After bringing you the New York Mets’ top prospects for 25-21, we continue our countdown here at New York Sports Hub with the next five.
The list so far goes as follows:
Honorable Mentions: Outfielder Ivan Wilson, Catcher Ali Sanchez, Shortstop Yeffry De Aza
25. Shortstop Milton Ramos
24. Pitcher Casey Meisner
23. Shortstop Phillip Evans
22. Pitcher Jack Leathersich
21. Pitcher Gabriel Ynoa
20. Left Handed Pitcher: Blake Taylor
The Mets acquired Taylor from the Pirates for Ike Davis during the 2014 season. Taylor was drafted in the second round of the 2013 draft and has spent his first season and a half of professional baseball in rookie ball leagues. Entering the 2015 season at just 19-years-old, Taylor has combined for a 3.48 era over 62 innings in his career so far. He throws his fastball in the lows 90’s, and has been reported to be able to reach 94-95, promising numbers for a young lefty. His off speed stuff consists of a curveball and slider, the curveball being the more impressive of the two. At 6’3, Taylor has a projectable body for a pitcher and has the ability to round all of his pitches to average or above average. Time will tell whether or not the Mets stole another solid prospect from the Pirates in consecutive seasons.
19. Center Fielder: Champ Stuart
The only hitter in this edition, Stuart’s most impressive tool is his speed, which has made him a physically intriguing prospect for the Mets. Stuart is 22, and will likely begin this season for the high-A level St. Lucie Mets. He is a top of the order hitter and a center fielder who was taken in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. Stuart hit .256/.341/.340 last season, with 29 stolen bases and 5 triples in 81 games. Along with his speed, his ability to get on base is extremely impressive, as his on base percentage was a full 85 points above his batting average last year. If he can improve his average and power slightly, he should become a big time prospect in the organization, as his ability to get on base allows him to use his plus speed to its full potential.
18. Right Handed Pitcher: Rob Whalen
So far, Rob Whalen has looked like a draft steal for the Mets, as the starter has impressed at every level after being taken in the twelfth round of the 2012 draft. In 143 inning over two seasons in the Mets minors, Whalen has posted a combined 1.89 era and a 3.68 strikeout to walk ratio, which would have been good for 12th in the MLB last season. In 2014 specifically, Whalen split time between the Gulf Coast League Mets and the low-A ball Savannah Sand Gnats. He pitched 69.2 innings, allowing 1.94 earned runs every nine. He throws low to mid 90’s, and mixes it up with a slider from a three quarter arm slot. He’s not the most exciting or most projectable athlete in the Mets system, but he has yet to show anything but dominance in the Mets system and adds to the outstanding pitching depth in the organization.
17. Right Handed Pitcher: Robert Gsellman
Gsellman is extremely similar to Whalen, as he was selected in the thirteenth round, throws from a three quarters arm slot, and has performed especially well so far in the Minor Leagues. Additionally, he throws his fastball in the low 90’s, and touches 95 at times. His primary secondary pitch is a curveball, which he mixes up with a change up. His curveball has been his go to out pitch, and projects to be an above average secondary offering. He played all of 2014 in low-A Savannah, and recorded a 2.55 era over 116.1 innings. He should begin next season in high-A St. Lucie, and is more than likely to get a midseason call up to Double-A Binghamton, if he pitches to his potential. At 21 years of age, Gsellman presents yet another promising young pitcher who has performed exceptionally well so far in the minors.
16. Right Handed Pitcher: Michael Fulmer
While Whalen and Gsellman are two guys that were picked late in the draft and have performed well above expectations, Fulmer was a high potential first round pick that has yet to live up to expectations. Most of his issues have been injury related, as Fulmer spent much of 2013 rehabbing a torn meniscus, and has yet to return to his pre-injury from. Before getting injured in 2012, Fulmer pitched 108 innings to the tune of a 2.74 era and 8.4 strikeouts per 9 innings. Last season, Fulmer pitched 95 innings for high-A St. Lucie and his era jumped to 3.97. He will be 22-years-old this season when he starts in Double-A Binghamton, so Fulmer will have ample opportunity to once again become a top pitching prospect. Before 2013, Baseball America had Fulmer as their 98th best prospect in baseball. With a K/9 ratio still around eight, a fastball in the mid 90’s, and a slider with very strong potential, Fulmer is my choice for the Mets’ biggest bounce back prospect and a guy that will be known by most fans by the end of 2015.