As we enter the Top 20 we no longer see players who have so-so ceilings or little likelihood of reaching the majors. Most teams can boast a reasonably elite Top 20. The Mets are not as elite as some and their lack of depth is visible if you compare them to the deepest farm systems but rest assured that nobody in the Top 20 is a “Bad” prospect. In fact we start seeing a number of players who can be of impact on the major league squad in 2017.
#20 Eudor Garcia, 3B: Last year we raked Garcia 12th and despite some extenuating circumstances, he finds himself sitting on the very fringe of the Top 20. Garcia, of course, was suspended for his use of Performance Enhancing Drugs and as good as his 2015 was, we all had to eat a little crow on his account. The switch hitting third baseman managed a .783 OPS in 2015, playing for the offensive wasteland of Savannah. He returned for the second half of 2016 and proved, to some extent, that his stats had legitimacy. His .426 SLG (brought down, slightly by a batting average 21 points lower than 2015) actually saw an uptick in power from a player now under severe scrutiny. We won’t jump for joy just yet but there is reason to reserve some cautious optimism. (ETA: 2019 Ceiling: Starting Third Baseman)
#19 Matt Oberste, 1B/3B: It’s hard to project Oberste into the starting lineup but it’s equally hard to suggest he will not be useful to the major league club. The big right-handed infielder has the ablity to play at both corners and has a talent for hitting. While he doesn’t appear to have the hitting talent of a Dominic Smith, he does look to be a good candidate to backup and provide some right-handed hitting. Like a number of the better prospect hitters on the Mets Oberste doesn’t have the prototypical power for his position but an ability to hit the ball squarely and solid plate control are often times more important. (ETA: 2017 Ceiling: Corner Infielder)
#18 Tomas Nido, C: Some people will consider 18th a severe slight to Nido, who didn’t rank at all on last year’s list. To say the least, Nido’s 2016 campaign was something to take notice of. His batting line: .320/.357/.459 was heads and tails above anything we’d seen from him before. What accounts for this? Plate recognition, for one. Nido struck out 86 times in 86 games in 2015. In 2016, he struck out 42 times in 90. This leads to Nido getting around 25% more hits and making much more solid contact. If we could be sure that his 2016 was the “Real Deal” then he’d be a Top 5 Prospect. As things stand we’ll have to wait and see. If he can replicate the production in Binghamton we should start getting very excited. (ETA: 2018 Ceiling: Starting Cather)
#17 Anthony Kay, SP: If we go on scouting alone, we could rank Kay even higher but being that Kay will likely not pitch for the Mets until 2018, perhaps we ranked him too highly. Kay is a lefty starter who brings the heat and the Mets were very high on his abilities but the injury leaves us in doubt. It’s hard to rank a 31st overall pick much lower and we’ll hope that Kay can replicate Steven Matz‘s success once he’s healthy. (ETA: 2021 Ceiling: Pitcher)
#16 David Roseboom, RP: If I were asked which Met prospect was most likely to have an impact on the 2017 Mets season, I would likely answer Roseboom. For one, he’s a left-handed reliever and the Mets are seemingly always on the lookout for lefty relievers and for another he’s ready to step into the majors as soon as there is an opening. Roseboom’s 2016 was spent in AA Binghamton where he served as the team’s closer and saved 14 of his 15 opportunities. Over his 57.2 innings he managed 54 strikeouts, a 0.90 WHIP and held opposing batters to a .170 batting average. He will be looked at very closely this spring and might earn his way into a more permanent role before long. (ETA: 2017 Ceiling: Setup Guy)