Prospect Predictions for 2011 - Part I

With the 2011 season set to start in a few weeks, InsidePitchMagazine.com offers its predictions for who will lead certain categories this year. Who will lead the system in ERA? Who will hit the most home runs? Who will drive in the most runs? Look inside for the answers to those questions - and be sure to check back tomorrow for Part II.

FOR STARTING PITCHERS


Most Wins
Mark Cohoon – Cohoon led the organization in wins last year with 12, with five coming down the stretch in Double-A. There are others who will compete for this designation, notably a healthy year from Jenrry Mejia. Yet, Cohoon's stability and the adjustment he showed in Double-A provide high confidence that Cohoon can reach double-digit wins and put himself in a position to lead the system.

Most Strikeouts
Jenrry Mejia - Who else? Mejia has the explosive three-pitch combo that, when healthy, makes him a lethal strikeout pitcher. He struck out only 45 in 42.1 innings in the minors last year after fanning 22 in 39 big league innings. But with his role now set and his shoulder healthy, Mejia should have the opportunity to reach 150 strikeouts which should put him atop the list. Don't sleep on Matt Harvey either. While it would a tall task, if Harvey can control the Florida State League, he could find a way to top the ranks.

Walks Per 9 Innings
Chris Schwinden – Until proven otherwise, it is simply too difficult to pick against the right-hander. Schwinden has walked 54 batters in slightly more than 300 innings – approximately 1.6 walks per nine innings. That second in the organization last year, but he could get a run for his money from Yohan Almonte who walked 15 batters in 89.2 innings last year. However, his ascension to long season ball figures to make repeating that ratio a bit harder.

Earned Run Average
Dillon Gee – This is a total roll of the dice. Between short season leagues and pitchers returning to their 2010 levels, the window is certainly open. However, with Gee another year removed from injury and his confidence from his September call-up, I feel confident that Gee can hold it down in Triple-A and post the best ERA in the system.

POSITION PLAYERS


Batting Average
Reese Havens – It was a small sample size, but Havens showed that he can handle Eastern League pitching, having hit .338 in his limited time there. Now, another short season league player could come along and post a big number like Darrell Ceciliani did last year when he hit .351 with Brooklyn. But, when talk about consistency and putting the ball in play, Havens has what it takes to win the system batting crown.

Most Home Runs
Zach Lutz – This is often the $64,000 question for the farm system. There are a number of quality suitors, but I'll roll the dice and say that a healthy Lutz (who hit 17 HR in 66 games last year) takes the home run crown. One cannot overlook or be surprised should Fernando Martinez, Sean Ratliff, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Wilmer Flores or Cory Vaughn hit the most bombs, but Lutz is a safe bet if he can stay on the field.

Most Runs Batted In
Wilmer Flores – Flores makes his first appearance on the list with this prediction after finishing second in the system in RBI in 2010. His 84 RBI was second to Lucas Duda's 87 RBI, but with Duda likely to spend much of the season in New York and Flores' continued development, the time is now for Flores to lead the system and potentially crack 100 RBI. He should get off to a good start when he returns to the Florida State League, setting the pace for the season if and when he gets up to Binghamton.

On-Base Percentage
Josh Satin – Satin recorded the highest OBP for any Mets prospect in the long season leagues last year (.399) and was only behind Ceciliani (.410) and Rylan Sandoval (.406) for anyone in the system. That being said, Satin's on-base percentage has increased in each of his three seasons and he has yet to show that he can't handle a league's pitching. Satin should start the year back in Binghamton and, call it an aggressive (or naïve pick), but I'll stick with Satin's pattern.

Stolen Bases
Darrell Ceciliani: Ceciliani stole 21 bags in 2010, but was caught 14 times. That ratio does not translate to his speed, though his craft has been a focal over the last year-plus. His 2010 number did not approach the system-leading 45 bags swiped by Cesar Puello last year. But, with Puello more likely to be focused on his power game, odds are his stolen base total will dip and give way to Ceciliani taking the system lead.


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