Discussing the state of the Mets farm system

Baseball America has released their Top 10 Prospect List for the Mets, which breaks down as follows:

Rank Pos Name
1 RHP Zack Wheeler
2 SS Gavin Cecchini
3 OF Brandon Nimmo
4 RHP Luis Mateo
5 RHP Rafeal Montero
6 3B-2B Wilmer Flores
7 RHP Michael Fulmer
8 RHP Jeurys Familia
9 RHP Domingo Tapia
10 RHP Cory Mazzoni









Meanwhile, in preparation for his annual Top 20 Prospects list, Minor League Ball’s John Sickels poses a variety of questions to his site’s community about the state of the Mets farm system, including:

“Is Harvey as good as he’s going to get, or might he improve further beyond where he already is?”

“How much Triple-A time do you think Zack Wheeler needs?”

“What role do you see for Jeurys Familia going forward? Starter or reliever?”

Is Wilmer Flores being overlooked and underrated, after being overhyped early in his career?

In his look forward to 2013, Sickels ranked Wheeler as the fifth best pitching prospect in baseball, while ranking Flores as the league’s 28th best hitting prospect.

Meanwhile, Baseball America has released their top ten prospect rankings for the Mets, and lists Wheeler as their top prospect.

Gavin Cecchini and Brandon Nimmo follow Wheeler respectively, Flores is listed as the Mets’ sixth best prospect, Michael Fulmer seventh, and Jeurys Familia is listed as their eighth best prospect.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The BA list is intriguing, with a few new names added to the list from last year to this year, which is exciting…

Also, these are very good questions from Sickels, and you should definitely go read his discussion, because it’s a smart community looking at this from the outside in. If perception is reality, it’s a good take on where this team’s farm system may actually be, as opposed to where you and I think it should be.

That said, here are my quick answers: Yes, Harvey is this good and he’s dedicated to being better; Wheeler starts in Triple-A, but – like Harvey in 2012 – he’ll be the first kid called on to fill a long-term void next season; Familia should be a reliever; lastly, yes, at just 21, Wilmer is underrated as a hitter, and after slugging in hitter-friendly Vegas next summer he’s going to be a top hitting prospect soon, though I still have no idea what position he ends up playing.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Baseball America lists some terrific talents, but with the exception of Wheeler and maybe Flores, most of these players are still years away from the big league level. In addition, seven of the ten players listed are right-handed pitchers, and while it’s always good to have a strong crop of pitching in the Minor Leagues, the Mets still lack a lot of quality position player prospects in their system. Sandy Alderson said this week he is pleased with the early returns from the 2011 draft (this administration’s first amateur draft), and so they clearly believe the Minor League system is slowly improving. These things take time and undoubtedly change as the years progress, but I’d like to see a better blend of position players in BA’s list a year from now.