New York Mets logoNew York Mets

Stock Up, Stock Down for New York Mets' Top 10 Prospects for Week 3

Matthew MusicoContributor IIIApril 20, 2014

Stock Up, Stock Down for New York Mets' Top 10 Prospects for Week 3

1 of 11

    David Goldman

    Another week is gone, and another week of updates is here for the top 10 prospects in the New York Mets organization.

    The big league team came to life on a nine-game road trip last week and enters a series tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field while sporting a 9-9 record.

    Ike Davis getting traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for reliever Zack Thornton and a player to be named later made a lot of news over the weekend. His departure allows Lucas Duda to get most of the playing time at first base.

    However, this deal doesn’t completely solve the issue of an inconsistent bullpen, along with lackluster play at shortstop.

    Could there be help on the way in the minor leagues? Let’s take a look and see how some of the organization’s top prospects have performed over the past week.

     

    Prospect rankings courtesy of MLB.com. Player statistics sourced from MiLB.com.

    *No. 5 prospect Amed Rosario hasn’t started his season yet with the Brooklyn Cyclones. He will not be included until he’s active. The Cyclones begin their season on June 13.

No. 11 Prospect: SP Steven Matz, High-A St. Lucie

2 of 11

    Jeff Roberson

    2014 Stats

    3 GS, 1-1, 2.00 ERA, 3 BB, 17 K, 18 IP

     

    Overview

    The Mets selected Steven Matz in the second round of the 2009 MLB draft, but he didn’t throw his first professional pitch until 2012 due to a slow recovery from Tommy John surgery.

    He’s since propelled himself into the conversation as one of the organization’s best pitching prospects.

    After posting a 2.62 ERA in Low-A Savannah through 106.1 innings pitched last season, he’s continued dominating in the Florida State League. He owns a low-90s fastball to go with a curveball and changeup.

    In an interview with Robert Brender of MetsBlog, big league pitching coach Dan Warthen compares Matz to Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. With two Cy Young awards to Kershaw’s name over the last three years, that’s good company to be in.

    Matz has gotten stronger with each St. Lucie appearance, throwing more innings while surrendering fewer hits every time he takes the mound. If he continues this trend, the 22-year-old southpaw could find himself in Double-A Binghamton by midseason.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    1 GS, W, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 10 Prospect: 2B Dilson Herrera, High-A St. Lucie

3 of 11

    2014 Stats

    16 G, .338/.387/.456, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 16 R

     

    Overview

    Herrera continued his hot start to the 2014 season last week by being a catalyst at the top of St. Lucie's lineup in the leadoff spot. His ability to get on base and score runs has helped the Mets post a 9-7 record in the Florida State League, winning seven of their last 10 games.

    The second baseman has been especially hot during his current 10-game hitting streak, posting a .391/.420/.565 triple slash during that time. He also scored at least one run in each of his past nine games, a streak that was snapped on Saturday in a loss against the Fort Myers Miracle.

    It's interesting the right-handed hitter has done most of his damage early this season against right-handed pitchers. He's hitting .378 against them in 45 at-bats while posting a .261 mark against southpaws in 23 at-bats.

    Each solid performance further solidifies last summer’s trade that brought him and Vic Black to Flushing from the Pirates was a fantastic move by the front office.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    9-for-26, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 9 R

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 9 Prospect: SS Gavin Cecchini, Low-A Savannah

4 of 11

    2014 Stats

    14 G, .236/.311/.382, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 11 R

     

    Overview

    Gavin Cecchini continues his slow start out of the gates this season for the Savannah Sand Gnats. He did have a four-game hitting streak during the week, but that was snapped on April 17 against the Greenville Drive.

    Not surprisingly, the shortstop has struggled at the plate when playing in front of the home crowd at Historic Grayson Stadium. He's hitting just .167/.242/.267 through eight games in Savanah, while posting a .320/.393/.520 line in six games on the road.

    Cecchini collected all four hits this week while on the road against the Augusta GreenJackets, including a home run and a double. That success halted once the Sand Gnats returned home, as he proceeded to go 0-for-6 since.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    4-for-17, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 4 R

     

    Stock

    Even

No. 8 Prospect: RF Cesar Puello, Triple-a Las Vegas

5 of 11

    Jeff Roberson

    2014 Stats

    18 G, .228/.267/.263, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R

     

    Overview

    Cesar Puello hasn’t carried his solid showing in big league camp this spring into the Pacific Coast League season with the Las Vegas 51s. He hit .364/.533/.545 in 11 Grapefruit League at-bats.

    It was a small sample size, but he was impressive, especially after missing the last 50 games last season because of his Biogenesis suspension.

    Following a breakout season in Double-A Binghamton (.326/.403/.547 with 16 home runs, 73 RBI and 24 stolen bases), there’s hope he can continue this production at the next level.

    So far, that hasn’t happened as he collected just two extra-base hits through his first 57 at-bats. He’s struck out 16 times while drawing two walks. Puello has never had the reputation of being patient and selective at the plate, but showed great strides in his plate discipline in 2013.

    He credited the work Luis Natera did with him while with the B-Mets. Hopefully, he’ll be able to bust out of his slump and find his way without Natera around.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    3-for-20, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R

     

    Stock

    Down

No. 7 Prospect: C Kevin Plawecki, Double-A Binghamton

6 of 11

    2014 Stats

    9 G, .286/.359/.343, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 5 R

     

    Overview

    Kevin Plawecki only played in three games this week thanks to two rainouts on the road against the Portland Sea Dogs. They're in the middle of a seven-game home stand and are fresh off a three-game sweep of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

    The B-Mets now welcome the Sea Dogs to NYSEG Stadium where Plawecki has found some early season success in his first true taste of Double-A competition. Through six games in front of the home fans, he's hitting .304/.385/.304.

    Most of his at-bats have come against right-handers (30-of-35), but all of the damage Plawecki has done in 2014 has taken place while facing southpaws. In just five at-bats against lefties, he has two doubles and one RBI, accounting for all of his power thus far.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    3-for-10, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 R

     

    Stock

    Even

No. 6 Prospect: CF Brandon Nimmo, High-A St. Lucie

7 of 11

    2014 Stats

    16 G, .381/.480/.508, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 18 R

     

    Overview

    Brandon Nimmo has shown no signs of slowing down after a very hot start with St. Lucie. He's one of the youngest in the Florida State League but is among the league leaders in several offensive categories.

    His .381 batting average and .480 on-base percentage both rank second-best in the league, while his 18 runs scored are at the top of the leaderboard. It's much easier to score runs at a high clip when a player is getting on base consistently, such as Nimmo has.

    He's had his issues hitting left-handed pitching but has shown the ability to adjust so far in 2014. Nimmo is hitting a healthy .364/.440/.500 against southpaws in 22 at-bats, including a double, triple and five RBI.

    Nimmo's 10 hits came in bunches last week, enjoying four multi-hit games.

    The results have been even better while playing at Tradition Field, with a .455 batting average through 33 at-bats. The first four years of his professional career went rather slowly, as he was trying to figure himself out as a ballplayer.

    His body is finally starting to fill out a bit, and it's translating to success on the field. If he continues tearing up opposing pitching, he could be in Double-A sometime this summer.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    10-for-26, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 6 R

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 4 Prospect: SS/2B Wilmer Flores, Triple-A Las Vegas

8 of 11

    Carlos Osorio

    2014 Stats

    15 G, .258/.338/.371, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 8 R

     

    Overview

    After a momentary promotion to the big leagues while Daniel Murphy was on paternity leave, Wilmer Flores has spent the majority of 2014 as shortstop for the 51s.

    He encountered a dreadful start, but his bat has finally come to life. In addition to hitting his first home run of the year, he also collected two doubles and a triple. That accounts for all of his extra-base hits so far.

    Flores is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak, including three two-hit games.

    Another noteworthy statistic is how he’s performed when behind in the count. Through 30 at-bats in this situation, he’s hitting .333/.333/.433 with a double, triple and five RBI.

    As Ruben Tejada continues struggling in the big leagues, Flores is waiting in the wings, getting more experience at shortstop. If he proves he can handle the position, and his bat keeps making noise, he could be back at Citi Field soon.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    10-for-28, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 8 R

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 3 Prospect: 1B Dominic Smith, Low-A Savannah

9 of 11

    2014 Stats

    14 G, .154/.170/.154, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3 R

     

    Overview

    Dominic Smith's solid 2013 campaign and encouraging spring training convinced the Mets he could skip a level and head straight for full-season baseball in Savannah.

    So far, it's been an absolute struggle for the young first baseman. Mike Newman of RotoScouting recently watched Smith play against the Rome Braves and came away concerned with what he saw.

    Smith has been jumping out at the ball a lot, which is why Newman saw him basically playing pepper with the second baseman throughout the two days he watched. In order for him to get back into a groove at the plate, he needs to relax and let the ball travel in the strike zone longer.

    That will allow him to use the whole field more often and record his first extra-base hit of 2014.

    It's concerning to hear of Smith struggling as much as he has in the season's first month, but it's easy to forget he'll only be turning 19 years old this June. He's very young and has a lot of learning to do.

    This slump could be a valuable lesson for Smith moving forward once he busts out of it. For now, he's searching for that one swing that gets him back on track.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    1-for-14, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 R

     

    Stock

    Down

No. 2 Prospect: SP Rafael Montero, Triple-A Las Vegas

10 of 11

    Jeff Roberson

    2014 Stats

    4 GS, 2-0, 3.80 ERA, 6 BB, 24 K, 21.1 IP

     

    Overview

    Rafael Montero turned in his least successful start of the year after three straight strong outings. Unlike those previous three starts, he got hit hard, with the opponents collecting six knocks to the tune of a .333 batting average.

    His control wasn't there like it has been recently, as half of his walks allowed this season came on April 18 against the Reno Aces. He still collected a high number of strikeouts in such a short outing, which is encouraging given the overall results.

    Not all of Montero's outings will be dominant, especially since he's pitching in the PCL. What's most important is how he bounces back from these tough starts. He showed last season he was mentally strong enough to handle less than stellar results, and then follow it up by going out the next time and pitching well.

    That's the type of mentality all pitchers need, but especially relievers, which he could be very soon.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    2 GS, W, 10.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 10 K

     

    Stock

    Even

No. 1 Prospect: SP Noah Syndergaard, Triple-A Las Vegas

11 of 11

    Carlos Osorio

    2014 Stats

    4 GS, 2-2, 4.95 ERA, 8 BB, 15 K, 20 IP

     

    Overview

    Following a subpar performance in his second start of the year on April 9 against the Sacramento River Cats, manager Wally Backman gave Noah Syndergaard a challenge.

    Backman already mentioned his tempo on the mound had to speed up, but Mike Puma of the New York Post reported the manager also wanted him to be more aggressive.

    “Thor” was asked whether he wants to be considered a middle-of-the-rotation starter in the big leagues or a front-line starter. His answer was obvious, and he took that attitude out to the mound on Monday, looking much better in his third appearance for the 51s.

    His next start on Saturday didn’t go as well.

    He posted a season-low in innings pitched (four), while giving up the most earned runs (four) and walks allowed (three) during one start in 2014.

    The steps forward he took on Monday looked to be momentarily erased after his most recent outing. It’s a learning process for the tall right-hander. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back this week.

     

    Last Week’s Stats:

    2 GS, 1-1, 9 IP, 11 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 8 K

     

    Stock

    Even

     

    Matt's baseball opinions have been featured on MLB Trade Rumors, Yahoo! Sports, MetsBlog, Amazin' Avenue and Mets Merized Online. To keep up with Matt, you can follow him on Twitter.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices