Top 50 Mets Prospects

Here are the Top 50 Mets' prospects. InsidePitchMagazine.com gives a little insight on each selection in our rankings but will follow up more in-depth with individual scouting reports on each player throughout the offseason.

(Note - Lastings Milledge and Alay Soler no longer qualify for our rankings and we're not ranking Francisco Pena until he plays a game in a Mets uniform.)

1. Carlos Gomez - Possessing the highest ceiling among the Mets prospects, and with Lastings Milledge (166 big league at-bats) no longer able to qualify as a prospect, Gomez is the top prospect in the farm system. A five-tool player with game-changing speed and a terrific arm, he proved he can make adjustments at the plate by hitting .341 in his last 61 games at double-A after skipping a minor league level and most scouts agree his power will become a plus tool down the road.

2. Mike Pelfrey - At 6-foot-7, Pelfrey can be very intimidating with his plus fastball that sits in the mid-90's and touches 97 MPH at times with a ton of movement. But with a good changeup and a very inconsistent curveball, he often times falls in love with his fastball and doesn't have the ability to mix in his secondary pitches to keep hitters off-balance. He has shown the ability to throw an above average changeup and curveball at times, he just needs to work on being consistent with their release points and location to realize his full potential.

3. Fernando Martinez - Fernando can certainly hit with the best of them. He has shown an uncanny ability to hit the gaps, drive the ball to the opposite field, and even pop some home runs for a 17-year old kid. He doesn't have the natural loft in his swing yet to project as a premiere home run hitter, but he has the ability to collect a batting title or two on his way to the big leagues. A centerfielder in his first professional season, there are concerns whether or not he can man that position at the big league level and there are some talks about possibly moving him to one of the corner outfield spots or first base down the road.

4. Phil Humber - Humber will be the first to tell you that Tommy John surgery, while setting him back in his development in one respect, actually made him a better pitcher in the long run. Able to sit 91-94 MPH with his fastball and possessing a wicked curveball, he was only allowed to work on his changeup in the early part of his rehab and now he throws an average to above average changeup, making him a more complete pitcher.

5. Brian Bannister - Mets fans didn't get to see the real Brian Bannister in the early part of the 2006 season. Walking three more batters than he struck out in his first six starts with the Mets last April, Bannister's control is much better than he displayed. Whether or not it was first time big league jitters, he should prove in 2007 and beyond that he has the makings of a very good Major League pitcher.

6. Mike Carp - The Mets' Minor League Hitter of the Year, Carp hit .287 with 17 home runs in the pitching-friendly Florida State League this past season, a year where he played the majority of the season as a 19-year old. He was so impressive that reportedly he was one of the players the Pirates asked for in the Roberto Hernandez trade. Oh, and he was also voted the top defensive first baseman in the Florida State League, making him a complete player and the heir apparent to Carlos Delgado in a couple of years.

7. Shawn Bowman - One of the unluckiest players in the organization, Bowman broke his back in the exact same place for the second year in a row back in mid-May, right when he was starting to put it all together. While some people would give up on him, we're not ready to do that just yet. A plus defensive third baseman who can hit for power, Bowman projects to be a Ryan Zimmerman type if he can stay healthy. He'll need to prove he can stay healthy to remain this high in future rankings.

8. Jonathan Niese - Niese had a tremendous season for a 19-year old in the South Atlantic League in his first full year of professional baseball, going 11-9 with more strikeouts than innings pitched. He doesn't throw particularly hard, even for a left-hander, but he showcases a hammer curveball and his changeup made marked improvements in 2006. The further development of his changeup and continued improvements with his command and location of his fastball will be the deciding factor in just how good he becomes.

9. Jesus Flores - Written off by many critics and fans after a sub-par season in 2005, Flores rebounded this past season to hit .266 with a team-high 21 home runs and 32 doubles in the Florida State League. He also became more of a leader on the field and further honed his defensive skills behind the plate under the tutelage of Gary Carter. Flores still needs to work on his plate discipline but his power and defensive abilities are special.

10. Deolis Guerra - What Guerra did as a 17-year old in the South Atlantic League, 6-7 with a 2.20 ERA, was phenomenal. From a stuff and delivery standpoint, he reminds a lot of scouts of former Met prospect Yusmeiro Petit in some ways. He has great deception on his fastball and a plus changeup. But he doesn't throw very hard and unlike Petit, he has had trouble picking up a curveball to add to his arsenal, making him a two-pitch hurler at this point. The numbers were great but he'll need to improve his curveball, and the Mets are hoping he pick up a little more velocity with his fastball along the way, in order to become the pitcher he can be.

11. Nick Evans - Evans had a solid season for the Hagerstown Suns in 2006, hitting .266 with a team-high 33 doubles and 15 home runs, quite a feat considering he didn't have much protection around him in the lineup. He made marked improvements both defensively at first base and learning how to take pitches to the opposite field. He still tends to get a little pull-happy at times but his power is a plus tool when he's going right.

12. Henry Owens - If you go by pure numbers alone, Owens might have ranked atop this list. A hard thrower who can hit 100 MPH at times and has developed a very good slider, he struck out 74 batters in just 40 innings while closing out games for AA-Binghamton. Owens made marked improvements in learning how to repeat his delivery every time out and his control has improved dramatically as a result. His presence could make Aaron Heilman expendable in possible trade offers this offseason.

13. Kevin Mulvey - The Mets' second round draft pick in 2006 made it all the way to AA-Binghamton this past season. While he doesn't possess the upside of a Mike Pelfrey or Philip Humber, he projects to be a solid addition to the middle of a big league rotation and the Mets love his poise on the mound. He sits 90-93 MPH with his fastball and can touch 95 MPH at times with a good slider, but he has some work to do on his curveball and changeup before he's ready for the majors.

14. Matt Lindstrom - Seemingly destined for the bullpen since he signed with the Mets, he finally got his opportunity to showcase his plus fastball as a full-time reliever in 2006. He made a name for himself at the Futures Game in Pittsburgh when he launched three straight fastballs that were clicked at 101 MPH. He compliments his fastball with a hard slider and he could join Owens to form a lethal power combo out of the bullpen for the Mets.

15. Jose Coronado - Coronado is a plus defensive player at shortstop. He boasts excellent range, soft hands, and a good arm. Offensively he's a switch-hitter with decent gap power and a patient approach at the plate. He needs to work making consistent contact however after hitting just .226 with St. Lucie this past season. Coronado is not short on confidence and the Mets believe his bat will come around.

16. Hector Pellot - Pellot had a lost season of sorts with the Hagerstown Suns in 2006. The numbers weren't pretty - .189-2-16 with five stolen bases - and he wasn't the greatest in the field either, but chalk it up to a learning experience in his first year of professional baseball. He has some power for a middle infielder and despite the numbers, real progress was made both offensively and defensively. Pellot should rebound with a better season in 2007.

17. Ambiorix Concepcion - Still one of the more athletic players in the farm system, Concepcion made marked improvements making consistent contact in 2006. After hitting .287 for the St. Lucie Mets, he finished the year hitting .261 for the Binghamton Mets. He sacrificed power to make consistent contact however, and after hitting just four home runs in 2006, he fell a little in the rankings. Concepcion has the look of a solid fourth outfielder type with a little more upside if it all comes together.

18. Michel Abreu - Not a true prospect due to his age (27), Abreu is a solid player in all aspects of the game. He hit a team-high .332 with 17 home runs for the Binghamton Mets this past season and displayed good defensive ability at first base. Abreu might not have the huge upside of some other prospects but he's more than capable of filling in for the Mets at first base should the need arise.

19. Dustin Martin - Drafted in the 26th round last June, the Mets may have gotten themselves quite the steal. Martin is a very good left-handed hitter with some power and surprising speed. He led the Brooklyn Cyclones with a .315 average, led the club in triples (7) and stolen bases (7), and he has a good arm in the outfield. Martin could be primed for a breakout season, possibly as soon as 2007.

20. Tobi Stoner - Like his Brooklyn teammate Dustin Martin, Stoner has the look of a draft-day steal. Drafted in the 16th round, he throws a fastball that sits in the 90-93 MPH range with good command and he can dial it up a notch to 94 MPH at times. He compliments his fastball with a solid curveball and slider with a developing changeup and he resembles Tim Hudson on the mound in a lot of ways. Stoner will be one to keep an eye on in the coming years.

21. Anderson Hernandez - A defensive wizard as a shortstop coming up, Hernandez had a breakout year in 2005 before making a seamless transition defensively to second base. We said a year ago he was probably closer to a .270 hitter than the .300 hitter he was in '05 and that proved to be the case after hitting just .249 with the Norfolk Tides this past season. His defensive ability and good speed will give him some opportunities, but he'll need to regain his consistent stroke before he becomes a top prospect again.

22. Brett Harper - Harper is an accomplished hitter with very good power, but his defensive shortcomings at first base limited his projected role with the Mets. After missing the majority of the 2006 season with a torn labrum, he has fallen on the depth charts behind Carp and Abreu at first base. He's still a very good hitting prospect and he should not be written off, but how his power game responds from the shoulder injury should be closely watched.

23. Eric Brown - Physically imposing on the mound, standing 6-foot-6 and 225-pounds, Brown gained the confidence he needed in Brooklyn this past season after struggling in Hagerstown in the first part of the year. Armed with a good slider, he made tremendous strides developing a sinking two-seam fastball that has made all the difference in the world. Brown displayed better command in Brooklyn, and if he can continue that command in the coming years, he will pitch in the big leagues.

24. Bobby Parnell - It was an inconsistent season for Parnell this past year after an impressive debut season in Brooklyn in 2005. A strained oblique set him back a bit and he had trouble with consistent command as a result. When he's on, he throws a fastball in the 92-93 MPH range with a very good slider. His changeup hasn't come around as quickly as the Mets had hoped and he could be destined for the bullpen down the road as a result.

25. Emmanuel Garcia - Garcia is an offensive-minded shortstop with good bat control and above average speed. Many scouts don't consider him a big league shortstop defensively however and he has seen some action at second base. He projects to be either a second baseman or possible utility player down the road. If his bat continues to develop, they'll find a way to get him into the lineup.

26. Sean Henry - Another year, another position change for Henry. Originally a shortstop, the Mets moved him to second base prior to eventually moving him to centerfield this past season. He's an average defensive player, and like Garcia, he can make some things happen with his bat and legs. Henry hasn't been the model of consistency at the plate, but he's got enough pop to send a few out of the yard.

27. Daniel Stegall - Drafted in the seventh round this past season, Stegall bypassed an opportunity to play quarterback for the University of Miami to sign with the Mets. He played centerfield for the Gulf Coast League Mets and some scouts believe he could develop into a Mark Kotsay type down the road. He's got good speed, a patient approach at the plate, and a very good arm. He'll be one to keep an eye on as he continues to develop.

28. John Holdzkom - Holdzkom, drafted in the fourth round, is a monster on the mound. At 6-foot-7 and able to throw a fastball in the mid-to-high 90's at times, he can be quite intimidating. The numbers weren't pretty though in the Gulf Coast League. He also showed up to the Gulf Coast League out of shape and he'll need to rebound physically to max out his potential.

29. Sean McCraw - Outside of Jesus Flores, McCraw is the most complete catching prospect in the Mets farm system. He is solid in all ways defensively, although he is working on calling better games and working better his pitchers. Offensively he can do a little bit of everything. He can hit for both average and power and he has a patient approach at the plate.

30. Robert Paulk - Blessed with one of the best curveballs in the farm system, Paulk doesn't throw smoke but his fastball is solid enough to keep hitters off-balance. He doesn't get the attention he deserves but he keeps putting up solid numbers out of the bullpen and he has the stuff to pitch in the big leagues.

31. Joe Smith - Drafted in the third round last June, Smith made fans sit up and take notice when he was promoted to double-A in his first professional season. Not a true sub-mariner or side-armer, his delivery is somewhere in between and he gets a lot of movement with his pitches. Like Chad Bradford, he is on the mound to induce ground balls and he projects to be a Bradford type at the big league level.

32. Royce Ring - Once considered a possible left-handed setup man or closer type, Ring has lost some velocity with his fastball over the years. He still throws a very good slider and a changeup, but his role has been reduced to more of left-handed specialist coming out of the bullpen, albeit a very good one.

33. Chase Lambin - In true utility player fashion, Lambin went from playing a majority of his games in 2005 at second base to play primarily at third base in 2006. He didn't have nearly the same type of offensive season, but he's still solid enough to help the big league club coming off the bench in a Joe McEwing type of role. His winning attitude would be an added benefit as well.

34. Eddie Camacho - A left-handed setup man, Camacho continues to post solid numbers armed with a good slider and a Major League average fastball. He relies on guile and guts out of the bullpen and his command hasn't wavered. An undrafted free agent sign, Camacho is getting closer to the big leagues.

35. Michael Devaney - Devaney doesn't dazzle anybody with stuff. Possessing an average fastball and an average to slightly above average curveball, Devaney is the epitome of a battler on the mound. He knows how to hit his spots and when he's commanding his fastball well, he's tough to hit. He keeps putting up the numbers and after hitting double-A this past season, he's inching his way closer to Shea Stadium.

36. Jake Ruckle - Like Devaney, Ruckle isn't a hard thrower but gets by with good command and being competitive on the mound. Throwing just 82-84 MPH with his fastball, most scouts think he could get hit hard at the higher minor league levels. But he has a good slider with deception that, when it's on, he's hard to beat. And like Devaney, Ruckle is going to have to continue putting up the numbers to get his shot.

37. German Marte - Marte has one of the more violent deliveries in the farm system and it might be taking its toll on him. Throwing 92-93 MPH a year ago, he was averaging close to 86-87 MPH with his fastball in 2006. As good as the numbers have been thus far in his career, there are some doubts it will translate at the higher levels, but there's no discounting his stats thus far.

38. Jorge Reyes - Reyes is a hard thrower, sitting 90-95 MPH with his fastball, and his secondary stuff has the potential to be quite good. But a year later, and after a 50-day suspension, Reyes is still the same pitcher. He has some upside but he'll need to show progress in 2007 to remain on the radar.

39. Corey Ragsdale - Time is running out for Ragsdale to put it all together. He struggled making contact once again at AA-Binghamton in 2006. He is very athletic and a great shortstop, but if his bat doesn't come around, his last chance in professional baseball might be on the mound. Ragsdale is too toolsy to give up on.

40. Corey Coles - Unlike Corey Ragsdale, this Corey has no problem putting good wood on the ball. He won the Florida State League batting title this past season after hitting .341 with the St. Lucie Mets. He's a scrappy player with good speed and he can hit in the clutch situations. Coles doesn't hit with enough power to profile as a big league starting outfielder, but he brings energy to the field and could be a plus coming in as a fourth outfielder type.

41. Jamar Hill - Hill, like Ragsdale, is a toolsy player with too long a swing. He has plus power potential and good speed, but he doesn't make enough contact to utilize his tools. He'll need to put together a strong season to fend off younger outfielders coming up behind him.

42. Duane Privett - In a way, Privett is the left-handed version of Jake Ruckle. He only throws 85-87 MPH with his fastball, but he has a good breaking ball, a developing changeup, and he hits his spots. With lefties at a premium, there's hope he could develop into a solid reliever down the road.

43. Daniel Murphy - A third baseman, Murphy couldn't play the field in 2006 because an array of injuries. He's reportedly a solid enough fielder to man a couple of different positions and the Mets like his bat. He can hit for a little power and average and resembles Chase Lambin as a potential utility player in the future.

44. Jose De La Torre - At a seemingly generous listed 5-foot-11 and able to touch 94 MPH with his fastball, De La Torre reminds some scouts of Scott Strickland. He has a good slider too, but he delivery is max-effort and not much projection left in his game. With his size, there's also the concern whether or not he can keep up that velocity in the coming years. He still is one to keep an eye on.

45. Drew Butera - The offensive numbers weren't pretty - .185 with five home runs - but he's a sound defensive catcher behind the plate. He has a good arm and sure looks the part of a big league catching prospect. However, he'll only go as far as his bat takes him. He will need to make consistent contact in order to get his opportunities.

46. Miguel Pinango - The good news is Pinango pitched a full and healthy season for the first time since 2003. The numbers were pretty solid, going 10-7 with a 4.44 ERA in his first taste of double-A competition. He's sits 88-91 MPH with his fastball with decent secondary stuff and good control. He is still only 23-years old and with his control, he still has a good shot at the big leagues.

47. Nick Carr - Built like a fire-hydrant, Carr is all about the arm strength. He sits 91-93 MPH with his fastball and can bring it a tick or two higher at times, but his slider and changeup are a work in progress. His power arm gives him a shot, but he needs to show a little more maturity on the mound and develop his secondary stuff before he can realize his potential.

48. Julio Polanco - The Kingsport lefty has shown good velocity despite a slight frame. He sits 88-91 MPH with his fastball and has shown flashes of brilliance at times. His throws an average curveball and not much else at the current time. His slender build might have him destined for the bullpen down the road, but the Mets love his attitude on the mound.

49. Josh Stinson - Despite what other publications are reporting, Stinson sits more in the 85-87 MPH range with his fastball. He has a big strong body and he's young enough that he could gain some velocity. Like De La Torre, Stinson has a max-effort delivery. He's extremely confident on the mound, which is a plus, but he needs to show more consistent velocity with his fastball.

50. Joe Holden - Holden showed a lot more power in 2006, especially playing in Brooklyn, but sacrificed a more consistent stroke along the way. He's as scrappy as they come, and has very good speed, but he'll need to see if he cut down on his strikeouts a bit while still maintaining his recent power surge. Holden still has the look of a possible big league reserve outfielder.

Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n(Note - Lastings Milledge and Alay Soler no longer qualify for our rankings and we're not ranking Francisco Pena until he plays a game in a Mets uniform.)
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\r\n1. Carlos Gomez - Possessing the highest ceiling among the Mets prospects, and with Lastings Milledge (166 big league at-bats) no longer able to qualify as a prospect, Gomez is the top prospect in the farm system. A five-tool player with game-changing speed and a terrific arm, he proved he can make adjustments at the plate by hitting .341 in his last 61 games at double-A after skipping a minor league level and most scouts agree his power will become a plus tool down the road.
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\r\n2. Mike Pelfrey - At 6-foot-7, Pelfrey can be very intimidating with his plus fastball that sits in the mid-90's and touches 97 MPH at times with a ton of movement. But with a good changeup and a very inconsistent curveball, he often times falls in love with his fastball and doesn't have the ability to mix in his secondary pitches to keep hitters off-balance. He has shown the ability to throw an above average changeup and curveball at times, he just needs to work on being consistent with their release points and location to realize his full potential.
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\r\n3. Fernando Martinez - Fernando can certainly hit with the best of them. He has shown an uncanny ability to hit the gaps, drive the ball to the opposite field, and even pop some home runs for a 17-year old kid. He doesn't have the natural loft in his swing yet to project as a premiere home run hitter, but he has the ability to collect a batting title or two on his way to the big leagues. A centerfielder in his first professional season, there are concerns whether or not he can man that position at the big league level and there are some talks about possibly moving him to one of the corner outfield spots or first base down the road.
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\r\n4. Phil Humber - Humber will be the first to tell you that Tommy John surgery, while setting him back in his development in one respect, actually made him a better pitcher in the long run. Able to sit 91-94 MPH with his fastball and possessing a wicked curveball, he was only allowed to work on his changeup in the early part of his rehab and now he throws an average to above average changeup, making him a more complete pitcher.
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\r\n5. Brian Bannister - Mets fans didn't get to see the real Brian Bannister in the early part of the 2006 season. Walking three more batters than he struck out in his first six starts with the Mets last April, Bannister's control is much better than he displayed. Whether or not it was first time big league jitters, he should prove in 2007 and beyond that he has the makings of a very good Major League pitcher.
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\r\n6. Mike Carp - The Mets' Minor League Hitter of the Year, Carp hit .287 with 17 home runs in the pitching-friendly Florida State League this past season, a year where he played the majority of the season as a 19-year old. He was so impressive that reportedly he was one of the players the Pirates asked for in the Roberto Hernandez trade. Oh, and he was also voted the top defensive first baseman in the Florida State League, making him a complete player and the heir apparent to Carlos Delgado in a couple of years.
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\r\n7. Shawn Bowman - One of the unluckiest players in the organization, Bowman broke his back in the exact same place for the second year in a row back in mid-May, right when he was starting to put it all together. While some people would give up on him, we're not ready to do that just yet. A plus defensive third baseman who can hit for power, Bowman projects to be a Ryan Zimmerman type if he can stay healthy. He'll need to prove he can stay healthy to remain this high in future rankings.
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\r\n8. Jonathan Niese - Niese had a tremendous season for a 19-year old in the South Atlantic League in his first full year of professional baseball, going 11-9 with more strikeouts than innings pitched. He doesn't throw particularly hard, even for a left-hander, but he showcases a hammer curveball and his changeup made marked improvements in 2006. The further development of his changeup and continued improvements with his command and location of his fastball will be the deciding factor in just how good he becomes.
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\r\n9. Jesus Flores - Written off by many critics and fans after a sub-par season in 2005, Flores rebounded this past season to hit .266 with a team-high 21 home runs and 32 doubles in the Florida State League. He also became more of a leader on the field and further honed his defensive skills behind the plate under the tutelage of Gary Carter. Flores still needs to work on his plate discipline but his power and defensive abilities are special.
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\r\n10. Deolis Guerra - What Guerra did as a 17-year old in the South Atlantic League, 6-7 with a 2.20 ERA, was phenomenal. From a stuff and delivery standpoint, he reminds a lot of scouts of former Met prospect Yusmeiro Petit in some ways. He has great deception on his fastball and a plus changeup. But he doesn't throw very hard and unlike Petit, he has had trouble picking up a curveball to add to his arsenal, making him a two-pitch hurler at this point. The numbers were great but he'll need to improve his curveball, and the Mets are hoping he pick up a little more velocity with his fastball along the way, in order to become the pitcher he can be.
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\r\n11. Nick Evans - Evans had a solid season for the Hagerstown Suns in 2006, hitting .266 with a team-high 33 doubles and 15 home runs, quite a feat considering he didn't have much protection around him in the lineup. He made marked improvements both defensively at first base and learning how to take pitches to the opposite field. He still tends to get a little pull-happy at times but his power is a plus tool when he's going right.
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\r\n12. Henry Owens - If you go by pure numbers alone, Owens might have ranked atop this list. A hard thrower who can hit 100 MPH at times and has developed a very good slider, he struck out 74 batters in just 40 innings while closing out games for AA-Binghamton. Owens made marked improvements in learning how to repeat his delivery every time out and his control has improved dramatically as a result. His presence could make Aaron Heilman expendable in possible trade offers this offseason.
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\r\n13. Kevin Mulvey - The Mets' second round draft pick in 2006 made it all the way to AA-Binghamton this past season. While he doesn't possess the upside of a Mike Pelfrey or Philip Humber, he projects to be a solid addition to the middle of a big league rotation and the Mets love his poise on the mound. He sits 90-93 MPH with his fastball and can touch 95 MPH at times with a good slider, but he has some work to do on his curveball and changeup before he's ready for the majors.
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\r\n14. Matt Lindstrom - Seemingly destined for the bullpen since he signed with the Mets, he finally got his opportunity to showcase his plus fastball as a full-time reliever in 2006. He made a name for himself at the Futures Game in Pittsburgh when he launched three straight fastballs that were clicked at 101 MPH. He compliments his fastball with a hard slider and he could join Owens to form a lethal power combo out of the bullpen for the Mets.
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\r\n15. Jose Coronado - Coronado is a plus defensive player at shortstop. He boasts excellent range, soft hands, and a good arm. Offensively he's a switch-hitter with decent gap power and a patient approach at the plate. He needs to work making consistent contact however after hitting just .226 with St. Lucie this past season. Coronado is not short on confidence and the Mets believe his bat will come around.
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\r\n16. Hector Pellot - Pellot had a lost season of sorts with the Hagerstown Suns in 2006. The numbers weren't pretty - .189-2-16 with five stolen bases - and he wasn't the greatest in the field either, but chalk it up to a learning experience in his first year of professional baseball. He has some power for a middle infielder and despite the numbers, real progress was made both offensively and defensively. Pellot should rebound with a better season in 2007.
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\r\n17. Ambiorix Concepcion - Still one of the more athletic players in the farm system, Concepcion made marked improvements making consistent contact in 2006. After hitting .287 for the St. Lucie Mets, he finished the year hitting .261 for the Binghamton Mets. He sacrificed power to make consistent contact however, and after hitting just four home runs in 2006, he fell a little in the rankings. Concepcion has the look of a solid fourth outfielder type with a little more upside if it all comes together.
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\r\n18. Michel Abreu - Not a true prospect due to his age (27), Abreu is a solid player in all aspects of the game. He hit a team-high .332 with 17 home runs for the Binghamton Mets this past season and displayed good defensive ability at first base. Abreu might not have the huge upside of some other prospects but he's more than capable of filling in for the Mets at first base should the need arise.
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\r\n19. Dustin Martin - Drafted in the 26th round last June, the Mets may have gotten themselves quite the steal. Martin is a very good left-handed hitter with some power and surprising speed. He led the Brooklyn Cyclones with a .315 average, led the club in triples (7) and stolen bases (7), and he has a good arm in the outfield. Martin could be primed for a breakout season, possibly as soon as 2007.
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\r\n20. Tobi Stoner - Like his Brooklyn teammate Dustin Martin, Stoner has the look of a draft-day steal. Drafted in the 16th round, he throws a fastball that sits in the 90-93 MPH range with good command and he can dial it up a notch to 94 MPH at times. He compliments his fastball with a solid curveball and slider with a developing changeup and he resembles Tim Hudson on the mound in a lot of ways. Stoner will be one to keep an eye on in the coming years.
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\r\n21. Anderson Hernandez - A defensive wizard as a shortstop coming up, Hernandez had a breakout year in 2005 before making a seamless transition defensively to second base. We said a year ago he was probably closer to a .270 hitter than the .300 hitter he was in '05 and that proved to be the case after hitting just .249 with the Norfolk Tides this past season. His defensive ability and good speed will give him some opportunities, but he'll need to regain his consistent stroke before he becomes a top prospect again.
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\r\n22. Brett Harper - Harper is an accomplished hitter with very good power, but his defensive shortcomings at first base limited his projected role with the Mets. After missing the majority of the 2006 season with a torn labrum, he has fallen on the depth charts behind Carp and Abreu at first base. He's still a very good hitting prospect and he should not be written off, but how his power game responds from the shoulder injury should be closely watched.
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\r\n23. Eric Brown - Physically imposing on the mound, standing 6-foot-6 and 225-pounds, Brown gained the confidence he needed in Brooklyn this past season after struggling in Hagerstown in the first part of the year. Armed with a good slider, he made tremendous strides developing a sinking two-seam fastball that has made all the difference in the world. Brown displayed better command in Brooklyn, and if he can continue that command in the coming years, he will pitch in the big leagues.
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\r\n24. Bobby Parnell - It was an inconsistent season for Parnell this past year after an impressive debut season in Brooklyn in 2005. A strained oblique set him back a bit and he had trouble with consistent command as a result. When he's on, he throws a fastball in the 92-93 MPH range with a very good slider. His changeup hasn't come around as quickly as the Mets had hoped and he could be destined for the bullpen down the road as a result.
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\r\n25. Emmanuel Garcia - Garcia is an offensive-minded shortstop with good bat control and above average speed. Many scouts don't consider him a big league shortstop defensively however and he has seen some action at second base. He projects to be either a second baseman or possible utility player down the road. If his bat continues to develop, they'll find a way to get him into the lineup.
\r\n
\r\n26. Sean Henry - Another year, another position change for Henry. Originally a shortstop, the Mets moved him to second base prior to eventually moving him to centerfield this past season. He's an average defensive player, and like Garcia, he can make some things happen with his bat and legs. Henry hasn't been the model of consistency at the plate, but he's got enough pop to send a few out of the yard.
\r\n
\r\n27. Daniel Stegall - Drafted in the seventh round this past season, Stegall bypassed an opportunity to play quarterback for the University of Miami to sign with the Mets. He played centerfield for the Gulf Coast League Mets and some scouts believe he could develop into a Mark Kotsay type down the road. He's got good speed, a patient approach at the plate, and a very good arm. He'll be one to keep an eye on as he continues to develop.
\r\n
\r\n28. John Holdzkom - Holdzkom, drafted in the fourth round, is a monster on the mound. At 6-foot-7 and able to throw a fastball in the mid-to-high 90's at times, he can be quite intimidating. The numbers weren't pretty though in the Gulf Coast League. He also showed up to the Gulf Coast League out of shape and he'll need to rebound physically to max out his potential.
\r\n
\r\n29. Sean McCraw - Outside of Jesus Flores, McCraw is the most complete catching prospect in the Mets farm system. He is solid in all ways defensively, although he is working on calling better games and working better his pitchers. Offensively he can do a little bit of everything. He can hit for both average and power and he has a patient approach at the plate.
\r\n
\r\n30. Robert Paulk - Blessed with one of the best curveballs in the farm system, Paulk doesn't throw smoke but his fastball is solid enough to keep hitters off-balance. He doesn't get the attention he deserves but he keeps putting up solid numbers out of the bullpen and he has the stuff to pitch in the big leagues.
\r\n
\r\n31. Joe Smith - Drafted in the third round last June, Smith made fans sit up and take notice when he was promoted to double-A in his first professional season. Not a true sub-mariner or side-armer, his delivery is somewhere in between and he gets a lot of movement with his pitches. Like Chad Bradford, he is on the mound to induce ground balls and he projects to be a Bradford type at the big league level.
\r\n
\r\n32. Royce Ring - Once considered a possible left-handed setup man or closer type, Ring has lost some velocity with his fastball over the years. He still throws a very good slider and a changeup, but his role has been reduced to more of left-handed specialist coming out of the bullpen, albeit a very good one.
\r\n
\r\n33. Chase Lambin - In true utility player fashion, Lambin went from playing a majority of his games in 2005 at second base to play primarily at third base in 2006. He didn't have nearly the same type of offensive season, but he's still solid enough to help the big league club coming off the bench in a Joe McEwing type of role. His winning attitude would be an added benefit as well.
\r\n
\r\n34. Eddie Camacho - A left-handed setup man, Camacho continues to post solid numbers armed with a good slider and a Major League average fastball. He relies on guile and guts out of the bullpen and his command hasn't wavered. An undrafted free agent sign, Camacho is getting closer to the big leagues.
\r\n
\r\n35. Michael Devaney - Devaney doesn't dazzle anybody with stuff. Possessing an average fastball and an average to slightly above average curveball, Devaney is the epitome of a battler on the mound. He knows how to hit his spots and when he's commanding his fastball well, he's tough to hit. He keeps putting up the numbers and after hitting double-A this past season, he's inching his way closer to Shea Stadium.
\r\n
\r\n36. Jake Ruckle - Like Devaney, Ruckle isn't a hard thrower but gets by with good command and being competitive on the mound. Throwing just 82-84 MPH with his fastball, most scouts think he could get hit hard at the higher minor league levels. But he has a good slider with deception that, when it's on, he's hard to beat. And like Devaney, Ruckle is going to have to continue putting up the numbers to get his shot.
\r\n
\r\n37. German Marte - Marte has one of the more violent deliveries in the farm system and it might be taking its toll on him. Throwing 92-93 MPH a year ago, he was averaging close to 86-87 MPH with his fastball in 2006. As good as the numbers have been thus far in his career, there are some doubts it will translate at the higher levels, but there's no discounting his stats thus far.
\r\n
\r\n38. Jorge Reyes - Reyes is a hard thrower, sitting 90-95 MPH with his fastball, and his secondary stuff has the potential to be quite good. But a year later, and after a 50-day suspension, Reyes is still the same pitcher. He has some upside but he'll need to show progress in 2007 to remain on the radar.
\r\n
\r\n39. Corey Ragsdale - Time is running out for Ragsdale to put it all together. He struggled making contact once again at AA-Binghamton in 2006. He is very athletic and a great shortstop, but if his bat doesn't come around, his last chance in professional baseball might be on the mound. Ragsdale is too toolsy to give up on.
\r\n
\r\n40. Corey Coles - Unlike Corey Ragsdale, this Corey has no problem putting good wood on the ball. He won the Florida State League batting title this past season after hitting .341 with the St. Lucie Mets. He's a scrappy player with good speed and he can hit in the clutch situations. Coles doesn't hit with enough power to profile as a big league starting outfielder, but he brings energy to the field and could be a plus coming in as a fourth outfielder type.
\r\n
\r\n41. Jamar Hill - Hill, like Ragsdale, is a toolsy player with too long a swing. He has plus power potential and good speed, but he doesn't make enough contact to utilize his tools. He'll need to put together a strong season to fend off younger outfielders coming up behind him.
\r\n
\r\n42. Duane Privett - In a way, Privett is the left-handed version of Jake Ruckle. He only throws 85-87 MPH with his fastball, but he has a good breaking ball, a developing changeup, and he hits his spots. With lefties at a premium, there's hope he could develop into a solid reliever down the road.
\r\n
\r\n43. Daniel Murphy - A third baseman, Murphy couldn't play the field in 2006 because an array of injuries. He's reportedly a solid enough fielder to man a couple of different positions and the Mets like his bat. He can hit for a little power and average and resembles Chase Lambin as a potential utility player in the future.
\r\n
\r\n44. Jose De La Torre - At a seemingly generous listed 5-foot-11 and able to touch 94 MPH with his fastball, De La Torre reminds some scouts of Scott Strickland. He has a good slider too, but he delivery is max-effort and not much projection left in his game. With his size, there's also the concern whether or not he can keep up that velocity in the coming years. He still is one to keep an eye on.
\r\n
\r\n45. Drew Butera - The offensive numbers weren't pretty - .185 with five home runs - but he's a sound defensive catcher behind the plate. He has a good arm and sure looks the part of a big league catching prospect. However, he'll only go as far as his bat takes him. He will need to make consistent contact in order to get his opportunities.
\r\n
\r\n46. Miguel Pinango - The good news is Pinango pitched a full and healthy season for the first time since 2003. The numbers were pretty solid, going 10-7 with a 4.44 ERA in his first taste of double-A competition. He's sits 88-91 MPH with his fastball with decent secondary stuff and good control. He is still only 23-years old and with his control, he still has a good shot at the big leagues.
\r\n
\r\n47. Nick Carr - Built like a fire-hydrant, Carr is all about the arm strength. He sits 91-93 MPH with his fastball and can bring it a tick or two higher at times, but his slider and changeup are a work in progress. His power arm gives him a shot, but he needs to show a little more maturity on the mound and develop his secondary stuff before he can realize his potential.
\r\n
\r\n48. Julio Polanco - The Kingsport lefty has shown good velocity despite a slight frame. He sits 88-91 MPH with his fastball and has shown flashes of brilliance at times. His throws an average curveball and not much else at the current time. His slender build might have him destined for the bullpen down the road, but the Mets love his attitude on the mound.
\r\n
\r\n49. Josh Stinson - Despite what other publications are reporting, Stinson sits more in the 85-87 MPH range with his fastball. He has a big strong body and he's young enough that he could gain some velocity. Like De La Torre, Stinson has a max-effort delivery. He's extremely confident on the mound, which is a plus, but he needs to show more consistent velocity with his fastball.
\r\n
\r\n50. Joe Holden - Holden showed a lot more power in 2006, especially playing in Brooklyn, but sacrificed a more consistent stroke along the way. He's as scrappy as they come, and has very good speed, but he'll need to see if he cut down on his strikeouts a bit while still maintaining his recent power surge. Holden still has the look of a possible big league reserve outfielder.
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