1. Fernando Martinez, 19, OF:
At just 19 years old, Martinez continues to soar up the organizational ladder. Last season he was the youngest player in Binghamton and was one of the youngest players in the entire Eastern League. He struggled at times against the high-quality opposing pitching of the Eastern League, but with greater repetition and experience he should further develop his ability at the plate. A serious hand contusion cut his season short, but he should rebound next season and show off his many plus-tools. Although he currently lacks ideal home run power for an outfielder, he can drive the ball to all fields and with time should see his home run numbers explode. Most importantly, all the hype and attention that has surrounded him in recent years, it is easy to overlook he has totaled just 560 professional at-bats.
2. Deolis Guerra, 18, RHP
The young starter pitched much stronger than his 2-6 record indicated. He endured rocky times during his first full year on a long-season squad, but Guerra possesses a repertoire mature beyond his years. His curveball still needs more work, but with a hard fastball and dynamic changeup, he has the foundation for a repertoire that consistently keeps hitters off-balance. He finished his year positively and resiliently, allowing six earned runs over his last 18.2 innings pitched. No matter the numbers, Guerra appears on a fast-track to the big leagues for a pitcher his age.
3. Nick Carr, 20, RHP
Carr's steely focus and live arm make him one of the fiercest competitors in the organization. He has good size and as he gets older he should become even stronger which should help gain even more life on his hooking curveball and sharp slider. He tops that off with a mid-90s fastball which he can blow by hitters in off counts. He is still a bit of a project but has his repertoire rounds out, he will attract even more attention.
4. Nathan Vineyard, 19, LHP
The Mets selected Vineyard with their supplemental first round pick, but they seem to have struck success in the southpaw just seven months removed from high school. He is already armed with pitches, but moving the focus will be increasing the quality and range he has with his repertoire. His low-90s fastball is strong for a lefty his age and he mixes hitters up with a very reliable circle-changeup. He also throws a curveball, but his finishing pitch is a big slider that devastates hitters on both sides of the plate.
5. Scott Moviel, 19, RHP
The right-hander is perhaps the most intriguing player selected in last spring's draft. Standing 6-foot-11, Moviel is an imposing figure on the mound whose value will only improve as his repertoire strengthens. Although he stands tall on the rubber, he is efficient down in the strike zone and changes the hitter's eye level with a good overhand curveball. Moviel too is a bit of a project, but given his height and velocity he should remain atop the Mets priority list in coming years.
6. Hector Pellot, 20, 2B
After struggling through his rookie campaign in 2006, Pellot's bat came alive last season as he hit both for contact and good power. Perhaps no other middle infielder made as significant of a leap last season as Pellot who played his way into future plans in the Mets infield. He still has physical maturing to undergo, but the huge improvement he showed at the plate keeps the Mets hopeful about his progression.
7. Francisco Pena, 18, C
The son of former Major League catcher Tony Pena was thrown right into the fire upon his arrival in the organization. In his first professional season, he started the majority of games behind the plate for Savannah, appearing in 103 games. He showed respectable power but there is still much he needs to do to improve his contact stroke and knowledge of the strike zone. Pena's playing weight remains a trouble spot, but he has the breeding and strong will to mold a bright future.
8. Ruben Tejada. 18, SS
In his first season, the young shortstop truly opened eyes with a terrific season at the plate. He stroked a .364 average in 32 games in the Venezuelan Summer League before arriving in the Gulf Coast League where he hit .283 in his last 35 games. Perhaps most impressive trait is his steady, mature eye and patience as he had fewer strikeouts than walks and a combined .434 on-base percentage. Anticipation exists as to how his skills will translate at higher levels, but Tejada is off to a great start.
9. Ezequiel Carrera, 20, OF
He may be a centerfielder of short stature, but Carrera has shown consistent offensive growth by hitting over .300 at every stop he has made. He has great patience at the plate and 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.
10. Daniel Stegall, 20, OF
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 boasts good speed and can find the gaps, but his general lack of power from his outfield position and high strikeout totals this season have lowered his stock. His defense improved last season, but he still projects as a corner outfielder despite playing centerfielder during his rookie season. He is still very young and hopes are his production will increase with more experience.
11. Guillaume Leduc, 20, RHP
The 20-year-old right-hander and former fourth round pick had a very positive first season despite pitching in limited time with the GCL Mets. The nature of pitching in Florida was a key to his rookie season as the French-Canadian native adjusted to pitcher in the warmer climate and working on his game longer throughout the year. He possesses a solid repertoire that allows him to pitch around contact and induce many ground balls. He is not a strikeout pitcher and relies on control and limited walks.
12. Michael Olmsted, 20, RHP
The 6-foot-6 right-hander throws a strong 92-94 MPH fastball and a complete array of second pitches including a curveball, slider and changeup. He split time last season both out of the bullpen and as a starter across stops with the GCL Mets, Kingsport and Brooklyn but the best of his results came as a starter. Currently, his long term role is a bit foggy and his advancement will be dependent upon the maturity and diversity of his repertoire.
13. Richard Lucas, 19, 3B
Lucas, selected in the fourth round of last spring's draft, plays a solid third base but more growth at the plate is necessary. He demonstrated good, early power and a quick swing but requires more patience and a better sense of hitting against left-handers. He has good size, speed and mans his position with a steady glove; all are factors which will leave him plenty of opportunities to grow with the bat.
14. Elvin Ramirez, 20, RHP
Ramirez was roughed up during his first season in the states with the K-Mets, but he possesses good velocity and uses his secondary pitches well. He still struggles with control as he walks too many hitters, but when he is on, he is a fairly proficient strikeout pitcher who gets his share of groundballs.
15. Josh Stinson, 19, RHP
The young right-hander spent his second year in Savannah and struggled, but he did gain a few ticks on his velocity and further developed his curveball. He still needs to add depth and consistency to his repertoire, and although his results have been disappointing to date, his age still gives him leeway to get going in the right direction.
16. Greg Veloz, 19, 2B
The 19-year-old second baseman showed great flashes during his first stateside after spending 2006 in the Dominican Summer League. He hit .271 in 66 games with Kingsport, showing strong power for his age and position while using his great speed to rack up nine triples and 18 stolen bases. He went just 40-for-234 in Savannah, but the power still carried over. He made 32 errors in 132 games this season, but conditions in Savannah's home park do make it difficult on the infielders.
17. Gabriel Zavala, 20, OF
Zavala started to piece his game together in his first year in the Gulf Coast League. He showed good power for his age, hitting six home runs while collecting three triples in 165 at-bats and demonstrated a knack for hitting in the clutch by hitting .311 [19-for-61] with runners in scoring position. He is still a bit of a free swinger, but many are at this stage and development level. His power numbers should improve as he adds more strength to his 6-foot-3 frame. He is also a sound outfielder who can cover good ground.
18. Gavin Dlouhy, 19, RHP
The 19-year-old Australian right-hander had a fine first season with the GCL Mets. He totaled just 25.1 innings pitched among the crowded staff, but he excelled by showing very good control [six walks] and mixing hitters up with his fastball that sits near 90 MPH, a quality splitter and a developing changeup. Dlouhy has proven consistent from the stretch thanks to a low opponent's batting average with runners on base.
19. Rogers Figueroa, 20, RHP
The right-hander spent last season in the Gulf Coast League where he split time as a starter and out of the bullpen after a summer in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2006. Figueroa throws a strong, sinking fastball and comes back with a heavy breaking ball that allows him to induce a high number of groundballs—his groundball ratio was over 3-to-1 in 2007. He kept contact to a minimum as the opposition hit just .205 off him in addition to surrendering 27 hits in 36.2 innings pitched. He still needs to improve his command of the strike zone as walks were a consistent problem in his starts.
20. John Holdzkom, 20, RHP
Holdzkom missed significant time during his second season due to an off the field conflict and when he returned to Kingsport late in the season the rust showed. But at 20 years old, the Mets do not appear willing to give up on him yet as he throws a hard, diving two-seam fastball in the mid-90s which bores in on hitters. The development of his slider and changeup will be imperative if he intends to stay serious about his game. At 6-foot-5 combined with his arm strength, he can be a valued chip in the future but he must be focused in complete control of his game.
21. Jose Jimenez, 20, 3B
The native Dominican impressed during his stay in the Dominican Summer League in 2006 by hitting for a high average [.309] in large part to a good contact stroke and patience. He was able to replicate that success during his first season in the states with Kingsport as he once again hit .309 in 188 at-bats with improved power. He stroked seven home runs with 41 RBI while maintaining an on-base percentage of .379. Jimenez's early achievements have gone rather unnoticed, but he is definitely one to keep an eye on in coming years.
22. Juan Lagares, 18, SS
Lagares endured a difficult year statistically, but Mets coordinators and personnel people still maintain a high regard for the teenager who jumped straight from the Dominican Summer League to the South Atlantic League. Although his numbers on both sides of the ball were unappealing to the eye, Lagares is a better defender than his error total indicates and his hitting should improve in year two with a long-season club. He is built and plays in a similar fashion to his double-play partner Greg Veloz but comparably has much more maturity to experience.
23. Richard Pena, 20, OF
The outfielder split his 2007 season in Kingsport and Savannah where he continued to improved his swing and consistency. He is still attaining more power, but has a feel for the strike zone and is able to work counts and earn walks despite a fairly low slugging percentage. Consistency is the leading area of concern for Pena but the belief is there that once he settles in to a comfort zone, he will grow into a well-rounded outfielder both at the plate and in the field.
24. Pedro Zapata, 20, OF
Zapata played his first year in the system last season and performed notably in a league where the average age is below his age. Nonetheless, he hit for a consistently high average and ultimately ended the year at .325. His natural home run power has yet to appear, but he is a strong gap hitter who can burn around the base paths evident by his five triples and 23 stole bases. At 6'4" he still has room to grow into his current 184-pound frame which should help his numbers increase when he moves over to the states.
25. Stefan Welch, 19, INF
The 19-year-old Australian played around the GCL Mets' infield last season showing off a good contact swing. The lefty was generally a singles hitters, but kept his strikeouts at a minimum and showed good bat control and plate awareness. Hitting left-handed pitching is a significant area of improvement for Welch as he hit a robust .358 [38-for-106] against right-handers but just a meager .061 [2-for-33] off southpaws.
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