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 off-season.

1. Carlos Gomez: The 21-year-old outfielder finally made it to the show this season, registering 125 at-bats with the Mets. He surely would have surpassed the rookie cut-off for at-bats if not for mid-season wrist surgery which sidelined him for two months. He began the season as the system's top prospect, accumulating 140 at-bats in 36 games at New Orleans before his promotion. His showed good power while with the Zephyrs, and more is expected as he continues to develop physically. Gomez still has the tools to be a complete package, and could start 2008 with the big league club.

2. Fernando Martinez: At 19-years-old, F-Mart climbed yet again in 2007, spending the season as the youngest player on the Binghamton roster. He struggled at times against the higher level pitching, but with repetition and experience he will further develop his offensive tools. He suffered a hand contusion in late June, which turned out worst than originally diagnosed, halting his season in Double-A; he made only three more appearances this season all with the GCL Mets. Martinez has plus speed and can drive the ball to all fields, but still lacks ideal power for an outfielder—he knocked four home runs in 236 at-bats in Binghamton, but it is coming. His future as an everyday centerfielder at the big league level is debated due to his only slightly above average arm strength, but he remains the youngest prize on the farm.

3. Philip Humber: Since Mike Pelfrey pitched 72.2 innings this year in Flushing, Humber instantly became the organization's number one pitching prospect. He was inconsistent during his season with New Orleans, and July was his one month this year with an ERA under 4.00 (3.12 in three starts), but has the repertoire to be successful at the next level. His fastball sits in the low to mid-90s, but he has a big league curveball and his changeup really came along this season. His game will better-rounded with another year under his belt, now he just needs to develop more consistency.

4. Brant Rustich - Rustich was drafted in the 2nd round of this years draft and the hard throwing reliever right-hander has shown why he earned such distinction. In 23 innings pitched between Kingsport and Brooklyn, the opposition hit a meager .125, being blown away by Rustich's high-90s heat and a hard-breaking slider, his out-pitch, that spins in the high-80s. He demonstrated great control surrendering just two walks and allowing ten hits while ringing up 21 strikeouts. Looking ahead, he could fit into either role as a setup man or closer. Once his changeup meets the quality of his four-seam and two-seam fastballs, and his slider, Rustich will be just that much nastier on the mound.

5. Deolis Guerra: The right-hander pitched well above his 2-6 record. Three of his losses came in April, when he posted a 3.33 ERA in five starts during the month. He possesses a very solid repertoire, which still needs his curveball to develop for his game to really come to form. However, even with his current arsenal, Guerra worked the opposition to a .240 opponent's batting average and allowed less base hits (80) than innings pitched (89.2). He ended the year on a high note, allowing six earned runs in his final 18.2 innings pitched while showing great temperament for a kid his age in St. Lucie. Guerra's stock has been on the rise since he entered the system.

6. Kevin Mulvey: The right-hander won the Sterling Award as the system's best pitcher this season, and despite pitching for the last place B-Mets, Mulvey's took his game to the next level. His record was average at 11-10, but was extremely consistent in his second year, throwing a career high 151.2 innings. He was promoted to New Orleans, throwing 13 scoreless innings in two starts, the second coming during the PCL playoffs. His success in New Orleans shows he can be a big game pitcher, and more importantly, he now has full control of all four of pitches, able to throw any of them for strikes. His future projects higher than at this point last season, when he was projected as a fourth starter.

7. Mike Carp: It was a slow year in 2007 for Carp who really never found his footing in Binghamton after a terrific season in St. Lucie last year. A broken finger knocked him out of the lineup for nearly six weeks in April and nagging leg injuries hampered him as well. Carp is a former Silver Slugger Award recipient who has displayed real good power in the past and he will not be 22 until midway through next season. So, with good health, he should get his power back, put himself back on track next season and return to form as the leading first base prospect in the system.

8. Jonathan Niese: The 21-year-old is the most promising left-handed starting pitcher in the organization. He had a brutal May when he posted a 1-2 record, 7.92 ERA in six starts but picked up steam as the summer rolled along. He was 5-3 with a 3.24 ERA in his last 11 starts, a very positive sign as his changeup strengthened, keeping his stock on the rise. His command was a pressing issue coming into the season but he made great strides in that department, walking only 31 in 134.1 innings pitched.

9. Nick Evans: An ankle ligament tear sidelined the power hitting first baseman for just over a month, but he still hit .288 upon his return in his last 81 games. He showed excellent power all year-long, posting a .476 slugging percentage (7th in the FSL), and a .851 OPS good for fifth in the league. Pegged as a very streaky hitter in the past, Evans' offense really grew this year and his .286 average is indicative of that maturation. His nine errors at first base are a shave too high for the position, but if he can keep elevating his production, his stock will continue to climb.

10. Bobby Parnell: Parnell garnered a lot of attention this season as his repertoire continued to improve. He is known for his heavy two-seam fastball in the low 90s, and can sneak an even harder four-seam by hitters, but it is his hard-breaking, overhand slider that is his toughest pitch on hitters. With a better changeup and that slider, Parnell has the confidence to execute any of his pitches in any count. He made his first trip to Double-A in 2007, where he finished the season with a 4-1 record, 3.24 ERA in his last six starts—a good sign of things to come, but he still needs more consistency from start to start.

11. Eddie Kunz: He is a pure groundball pitcher, using his diving sinker and relying on his defense behind him. He has a strong slider which he uses as his out-pitch and continues to fine tune a changeup to complete his repertoire. He must stay down in the zone to be at his best, and when he is up, he finds trouble. The Mets top overall pick in this year's draft was a closer throughout his entire college career, but there are doubts as to whether he will project that same role at the big league level. For Kunz, a stable third pitch is necessary.

12. Matt Bouchard: The 11th round pick in this year's draft really impressed in his rookie season. With a crisp and compact swing, Bouchard's offensive production should continue to increase as he further adapts to professional ball. He will not be a big power source from the shortstop position, but he can the ball line-to-line with pop and will get his share of home runs. His defense is already sound with good range, a strong arm and an advanced knowledge of the position.

13. Nick Carr: Carr can be as fierce-tempered as they come on the mound. His formidable size allows to him dial-up his hard fastballs, both two-seam and four-seam. His slider came around this season, but he still chooses to overpower hitters with his fastball in two-strike counts. The maturity of his slider was important, but his curveball is still playing catch up to the rest of his repertoire, which still has him on the precipice of being truly dynamic. The 20-year-old is really coming along; it is now a matter of putting it all together.

14. Nathan Vineyard: The Mets' first-round pick did not have a great season statistically in the Gulf Coast League, but he has a very refined repertoire for a pitcher who is barely 19-years-old. He throws a fastball that sits 91-93, which is good velocity for any lefty, but at his age it is really impressive. He also throws a hard mid-80's slider, a strong curveball and a very good circle-changeup. The slider is his out-pitch right now and he does a good job of working it away to lefties and in on righties. Vineyard showed early signs of promise this year and projects very well as a young southpaw.

15. Eric Niesen: The third-round pick was on an innings limit this season, but still offered glimpses of what he can do in the future. His repertoire is still filling out, but he spots his low-90's fastball and slider really well while he further develops his changeup. His walk total this season is not truly indicative of his command and when he gets a full season's work next year, Niesen should demonstrate all that he can do.

16. Tobi Stoner: Coming off a sharp rookie season in Brooklyn last year, Stoner was still rather raw heading into his Savannah assignment. However, despite a 3-5 record with the Sand Gnats, he had a high strikeout rate and his repertoire came together, earning him a ticket to St. Lucie for the FSL's second half. To go with his low-90s fastball, he throws a buckling curveball and an advanced slider. Stoner's changeup (his missing piece) is now at point where he is comfortable throwing it in any count. The biggest obstacle for Stoner is his focus on the mound. All too often he let the opposition back into games after his lineup spotted him a lead. Once he can iron out mental mistakes, he should see his ERA and record take a positive turn.

17. Jose De La Torre: Following a strong year in 2006, De La Torre was slotted into the St. Lucie bullpen and was used as a spot starter for eight of his 27 appearances. The short-statured, hard-throwing right-hander demonstrated real good command this season, but in return for that was knocked around, resulting in a rather inconsistent season. He has solid repertoire, but uses up a lot of effort to get the best execution out of his pitches. He is one of the most intriguing arms in the system, but he will unfortunately miss all of 2008 due to Tommy John surgery which potentially came about because of how much he puts into each pitch.

18. Scott Moviel: The 6-foot-11 left-hander will prove to be a valued weapon as his arsenal matures. He uses his height to get on top of his explosive mid-90s fastball and his biting curveball that he uses to keep hitters off-balance. The development of a reliable slider will make him that much more devastating. Given his height and arm strength, Moviel should remain high on this list for the foreseeable future.

19. Sean McCraw: The 21-year-old catcher is in a prime seat right now as the leading backstop in the system. It is taking some time, but his offense is slowly but surely coming around. He still needs to develop his offense against left-handers and hitting to the opposite field, but he has developing power and strong plate awareness. This season's departure of Drew Butera means McCraw will see his playing time significantly increase at a higher level next season. He still needs to fine tune his defense, namely receiving the ball and throwing out baserunners, but he has a good arm and greater confidence working with a pitching staff.

20. Dan Murphy: The St. Lucie third baseman was the Sterling Award winner for St. Lucie this season, his first full season, after battling leg injuries in 2006 that limited him to 25 games. With a smooth stroke, Murphy showed he can hit for average (.285) and that he is a strong gap hitter (34 doubles). He does not get himself out too much, striking out 61 times in 502 at-bats, but added patience should help him raise his walk total (42 BB this year). He needs to increase his power to remain a three-hitter by adding more lift on the ball. He also must tighten up his porous defense (36 errors) or he could be a man without a position in the future.

21. Dylan Owen: The former Division II Pitcher of the Year was drafted quietly, but made an instant impact in Brooklyn, leading the NY-Penn League in wins (9), ERA (1.49) while finishing second in WHIP ratio (0.87). He does not throw overly hard, usually between 90-92 MPH, but he has a plus-slider, a good changeup and a developing curveball. His stats and consistency were eye-opening to say the least, and it will be interesting to see if he can repeat similar efficiency at the higher levels.

22. Hector Pellot: No other middle infielder already in the system made as big of a leap as Pellot did this season, earning not only a spot as a Southern Atlantic League All-Star, but a late season promotion to St. Lucie as well. Coming off his 2006 in Hagerstown where he hit .189 in 100 games, Pellot proved this season that he can hit, and hit with some power. He can take the ball to all fields and his pitch recognition has become clearer. His speed is a great weapon as he swiped 33 bases this year up from only five last season. He still strikeouts too much (102 in 431 at-bats in Savannah), but he is an aggressive hitter and once he learns greater patience that number should come down.

23. Francisco Pena: At 18-years-old, Pena got a huge opportunity this season by spending the year in Savannah. His defense skills surpass what would be expected out of a catcher his age, and being the son of Tony Pena, he has the catching genes as well. Learning to manage a staff and calling a game are skills that need the most work. He did not hit for much average this year (.210), but his five home runs and 12 doubles were a positive note for his age. His ability to stay in playing shape is a concern.

24. Anderson Hernandez: The New Orleans shortstop, and Sterling winner for Organizational Player of the Year, saw his production go up as the year went on. He hit .374 in the season's last 39 games, lifting his final season average to.301, but what he hit in the first 89 games (.269) is more indicative of his offense. He can hit with some pop (37 extra base hits in 2007), but he is more of a gap hitter who likes to take advantage of his natural plus-speed. He does not walk nearly as much as he should for a top of the order guy, (only 31 BB in 554 at-bats), but his stellar defense certainly picks up the slack for what he falls short in at the plate.

25. Ruben Tejada: Tejada is barely 18-years-old and spent half his season in the Venezuelan Summer League before heading to the Gulf Coast League where he showed his ability to hit for average, develop patience at the plate and utilize his speed. The shortstop hit .324 in 241 at-bats this season and walked 38 times against 35 strikeouts. He still has a long ways to go, but Tejada showed excellent abilities for his age.

26. Raul Reyes: The 20-year-old outfielder is still a bit of a project, but his big league power is quickly developing, creating excitement about what may lie ahead for him. His swing is still a touch too long, but can hit the ball a long way when he is going right. Defensively, he has a nose for the ball, his speed creates terrific range, and he can naturally play centerfield.

27. Stephen Clyne: The third-round pick had an instant impact in Brooklyn, pitching extremely well out of the bullpen. He uses his 92-94 MPH two-seam fastball to induce groundballs (which can be devastating on righties) and mixes it up well with a slow, arching curve and a biting slider. As he is effective against hitters from both sides, Clyne projects well as a one or two inning reliever, and he can be a guy who can come out of the bullpen and get a double-play when needed.

28. Ezequiel Carrera: He may be a centerfielder of short stature, but Carrera has shown consistent offensive prowess by hitting over .300 at every stop he has made. He has great patience at the plate and has a short, quick stroke which allows him to slap the ball around the field. His speed allows him to steal bases and cover a lot of ground in the outfield.

29. Jose Coronado: The Binghamton shortstop is extremely slick-handed and knows his way around his position. Yet, the Mets were hoping his bat would come around this season. He hit just .212 in 81 games this year and the month-plus he missed due to a broken finger did not help his case. His glove also took a step back this year as he committed 20 errors in his abbreviated season. There is still hope for Coronado but he will have to turn it around quickly.

30. Brett Harper: The burly B-Mets' slugger had a big year offensively after missing all but 19 games in 2006 due to labrum surgery. He slugged his way to impressive numbers this year while splitting time at first base and designated hitter. Harper can hit for serious power, but he still struggles with patience at the plate, evident by his 119-to-36 strikeout-to-walk ratio. After spending the past three seasons in Binghamton, Harper is nearing a tipping point in his career. He definitively projects as a career designated hitter although he can fill in at first base from time-to-time if needed.

31. Emmanuel Garcia: After a more than respectable first season at the plate in 2006, Garcia's production went backwards in his first stay in St. Lucie, despite demonstrating a great knack for stealing and running the bases. The dip, coupled with his already shaky defense, proved to be a serious issue for him as he projects more as a second baseman or utilityman than a shortstop. He committed 36 errors this season, and if he cannot get his bat going, he may soon be out of a position entirely.

32. Eric Brown: Brown is a traditional ground ball pitcher who relies heavily on his two-seam fastball. In his first year with a long season squad, his slider and changeup reached new levels with the latter now an excellent option that can mix up batters. He throws his changeup with very good arm speed making him that much more deceptive. He does not strike out many batters (only 68 in 134.1 IP), but he posted a two-to-one groundball/flyball ratio and does not give away free bases (30 BB this season). He needs his command to excel and when he has it, he is very tough to hit.

33. Lucas Duda: The 7th round pick has caught the eye of many with his size and power. At Brooklyn this season, the left-hander displayed his ability to hit for average with extra-base and home run power. He swing is a bit elongated which causes his strikeout ratio to rise, but once he shortens it up, he should be an even more efficient hitter. His defense at first base remains a little shaky but that should also been ironed out with more time on the field.

34. Willie Collazo: The southpaw spent most of the year out of the bullpen after predominately starting in 2006, and served the position with tremendous efficiency. He has three strong pitches and can control hitters on both sides of the plate. He pitches more to contact but has terrific control, evident by his 19 walks allowed 98.1 innings pitched in 2007.

35. Robert Paulk: He does not throw overly hard with his fastball, but Paulk consistently gets the ball down in the zone and mixes in a tremendous curveball. His quirky delivery makes him deceptive to hitters and allows him to compensate for a mid-80s fastball. While he may not be the most electric arm out of the bullpen, Paulk has the consistency and tools to make it to the big leagues.

36. Daniel Stegall: The 20-year-old outfielder was still deemed very raw as he entered his sophomore season. It was hoped that with his rookie year in the past, he could get his bat going, but that was not the case. Going homerless in 130 games between Kingsport and Savannah does not bode well. He has good speed and can find the gaps, but his general lack of power and high strikeout total this season (122), have lowered his stock. His defense improved this season, but he still projects more as a corner-outfielder despite playing up the middle in the GCL in 2006. He is obviously still young and, again, hopes are his production will increase with more experience.

37. Phillips Orta: The second-year right-hander moves up the ladder thanks to his velocity—he can dial it up to 95, 96 MPH—and a sharp curveball which he can use late in counts. His changeup developed well in his second year and with improving arm speed, the difference between that and his fastball could wreak havoc on the opposition.

38. Carlos Muniz: Quietly, Muniz continues to climb the ranks. He made his big league debut in 2007, albeit a short two-outing stay, but a promotion to Triple-A and a quickly maturing repertoire should have Muniz enter 2008 with New Orleans. He consistently maintains a low opponent's batting average and walk total, projecting him as a middle reliever at the big league level despite closing games during his career so far.

39. Brandon Nall: Nall had his share of troubles in 2007, but still has the ability to be a reliable middle reliever. His control of his diving two-seam fastball increased this season and he still has that devastating slider which he spins in at 77-81 MPH. He excels best when he is getting groundballs and letting his defense work, but can quickly run into trouble when he gets wild or leaves the ball up. If he can limit walks and make sure his slider is always there when he needs it, Nall will continue to rise.

40. Ambiorix Concepcion: The St. Lucie outfielder took a bit of a step back this season after showing promising signs last year in high-A and Binghamton. Though he appeared in nearly half as many games as he did last season, he struggled to get any consistent power going. He will be 26-years-old by the start of next season and really needs to put it all together in order to gain real advancement in the system.

41. Guillaume Leduc: At 20-years-old, the left-hander, and 4th round pick, had a positive first season despite pitching in limited time with the GCL Mets. He showed off a viable repertoire that allows him to pitch around contact and induce many ground balls. He is not a strikeout pitcher and needs to rely on control and limited walks.

42. Michael Olmsted: The big right-hander throws hard, 92-94 MPH on his fastball, has a full four-pitch repertoire that mixes in a good slider, a big curveball and a developing changeup. His best results in his rookie year came as a starting pitcher, but it is unclear at this time where he projects. For the 6-foot-6 college experienced pitcher, his advancement will be dependent upon the maturity and fluidity of his repertoire.

43. Corey Coles: Coles does not have the power desired to be a starting outfielder, but he is a plus contact hitter who can find the gaps and make things happen on the bases with his speed. He does not strikeout much and has proven to be a capable lead-off hitter. He will have to battle back from torn ankle and foot ligaments next season, but he should return to New Orleans with a chance to get his average back up to its former levels.

44. Julio Polanco: The left-hander maximizes velocity out of his rather small frame and mixes in a curveball effectively. However, he still lacks depth in his repertoire which caused him to run into trouble during his first stint at in Savannah. He split time out of the bullpen this season, and until he can expand his pitch selection, he will continue to work with two-plus pitches which may land him entirely in a relief role in the future.

45. Brahiam Maldonado: The Savannah outfielder continues to display very good potential with the bat. After finishing 2006 near the top of many leading offensive categories in the Appalachian League, he slugged .500 and hit .310 in his first year a long-season squad. He hit .371 in the second half of the season, while playing the corner outfield positions. He will look to carry that over into another likely promotion next season.

46. Richard Lucas: Lucas, selected in the 4th round of this year's draft, plays a solid third base, but more growth at the plate is necessary. He needs more patience and a better sense of hitting against lefties. But, as a draftee out of high school, his defense will leave him plenty of opportunity to grow with the bat.

47. Elvin Ramirez: Ramirez was roughed up during his season at Kingsport this year, but has a good velocity and uses his secondary pitches well. He still struggles with control and walks too many hitters, but when his on, he is a fairly proficient strikeout pitcher and gets his share of groundballs.

48. Michael Devaney: Devaney does not throw overly hard but can be very effective when he is able to spot his fastball and mix in his off-speed pitches. He continues to be a fighter on the mound, always maintains a positive attitude, and if he can rebound off a rocky year in Binghamton, he should make his way up the ladder.

49. Darren Clark: In his first year, Clark showed his ability to handle the bat. The left-hander has a good eye and does well against left-handed pitching. He has reasonable power, but as an outfielder, he will need his power to further increase if he is to keep the momentum of a good first season in the system.

50. Josh Stinson: The young right-hander spent his second year in Savannah and struggled, but he did gain a few ticks on his velocity and his curveball came along this season. He will still need to add depth and consistency to his repertoire, and although his results have been disappointing to date, his age (19) still gives him leeway to get going in the right direction.

\r\n \r\n\r\n1.\tCarlos Gomez: The 21-year-old outfielder finally made it to the show this season, registering 125 at-bats with the Mets. He surely would have surpassed the rookie cut-off for at-bats if not for mid-season wrist surgery which sidelined him for two months. He began the season as the system's top prospect, accumulating 140 at-bats in 36 games at New Orleans before his promotion. His showed good power while with the Zephyrs, and more is expected as he continues to develop physically. Gomez still has the tools to be a complete package, and could start 2008 with the big league club.
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\r\n2.\tFernando Martinez: At 19-years-old, F-Mart climbed yet again in 2007, spending the season as the youngest player on the Binghamton roster. He struggled at times against the higher level pitching, but with repetition and experience he will further develop his offensive tools. He suffered a hand contusion in late June, which turned out worst than originally diagnosed, halting his season in Double-A; he made only three more appearances this season all with the GCL Mets. Martinez has plus speed and can drive the ball to all fields, but still lacks ideal power for an outfielder—he knocked four home runs in 236 at-bats in Binghamton, but it is coming. His future as an everyday centerfielder at the big league level is debated due to his only slightly above average arm strength, but he remains the youngest prize on the farm.
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\r\n3.\tPhilip Humber: Since Mike Pelfrey pitched 72.2 innings this year in Flushing, Humber instantly became the organization's number one pitching prospect. He was inconsistent during his season with New Orleans, and July was his one month this year with an ERA under 4.00 (3.12 in three starts), but has the repertoire to be successful at the next level. His fastball sits in the low to mid-90s, but he has a big league curveball and his changeup really came along this season. His game will better-rounded with another year under his belt, now he just needs to develop more consistency.
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\r\n4.\tBrant Rustich - Rustich was drafted in the 2nd round of this years draft and the hard throwing reliever right-hander has shown why he earned such distinction. In 23 innings pitched between Kingsport and Brooklyn, the opposition hit a meager .125, being blown away by Rustich's high-90s heat and a hard-breaking slider, his out-pitch, that spins in the high-80s. He demonstrated great control surrendering just two walks and allowing ten hits while ringing up 21 strikeouts. Looking ahead, he could fit into either role as a setup man or closer. Once his changeup meets the quality of his four-seam and two-seam fastballs, and his slider, Rustich will be just that much nastier on the mound.
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\r\n5.\tDeolis Guerra: The right-hander pitched well above his 2-6 record. Three of his losses came in April, when he posted a 3.33 ERA in five starts during the month. He possesses a very solid repertoire, which still needs his curveball to develop for his game to really come to form. However, even with his current arsenal, Guerra worked the opposition to a .240 opponent's batting average and allowed less base hits (80) than innings pitched (89.2). He ended the year on a high note, allowing six earned runs in his final 18.2 innings pitched while showing great temperament for a kid his age in St. Lucie. Guerra's stock has been on the rise since he entered the system.
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\r\n6.\tKevin Mulvey: The right-hander won the Sterling Award as the system's best pitcher this season, and despite pitching for the last place B-Mets, Mulvey's took his game to the next level. His record was average at 11-10, but was extremely consistent in his second year, throwing a career high 151.2 innings. He was promoted to New Orleans, throwing 13 scoreless innings in two starts, the second coming during the PCL playoffs. His success in New Orleans shows he can be a big game pitcher, and more importantly, he now has full control of all four of pitches, able to throw any of them for strikes. His future projects higher than at this point last season, when he was projected as a fourth starter.
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\r\n7.\tMike Carp: It was a slow year in 2007 for Carp who really never found his footing in Binghamton after a terrific season in St. Lucie last year. A broken finger knocked him out of the lineup for nearly six weeks in April and nagging leg injuries hampered him as well. Carp is a former Silver Slugger Award recipient who has displayed real good power in the past and he will not be 22 until midway through next season. So, with good health, he should get his power back, put himself back on track next season and return to form as the leading first base prospect in the system.
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\r\n8.\tJonathan Niese: The 21-year-old is the most promising left-handed starting pitcher in the organization. He had a brutal May when he posted a 1-2 record, 7.92 ERA in six starts but picked up steam as the summer rolled along. He was 5-3 with a 3.24 ERA in his last 11 starts, a very positive sign as his changeup strengthened, keeping his stock on the rise. His command was a pressing issue coming into the season but he made great strides in that department, walking only 31 in 134.1 innings pitched.
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\r\n9.\tNick Evans: An ankle ligament tear sidelined the power hitting first baseman for just over a month, but he still hit .288 upon his return in his last 81 games. He showed excellent power all year-long, posting a .476 slugging percentage (7th in the FSL), and a .851 OPS good for fifth in the league. Pegged as a very streaky hitter in the past, Evans' offense really grew this year and his .286 average is indicative of that maturation. His nine errors at first base are a shave too high for the position, but if he can keep elevating his production, his stock will continue to climb.
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\r\n10.\t Bobby Parnell: Parnell garnered a lot of attention this season as his repertoire continued to improve. He is known for his heavy two-seam fastball in the low 90s, and can sneak an even harder four-seam by hitters, but it is his hard-breaking, overhand slider that is his toughest pitch on hitters. With a better changeup and that slider, Parnell has the confidence to execute any of his pitches in any count. He made his first trip to Double-A in 2007, where he finished the season with a 4-1 record, 3.24 ERA in his last six starts—a good sign of things to come, but he still needs more consistency from start to start.
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\r\n11.\tEddie Kunz: He is a pure groundball pitcher, using his diving sinker and relying on his defense behind him. He has a strong slider which he uses as his out-pitch and continues to fine tune a changeup to complete his repertoire. He must stay down in the zone to be at his best, and when he is up, he finds trouble. The Mets top overall pick in this year's draft was a closer throughout his entire college career, but there are doubts as to whether he will project that same role at the big league level. For Kunz, a stable third pitch is necessary.
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\r\n12.\tMatt Bouchard: The 11th round pick in this year's draft really impressed in his rookie season. With a crisp and compact swing, Bouchard's offensive production should continue to increase as he further adapts to professional ball. He will not be a big power source from the shortstop position, but he can the ball line-to-line with pop and will get his share of home runs. His defense is already sound with good range, a strong arm and an advanced knowledge of the position.
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\r\n13.\tNick Carr: Carr can be as fierce-tempered as they come on the mound. His formidable size allows to him dial-up his hard fastballs, both two-seam and four-seam. His slider came around this season, but he still chooses to overpower hitters with his fastball in two-strike counts. The maturity of his slider was important, but his curveball is still playing catch up to the rest of his repertoire, which still has him on the precipice of being truly dynamic. The 20-year-old is really coming along; it is now a matter of putting it all together.
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\r\n14.\tNathan Vineyard: The Mets' first-round pick did not have a great season statistically in the Gulf Coast League, but he has a very refined repertoire for a pitcher who is barely 19-years-old. He throws a fastball that sits 91-93, which is good velocity for any lefty, but at his age it is really impressive. He also throws a hard mid-80's slider, a strong curveball and a very good circle-changeup. The slider is his out-pitch right now and he does a good job of working it away to lefties and in on righties. Vineyard showed early signs of promise this year and projects very well as a young southpaw.
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\r\n15.\tEric Niesen: The third-round pick was on an innings limit this season, but still offered glimpses of what he can do in the future. His repertoire is still filling out, but he spots his low-90's fastball and slider really well while he further develops his changeup. His walk total this season is not truly indicative of his command and when he gets a full season's work next year, Niesen should demonstrate all that he can do.
\r\n
\r\n16.\tTobi Stoner: Coming off a sharp rookie season in Brooklyn last year, Stoner was still rather raw heading into his Savannah assignment. However, despite a 3-5 record with the Sand Gnats, he had a high strikeout rate and his repertoire came together, earning him a ticket to St. Lucie for the FSL's second half. To go with his low-90s fastball, he throws a buckling curveball and an advanced slider. Stoner's changeup (his missing piece) is now at point where he is comfortable throwing it in any count. The biggest obstacle for Stoner is his focus on the mound. All too often he let the opposition back into games after his lineup spotted him a lead. Once he can iron out mental mistakes, he should see his ERA and record take a positive turn.
\r\n
\r\n17.\tJose De La Torre: Following a strong year in 2006, De La Torre was slotted into the St. Lucie bullpen and was used as a spot starter for eight of his 27 appearances. The short-statured, hard-throwing right-hander demonstrated real good command this season, but in return for that was knocked around, resulting in a rather inconsistent season. He has solid repertoire, but uses up a lot of effort to get the best execution out of his pitches. He is one of the most intriguing arms in the system, but he will unfortunately miss all of 2008 due to Tommy John surgery which potentially came about because of how much he puts into each pitch.
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\r\n18.\tScott Moviel: The 6-foot-11 left-hander will prove to be a valued weapon as his arsenal matures. He uses his height to get on top of his explosive mid-90s fastball and his biting curveball that he uses to keep hitters off-balance. The development of a reliable slider will make him that much more devastating. Given his height and arm strength, Moviel should remain high on this list for the foreseeable future.
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\r\n19.\tSean McCraw: The 21-year-old catcher is in a prime seat right now as the leading backstop in the system. It is taking some time, but his offense is slowly but surely coming around. He still needs to develop his offense against left-handers and hitting to the opposite field, but he has developing power and strong plate awareness. This season's departure of Drew Butera means McCraw will see his playing time significantly increase at a higher level next season. He still needs to fine tune his defense, namely receiving the ball and throwing out baserunners, but he has a good arm and greater confidence working with a pitching staff.
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\r\n20.\tDan Murphy: The St. Lucie third baseman was the Sterling Award winner for St. Lucie this season, his first full season, after battling leg injuries in 2006 that limited him to 25 games. With a smooth stroke, Murphy showed he can hit for average (.285) and that he is a strong gap hitter (34 doubles). He does not get himself out too much, striking out 61 times in 502 at-bats, but added patience should help him raise his walk total (42 BB this year). He needs to increase his power to remain a three-hitter by adding more lift on the ball. He also must tighten up his porous defense (36 errors) or he could be a man without a position in the future.
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\r\n21.\tDylan Owen: The former Division II Pitcher of the Year was drafted quietly, but made an instant impact in Brooklyn, leading the NY-Penn League in wins (9), ERA (1.49) while finishing second in WHIP ratio (0.87). He does not throw overly hard, usually between 90-92 MPH, but he has a plus-slider, a good changeup and a developing curveball. His stats and consistency were eye-opening to say the least, and it will be interesting to see if he can repeat similar efficiency at the higher levels.
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\r\n\r\n22.\t Hector Pellot: No other middle infielder already in the system made as big of a leap as Pellot did this season, earning not only a spot as a Southern Atlantic League All-Star, but a late season promotion to St. Lucie as well. Coming off his 2006 in Hagerstown where he hit .189 in 100 games, Pellot proved this season that he can hit, and hit with some power. He can take the ball to all fields and his pitch recognition has become clearer. His speed is a great weapon as he swiped 33 bases this year up from only five last season. He still strikeouts too much (102 in 431 at-bats in Savannah), but he is an aggressive hitter and once he learns greater patience that number should come down.
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\r\n23.\tFrancisco Pena: At 18-years-old, Pena got a huge opportunity this season by spending the year in Savannah. His defense skills surpass what would be expected out of a catcher his age, and being the son of Tony Pena, he has the catching genes as well. Learning to manage a staff and calling a game are skills that need the most work. He did not hit for much average this year (.210), but his five home runs and 12 doubles were a positive note for his age. His ability to stay in playing shape is a concern.
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\r\n24.\tAnderson Hernandez: The New Orleans shortstop, and Sterling winner for Organizational Player of the Year, saw his production go up as the year went on. He hit .374 in the season's last 39 games, lifting his final season average to.301, but what he hit in the first 89 games (.269) is more indicative of his offense. He can hit with some pop (37 extra base hits in 2007), but he is more of a gap hitter who likes to take advantage of his natural plus-speed. He does not walk nearly as much as he should for a top of the order guy, (only 31 BB in 554 at-bats), but his stellar defense certainly picks up the slack for what he falls short in at the plate.
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\r\n25.\tRuben Tejada: Tejada is barely 18-years-old and spent half his season in the Venezuelan Summer League before heading to the Gulf Coast League where he showed his ability to hit for average, develop patience at the plate and utilize his speed. The shortstop hit .324 in 241 at-bats this season and walked 38 times against 35 strikeouts. He still has a long ways to go, but Tejada showed excellent abilities for his age.
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\r\n26.\tRaul Reyes: The 20-year-old outfielder is still a bit of a project, but his big league power is quickly developing, creating excitement about what may lie ahead for him. His swing is still a touch too long, but can hit the ball a long way when he is going right. Defensively, he has a nose for the ball, his speed creates terrific range, and he can naturally play centerfield.
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\r\n27.\tStephen Clyne: The third-round pick had an instant impact in Brooklyn, pitching extremely well out of the bullpen. He uses his 92-94 MPH two-seam fastball to induce groundballs (which can be devastating on righties) and mixes it up well with a slow, arching curve and a biting slider. As he is effective against hitters from both sides, Clyne projects well as a one or two inning reliever, and he can be a guy who can come out of the bullpen and get a double-play when needed.
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\r\n28.\tEzequiel Carrera: He may be a centerfielder of short stature, but Carrera has shown consistent offensive prowess by hitting over .300 at every stop he has made. He has great patience at the plate and has a short, quick stroke which allows him to slap the ball around the field. His speed allows him to steal bases and cover a lot of ground in the outfield.
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\r\n29.\tJose Coronado: The Binghamton shortstop is extremely slick-handed and knows his way around his position. Yet, the Mets were hoping his bat would come around this season. He hit just .212 in 81 games this year and the month-plus he missed due to a broken finger did not help his case. His glove also took a step back this year as he committed 20 errors in his abbreviated season. There is still hope for Coronado but he will have to turn it around quickly.
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\r\n30.\tBrett Harper: The burly B-Mets' slugger had a big year offensively after missing all but 19 games in 2006 due to labrum surgery. He slugged his way to impressive numbers this year while splitting time at first base and designated hitter. Harper can hit for serious power, but he still struggles with patience at the plate, evident by his 119-to-36 strikeout-to-walk ratio. After spending the past three seasons in Binghamton, Harper is nearing a tipping point in his career. He definitively projects as a career designated hitter although he can fill in at first base from time-to-time if needed.
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\r\n31.\tEmmanuel Garcia: After a more than respectable first season at the plate in 2006, Garcia's production went backwards in his first stay in St. Lucie, despite demonstrating a great knack for stealing and running the bases. The dip, coupled with his already shaky defense, proved to be a serious issue for him as he projects more as a second baseman or utilityman than a shortstop. He committed 36 errors this season, and if he cannot get his bat going, he may soon be out of a position entirely.
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\r\n32.\tEric Brown: Brown is a traditional ground ball pitcher who relies heavily on his two-seam fastball. In his first year with a long season squad, his slider and changeup reached new levels with the latter now an excellent option that can mix up batters. He throws his changeup with very good arm speed making him that much more deceptive. He does not strike out many batters (only 68 in 134.1 IP), but he posted a two-to-one groundball/flyball ratio and does not give away free bases (30 BB this season). He needs his command to excel and when he has it, he is very tough to hit.
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\r\n33.\tLucas Duda: The 7th round pick has caught the eye of many with his size and power. At Brooklyn this season, the left-hander displayed his ability to hit for average with extra-base and home run power. He swing is a bit elongated which causes his strikeout ratio to rise, but once he shortens it up, he should be an even more efficient hitter. His defense at first base remains a little shaky but that should also been ironed out with more time on the field.
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\r\n34.\tWillie Collazo: The southpaw spent most of the year out of the bullpen after predominately starting in 2006, and served the position with tremendous efficiency. He has three strong pitches and can control hitters on both sides of the plate. He pitches more to contact but has terrific control, evident by his 19 walks allowed 98.1 innings pitched in 2007.
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\r\n35.\tRobert Paulk: He does not throw overly hard with his fastball, but Paulk consistently gets the ball down in the zone and mixes in a tremendous curveball. His quirky delivery makes him deceptive to hitters and allows him to compensate for a mid-80s fastball. While he may not be the most electric arm out of the bullpen, Paulk has the consistency and tools to make it to the big leagues.
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\r\n36.\tDaniel Stegall: The 20-year-old outfielder was still deemed very raw as he entered his sophomore season. It was hoped that with his rookie year in the past, he could get his bat going, but that was not the case. Going homerless in 130 games between Kingsport and Savannah does not bode well. He has good speed and can find the gaps, but his general lack of power and high strikeout total this season (122), have lowered his stock. His defense improved this season, but he still projects more as a corner-outfielder despite playing up the middle in the GCL in 2006. He is obviously still young and, again, hopes are his production will increase with more experience.
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\r\n37.\tPhillips Orta: The second-year right-hander moves up the ladder thanks to his velocity—he can dial it up to 95, 96 MPH—and a sharp curveball which he can use late in counts. His changeup developed well in his second year and with improving arm speed, the difference between that and his fastball could wreak havoc on the opposition.
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\r\n38.\tCarlos Muniz: Quietly, Muniz continues to climb the ranks. He made his big league debut in 2007, albeit a short two-outing stay, but a promotion to Triple-A and a quickly maturing repertoire should have Muniz enter 2008 with New Orleans. He consistently maintains a low opponent's batting average and walk total, projecting him as a middle reliever at the big league level despite closing games during his career so far.
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\r\n39.\tBrandon Nall: Nall had his share of troubles in 2007, but still has the ability to be a reliable middle reliever. His control of his diving two-seam fastball increased this season and he still has that devastating slider which he spins in at 77-81 MPH. He excels best when he is getting groundballs and letting his defense work, but can quickly run into trouble when he gets wild or leaves the ball up. If he can limit walks and make sure his slider is always there when he needs it, Nall will continue to rise.
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\r\n40.\tAmbiorix Concepcion: The St. Lucie outfielder took a bit of a step back this season after showing promising signs last year in high-A and Binghamton. Though he appeared in nearly half as many games as he did last season, he struggled to get any consistent power going. He will be 26-years-old by the start of next season and really needs to put it all together in order to gain real advancement in the system.
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\r\n\r\n41.\tGuillaume Leduc: At 20-years-old, the left-hander, and 4th round pick, had a positive first season despite pitching in limited time with the GCL Mets. He showed off a viable repertoire that allows him to pitch around contact and induce many ground balls. He is not a strikeout pitcher and needs to rely on control and limited walks.
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\r\n42.\tMichael Olmsted: The big right-hander throws hard, 92-94 MPH on his fastball, has a full four-pitch repertoire that mixes in a good slider, a big curveball and a developing changeup. His best results in his rookie year came as a starting pitcher, but it is unclear at this time where he projects. For the 6-foot-6 college experienced pitcher, his advancement will be dependent upon the maturity and fluidity of his repertoire.
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\r\n43.\tCorey Coles: Coles does not have the power desired to be a starting outfielder, but he is a plus contact hitter who can find the gaps and make things happen on the bases with his speed. He does not strikeout much and has proven to be a capable lead-off hitter. He will have to battle back from torn ankle and foot ligaments next season, but he should return to New Orleans with a chance to get his average back up to its former levels.
\r\n
\r\n44.\tJulio Polanco: The left-hander maximizes velocity out of his rather small frame and mixes in a curveball effectively. However, he still lacks depth in his repertoire which caused him to run into trouble during his first stint at in Savannah. He split time out of the bullpen this season, and until he can expand his pitch selection, he will continue to work with two-plus pitches which may land him entirely in a relief role in the future.
\r\n
\r\n45.\tBrahiam Maldonado: The Savannah outfielder continues to display very good potential with the bat. After finishing 2006 near the top of many leading offensive categories in the Appalachian League, he slugged .500 and hit .310 in his first year a long-season squad. He hit .371 in the second half of the season, while playing the corner outfield positions. He will look to carry that over into another likely promotion next season.
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\r\n46.\tRichard Lucas: Lucas, selected in the 4th round of this year's draft, plays a solid third base, but more growth at the plate is necessary. He needs more patience and a better sense of hitting against lefties. But, as a draftee out of high school, his defense will leave him plenty of opportunity to grow with the bat.
\r\n
\r\n47.\t Elvin Ramirez: Ramirez was roughed up during his season at Kingsport this year, but has a good velocity and uses his secondary pitches well. He still struggles with control and walks too many hitters, but when his on, he is a fairly proficient strikeout pitcher and gets his share of groundballs.
\r\n
\r\n48.\t Michael Devaney: Devaney does not throw overly hard but can be very effective when he is able to spot his fastball and mix in his off-speed pitches. He continues to be a fighter on the mound, always maintains a positive attitude, and if he can rebound off a rocky year in Binghamton, he should make his way up the ladder.
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\r\n49.\tDarren Clark: In his first year, Clark showed his ability to handle the bat. The left-hander has a good eye and does well against left-handed pitching. He has reasonable power, but as an outfielder, he will need his power to further increase if he is to keep the momentum of a good first season in the system.
\r\n
\r\n50.\tJosh Stinson: The young right-hander spent his second year in Savannah and struggled, but he did gain a few ticks on his velocity and his curveball came along this season. He will still need to add depth and consistency to his repertoire, and although his results have been disappointing to date, his age (19) still gives him leeway to get going in the right direction.
\r\n
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