Coffee Talk: Top Mets Prospects

Mike Myers as Linda RichmanLoyal reader “Isuzudude” has posed a great topic:

All are welcome to answer this question, but in particular I’m looking to get the opinions of those among us who really keep track of this stuff. Discounting anyone who has played in triple-A or with the Mets (i.e. Milledge, Gomez, Humber, etc), who are your top-10 prospects within the Mets organization? When answering, could you also name the current major leaguer that most resembles the type of player you think the prospect will turn out to be?

Thanks in advance, guys (and gals?)

As Linda Richman might say … “discuss!”

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. sincekindergarten October 24, 2007 at 5:28 pm
    Okay, ID, I’ll take the bait here . . . I really don’t know that much about the minor-league Mets, other than, say, Mike Carp (who is doing ratehr well in the Arizona Fall League), Kevin Mulvey (who I saw pitch in the Futures Game at the ASB), F-Mart, and Deolis Guerra. From what I saw of Mulvey, he seems to pitch much like Fausto Carmona–a hard sinking fastball, primarily.

    Notice I did not include Carlos Muniz, who was Binghamton’s closer and pitched at Shea in September. And, I’d like to see Eddie Kunz pitch–any word on if he’s developing a third pitch to go with his fastball and slider?

  2. sincekindergarten October 24, 2007 at 5:29 pm
    Oh–I wasn’t at the Futures Game, I saw it on ESPN. But Mulvey, if he keeps that sinking fastball down, will be tough to hit.
  3. skibolton October 25, 2007 at 9:09 am
    10) Brant Rustich – He pitched at brooklyn this year, he’s a big hard throwing righty with closer stuff. He needs to walk less batters to make an impact in the bigs, but he definately has great stuff. His stuff is comparable to Jose Valverde. He probably will be competing for a roster spot in 2009.

    9) Eddie Kunz – Another big righty reliever, his stuff is alot like Bobby Jenks. Alot of sink on his fastball. He was also in brooklyn this year. Also looks like 2009 might be when he is ready.

    8) Mike Carp – He can hit, but he doesn’t have any other great tools. He reminds me alot of mike jacobs. I really don’t see the mets hanging on to him in the long run, I think omar may be higher on some of the other first basemen in the system.

    7) Juan Lagarres – He was savannah’s shortstop this year, and looked really raw. That said, he has the speed and arm of reyes, and needs to develop polish at the plate. He’s only 17, so he’s a long ways off.

    6) Francisco Pena – He’s only 17, and was very up and down in savannah this year. There aren’t too many young catchers that can hit and field the position, and Pena shows flashes that he can do it. He’s probably at least 4 more years away though. He reminds me alot of ramon castro.

    5) Phil Humber – His fastball isn’t anything special, but his curveball looks great when he spots it. If his changeup looks serviceable next year, I think he could be comparable to Adam Wainwright.

    4) Kevin Mulvey – He has 4 pitches, and has excellent control of all 4. His stuff isn’t overlwhelming, but he wshould be effective in the majors if he spots his stuff. I don’t think he has the ceiling of the other pitchers the mets have close to the majors, but I’d say he’s the most ready right now. He reminds me alot of Ian Kennedy.

    3) Scott Moviel – The mets got him in the second round this year, and he pitched well after he signed. He’s 6’10” with pretty good velocity which should get better. He’s not close to the majors, but I think he’s got great upside. Chris Young is the only guy I can compare him to.

    2) Fernando Martinez – He hit ok in binghamton this year at 18, and will probably be there again next season. Don’t be surprised if he catches up to the more advanced pitching in AA next year. He can hit. He’s probably going to end up in left field eventually. I’d use Magglio Ordonez as a comarable type of player. He’s not going to play in new york next year, but he might be in the mix in 2009.

    1) Deollis Guerra – He got his fastball up to 95 this year, and he has by far the best changeup in the mets system, maybe in the minors. He needs to develop some consistency with his curveball, which he spent much of the year working on, but his upside is huge. I don’t think he’s that far off from being with the big club either, I really think we’ll see him sometime in 2009.

    I left milledge, pelfrey, and gomez off because we all got to see them quite a bit this year. I like milledge and gomez quite a bit, but I think pelfrey is destined for the bullpen. He just doesn’t have any pitches besides his fastball.

  4. isuzudude October 25, 2007 at 11:02 am
    This was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks a lot skibo! You really know your stuff. Do we happen to be bumping shoulders with an employee of the Mets?

    Some of the names on your list I’ve never even heard of (Moviel, Rustich), so certainly you educated at least one person today. Also, thanks for the comparisons. I doesn’t look like we have any major shortage of solid prospects, although many of them are at least 2 years away from being ML ready. Many agree with your synopsis of Pelfrey, but if he’s going to succeed in a relief role he’s gotta learn how to pitch better out of the stretch. During the season someone here broke down his numbers pitching out of the stretch and they were not good. Certainly it’s something he can work on and improve, and if he does there’s no reason to believe he can’t help. Of course, if he is only a pitcher with bullpen potential, then perhaps now is the time to trade him while other teams think he’s still capable of starting – and thus value him higher in a trade.

    There are some other names in the Mets system I’m intrigued you did not mention. Such as:

    Dylan Owen: 9-1, 1.49 ERA w/Brooklyn
    Jonathan Niese: southpaw, 11-7, 110K in 134.1 IP w/St Lucie
    Dan Murphy: 3B, 11HR, 78 RBI, .285, just 61 K in 502 AB w/St Lucie
    Dillon Gee: 3-1, 2.47 ERA, only 9 BB in 62 IP w/Brooklyn

    Any word on these guys?

  5. skibolton October 25, 2007 at 11:31 am
    I like niese alot, but I’m not sold murphy. I travel alot during the summer, and get to watch a ton of minor league ball. I didn’t see any of owen or gee in any of the games I went to, so I really don’t have an educated opinion on either. I never saw owen or gee play in a college game either. Their numbers are nice, but I like to see them pitch before I come to any conclusions.
    I completely agree with trading pelfrey now. Personally I prefer humber and mulvey, and just don’t see pelfrey ever being a mainstay in ny. I’d be curious to see if he could be used in a package for a rich harden type. I just can’t see us getting santana or haren with the chips we have.
  6. joe October 25, 2007 at 11:59 am
    I have to agree on Pelfrey. He’s simply not the overpowering, Bonderman / Verlander type of guy we were hoping. What happened to that “high 90s fastball” ?

    Of course, if his sinker ever appears again, he could turn into a Brandon Webb type of guy — but that would require a mountainous advancement in command as well as the development of an offspeed pitch.

    Does anyone have the scoop on LHP Nathan Vineyard and/or INF Zach Lutz?

  7. joe October 25, 2007 at 12:06 pm
    On Rustich, from BA:

    “A second-round pick from UCLA in June, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Rustich went 2-0, 2.13 with 11-1 K-BB in 13 innings for short-season Brooklyn. He’ll be on the periphery of the Mets’ big league bullpen plans next season, along with fellow college relievers Joe Smith (’06, third round) and Eddie Kunz (’07, supplemental first), if he continues to pitch well in the HWB and in spring training.”

    I didn’t realize he was thought of that highly, nor that he’d be ready this quickly.

  8. isuzudude October 25, 2007 at 1:06 pm
    Joe, I like the mention of Bonderman. I previously posted that the Mets could look into acquiring Bonderman from Detroit in a Billy Wagner deal this offseason. However, is it possible Detroit has soured enough on Bonderman (who is still 6-games under .500 through 5 big league seasons) to accept a package deal including our version of Bonderman, Mike Pelfrey? I don’t know how much more it would take, but since the Tigers seem like they think they can compete in ’08, they’ll want at least one other ML ready player. Is this a trade worth exploring for the Mets? Especially considering our viewpoints on Pelfrey? How does a rotation of Pedro, Bonderman, Perez, Maine, and Silva sound?
  9. joe October 25, 2007 at 3:02 pm
    Geez … I’d love to get Bonderman, but the Tigers would be nuts to give up on him after one poor season. He’s still only 24 (turns 25 in a few days) and has immense talent. He reminds me a LOT of Nolan Ryan at the same age, except he doesn’t walk nearly as many — in fact his walk rate is pretty good for a power pitcher. I doubt highly that the Tigers would let him go for anything the Mets would be willing to put together … but hey, you never know. I’d be quick to give them Pelfrey, Humber, and Milledge … but the Tigers don’t need any of those guys. What the Tigers need is a shortstop and possibly a closer. Wags for Bonderman? Maybe they’d do it, but I doubt it. The Mets would probably have to include Francisco Pena in the deal, as the one other thing Detroit needs is a young catcher — but Pena is too far away for their needs. I don’t see a match, unfortunately.