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Prospect Profiles: New York Mets

Prospect Profiles: New York Mets Image via Sportsgraphics36


A look at the farm system of the New York Mets

The 2016 New York Mets finished the year with an 87-75 record. That was good enough to win them a Wild Card berth where they would lose to the San Francisco Giants.

Even with some injuries in their starting rotation, the Mets finished the 2016 season third in team ERA and eighth in team WHIP. That strong showing from their pitching staff helped to pick up the lack-luster effort from the line-up. The Mets scored 671 runs in 2016, and hit a combined .246. Both of those marks ranked 25th in the majors last season.

Help in the line-up is on the way for the Mets as they have some promising young position player prospects in their farm system. Some of them are still a few years away from joining the big league club, but should be able to make an impact once they reach the majors.

Lets take a look at the top ten prospects in the New York Mets farm system:

Amed Rosario, SS

Amed Rosario was signed by the New York Mets out of the Dominican Republic in 2012. He kicked off his professional baseball career a year later in rookie level ball where he hit .241 with three home runs and 23 RBI’s in 58 games. The following year, Rosario split time between Low-A and Single-A. At those two levels, Amed hit .274 with two home runs and 27 RBI’s. He also had an OBP of .320 and a slugging percentage of .372 in 75 games.

Rosario’s stellar play in the low levels of the minors earned him a promotion to Single-A Advanced to start the 2015 season. In 103 games at that level, Amed hit .257 with a .307 OBP, and a .335 slugging percentage. He also drove in 25 runs and stole 12 bases.

The 6’2″ shortstop began the 2016 season at Single-A Advanced where he played in 66 games and hit .309 with three home runs and 40 RBI’s. To finish out the 2016 season, Rosario was promoted to Double-A where he played in 54 games and hit .341 with two home runs and 31 RBI’s.

Rosario is the full package. He is a great defender, and at the plate, he can maintain a good enough batting average to keep himself in the line-up. As he continues to develop, his bat will catch up to his defense. He is already showing signs that his bat is starting to come around, which is good news for the Mets organization.

Currently, Asdrubal Cabrera is the Mets shortstop. He is signed through the 2017 season, which is good news for Rosario who is projected to be in the majors by 2018.

Once Amed gets to the majors, he will hold down the shortstop position for many years. Expect to see him in a major league uniform as early as September, but more realistically, next season.

ETA: 2018

Robert Gsellman, RHP

Robert Gsellman was drafted in the 13th round of the 2011 draft by the New York Mets. That same year, he pitched in seven games at the rookie ball level. In those seven games, he recorded a 4.15 ERA with eight strikeouts and two walks in 13 innings pitched. In 2013, at age 19, Gsellman pitched in three different levels. In total, he made 19 starts and recorded a 2.58 ERA with 83 strikeouts and 23 walks in 108 innings pitched.

Gsellman spent the 2014 season in Single-A where he made 20 starts, and posted a 2.56 ERA with 92 strikeouts and 34 walks in 116 innings pitched. That effort was good enough to earn him a promotion to Single-A Advanced to start the 2015 season. After a 6-0 start at that level, Gsellman was promoted to Double-A. At the Double-A level, Robert posted a 7-7 record with a 3.51 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 92.1 innings pitched.

The 6’4″ right-hander continued his climb through the majors in 2016 when he went 4-9 with a 3.99 ERA in 20 starts between Double-A and Triple-A.

At age 22, Gsellman made his major league debut. In seven starts (eight appearances) at the big league level in 2016, Gsellman posted a 4-2 record with a 2.42 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 44.2 innings pitched.

Gsellman has a fastball that easily touches 95 MPH. He can also throw a wipe-out slider, and a nasty curveball. The only thing for Robert to work on would be his change-up. If he can add a fourth pitch to his arsenal, he will be hard to hit at the next level.

The Mets will have some options at the number five starter in 2017. After the departure of Bartolo Colon, the Mets have a hole to fill in the starting rotation. It will be between Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman for the fifth starters role in 2017. Lugo could have the upper hand just because he worked more innings in the majors last season, but if Matt Harvey continues to have health concerns, another rotation spot could open up.

ETA: 2017

Dominic Smith, 1B

A first round pick in 2013, the 21-year-old first basemen hit .302/.367/.457 at Double-A. Widely respected for his pure hitting skills, he lacks the power of a first basemen, having hit just 14 home runs in 484 at-bats last season. He has the ability to hit the ball to all fields with a solid eye, drawing 50 walks compared to 74 strikeouts.

Dominic Smith has shown the ability to hold his own against the older competition, and should put up decent numbers in Triple-A Las Vegas without having to mess with his swing. With Lucas Duda manning first base for the New York Mets, it’s not hard to believe that the 21-year-old could be up some time this season. He is a solid defender and might even provide the team with an upgrade right out of spring training

ETA: 2017

Thomas Szapucki, LHP

The left hander was drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. In 52 innings split between rookie ball and the New York Penn league, Thomas Szapucki only gave up 26 hits. His fastball, that sits in the mid 90’s, helped him fashion an ERA of just 1.36, with an 86/20 K/BB rate.

He also features a plus curve, and a change-up that keeps hitters off-balance. While at the lower levels, he was able to dominate with pure stuff. He is still a bit raw when it comes to command. With just tightening up his command, and being durable, he could become a can’t miss prospect.

ETA: 2019

Justin Dunn, RHP

The first round pick from Boston College in the 2016 draft would sit around 97-99 MPH in a relief role in college. As a starter though, Justin Dunn sat around 92-96 MPH in the New York Penn league. He would go on to author a 1.50 ERA and 35/10 K/BB ratio while only allowing just 25 hits in 30 innings.

Dunn has a plus slider, and a change-up that needs work. His slider does a good job keeping hitters off-balance, and generates swings and misses. When he has his secondary stuff working, Dunn can be overpowering on the mound. While the hope is for him to be a starter, if he can’t get his change-up to be an effective secondary pitch, Dunn could go back to being a reliever.

ETA: 2019

Brandon Nimmo, OF

A former first round pick in 2011, Brandon Nimmo got a taste of the majors last year, hitting .274/.338/.329 in 73 at-bats. In Triple-A, Nimmo was able to produce a slash line of .352/.423/.541 with 11 homers. He slots perfectly as a fourth outfielder for the club should they be able to trade Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson. While he has the occasional hint of power, he profiles as a platoon player and will play well as a reserve.

ETA: 2017

Desmond Lindsay, OF

Desmond Lindsay was drafted in the second round of the 2015 draft by the New York Mets. Between rookie level ball and Low-A in 2015, Lindsay hit .263 with one home run and 13 RBI’s to go along with his .364 OBP, and .386 slugging percentage in 35 games played.

Due to some hamstring injuries, Lindsay began the 2016 season in rookie ball. He was quickly promoted back to Low-A, where he played in 32 games, and hit .297 with four home runs and 17 RBI’s.

Health will be a big key for Lindsay moving forward. He has the ability to develop into a power guy if he can stay disciplined at the plate.

Juan Lagares received a good amount of reps in centerfield for the Mets in 2016. He is signed through 2020, but the Mets have used a patchwork of outfielders recently. If Lindsay can impress the Mets brass, he may be able to win the centerfield role at the major league level as early as 2019. Again, health is the key to Lindsay’s success.

ETA: 2020

Gavin Cecchini, SS

Gavin Cecchini was drafted by the New York Mets in the first round of the 2012 draft. Cecchini began his career in 2012 at the rookie ball level. After just 53 games, he was promoted to Low-A to end the 2012 season. Gavin played in 51 games in Low-A in 2013, posting a .273 batting average, .319 OBP, and .314 slugging percentage.

At age 20, Cecchini split the 2014 season between Single-A, Single-A Advanced, and Double-A. In 126 games between those levels, he posted a .247 batting average with eight home runs, and 56 RBI’s. That showing was good enough for a promotion to Double-A to begin the 2015 season. In 109 games at that level, he hit .317 with seven home runs and 51 RBI’s.

Cecchini continued his push through the minors in 2016 as he was assigned to Triple-A at the start of the season. In 117 games at Triple-A, he posted a .325 batting average with eight home runs and 55 RBI’s. That fine showing earned him a call-up to the major league squad toward the end of the season. In four games at the major league level, Cecchini posted a .333 batting average, .429 OBP, and .667 slugging percentage.

Cecchini’s below average defense has many scouts wondering if a move to second base would do him much good. The Mets have a starting shortstop in Asdrubal Cabrera for the 2017 season, and top prospect Amed Rosario who should be ready by 2018.

Cecchini is not on the same level as Rosario, but could still make a solid big league infielder…just at second base and not shortstop.

ETA: 2017

Andres Gimenez, SS

Andres Gimenez was signed out of Venezuela in 2015 at the age of 17. In the Dominican Summer League in 2016, Gimenez posted a .350 batting average with three home runs and 38 RBI’s in 62 games.

Those 62 games serve as Gimenez’s only professional baseball experience thus far. In that small sample size, he has shown that he has good speed and a solid arm. His offensive game still needs work, but at 18 years old, he has plenty of time to work that out.

Gimenez could be caught up in the log-jam of middle infielders in this system as there are two ahead of him in the pipeline. Andres is the furthest of these infielders away from the big leagues, and may get traded before reaching the big leagues.

ETA: 2020

Tomas Nido, C

Tomas Nido was an eighth round pick in the 2012 draft by the New York Mets. Nido kicked off his professional career at the rookie ball level in 2012. In 38 games at that level, he hit .242 with two home runs and 15 RBI’s. At age 19, Nido was promoted to Low-A where he would spend the next two seasons before being promoted to Single-A in 2015.

At the Single-A level in 2015, Nido hit .259 with six home runs and 40 RBI’s. That solid showing netted him a promotion to Single-A Advanced in 2016. In 90 games, Nido hit .320 with seven home runs and 46 RBI’s. In addition to his good offensive numbers, the 22-year-old also threw out 42% of base stealers in 2016.

Nido should start the 2017 season in Double-A. That should provide a good challenge for him, and give the Mets a measuring stick as to what they should expect from Nido in the future.

The Mets have some options at the catchers position. One of them is a former first round draft choice that has not lived up to the hype thus far. If Nido can continue his solid play in the minors, and refine his approach at the plate, he could become the Mets go-to option at catcher by 2019.

ETA: 2018

Just Missed:

Gregory Guerrero, shortstop, .247 batting average, .324 OBP, and .287 slugging percentage in 64 games in the Dominican Summer League in 2016.

Merandy Gonzalez, RHP, 2.87 ERA, 71 strikeouts, 27 walks in 14 starts in Low-A last season.

The New York Mets finished as one of the worst offensive teams in the majors last year. Some of these prospects listed above should help out in that category in the near future.

All the New York Mets need right now is some good young position player talent to back up the solid effort that the pitching staff is providing. That wave of position players is on the way, but it will take one or two more years for all of them to fully mature. When they do, the Mets could become a force to be reckoned with in the National League.