduated off this list
Why Ranked here: As a little lefty with some feel for his secondary offerings, I thought he’d be a decent org guy with a chance to stick eventually.
What happened: Cuan’s been solid over five starts for the Brooklyn Cyclones, but I expect prospects at that level to miss more bats.
Why Ranked Here: I thought Santomauro would hit at least a little bit and I trusted that the former Ivy League MVP would make the adjustments pro ball demands of successful players.
What Happened: Clearly, he hasn’t hit or made the adjustments. He’s struggled defensively as well, in nearly every facet: reading balls off the bat, tracking balls, holding on to catches and throwing.
Why Ranked Here: I thought Merritt had a chance to be a big league lefty specialist.
What Happened: Merritt’s been OK as the B-Mets’ left-handed specialist. That’s not really the same as doing it in the big leagues.
Vs. LHH: .224/.320/.271, 8 BB, 21 K, 85 AB
Vs. RHH: .265/.326/.419, 10 BB, 17 K, 117 AB
Basically, he’s limited to pitching against lefties in AA.
Why Ranked Here: I thought Fuller had a chance to grow into a big league reliever specialist
What Happened: Fuller is fourth in the SAL in ERA with his 1.81 ERA. He’s become more comfortable with his changeup as the year has gone on. He’s 88-91 on his fastball. Scouts grade his curveball as below average, and Fuller has used it less in favor of his changeup as the year has gone on. However, multiple scouts have told me that they preferred Fuller, who turned 23 on June 1, to former rotation mates Brandon Moore and Mark Cohoon because Fuller has a chance to be a big league reliever.
Stock: Up some.