Top 85 Mets Prospects

With the combination of a New Year and several trades made by the Mets, we have prepared an updated "Top 85 Mets' Prospects" list. Gone from the Top 85 Mets' Prospects from 2001 are: the former #1 Mets' farmhand Alex Escobar, Billy Traber, 1B/3B Earl Snyder, and more. This new list includes the new prospects obtained by Steve Phillips and company from the past few trades.

Click on the names of the various players to read the scouting reports on those players and be sure to check back frequently as will be adding more scouting reports throughout the offseason. You can also view ALL the Mets' prospects in our prospects database. And now, the Top 85 Mets' prospects...

1. Aaron Heilman has 3 major league ready pitches - fastball, split-fingered fastball, and slider. A key to Heilman's development is better utilization of the lateral movement of his fastball. Heilman worked on circle change and lateral movement of the fastball the Florida Instructional League. He also used his circle change more at St. Lucie than he did for Notre Dame. He has the mental toughness necessary to assume the responsibility of an ace early in his career.

2. Patrick Strange struggles in 2001 were due in part to adjustments in his mechanics that caused his fastball and slider to flatten out. He's made the adjustments to improve movement. May need to begin using his split-fingered fastball. He has the mental toughness and maturity to realize his potential early in his career.

3. Jae Weong Seo doesn't have the upside of other top pitching prospects, but is the closest to be ready. Most likely, Seo would have been in the majors in late 1999. He has a very good repetoire, deceptive motion and spots his fastball. He needs to build up arm strength, so realistically he should not compete for a starting job on opening day, but should be ready later in the season. Not unexpectedly, Seo suffered from shoulder tendonitis in the Arizona Fall League. He simply doesn't have the arm strength.

4. Jose Reyes burst on the Mets scene in 2001. Good hitting shortstops with gold glove potential are hard to find. Only needs to develop a little patience to be a top of the order hitter with at least 10-15 homerun potential complemented with doubles and triples. How good he'll become depends in large part on his building his upper body strength. He has a strong base, and real strong forearms and wrists. He's the other prospect the Mets might consider rushing through the system, as his maturity and self-confidence makes it a less risky proposition. Might be the Mets' top-rated prospect after 2002.

5. Neal Musser's solid repetoire, control and poise make him the second left-handed starting prospect to move quickly through the system. He has low 90s fastball with good sinking action and an excellent changeup. Musser needs to continue to improve his command of his curve ball. Arm strength is an issue that may delay his ability to start for the Mets, but he could be ready for the bullpen very quickly.

6. Bob Keppel extensive repetoire, pitching smarts and upside should move him through the Mets system quickly. His best pitch is a low-90s 2-seam fastball complemented by a mid-90s 4-seam fastball and a split-fingered fastball.

7. Enrique Cruz has the best upside of any positional player. Plays spectacular defense, but is error prone. He's an outstanding base stealer. He has yet to show the extraordinary power potential which is his best tool.

8. Grant Roberts struggled as a starter following a shoulder injury in Spring Training. He failed to regain the 93-97 mph velocity on his 4-seam fastball. However, Roberts performed solidly in relief appearances at Norfolk, at Shea Stadium, and in the Puerto Rican Winter League. Unfortunately, he was shutdown by shoulder tendonitis in PRWL.

9. Matthew Peterson has the best upside of any pitcher in the Mets farm system. He's not as advanced as Keppel. His fastball reaches the mid-90s and is projected to add 4-5 mph to his fastball. He has a very promising curve ball.

10. Kenneth Chenard had the best stuff in the system at the end of 2000. He had minor shoulder surgery and was plagued by wildness in 2001.

11. Nick Maness has fallen as much as any prospect in the Mets system in 2001. If he bounces back, then his poor 2001 will be blamed on a tired arm. He still has a high ceiling. But lack of command and an inability to control his emotions are issues. He may have been affected by the death of his close friend Brian Cole more than anyone.

12. Jeremy Griffiths Still a raw and inexperienced - 2001 was his 3rd as a pitcher, but talented right-hand pitcher who can start or relieve. He had a very strong finish in August when he was very consistent. He then had 2 outstanding starts at AA.

13. David Wright is a very advanced both as a hitter and a fielder. The only question on Wright's ability was about whether he had the desired 30+ HR power for third baseman. He's not fast but has good baseball speed. The Mets are likely to move 3B who are ahead of him out of the way. He should eventually be rated as the Mets top positional prospect - say after 2004.

14. Lenny DiNardo should rise quickly to a top 10 prospect as soon as the end of 2002. A top left-handed starting prospect.

15. Tyler Walker is perhaps the top closer prospect in the farm system. His ability to throw for an inning or two, a 94-96 mph fastball with really heavy sinking action makes him better suited to close.

16. Craig Brazell's lanky body at 6'4", 195 lbs. has room to fill out further. He could easily add 20+ lbs. of useful weight, so he has what scouts call good projection. So he has extraordinary power potential. A low walk to strikeout ratio lowers his ranking.

17. Jaime Cerda has a solid fastball, curve ball and baffling change up. He should be a very solid left-handed reliever.

18. Danny Garcia is a solid all-around second baseman whose work ethic and hard-playing style will make him a fan favorite and perhaps an overachiever. He began playing second in Alaska in 2000 where he made the conversion to 2nd base from CF. He also can break in as an utility player.

19. Angel Pagan is very raw, but has exceptional talent as a centerfielder/leadoff hitter. He has very limited experience in organized baseball. He displayed limited power because the Mets had him focus on hitting ground balls and line drives. He's a great bunter.

20. Jason Phillips has developed more offense and is now viewed as a possible starting catcher. He is an excellent defensive catcher.

21. Chris Basak's overall performance suffered in 2001 as the Mets had him trying to drive the ball. Basak showed surprising increase in power numbers over 2000 and his performance in college. He remains a solid shortstop prospect.

22. Robert Stratton has extraordinary power, but strikes out too much for a higher ranking. Players like Stratton are prone to prolonged slumps. He has to prove he can hit a good curve ball. In the Arizona Fall League, Stratton struck out about 1 time per 2.0 at bats rather than his historical K-rate of once every 2.2-2.4. Stratton made a Herculean effort late in the AFL season to elevate from 1 K per 1.7 ABs a sign that Stratton was overmatched early in the season. Additionally, he only had 2 BB in 81 AB. And his slugging percentage was low. The AFL performance cost him a much higher ranking.

23. Joseph Jiannetti's performance and talent were outstanding at Brooklyn. The only concern is his power projection. He has good speed, is an aggressive base runner, and plays strong defense with a good arm. A very disciplined approach to hitting.

24. Prentice Redman has good tools, but has the look of a left fielder. He's a fine fielder, but may not have sufficient range to play center field, nor enough arm to play right field. Redman has yet to demonstrate the power predicted of him. However, he has a body that can fill out and substantially increase his power.

25. Marvin Seale made great strides in driving the ball although his batting average suffered in 2001. This was his second year as a switch hitter.

26. Mike Bacsik - crafty soft tossing lefty acquired from Cleveland in the Alomar trade. His best pitch is a change and has a good slider.

27. Adam Walker performed very well in 2001 when healthy. His age and lack of quality stuff prevent a higher ranking. Walker was plagued by injuries in 2001.

28. Josh Reynolds is a bit raw but has great upside. He has a potentially dominant slider. Unless he develops secondary pitches to complement his fastball and slider, he likely be converted to the bullpen.

29. Mark Corey throws a mid-90s fastball but is a bit old for a better ranking. Might develop into a solid reliever.

30. Jason Saenz's inability to throw his curve and change consistently for strikes is what makes his ranking so low. He throws a 4-seam and 2-seam fastballs, but the off-speed stuff is the key for Saenz.

31. Jay Caligiuri is a fifth solid third base prospect in what is becoming the positional strength of the organization. Has been playing first where he has been surprisingly good defensively.

32. Rafael Lopez has solid fastball, curve and change. He needs to begin filling out so he can add velocity to his fastball.

33. Frank Corr has excellent home run and extra-base power. But, his power has limited projection. He's a fine defensive player with good speed, but has yet to demonstrate he is a good base runner.

34. Jake Joseph struggled in 2001, but still projects to be a very good right handed setup reliever. His slider has great movement and is complemented by a 2-seamer with good sinking action.

35. Matthew Gahan has good potential despite age. I wouldn't be surprised if he cracks the top 15 after 2002.

36. Brett Kay is a very solid all-around catcher who could be the top prospect at that position in another year. He also can play outfield.

37. Justin Huber might be the best long-range catching prospect. Catcher may the Mets second deepest position. It's hard to see how he will move through the system quickly.

38. Luz Portobanco has solid upside. Good fastball, curve and change up. Will need a 4th pitch to remain a starter.

39. Eric Cammack missed most of his 2001 season, but is pitching well in the Venezuelan Winter League. He has 4 major league ready pitches, but scouts question whether he has a legitimate out pitch.

40. Michael Jacobs has become an adequate defender, but he has a chance to develop into a solid hitter. Good left-hand hitting catchers are not very plentiful. In limited at bats, Arizona Fall League pitchers did not over match him.

41. Alhaji Turay has outstanding power, but does not project to add much additional power. He's a good base runner and defender.

42. John Wilson's weak performance in 2000 cost him his high ranking. Still is a potential starter as a catcher. He has not shown the power he is projected to have.

43. Brian Walker has a big sweeping curve ball and solid fastball. He also has a slider and circle change. Should move through the system quickly. He struggled with his control.

44. Ross Peeples complements high 80s fastball with slider, curve ball and change up. He knows how to use his stuff and has good control.

45. Jason Scobie was a reliever in 2001, but only needs to add a quality change up to be a quality starter. Scobie has a plus slider and plus curve which is very unusual in a young pitcher. These complement a solid 2-seamer fastball.

46. Heath Bell has solid potential as a set up reliever. He features low 90s fastball and sharp slider.

47. Tyler Yates - hard throwing right-hander with a decent slider, but very poor command. Acquired from the As in the Dave Justice trade.

48. Chad Bowen has good projection and a solid repetoire. He missed most of 2001 due to shoulder problems.

49. Noel Devarez has great power projection. He is also a good defensive right fielder. He has speed but is not yet a good base runner. He probably has the greatest upside of the short-season prospects.

50. Jason Roach converted to pitcher in 2000. He has a solid fastball and curve. Changes speeds really well.

51. Brett Herbison has been slow to recover from surgery in 1999. His velocity has just begun to reach the low 90s and complements it with a sharp breaking curve ball. He resigned as a minor league free agent.

52. Steve Bennett projects to be a quality reliever with his 93-94 mph fastball and sharp breaking slider.

53. Quentin Patterson is a hard throwing right-handed reliever with good upside. Despite his age, he has limited experience as a pitcher.

54. Joseph Cole is a big right-handed pitcher with good stuff, but is back logged behind a solid core of right-handed starters.

55. Harold Eckert has a sharp breaking slider and a good fastball. He has learned to change speeds. He's recovering from a serious arm surgery.

56. David Mattox is still learning how to pitch since he was converted from shortstop in the summer of 2000. He has a good fastball with sinking action and a promising curve ball.

57. Jason Weintraub fastball sits in the 85-88 mph, but his fastball has been clocked as high as 93-94 mph. Weintraub has the wiry build, balance, and strong legs that gives him the greatest projection of an hurler in the Mets farm system.

58. Corey Ragsdale is a fine athletic, defensive shortstop with good speed and base stealing ability. He projects to hit for power. Only question is how well will he hit. The Mets have the time to develop his talents.

59. Ryan Danly currently throws in the low-90s, but has great projection. If he adds enough velocity to his fastball, Danly may become that most rare commodity - a left-handed power pitcher.

60. Jayson Weir is a highly regarded left-handed pitcher with good upside. He has been compared to Mike Hampton - athletically, pitching and hitting.

61. Angel Rivera - hard-throwing right hander picked up on waivers from the Minnesota Twins.

62. Tyler Beuerlein is a switch-hitting catcher with good tools. He can also play first base and outfield. Beuerlein played for a NAIA team and will need time to develop. He's a talent worth keeping an eye on.

63. Miguel Pinango is a very young right-handed pitcher out of Venezuela. He had a solid season at Kingsport and is pitching well for Magallanes in the VZL at the tender age of 18.

64. Danny Peoples - a power-hitting, right-handed first baseman acquired from the Indians in the Alomar trade. He has good power, but will turn 27 in January. He has struggled to make consistent contact.

65. Jorge Toca is a first baseman with some power. He can also play outfield. He's at an age where his prospect status is questionable.

66. Esix Snead - speedy center fielder who plays outstanding defense, but he has not shown an ability to consistently get on base. He was acquired off waivers from the Cardinals.

67. Rodney Nye's lack of power for a third baseman has caused him to slide as a prospect.

68. Ty Wigginton may develop into a terrific pinch hitter. He really hits lefties well, but has no position. He can play 1B, 2B, 3B, and LF, but none of them well.

69. Robert McIntyre has a chance to be a power-hitting shortstop. Despite being a good defense player, McIntyre is a bit of a hot dog in the field.

70. Brandon Wilson has health concerns that limit his development as a catcher. He athletic with enormous power potential and a strong arm. If healthy, Wilson will move up the rankings.

71. Tim LaVigne is hard throwing righty reliever.

72. David Byard is a hard throwing right-handed reliever.

73. David Bacani is a hard-nosed second baseman who gives it all he has. He's similar to Super Joe McEwing.

74. Edgar Rodriguez yet another solid third base prospect. He has some power and is solid defensively. He suffered a fracture wrist.

75. Blake McGinley is a solid left-handed reliever.

76. Yunior Cabrera is a left-handed starter with good projection.

77. Kevin Deaton is a big right hander who both relieves and starts. He already reaches the low 90s.

78. Andres Rodriguez is a good-hitting first baseman from the Mets' Dominican Academy and Summer League team. He has some power and has good projection if he fills out.

79. Nick Mattioni is a solid right-handed relief pitching prospect.

80. Brett Harper is a left-handed hitting third baseman that the Mets have playing first base. He doesn't yet have much power, but he is just beginning to fill out.

81. Aaron Balderis is a first baseman/third baseman who missed all of 2001 due to injuries. He had a BA of 350+ in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2000.

82. Wayne Ough is right-handed pitcher from Australia with mid-90s fastball and sharp breaking curve. Needs to drastically improve his control otherwise he'll return to being a Japanese cuisine chef. 83. Antonio Cerda is a left-handed hitting outfielder who turned 18 after the DSL season ended. He has good projection and was invited to the Mets Florida Instructional League (instead of the one the Mets hold in the DR for their Caribbean League prospects.)

84. Maikel De Leon is a rail thin right-handed pitcher who dominated the DSL with a WHIP of 0.64. He had 88 Ks and 9 BB in 94 IPs. He allowed only 51 hits.

85. Wilson Medina is a speedy switch-hitting shortstop from the DSL who also was invited to the Florida Instructional League. He also just recently turned 18.

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