Thursday, June 6, 2013

2013 Mets Prospect Report: Week 9 (5/30 - 6/5)

Top Pitching Prospect of the Week

Luis Cessa, SP (A) - 7.2 IP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K

Cessa is part of a Sand Gnats rotation that all season has been taking turns being fantastic. On the season, Cessa has tossed 53.2 innings and has struck out 50 against just 9 walks. He's been susceptible to the long ball, having surrendered 8 HRs, but clearly that wasn't a problem this past week, when he left the game with 2 outs in the 8th after collecting 10 strikeouts and allowing just 2 hits, no walks, and no runs. Cessa is one of several low cost, under-the-radar international prospects who signed under former Mets GM Omar Minaya to break out over the past two calendar years. For all Minaya's failings (and they were plentiful), he and his team did an excellent job scouring the Latin market for low-profile pitching prospects. Cessa just turned 21 this April, so his success in full season ball is more interesting than when a college guy breezes through the league's more inexperienced hitters. Highlighting one of the problems that accompanies signing 16-year-olds, Cessa will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft for a second time this year. Given his success (and assuming it continues), he may be attractive enough for another team to take a shot at hiding him in the back of a Major League bullpen for the 2014 season. After locking Hansel Robles into a 40-man spot last year, it'll be interesting to see if the Mets go the same route with Cessa, or whether they'll take their chances. If he does go unselected (or gets protected), I expect the Mets to move him one step at a time, meaning he'd start the 2014 season in the Florida State League. The Major Leagues are still very, very far away.

Age: 21
Acquired: 2008-09 International Period

Signing Bonus: Unknown (presumable minimal)
MLB ETA: 2016

Honorable Mention:

Rafael Montero, SP (AA) - 7.0 IP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Zack Wheeler, SP (AAA) - 6.0 IP, 1-0, 1.50 ERA, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Gabriel Ynoa, SP (A) - 9.0 IP, 1-0, 1.00 ERA, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Erik Goeddel, SP (AA) - 7.0 IP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Top Positional Prospect of the Week

Cesar Puello, 23 PA, .476/.522/1.048, 4 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K, 3 SB

The good news: Puello has put together a monster few weeks, lifting his season triple slash to .316/.395/.571. His .966 OPS ties him with 30-year-old Mark Minicozzi for 4th in the Eastern League. Puello is one of the youngest players in the league, he's all over the league leaderboards (7th in AVG (.316), 8th in OBP (.395), 1st in SLG (.571), 2nd in ISO (.254), 8th in HR (10), 3rd in SB (16), AND he plays a position the Mets desparately need more production from (OF). And then there's the bad news. This past winter, Puello's name came up in a scandal involving PED allegations. To date, no suspensions have been handed out, but his is one of two dozen or so names that has been leaked. This information was in the news again yesterday, but it's hardly new. So if Puello was intentionally taking any banned substance back when the news broke, I have to assume he stopped. Maybe I'm wearing my blue-and-orange glasses, but that gives me reasonable justification for believing that this breakout season of his is not chemically enhanced. It isn't the last we've heard on the subject, though, that's for sure. That ugliness aside, I look forward to seeing what Puello can do against the next level out in the Pacific Coast League. As a member of the 40-man who plays a totally unblocked position, it'd be great if he could position himself for a September call-up, and a de facto audition for a starting spot on the 2014 Mets.

Age: 22
Acquired: 2007-08 International Period
Signing Bonus: $400,000
MLB ETA: 2014 (maybe late 2013)

Honorable Mention:

Travis Taijeron, OF (A+) - 25 PA, .429/.520/1.19, 5 R, 1 2B, 5 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K
Darrell Ceciliani, OF (AA) - 29 PA, .429/.448/.571, 4 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 SB
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF (AAA) - 28 PA, .292/.393/.667, 6 R, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 SB
Daniel Muno, 2B (AA) - 30 PA, .320/.393/.520, 6 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 SB

Top Age 27+ Minor Leaguer of the Week

Carlos Torres, SP (AAA) - 9.0 IP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 K

Prior Weeks

Week 8: Jack Leathersich, Wilmer Flores
Week 7: Steven Matz, Cesar Puello
Week 6: Matt Bowman, Cory Vaughn
Week 5: Zack Wheeler, Aderlin Rodriguez
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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