Thursday, May 9, 2013

2013 Mets Prospect Report: Week 5 (5/2 - 5/8)

Top Pitching Prospect of the Week

Zack Wheeler, SP (AAA) - 6.0 IP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Even Mets fans with only a passing interest in the minors have Wheeler on their radar. The sole return the Mets got for Carlos Beltran in the July 2011 swap with the Giants, Wheeler has jumped from excellent prospect to elite prospect. He's a consensus Top 10 pitching prospect in baseball and fans rightly dream of the tall righty pairing with Matt Harvey to form a deadly 1-2 punch at the front of the Mets' rotation for years to come. And the future is rapidly approaching. After struggling for the most part through his first five starts in the PCL this year, Wheeler made a mechanical adjustment and has put together back-to-back strong starts (2-0, 12.2 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 12 K). The biggest obstacle remaining in Wheeler's way might be money. Specifically, the longer the Mets wait to call him up, the less likely Wheeler will qualify for a fourth year of arbitration (as a Super 2, replacing a year at the league minimum). Given the current big league situation, I'd expect the Mets will wait until mid-June to debut the young phenom. This would give Wheeler another 6-ish starts in Las Vegas to iron out the kinks. Wheeler is already on the 40-man roster, so the Mets will not need to make a corresponding 40-man transaction when he eventually does get the call.

Age: 22
Acquired: 2011 Trade (Orig. 2009 Draft - Round 1, Overall Pick 6 by SF)

Signing Bonus: $3,300,000
MLB ETA: June 2013

Honorable Mention:

Domingo Tapia, SP (A+) - 6.0 IP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
Noah Syndergaard, SP (A+) - 6.0 IP, 0-1, 1.50 ERA, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Rafael Montero, SP (AA) - 6.1 IP, 0-1, 4.26 ERA, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
Jack Leathersich, RP (AA) - 2.0 IP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

Top Positional Prospect of the Week

Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B (A+) - 31 PA, .407/.452/.926, 4 R, 5 2B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K

A monster week from Rodriguez made this a pretty easy call. One of the best power hitting prospects in a system short on that skill, the 21-year-old Dominican third baseman's bat was on full display, knocking 5 doubles and a trio of homers to go with 13 RBIs and just three whiffs. This is nice to see after Rodriguez got off to a dreadful start. Through the season's first three weeks, the young right was hitting just .167/.173/.347 with 16 strikeouts and had yet to draw a walk. But he picked up 2 free passes last week and another 3 this week, and added 11 extra base hits. Rodriguez was probably the highest profile prospect the Mets exposed to the Rule 5 draft last year, but even coming off a 24 HR age 20 season split between Savannah and St. Lucie, he was not selected. For Aderlin to earn that 40-man spot ahead of this December's draft, he'll need to harness the combination of power and patience he displayed this week. He's still young enough that he could afford to spend the whole year in the FSL, but a promotion to AA Binghamton at some point this summer if definitely an achievable goal.

Age: 21
Acquired: 2008-09 International Period
Signing Bonus: $600,000
MLB ETA: 2015

Honorable Mention:

Travis Taijeron, OF (A+) - 30 PA, .375/.500/.792, 5 R, 4 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 8 K
Eudy Pina, OF (A) - 22 PA, .389/.500/.833, 6 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K
Kevin Plawecki, C (A) - 21 PA, .389/.429/.667, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
Cesar Puello, OF (AA) - 29 PA, .296/.345/.741, 5 R, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 SB

Top Non-Prospect (Age 27+) of the Week

Collin Cowgill, OF (AAA) - 16 PA, .267/.313/.467, 4 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K

Prior Weeks

Week 4: Noah Syndergaard, Kevin Plawecki
Week 3: Rafael Montero, Jayce Boyd
Week 2: Jacob deGrom, Brandon Nimmo
Week 1: Rafael Montero, Kevin Plawecki

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