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New York Mets

bOriginal Published Date: November 16, 2018

My plea to the Mets.  Please score some runs so that Jacob deGrom can get more than 10 wins.  Is it too much to ask?

Sorry for that diversion, now back to our regularly scheduled program.  The Mets system.  You know, it’s not bad.  In fact, I kind of like it.  At the top is Andres Gimenez.  An athletic shortstop who has good speed and is starting to grow into a little power with 20 stolen base potential.  Next is Peter Alonso.  He just had a great season with an improving approach at the place to go along with country raw.  I still worry about his bat speed, but there’s no question he can mash.  Finally, I love the Mets first round pick in Jared Kelenic.  A big-time makeup kid with skills to boot.

On the pitching side, Justin Dunn had a nice bounce-back season and is looking more like the number two starter I thought when the Mets drafted him.  David Peterson, the Mets number one prospect in 2017 had a nice season but just got passed by others.  He still a kid with a bright future.

Enjoy the list and please click on the baseball card to visit our partner amazon.com to explore additional information on each player.

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1. Andres Gimenez (SS)

Highest Level:  Double-A ETA: 2019-20 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 15 SS/2B

The only player in the Eastern League (Double-A) who was younger than Vlad Jr. was Mets shortstop Andres Gimenez.  He didn’t turn 20 until September 4th.    While he’s not Vlad Jr., not even close, he has one thing in common – an elite approach at the plate.

You see, players get pushed by organizations, well mostly, when they can control the strike zone and understand the nuances of hitting.  Some of the nuances include changing your approach with two strikes, looking for the pitch you can hit, not just a pitch that’s a strike, and being able to adjust to the off-speed stuff of pitchers.  Gimenez has that and this is why he has a chance to be a very good major league baseball player.

The question is how good of a fantasy player will he be?  He has well below-average current power with his swing more geared to contact than power; although he did hit six home runs in the pitcher-friendly FSL in 85 games.  He does have good bat speed and will likely not be void of power, but I would expect no more than a .400 SLG with more doubles than home runs.  He stole 38 bases last season but is far from a burner.  I have him as an above-average to border-line plus runner.

When you add it up, I think the ceiling is a .270/.350 hitter with 5 to 8 home runs, and 20 plus stolen bases playing plus defensive at shortstop or second base.  That feels a lot like Elvis Andrus before his power breakout in 2017.

2. Peter Alonso (1B)

Highest Level:  Triple-A ETA: 2019 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 15 1B

The Mets drafted Peter Alonso in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft after a standout college career at the University of Florida.  Scouts were mixed on him entering the draft as his power was more strength driven than bat-speed driven.  You might be asking, why is that important?  Well, with the level of velocity we are seeing in baseball, and every pitcher seemingly able to dial it up their fastball to 95 MPH, without excellent bat speed, it’s just hard to catch up to premium velocity.  Pitchers will find the holes and exploit and without the necessary bat speed, the batter will become a mistake hitter.

The good news with Alonso is that he has developed great plate discipline and has shortened his swing.  Both skills have helped him get his strikeouts under control, and both will help him compensate for not having elite bat speed.  The results:  It’s working.  He tore through Double-A and after a brief struggle in Triple-A, he’s hitting .340 with six home runs in August.  The upside is a 30 home run first baseman hitting .270.  The downside, and yes there is a downside, is A.J. Reed.  In other words, a player that gets exploited in the major leagues.  Adding to the risk, the Mets have a long history of losing patience with young players, having them ride the shuttle between Triple-A and the Majors for longer than fantasy owners would like to see.

3. Jarred Kelenic (SS)

Highest Level:  Rookie ETA: 2021 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 30 OF

Jarred Kelenic might have been one of the least discussed elite players in the 2018 MLB Draft, but I really like the potential and believe the Mets got excellent value picking in the six-hole.  A notorious baseball rat, Kelenic brings a mature approach with plus raw power and big-time makeup.

Kelenic got off to a fast start to his professional career.  Across the GCL and the Appy League, he slashed .286/.371/.470 in 55 games.  He hit six home runs while stealing 15 of 16 bases.  While the stolen bases were a little surprising, he does have good speed with an ability to read pitchers.  As he matures and fills out, the speed will naturally regress, but 10 to 12 stolen bases early in his career are definitely possible.

I have him as a Top 30 fantasy outfielder with good reason.  The upside is a .280/.350 hitter with 20 plus home run and 10 to 12 stolen bases.  That could be an impact fantasy contributor.

4. Justin Dunn (RHP)

Highest Level:  Double-A ETA: 2020 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 40 SP

What a difference a year makes.  I was a huge fan of the Mets drafting the Boston College reliever in the first round.  I saw an athletic kid with a starters arsenal who just lacked experience.

The Mets had him begin the 2017 season in High-A and it went poorly.  While the stuff was still there, he just could not throw consistent strikes and he struggled.

To begin 2018, the Mets had him return to St. Lucie and in nine starts, he pitched to a 2.39 ERA striking out over 10 per nine while walking less than three per nine.  The effort resulted in a mid-season promotion to Double-A.

The ceiling is a solid number three fantasy starter with upside.  He’ll likely split 2019 between Double and Triple-A with an ETA to the Majors in 2020.

5. David Peterson (LHP)

Highest Level:  High-A ETA: 2020-21 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 45 SP

David Peterson drops from the top prospect in the Mets organization to number five.  He did nothing wrong and in fact, had a very good season, but I just like four other guys a little better.

Peterson was dominant in Low-A to start the season.  In nine starts, he pitched to a 1.82 ERA striking out 8.6 per nine while walking less than two.  He went 1-4 for his efforts, which is good training for when he eventually is in the Mets rotation (sorry, I couldn’t resist as a long-time Jacob deGrom owner…SIGH!).   He has a solid arsenal with a low 90’s fastball and a plus slider.  He also shows a feel for a slider.

The ceiling continues to be a solid mid-rotation starter.

6. Ronny Mauricio (SS)

Highest Level:  Rookie ETA: 2022-23 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 15 SS with risk

Ronny Mauricio graduates from our Emerging Prospect to number six on our main list.  Based on his results last season, that might seem perplexing.  In 56 games in Rookie Ball, he slashed .271/.299/.409 with nearly a 4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.  But remember, he doesn’t turn 18 until next April!

Mauricio is tooled up.  He has premium bat speed, is a good runner and profiles as a plus defender at shortstop.  As he fills out, the raw power should start to translate into in-game power but his speed on the base paths will likely degrade.  The Mets will concentrate his early work on developing a better approach as well as better plate patience.  The good news is the swing works and while the swing might get long, I’m expecting a solid batting average.

The ceiling for me is very high but given he still is only 17, the risk is equally high.  If it all comes together, you are looking at a Didi Gregorius type of player.  A power hitting shortstop with high single-digit stolen bases and a .270/.330 average.

7. Mark Vientos (3B)

Highest Level:  Rookie ETA: 2022-23 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 15 3B

I’ve gotten a number of tweets about Mark Vientos – basically, asking if he is for real?  Well, if you like guys who can hit with plus raw power, then the answer is a resounding yes.  He’s moved off shortstop to third base and should have enough chops to stay there long term.  The only real downside from a fantasy standpoint is that he’s a below average runner.  He’s only in rookie ball, but he’s posted a .888 OPS in 2018.

8. Thomas Szapucki (LHP)

Highest Level:  DNP ETA: 2022 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 45 SP

Thomas Szapucki got off to a fast start in 2017 showing quality stuff and the ability to control it.  Unfortunately, his season ended early as he needed Tommy John Surgery and he did not pitch at all in 2018.

Assuming he comes back healthy, he has the stuff and control to profile as a number three starter.  His fastball sits 92 to 94 MPH and can scrape higher with a plus curveball and a feel for a change-up.  But, we need to see him get back on the mound, which barring any setbacks, should occur early next season.

9. Anthony Kay (LHP)

Highest Level:  High-A ETA: 2020-21 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 50 SP

The Mets gambled on an injured Anthony Kay when they drafted the 6-foot lefty in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft.   After missing the entire 2017 season, the gamble started to pay off last season.  In 23 starts across Low and High-A, he pitched to a 4.26 ERA striking out a batter an inning while walking 3.6 per nine.

He has a solid arsenal featuring a 90 to 94 MPH fastball and a curveball and change-up.  I did get a chance to see him this year and was impressed with the fastball velocity and movement.  The curveball was inconsistent but it had a nice shape and missed plenty of bats.  The delivery is simple with a classic drop-and-drive mechanic.  While he only gave up seven home runs, given his height and delivery, he could be prone to giving up the long ball.

The ceiling is a mid-rotation starter.

10. Franklyn Kilome (LHP)

Highest Level:  Double-A ETA: 2019-20 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 40 SP or Closer with extreme risk

I saw Franklyn Kilome two years ago in Lakewood in the Sally League and was impressed.  He had size at 6-foot-6, a fastball that I clocked at 97 MPH, and a bunch of secondary pitches that showed promise.  The delivery was simple and it was easy velocity.  I immediately added him to as many Dynasty Leagues where he was available.

Spin forward two-years and he just hasn’t developed.  As he’s moved to better competition, the “bunch” of secondary pitches still haven’t been sorted out and consequently, he’s no longer striking guys out.  This all led to him being traded to the Mets for Asdrubel Cabrera.  It was a nice pull by the Mets as there is clearly upside but he needs to improve his secondary pitches and just throw more quality strikes. Too many of his pitches are catching the heart of the plate and getting hit very far.

I have his range generously listed as a Top 40 pitcher or perhaps a closer, but he could also just settle into an inconsistent middle reliever or quite frankly, never really make it.  The range is very wide.

11. Shervyen Newton (SS)

Highest Level:  Rookie ETA: 2022-23 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 15 SS

When you’re 6-foot-4 and only 180 pounds, the word projection is frequently used.  That’s what the Mets have been saying about Shervyen Newton when the signed him out of Curacao in 2015.  They have been taking it very slowly with Newton and this year, he has started to show his potential.  In Kingsport of the Appy League, he’s slashed .293/.406/.486 with five home runs four stolen bases.

While the Mets have always loved his feel for hitting as well as his approach, they have to be thrilled by his developing power.  Could he develop into a power-hitting infielder, like another Curacao native, Jonathan Schoop has?  While I don’t think he has 30 home run power, I could see 20 but with a much better hit-tool.

12. Luis Santana (2B)

Highest Level:  Short-Season ETA: 2022-23 Fantasy Ceiling:  Middle Infielder

Longtime readers of our site know that I have a fond affection for short middle infielder who can hit.  At 5-foot-8, Luis Santana is one of those guys.

Signed in 2016, he made his US debut at Kingsport in the Appy League and, well, hit.  In 53 games, he hit .348/.446 with more walks than strikeouts.  For good measure, he hit four home runs and stole eight bases.  While he has a little pop and speed, his ability to control the strike zone is what intrigues me.  If it all comes together, he could be a high on-base leadoff hitter who can add 10 to 12 stolen bases and low double-digit home runs.  That puts his ceiling as a middle infielder in a 15-team fantasy league, perhaps a little more.

13. Simeon Woods-Richardson

Highest Level:  Short-Season ETA: 2022-23 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 45 SP

The Mets drafted Simeon Woods-Richardson in the second round of the 2018 MLB Draft.  He was one of the younger arms in the draft not turning 18 until late September.  That did not deter him as he pitched well in his initial debut.  In 17.1 innings across the GCL and the Appy League, striking out 26 while walking four.

He has a good fastball that sits in the low-90s that will likely improve as he puts more weight onto his 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame.  As with most teenagers, he needs to work on his secondary pitches but can definitely spin a curve and even shows a feel for a change-up.

He’s a long ways off from New York, but I like the basic tools and physicality he brings.

14. Francisco Alvarez (SS)

Highest Level:  DNP ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 10 C

The Mets spent $2.7 million dollars to sign Francisco Alvarez last July.  At 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds and only 16-years-old, the Venezuelan backstop is not a physical specimen.  However, he has a nice compact swing that generates plus raw power.  At 16, his approach is very raw as are his catching skills.  But, the Mets threw down a ton of money and Dynasty League owners need to take note.

15. Jhoan Urena (OF)

Highest Level:  Double-A ETA: 2019-20 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 75 OF

Jhoan Urena had a week, or more precisely a day.  On August 23rd, the Mets outfielder went 3 for 5 with three home runs; two of which were grannies.  Daily fantasy players can only drool of the thought of cleaning up had Urena done that in the big leagues.

The Mets signed the 6-foot-1 outfielder in 2011 and the early results were quite positive.  He showed some pop and speed with a semblance of an approach at the plate.  However, as he moved through the system, he got stuck in High-A as he was beating everything into the ground.  A poor BABIP led to a low average and he was stuck.  He’s likely a fourth outfielder but does have some pop and speed that could make him fantasy relevant in short burst.

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