Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (16) | 2012 (24) | 2011 (20) | 2010 (25) | 2009 (17)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB:  [74-88] NL East
AAA:  [81-63] Pacific Coast League — Las Vegas
AA:  [86-55] Eastern League — Binghamton
A+:  [71-60] Florida State League — St. Lucie
A:  [77-61] South Atlantic League — Savannah
A(ss):  [38-37] New York-Penn League — Brooklyn

Graduated Prospects
Juan Lagares (OF); Josh Satin (INF); Anthony Recker (C); Zack Wheeler (RHP); Scott Rice (LHP)

The Run Down
Hoo boy, Mets fans, that R.A. Dickey trade is looking mighty nice these days.  I liked the swap for the Mets from the moment it went down, but in the year that’s passed since the transaction, we’ve seen Dickey regress considerably and Noah Syndergaard emerge as a front-of-the-rotation prospect.  Provided Travis d’Arnaud can stay healthy, that trade should be perceived as one of the more lopsided moves in recent history.  Syndergaard and d’Arnaud are the headliners in this org, but there’s impact depth behind them, and plenty of it is set to surface in the bigs this season.  For 2014 fantasy purposes, this Mets system should be one of the more influential groups in the game, as the top-5 names on this list prepare to step up to the highest level.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects
1.  Noah Syndergaard, RHP:  Syndergaard split his 2013 season between High-A and Double-A, posting a 3.06 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, and a K/9 at 10.2 across both levels.  It’s worth noting that the 6-foot-6, 240-pound righty was more so dominant at the Double-A level than he was in A-ball — the 21-year-old whiffed 69 batters while walking only 12 in 59 IP at Birmingham.  Syndergaard commands his arsenal well, spotting upper-90s fastballs and changing speeds with changeups and curves.  All things considered, what we have here is a front-end starter in the making, and a future high-impact fantasy asset.  I imagine he’ll be a hot waiver add when he surfaces this summer.  ETA:  2014

2.  Travis d’Arnaud, C:  Grey already wen’t over his Travis d’Arnaud fantasy.  He wrote it while his wife read her vows at their wedding ceremony a few months ago.  Kinda concerning, I know, but he keeps telling me that’s the sort of commitment it takes to be a great fantasy baseball writer.  Anyway, Grey advises a cautious approach with d’Arnaud in 2014, and I agree.  I have little doubt that this 24-year-old is the best hitting catcher to surface in the bigs over the past few seasons, but as is the case with most catchers, the dual responsibilities of learning to receive major league pitching behind the plate, while learning hit major league pitching at the plate can lead to a slower developmental process.  There’s definitely upside here, but I won’t be reaching for d’Arnaud in drafts this spring.  ETA:  2014

3.  Rafael Montero, RHP:  Mets fans were clamoring for a Montero call-up last summer, as the 23-year-old posted a steadily dominant line between Double-A and Triple-A:  2.78/1.10/150 in 155 IP.  No one would have argued against it if New York had brought him up to the big club, but instead, they opted to keep his service time at zero coming into the 2014 season.  His quality stuff (FB, SL, CH) plays up thanks to outstanding command, and his approach on the mound is poised and comfortable and well beyond his years.  There’s little doubt that Montero is ready for an extended look in the big league rotation.  He should get that opportunity at some point this season.  ETA:  2014

4.  Wilmer Flores, 3B:  After posting an OPS at .887 in the hitter-friendly environment of Triple-A Las Vegas, Flores was summoned to New York after the David Wright injury, and he struggled in 27 games with the Mets.  The 22-year-old doesn’t possess the extreme high-impact skill set that we look for in fantasy prospects, but he does have enough pop to hit 20 HR, and he’s good enough with the stick to bat north of .275.  Given that Wright is entrenched at third until 2020, Flores figures to surface as a 2B — a shift that will only boost his fantasy appeal.  ETA:  2014

5.  Cesar Puello, OF:  Puello is a curioius case, given that he was right in the middle of the Biogenisis scandal, and it’s reasonable to speculate whether his gaudy line at Double-A (.326/.403/.507, 16 HR, and 24 SB in 377 PA) was the product of some kick-ass PED’s.  At this point, it’s impossible to know how much the doping may have helped him, so a wait-and-see approach seems to be the best course.  The 22-year-old has always been touted for his high-impact tools, and with his 50-game suspension behind him, I’m anxious to see how Puello responds in 2014.  ETA:  2014

6.  Dominic Smith, 1B:  The 11th overall pick last June, Smith can hit and he can get on base, but there are still questions about just how much power he’ll be able to produce, and from a 1B, that’s a legitimate concern from a fantasy perspective.  Now, he won’t turn 19 until June, so there’s plenty of time for the pop to develop, and if it does, he’s a candidate to headline this list next year.  In any case, we’ll have a much better gauge on Smith after seeing him gain experience at the full-season level — a jump he’s ready to make this spring.  ETA:  2017

7.  Michael Fulmer, RHP:  After an impressive full-season debut in 2012 at Savannah, Fulmer experienced a frustrating, injury-plagued in 2013, appearing in only 9 games across two levels.  I’m still a fan of his fastball/slider combo, which helped him to a K/9 at 9.8 in 2012, and I’m hopeful the 20-year-old will bounce back this season.  If all goes well, Fullmer should reach the upper levels this summer, on track for MLB arrival next year.  ETA:  2015

8.  Amed Rosario, SS:  Rosario struggled at the plate in rookie ball last season, posting a .241/.279/.358 line, but as we know, it’s unwise to read too much into short-season numbers, especially when the prospect responsible for those numbers is just 17-years-old.  With Rosario, it’s all about the tools and the potential.  Good speed, projectable power, and enough glove to stick at short have me intrigued.  I’ll be watching him closely as he steps up to full-season ball in 2014.  ETA:  2017

9.  Brandon Nimmo, OF:  The 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft, Nimmo has always been viewed as a long-term project.  In his first year of full-season baseball, the 20-year-old hit .273/.397/.359 with 2 HR and 10 SB through 110 games at Low-A Savannah.  Profiling as a corner outfielder, Nimmo needs to post significantly better power numbers if he’d like to remain on the prospect radar.  He’ll step up to High-A St. Lucie in 2014, where the Mets hope he begins display some in-game pop.  ETA:  2016

10.  Kevin Plawecki, C:  Plawecki is the type of prospect who could bring great value to the fantasy game if he can retain catcher eligibility, but the Mets have been using the 22-year-old increasingly as a 1B, where his bat likely won’t carry much fantasy impact.  With d’Arnaud at catcher for the foreseeable future, Plawecki, who can hit for average and get on base at an impressive clip, figures to transition to 1B entirely, or take on a C/1B utility role, in which case his plate appearances might not suffice to make him a relevant fantasy option.  ETA:  2015

  1. Gret says:

    2014 is going to be a wash with Harvey missing the year.

    2015 Rotation: 1) Harvey 2) Syndergaard 3) Neise 4) Montero 5) Gee

    Deal Colon for a prospect this trade deadline. I’ll take this rotation any day.

    • @Gret: That’s a good looking group — Montero & Gee at the back-end of a rotation is a scary thought… in a good way.

    • Tom says:

      @Gret: Mets have a good problems on there hands and thats allot of pitchers. 2015 rotation would be 1) Harvey 2) Wheeler 3) Noah 4) Niese 5) Gee. I can see montero either going to the bullpen as a long reliever or getting traded. Niese and Gee as a 4 5 is amazing. Things are finally looking up for mets fans.

    • Tvators says:

      You forgot Wheeler

  2. Michael says:

    What about wheeler. How does he get left out in your comment. Gee is probably a reliever

    • @Michael: Yes, not sure why he’s omitting Wheeler — should fit in right behind Harvey.

  3. goodfold2 says:

    waiting to see i I got scooped. cord phelps, do I
    1. keep to see if he becomes useful
    2. trade for 5th round pick
    3. wait till after draft and attempt to trade for pitcher prospect off of team that needs MI that are close to majors (like phelps)

      • goodfold2 says:

        @Scott Evans: wait, is that trade post draft for similarly weak (or maybe really long way off with upside, to team that needs soon coming MI prospect) pitcher, or trade now for 5th round pick from somebody?
        2. didn’t get scooped to de jong. him or velasquez P HOU? BA has this guy really high up for this late in draft (6th), plus from what i’m reading he’s been moving fast after having missed a year due to TJ. Some things have him with less weaknesses than mccullers/folty. He might even be higher in your rankings (when you do HOU), and 6th place on HOU almost has to be worth more than 8th or 9th on TOR…

        • goodfold2 says:

          @goodfold2: sorry add 2 more names as owner is willing to trade either fullmer or aquino (COL) for my pick coming up in 4. so that’s best out of
          fulmer/aquino/de jong/velasquez? this will be my last possible minor guy pickup till all star break bidding war.

          • @goodfold2: Frankly man, these sorts of moves in deep dynasty formats tend to be inconsequential — we’re mostly discussing guys who, at best, develop into fringe-average big league ballplayers… many of them won’t even bring any impact to the bigs whatsoever. You can’t transform your farm in one offseason. It takes time & patience & it takes IMPACT PROSPECTS… not these back-end fringe guys. I’d cool your jets a bit on these late picks & trades — target guys that you’ve read have upside in areas you think you’re lacking.

            • goodfold2 says:

              @Scott Evans: got it, so all 4 of those guys are fringy. but having only read what you said about fullmer/de jong i don’t know which of these 4 to grab.

              • @goodfold2: those 4 are fringy & just about everyone you’ve been naming past round 1 has been fringy… at this point you gotta find guys whose skill sets fit your needs.

                • goodfold2 says:

                  @Scott Evans: thanks. with league this deep (currently at max 20 minors guys and 25 active guys, 30 teams) pretty much everyone draftable is mostly fringy. hard to find any impact guys.

  4. Count de Monetball says:

    While I wasn’t hitting refresh every minute this week, I was excited when I remembered I was getting the SE report today. Thanks for the info. I do have a question, in your blurb about Dominic Smith, you noted “he’s a candidate to headline this list next year”. This got me to thinking, did you do these same lists last year, if so, that would be interesting to read, especially since I just became an everyday Razzball fantasy baseballer (Grey’s mom’s term) in 2013. If so, is there a link to them?

    By the way “Grey already wen’t over his Travis d’Arnaud fantasy. He wrote it while his wife read her vows at their wedding ceremony a few months ago.” that is some funny ass shit. Looking forward to Saturday’s write-up!

  5. One note when it comes to Nimmo, he broke his wrist last year (or was it the hand…). Before he did that he was absolutely raking. After he came back, he still had a great OBP but lost everything else for a few months. After he fully healed, he was once again awesome.

    I can only imagine owning him in the deepest of prospect leagues… but he is a very interesting person to watch this season. And I think the mets still view him as a CF, not corner.

    • @The second spitter: Thanks for the further intel — I do like Nimmo & had him 4th on this list last year… just hoping he can stay healthy & find that in-game pop…

  6. Eric W says:

    Good article I like your take on Smith will be interesting to watch him this season.
    anyways wondering what your thoughts/projections are on Zach Wheeler for this season and going forward?

    • @Eric W: Thanks, Eric. I like Wheeler a lot — should be considered in the same class as Cole/Wacha/Walker/Gausman … something like 3.35/1.30/180 in 200 IP seems attainable … might be a bit of an aggressive projection for a 23 y.o., but he’s as talented as they come…

  7. Doug Sisk says:

    Love the optimism surrounding the young arms but as a lifelong Mets fan I can’t help but think they will screw it up somehow…just saying.

    • @Doug Sisk: Haha, well, it’s probably best to approach all prospects from any team with caution… I write positive reports all the time on guys who never meet their potential… the prospect world is cutthroat

  8. Dano

    Dano says:

    Glad you have Puello on the list Mr. Evans. I would think he would have been guaranteed time if it wasnt for grandy

    • @Dano: Tough to justify leaving him out of the top ten based on his tools… those who want to say he doped & his numbers benefited from doping… fine, but correlation & causation are two different matters, and from my perspective, Puello’s impressive skill set is more so responsible for the 2013 production than anything else.

  9. Hawk says:

    Scott – 10 team forever keeper 5×5 league, 10 pitchers. I have:

    Mat Latos
    Jeff Samardzjia
    Michael Wacha
    Tony Cingrani
    Jered Weaver
    Taijuan Walker
    Archie Bradley

    And I have the first pick overall with Tanaka available.
    Do I deal one or two of the pitchers? If so who?
    Do i deal the pick?

    • Hawk says:


      Forgot to add:

      I can keep 4 of the major leaguers out of (Cingrani, Wacha, Latos, Samardzjia, Weaver.) Our league has a minor league system where currently I have Walker and Bradley

    • @Hawk: Though to say without knowing your keeper setting — if this is a full keeper, why not hold all & draft Tanaka?

  10. English says:

    No mention of Dilson Herrera Scott? A bit of pop and some speed at 2B. Must have been close to this list?

    • @English: I like Herrera… definitely in the next three… probably makes the top 10 on most other lists, but this Mets group has upside guys 15-deep…

  11. TheNewGuy says:

    About to take the plunge in my 2nd keeper, to run alongside my existing one. This one is kinda similar in that it has contracts, but they run from 2-6 years, also is H2H points, and a snake draft.

    Got a startup minor league draft coming up soon (sure ill ask you advice on soon lol), but just wondering how would you approach drafting the main thing in this kinda league? Would you give age a preference, or still largely go best available like with a redraft. Obviously the main thing’s to win, but with long contracts, I need a bunch of younger guys rostered too.

    • @TheNewGuy: Age definitely needs to be part of the equation, but as you say, you want to win now… treat early rounds more or less as you would a re-draft league, then target young upside guys in the mid-later rounds & make sure you load up your farm with impact prospects…

      • TheNewGuy says:

        @Scott Evans: Thanks man, have made a note of that. Yeah will be targeting impact prospects in our upcoming minor league draft, really interesting the first year as there’s so many available, and quite a few that will be starting in the bigs come opening day.

        • TheNewGuy says:

          @TheNewGuy: Oh heck now im thinking about it, reckon you could give me your first round in a scratch minor league draft for this kinda format? Just for a heads up as we’re starting pretty soon. 16 teamer, just list the names when you get a chance (international signings will be saved for our main draft). Guessing Buxton has to be first.

  12. GT says:

    Baseball America gives the NYM system an average ranking, but as John Sickels says, it’s one of the deepest in baseball and that ranking is more reflective of the lack of impact talent at the top than quality throughout. Having such a deep system means that a bevy of talent exists that has the potential to step up from a C+ to a B+ prospect.

    Jake deGrom, Jack Leathersich, Dan Muno, Jorge Rivero, Robert Whalen, Chris Flexen all fit this bill.

    • @GT: Agree. I had a tough time settling on the last few here, as prospects 9-15 in my mind are almost interchangeable… Syndergaard & d’Arnaud offer high end impact, though, and that shouldn’t be left out of consideration.

  13. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

    h.lee MI TB or j.peterson OF LAD forever league, both under league min till end of 2017.

  14. Count de Monetball says:

    Scott I was totally missing my Saturday fix of minor-league previews. That’s a complement since I was waiting to read it. Guess I’ll wait till Wednesday sigh , At least you gave me the links of all of last year’s reviews. i will Read a few of those tonight to get bye

    • @Count de Monetball: We actually are tweaking the preseason programming a bit, so my weekend MiLB previews will run on Sundays going forward instead of Saturdays… sorry to alarm you, but you’ll have some new prospect content to dig into early tomorrow morning.

      • Count de Monetball says:

        @Scott Evans: Right on I’ll except that excuse. And wow that was a super fast response for a Saturday night, I see you and I have the same amount of “life ” haha. I look forward to reading it in the morning

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