We are under two months away from a highly anticipated 2016 New York Mets season. Spring Training also bring forward one of two things, answers to some questions like, what does the bullpen look like? Or, is Juan Lagares' arm back to it's old self. It can also lead to more questions. Such as, will Lucas Duda be consistent for once? Or, will David Wright be spelled every two or three games. But what it also does is get us excited about what's yet to come. We've looked at the Mets top prospects over the years and now a good amount of them are here in the big leagues. This is the list of the top ten prospects for the Mets at the end of the season according to MLB.com. It has Stephen Matz, who we know will begin the 2016 season in the big leagues, as the top prospect with Brandon Nimmo who we still have to see if he can make it past AAA at number two. I'll put a list here for you with postion and where they finished the season at.
1. Stephen Matz LHP MLB
2. Brandon Nimmo OF Triple A
3. Amed Rosario SS Single A
4. Gavin Cecchini SS? Double A
5. Dominic Smith 1B Single A
6. Marcos Molina RHP Single A
7. Matt Reynolds SS Triple A
8. Gabriel Ynoa RHP Double A
9. Milton Ramos SS Rookie A
10. Desmond Lindsay Short Season A
The theme it seems for the 2016 Mets prospect is really simple, who are they? If you look at the numbers at most of these guys, not one really jumps out at you as a "oh wait till this guy gets the call" kind of guy. However that doesnt mean there's nobody to fall back on in 2016 as far as prospects are concerned. Lets look at what I think are the top 10 prospects going into spring training in descending order.
10. Champ Stuart OF, St Lucie, A+ (MLB Rank 28th of 30)
This one is gonna be a reach for some people. Ranked 28th on the MLB.com list, nothing really jumps out at you besides the stolen bases and walks. The Mets just recently played the Royals in the World Series and they had a designated stolen base guy in Terrence Gore who was playing in single a ball before they used him in key spots for their 2014 World Series run. Can Champ Stuart become that kind of player for the Mets in 2016?
9. Desmond Lindsay OF, Brooklyn, Short Season A Ball (MLB Rank 10th)
Lindsay was the Mets top pick in 2015 when the Mets selected him 53rd overall thanks to the compensation for Michael Cuddyer. In the Gulf Coast League, Lindsay started off well by batting .304 with 1 home run and 6 RBI in 69 at bats, again, like Ramos, most likely batting leadoff. Injuries plagued him in his senior season of high school which ultimatley put a hinder on his pro debut as well as first pro season. Lindsay projects to be a solid center fielder with a good arm and with plus speed and good hitting ability. In 2016, we'll see if Lindsay deserves to be moved higher next season or off the list completley.
8. Jhoan Urena 3B, St Lucie A+ (MLB Rank 11th)
A bad injury thwarted what could have been a make or break year for the young third basemen. A great fielder at the hot corner, Urena, struggled at the plate in St. Lucie and will need to show that he can hit if he will progress towards the bigs. Good size, six foot one and 200 pounds at 21 years old will need a strong 2016 to prove he belongs.
7. Brandon Nimmo OF, Las Vegas, AAA (MLB Rank 2nd)
Nimmo is a question mark, it's time that we say it. He played well in Binghamton, batting .279 with 2 homeruns and 16 RBIs batting mostly 2nd in the lineup. He was selected 13th overall in the 2011 draft, and we are still waiting on him to show us why he deserved that pick. Hopefully in 2016 in Las Vegas we will see a comfortable Nimmo playing in one place all season...and then perhaps in New York come late 2016.
6. Milton Ramos, SS, Kingsport, Rookie A Ball (MLB Ranked 9th)
I'll say this one thing to catch your eye, IF this were the 1960s, Milton Ramos would be the everyday shortstop at the major league level right now. Unfortunatley, this is 2016 and shortstops mainly need to hit a bit more then those in the 1960s where defense was prefered over anything. When Ramos was drafted in 2014, He was touted as the best defender in the entire draft. So, one would figure, if he can hit, he'll be on his way pretty quick. In 43 games and 164 at bats, Ramos batted .317 with 1 HR and 24 RBIs. Now, the RBI total shouldn't be a surprised given that Ramos is usually a leadoff hitter, but the batting average albeit over less then 50 games, is a promising sign. Ramos' work ethic will take him a long way and maybe even to as high as triple a this coming season.
5. Wuilmer Becerra IF, Columbia (was Savannah), Low A Ball (MLB Ranked 12th)
The famous R.A Dickey trade, Mets traded Dickey along with catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas to the Blue Jays for a couple good players, Travid d'Arnaud was the key piece at the time and Noah Syndergaard was the other player in that trade. But there was a third player the Mets aquired in that trade and is slowly making waves in the minor leagues and that is Wuilmer Becerra. No saying if he pronounces his name like Wilmer Flores or not, but we know one thing for sure, Becerra is one of my personal favorite on this list for a couple of reasons. First off this 21 year old has some power which is sure to improve even more as he builds more muscle as he's only 190 pounds at six foot four. He passes the eye test, has decent speed with long strides you can almost say he's a thorobred in a way. Batted .290 with 9 home runs and 63 RBIs you can see that Becerra is focused on hitting the ball where they ain't, 27 Doubles with three triples along with16 stolen bases, Becerra has all the tools, but can he build on a good 2015 season to make him one of the top prospects in the organization.
4. Amed Rosario SS, Binghamton, AA (MLB Ranked 3rd)
Slowly working his way through the ranks in the minor leagues is Rosario, batted .257 in 103 games shows you there's room for improvement, the amount of double (20) and the amount of strikeouts (73) are encouraging, showing Rosario waits for his pitch and when he sees it he doesn't miss. He might just be the have the best infield arm on this list aswell. With plus speed and patience at such a low level of the minor leagues will only propel Rosario through to the next level soon.
3. Akeel Morris RHP / Dario Alvarez LHP (MLB Ranked 13th and 14th)
Both Morris and Alvarez both had a "cup of coffee" with the big club this season. Morris has been developing this 93-95 MPH fastball that along with a plus changeup has allowed Morris in 47 minor league game to have a 2.05 ERA in 61.1 Innings with 81 strikeouts and 29 walks in St Lucie and Binghamton. Alvarez has been equally as good, in 48 games played, Alvarez had a 3.00 ERA in 42 Innings, mainly facing lefties, and had 62 strikeouts and 21 walks. Could both these players make that next step and find themselves in New York in big situations?
2. Dominic Smith 1B St Lucie A+ (MLB Ranked 5th)
The award for most improved player goes to Dom Smith, the 11th overall pick in 2013. The batting average continues to climb and slowly so is the power, with 79 RBI's, Smith comes through in clutch situations and hopefully the only thing waiting to bloom is the power. Let's hope in 2016 Smith is ready to hit some taters and show that he can be that future first basemen that they drafted.
1. Gavin Cecchini SS? Binghamton AA (MLB Ranked 4th)
The future might be coming soon to the shortstop position nearest you. Gavin Cecchini, brother of Red Sox prospect Garin, had an absolutley phenomenal 2015. Unlike Ramos Cecchini batted .317 in 439 at bats with seven home runs and 51 RBIs. Power was not something he was touted for but he showed off a little power with the seven home runs. The 12th overall pick in 2012 looks to move up to the big club in 2016 and could very well be the man at shortstop for many years to come.