|2001 Top 85 Prospects||Top 75 Prospects: Prospects Ranked 1-25||Top 75 Prospects: Prospects Ranked 26-50|
|Prospects A - K||Prospects L - P||Prospects Q - Z|
Brooklyn and Kingsport Positional Players
The Mets have excellent depth in their outfield prospects. Roberto Solano (CF) and Alhaji Turay (RF) could eventually compete for the top prospect in the system 2-3 years from now. Bobby Malek could be a real good player if not derailed by Tommy John surgery. Derran Watts (CF), Endy Chavez (CF), Jamar Hill (RF). The Mets VSL team -- the Universidad de Carabobo provide two prospects to follow Jesus Gamero (CF) and Eleasiab Cohen (LF). And, the DSL Mets provide Antonio Cerda.
The best infield prospects are Aaron Balderis (3B) and Corey Ragsdale (SS). Other infield prospects to keep an eye on are Jesus Linares (2B), Brett Harper (1B), and Johann Camacho (1B). The DSL Mets provide a good shortstop prospect in Wilsom Medina.
The best catching prospects are Brandon Wilson and Carlos Morel. Both possess tremendous power potential. Morel plays for the DSL Mets. Other catchers to watch are Yunir Garcia, and Tyler Beuerlein.
Adam Elliot (RHP) and Miguel Pinango (RHP) are clearly the starter prospects and have a chance to be front-end starters. Jason Weintraub is extremely projectible and could be very good. Rafael Castro has performed well. Chad Bowen continues to struggle. Matt Lindstrom is the other prospect that should be watched. The Mets Latin teams have some interesting looking starting prospects – Ramon Cruz (RHP) and Marino Gonzalez from the DSL team; and Aristides Almenar (RHP), Yesimeiro Petit (RHP), Orlando Rengel (RHP) and Jose Sanchez (RHP) from Universidad de Carabobo. Two recent signees from the VSL to watch are Francisco Duran (RHP) and Randy Molina (RHP).
The Mets have 7 RP prospects to follow in the two US short season leagues: Omar Anez (RHP); Yunior Cabrera (LHP), Ryan Danly (LHP), Kevin Deaton (RHP), Wayne Ough (RHP), Celso Rondon (RHP), and Jayson Weir (LHP). All should be set ups or closers. Brian Walker (LHP) who has missed the season due to injuries should also be included in this group. Ivan Cuba (LHP) has been lost someone between Venezuela and the US. Javier Perdomo has performed well out of the bullpen for Universidad de Carabobo, but he's a first year player and might be converted to a SP in 2003.
Ranking Minor Leaguers
Inherent in any ranking are the preferences and biases of the ranker. I consider myself no different from anyone else. Overall, I don't feel players who meet my preferences affect my ranking very much. I do feel that my biases against players do affect the ranking. So for instance, I include Tyler Beuerlein in the discussion because I like versatile players – he's a switch hitter with speed and power who can catch, play first, and play the outfield. On the other hand, I don't like corner OF with limited power. Ronald Acuna was not ranked nor discussed in the prospects section for St. Lucie.
Generally, what I believe it takes to build a winning team is what underlies my preferences and biases. During the regular season, the game is a marathon. Teams that are best able to survive a season are going to make the playoffs more often then not. Having good bench players who can fill in when a regular positional player is hurt or in a slump is far more important than having a good pinch hitter or a good pinch runner. A player with a weak bat or weak glove can cost you more games if they have to replace a regular than they will ever win for you as a pinch hitter or pinch runner. If you have enough good players and pitchers, a team will make the playoffs. The need for superstars is to put fannies in the seats.
Pitching dominates the post season in a short series. The rules state you must win 4 games (3 in the first round) games and it doesn't state you have to outscore your opponent for the series. To dramatize this point, the Yankees outscored the Pirates 55 runs to 27 runs in 1960. The Pirates took the series -- 4 games to 3 games. The team that wins the close games is going to win the post season. You can't give away runs on defense and expect to win close games against good pitchers and you need to be able manufacture runs when you need it against good pitchers. Additionally, teams now have to face 3 different staffs that will have different strengths and weaknesses, so the offense has to be versatile enough to score against different teams.
Thus for positional players, versatility is the name of the game. I prefer a player who can hit for power, run well and play good defense. I like switch hitters that have power from both sides of the plate. I prefer players who can execute small ball skills when necessary in terms of hits and runs, bunting for hits, sacrifice bunts, suicide squeezes, stolen bases, hitting behind runners, and taking the extra base. Again, during the regular season, you can win with almost any construction of players as long as you have enough good players. In the post season it's a different matter.
Continuing with positional players, I prefer my catchers to hit for power since so few run well or possess small ball skills. The lack of power probable affects the ranking of Jason Phillips. On the other hand, Justin Huber's power did not affect his ranking. I prefer my corner OF to have power. It didn't affect Stratton's ranking, but it definitely affected Ronald Acuna and Jon Slack – the Mets 5th selection from Texas Tech. If it becomes clear that Ender Chavez is not a CF it will affect his ranking as well. I prefer middle infielders to be either top of the order hitters or hit for above average power. You know I must love Reyes because aside from above average defense, he's a top of the order hitter with above average power. I don't believe that affected my ranking of Jose Reyes. How anyone could have ranked Rey Ordonez very high with no small ball skills and no power is beyond me. Needless to say, I would never have ranked Ordonez highly. I'd sacrifice some power at the corners infield spot, if a player has excellent small ball skills. One reason why I like David Wright so much is that he can hit behind runners, hit and run and is a good base runner who provide a team with a few steals. I also don't particularly like hitters who by the time they reach AA, have poor K:BB ratios. Generally, a K:BB ratio of 2.5 or greater will lower a hitters ranking. Craig Brazell was affected by a terrible K:BB ratio. In the lower minors, I'd let it slide because all minor leaguers have something to learn, and a poor K:BB ratio becomes something the player has to improve. If a minor leaguer didn't have things to improve they wouldn't be in the minors. So I ignore this ratio for Alhaji Turay.
On the pitching side, everyone wants that dominant starter, but there are always very few dominant pitchers. And, in the past 50 years, the only teams to go into the post season with 2 dominant pitchers were the Dodgers in the early 60s with Koufax and Drysdale, and last season the Diamondbacks with Schilling and Johnson. So if you can get a dominant pitcher, you should make the move, if you have realistic chances in the post season. Remember the Dodgers have had Kevin Brown but have been unable to get to the post season, since the Dodgers signed him. If you don't have enough talent to get to the post season having the dominant starter is not necessary. Since so few teams are effective small ball teams, the key to the post season is to build a staff around pitchers who don't walk hitters and who don't give up home runs.
I prefer hard throwers whose fastball has movement to it. I'd sacrifice velocity for movement. You want pitchers whose pitches are difficult to elevate. I don't particularly like soft-tossers. It didn't affect Mike Bascik's ranking. He struggled early in the season, but he still made the top 15. A soft tosser has to have a quality breaking pitch. I didn't rank Adam Walker nor discuss him because he doesn't have secondary pitches. Walker's basically a fastball-change up pitcher. Bascik has a good knuckle slider and a decent cut fastball to complement his CU and mediocre FB. I also tend to like pitchers with unusual pitches in their repetoire and pitchers with FB with heavy sink. Strange has FB with heavy sink and a cut FB that has unusual movement. Pitchers with fastballs with heavy sink are usually good cold weather pitchers. October is normally fairly cold in NYC.
Player Rankings 51 through 75
51. Bob Malek (OF) left-handed hitting OF drafted out of Michigan and is having a slow start at Brooklyn (.229, 0, 4). Good athlete who hits with power and has speed. He will need Tommy John surgery.
52. Jason Scobie (RHP) was delayed by injuries, but he has played well at Columbia (2-1, 2.88, 25.0). Scobie's repetoire (FB, CB, SL, and CU) is more than good enough to start. There are durability issues dating back to injuries at LSU. He's not a closer but could perform any other role out of the bullpen. If he stays healthy, look for him to move quickly through the farm system.
53. Brian Walker (LHP) has missed the season with injuries, but his repetoire (FB, CB, SL) suggests an end of the rotation starter, long reliever/spot starter or lefty setup.
54. Steve Bennett (RHP) possesses a quality FB and slider. The FB sits in the 91-93 mph range topping off at 95 mph. He's adjusted very well to his first year as a RP (4-3, 1.97, 45.7).
55. Rafael Lopez (RHP) has a solid enough repetoire (FB, CB, CU) to start. He's adjusted well to his first venture as a RP in Columbia (0-3, 3,49, 28.3).
56. Blake McGinley (LHP) dominated at Columbia (0-0, 0.49, 22.0) and promoted to St. Lucie (1-0, 4.79, 20.7). His fastball sits in the upper 80s and occasionally touches 90 mph.
57. Jay Caligiuri (3B) is playing mostly 1B, but the Mets intend to eventually return him to 3B. Enrique Cruz and David Wright are blocking him. He got off to a late start due to injuries leading to his struggles at Columbia (.234, 4, 34).
58. Tanner Osborne (RHP) performed well at Kingsport (1-1, 3.50, 18.0) and promoted to Columbia (1-1, 0.75, 12.0).
59. Frank Corr (LF) has the ability to play 3B and C. His flexibility keeps him on the prospect list. He has adequate numbers considering.
60. Brandon Wilson (C) power hitting catcher whose progress has been delayed by a degenerative shoulder condition. Wilson is hitting well at Brooklyn (.419, 1, 7).
61. Jason Weintraub (RHP) possesses great upside. At 6'4", 175 lbs., Weintraub has great projection. He's off to a slow start (1-2, 5.71, 17.3).
62. Adam Elliot (RHP) was drafted in the 6th round in the 2002 draft. His repetoire is dominated by a low 90s FB and a quality CB. His debut at Kingsport has been solid (2-0, 2.73, 13.7). He's struck out 14 while issuing only 1 BB.
63. Yunior Cabrera (LHP) is starting for Brooklyn (3-2, 2.10, 25.7). He's struck out 25 while issue 10 walks. His repetoire (FB, CB, CU) features an outstanding CB that he locates well. As he fills out, Cabrera's FB should reach the low 90s. The Mets are likely to convert him to RP. His fine command, should allow him to move very quickly through the system once he's converted to the bullpen.
64. Jayson Weir (LHP) possesses a solid repetoire (FB, CB, CU), thus it's surprising that a decision to developing him as a RP came so early. He's adjusted well (0-0, 0.00, 11.7). He has 2 saves in 7 appearances. He's struck out 13 while issuing 0 walks.
65. Robert McIntyre (SS) is a good defensive shortstop who is struggling the CB at Columbia (.212, 3, 25).
66. Derran Watts (CF) is a toolsy player with great speed and arm. He projects to developing into an excellent defensive player and leadoff hitter. He's a Canadian who played a week level of competition scholastically and collegiately so he will be old for most levels he plays at. He's been solid at Kingsport (.274, 0, 12). He's drawn 10 walks and leads the league with 8 stolen bases.
67. Jamar Hill (RF) is a draft and follow signee who also can play 3B. He's having a solid start (.311, 1, 12). He's shown good plate discipline with 9 BB in 53 AB. He has 5 extra-base hits that tie him for second with Brandon Wilson behind Roberto Solana.
68. Aaron Balderis (3B) missed 2001 season due to injuries. He's playing well at Kingsport (.414, 0, 7).
69. Kevin Deaton (RHP) is starting for Brooklyn (0-0, 4.30, 23.0). His repetoire (FB, CB, CU) features a low 90s FB and an excellent CU. May eventually develop into a RP.
70. Rafael Castro (RHP) adjusted well at Kingsport (2-1, 2.03, 13.3).
71. Ryan Danly (LHP) has great projection since he's 6'7", 190 lbs. He room to substantially fill out. Danly responded well to his first look in the bullpen at Kingsport (0-0, 4.00, 9.0). Danly could develop 2 dominant pitches FB and CB.
72. Jesus Linares (2B) joined Kingsport from the Mets VSL team. He possesses above average power for a middle infielder and is hitting well (.311, 1, 5). He's showing excellent discipline with 10 BB in 45 at bats.
73. Ender Chavez (CF) is a left-handed hitting lead off hitter obtained from the Rockies for Gary Bennett. He's playing well at Brooklyn (.290, 0, 7).
74. Aristides Almenar (RHP) plays for the Universidad de Carabobo (3-2, 2.77, 39.0) – the Mets VSL entry. He's an extreme ground ball pitcher with 11.9 ground ball outs per 9 IP, and only 5.5 fly outs per 9 IP.
75. Wilson Medina (SS) from the DSL Mets (.276, 0, 6) makes good contact and is a fine shortstop. He's stolen 7 bases in 8 attempts.
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