Year End Lists By Position – SS

Our 2013 year-end lists have drifted into 2014. Today we go to shortstop.

This is the fourth in the series which began with catcherfirst base and second base.

1. Amed Rosario
2. Gavin Cecchini
3. Wilfredo Tovar
4. Luis Guillorme
5. Matt Reynolds
6. Yeffry de Aza ($475,000)
7. Luis Carpio ($300,000)

Rosario K-Mets Head1. Rosario is the prospect with the highest variance in the Mets’ system. If everything clicks and he’s really a shortstop who can hit in the middle of the order, he’s a star. And then there’s the chance that he will move off of shortstop to second or third, or not hit enough. Signed for $1.75 million in 2012, Rosario is, at best, many years and lots of work away from his ceiling. I have a pretty good idea what I’m looking at and for in young professional baseball players, but Rosario challenged me when saw him, because he was the youngest player I have ever really tried to focus on. The best thing he did in a brief look was show surprising strength driving a ball the other way. Even so, I expected both more eye-popping athleticism, or failing that polish, as his swing mechanics were rough. I’ll spend a lot more time on him in my Top 41 writeup. For what it’s worth, Rosario hit .241/.279/.358 with 15 extra-base hits, 11 walks and 43 strikeouts in 58 games in the Appalachian League in 2013.

2. The Mets first round pick in 2012, Cecchini put together a 16-game hitting streak in Brooklyn as part of a .273/.319/.314 campaign in his age-19 year that was limited to 51 games by a sprained ankle. He was one of the youngest  players in the NYP – all but seven of his plate appearances came against pitchers older than he. Cecchini should be an average-ish defender or a little below at short stop. From there, it will be up to his bat to determine whether he’s a AAAA guy, a utility guy, starter, or All-Star.

3. The diminutive Tovar made his big league debut on September 22, which is cool. While repeating AA Binghamton, he hit .263/.323/.340 in 133 games with 22 extra-base hits, 33 walks and just 49 strikeouts. He makes lots of (soft) contact. He’s likely a defensively-oriented backup in the big leagues.

4. The Mets drafted Guillorme in the 10th round in 2013 out of high school in Florida. He hit .258/.337/.283 in 41 games in his debut in the Gulf Coast League as an 18-year-old. Baseball America called him, “on of the best middle-infield defenders of the 2013 draft class.” I suspect he will start 2014 in extended spring training and then head to Kingsport.

5. Reynolds, the Mets second round pick in 2012, hit .226/.302/.337 in 117 games in St. Lucie in 2013 in his age 22 year. Reynolds mostly played third base in college, but moved to the more demanding shortstop spot as a pro. His walk (7.4%) and strikeout (16.4%)  ratios are similar to what he put up in limited time in the SAL in 2012, but his 2013 line was dragged down by a low .263 BABIP. Still with little power (.111 Iso) and unexceptional work defensively, perhaps Reynolds can grow up to be a utility guy.

6. I know very little about deAza other than that the Mets paid him almost half-a million bucks to sign out of the Dominican Republic in 2013.

7. Baseball America ranked Carpio, who did not turn 16 until July 11, their #30 international prospect in 2013. They noted that he showed “good bat control and pitch recognition, with a level swing that allows him to make a lot of contact. … Carpio has improved his strength, bat speed and running times.”



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