2011 Top 10 Prospects: Florida Marlins and New York Mets

Florida Marlins: Top 10 Prospects

1. Chad James / SP / With some important graduations in 2010, Florida’s system is existing on fumes. James is the best shot they have at a Top-100 prospect, and he is obviously no sure thing. He has upside in his three-pitch mix, albeit far from that of an ace.
2. Brad Hand / SP / Hand was one of the few Marlin farmhands to take a step forward in 2010. His fastball / curveball combo played to success at High-A and his command sharpened up, although he made it a habit of hitting too much of the strike zone at times, as evidenced by his hit rate.
3. Matt Dominguez / 3B / Dominguez continues to come up short with the stick. His 34 doubles were a nice addition to his stat line, and his walk rate has improved, but it’s looking like, at best, he will be nothing more than average offensively as a third baseman.
4. Kyle Skipworth / C / Skipworth received the opportunity to repeat the Sally League and he took advantage, albeit to modest results. His game took a step up across the board, but he is still not making enough contact to survive higher levels.
5. Osvaldo Martinez / 2B/SS / Martinez is off many radar screens right now, but he embodies the prototypical scrappy, tough out middle infielder. Those types always make their way to the majors, and some even turn into positive regulars.
6. Marcell Ozuna / OF / Ozuna carries some serious power in his bat, and is a great one to watch from an upside perspective. Most of his game is raw, but the 20 year old has garnered a following.
7. Rob Rasmussen / SP/RP / There isn’t much upside to speak of, but Rasmussen has polish and four usable pitches, although none of them stand out.
8. Christian Yelich / OF/1B / Yelich’s swing doesn’t impress, and his power upside is a big question mark. Florida sees something in him, however. They saw enough to reach for him in the first round and will give him a chance to impress his doubters.
9. Jhan Marinez / RP / With an impressive slider in his back pocket, Marinez has a late-inning future in Florida’s bullpen. Whether or not he can be a successful closer will depend on how his body and fastball mature.
10. Tom Koehler / SP / Koehler quietly put together a stellar year at Double-A Jacksonville, and even posted an astounding strikeout rate considering his average at best stuff. He is a competitor who knows how to get guys out.

Florida Marlins: Top 10 Players Under Age 26 (as of 4/1/11)

1. Mike Stanton / OF
2. Logan Morrison / OF/1B
3. Chris Volstad / SP
4. Chris Coghlan / OF
5. Chad James / SP
6. Brad Hand / SP
7. Matt Dominguez / 3B
8. Emilio Bonifacio / 3B/OF/2B
9. Kyle Skipworth / C
10. Osvaldo Martinez / 2B/SS

New York Mets: Top 10 Prospects

1. Wilmer Flores / 3B/SS / His 36 doubles and relatively low strikeout rate are great signs for Flores, a talented teenager holding his own wherever he goes. He is the Mets’ unquestioned No. 1 prospect.
2. Reese Havens / 2B/3B/SS / Havens has a well-rounded bat that could prove to be adequate enough to excel at third base, let alone a middle infield position. Health is the concern with Havens, but let’s bite and take an aggressive approach.
3. Aderlin Rodriguez / 3B / Rodriguez put up some gaudy numbers in the Appalachian League and even has the makings of a solid approach at the plate. He is athletic, projectable, and, despite his current deficiencies, finds himself high up on this list.
4. Matt Harvey / RP/SP / Harvey was a wild overdraft in 2010, as his stuff and delivery seem better suited for the bullpen, where he could be a standout, rather than starting. The Mets must see something more than most do, so he finds his way into the Top 10.
5. Brad Emaus / 2B/3B/OF / Emaus came in at No. 9 on Toronto’s 2011 Top-10 list before being selected by the Mets in the Rule 5 draft. Many gave up on Emaus after a lousy 2009 campaign. Still largely unheralded, Emaus stepped his all-around offensive game up a notch, displaying the skills necessary to be an asset in the majors. The rumor is that New York will give him a shot at second base, but his defense there will have to be seen to be believed.
6. Cesar Puello / OF / Puello’s walk rate needs to improve dramatically, and there isn’t much power to speak of, which is concerning for a projected corner outfielder, but Puello, just 19, has a steady bat and the look of a playmaker on the basepaths.
7. Cory Vaughn / OF / Vaughn opened eyes with some big power numbers in short-season ball. He showed a solid approach at the plate as well, but, given his age, will undoubtedly need to prove his worth at higher levels.
8. Jeurys Familia / SP/RP / Besides his 137 strikeouts and relatively strong groundball rate, Familia did little to help his stock. His curveball was maddeningly inconsistent and his fastball didn’t take the next step. Still, youth is on his side.
9. Dillon Gee / SP / Some call Gee a junkballer, others call him crafty. He has solid command of everything he throws and knows how to compete. In the majors he could make a good back-end-of-the-rotation option.
10. Kirk Nieuwenhuis / OF / Nieuwenhuis has his place in this weak system, but gets a lot of undeserved love. He still has some upside to work with, but looks the part of a borderline platoon corner outfielder who you’re always looking to replace.

New York Mets: Top 10 Players Under Age 26 (as of 4/1/11)
1. Jenrry Mejia / SP/RP
2. Wilmer Flores / 3B/SS
3. Ike Davis / 1B
4. Fernando Martinez / OF
5. Jonathon Niese / SP
6. Josh Thole / C
7. Ruben Tejada / 2B
8. Reese Havens / 2B/3B/SS
9. Aderlin Rodriguez / 3B
10. Matt Harvey / RP/SP

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  1. Jacob Rothberg said...

    It’s hard to believe that Jays couldn’t pick up something for Emaus in a trade (maybe packaged with Marcum?) rather than leaving him unprotected and losing him for nothing.

  2. Mark said...

    I dig the aggressive ranking of Havens, but past that I’m a bit confused. 

    First, I haven’t seen Harvey described elsewhere as a “wild overdraft,” though the concerns you cite are the common ones.  He looks to me like a guy with a #2 SP ceiling and quality reliever floor, or even closer.  He was probably the best combination of floor and upside of any pitcher on the board when the Mets selected him, though if they wanted to focus one way or the other there were better options.  He was certainly the best of the remaining guys who fit the Omar SP draft mold of a big righty with a fastball that had good combo of movement and velocity. 

    Second, I don’t see how you can put Aderlin so high and then Puello and Nieuwenhuis so low.  For now, it appears there’s just about as little chance that Aderlin sticks at 3B as Wilmer at SS, and for a rookie baller who’s not ridiculously young, the numbers don’t necessarily mean a whole lot.  I agree he’s a Top 10, but more like a back half guy.  Is what he did in the Appy League really all that different from what Jefry Marte’s been doing in the SAL (not forgetting he also tore up rookie ball when he was even younger)?  Marte’s overall numbers are ugly, but he’s only six months older and has two years in full season ball already, and was showing some legit signs of life in the second half of 2010.  Not saying he should be higher than Aderlin, but they should at least be close. 

    Third, Puello strikes me as the classic example of the “tweener fallacy”.  From a fantasy standpoint I suppose this doesn’t matter, in leagues that differentiate RF/CF/LF it looks like he’ll be a RF (though its not entirely clear why he’s been stuck in RF and not CF with his defensive production/rep, and with a development regime he might get some reps in CF).  But IRL, his defensive numbers and scouting reports match up and indicate excellence.  Also bearing in mind that the average level of COF defense actually decreases at higher levels, and that his speed and arm tools are both considered pluses, we can essentially treat him as an above average CF, sort of the way Carl Crawford is treated defensively.  Crawford actually strikes me as a solid best-case-scenario for Puello. 

    Fourth, while I agree that Nieuwenhuis is overrated, I think you’re viewing him as so overrated that you’re underrating him here.  He’s had back to back solid campaigns in Hi-A and Double-A and wasn’t old for either league.  He’s shown solid improvement across the board each pro season, especially for a guy coming out of an NAIA school.  His BB and K rates are troubling, but I don’t think its at all clear he has less upside than Cory Vaughn, and he clearly has the higher floor and is much closer to reaching his potential. 

    Fifth, I agree with your ranking of Familia, but one of the things I was really looking for this year was a shift in his platoon marks, especially in terms of bat missing.  His command fell apart, but he missed a LOT more left handed bats this year, which was almost exactly what my positive developmental expectation of him last offseason.  To me, this indicates an unpolished but improving third pitch, which still strikes me as progress from his quality 2009 campaign.

  3. Jay said...

    Bonifacio at #8 in players under 26?

    I know he’s been injured but surely Sean West’s potential as a mid-rotation innings eater (he’ll likely break camp as the number #4 or #5) merits higher ranking than Bonerface.

  4. noise said...

    Also, how can you rank Martinez #4 on the top 10 under 26?  I’ve always had hope for him to be healthy, but at some point, you have to give it up.  Especially now that he’s been diagnosed with the same arthiritic condition Carlos Beltran has.

  5. Avi said...

    Matt, great list – thought it balanced potential with realistic expectations of these two barren farms. Can you share with us your brief take on Jenrry Mejia? Where he ranks now and his outlook in 2011 and beyond? Has anything changed, positively or negatively, his delivery and stuff since least year? I assume he was left off after his disastrous MLB stint exhausted his prospect limits.

  6. Edgy DC said...

    “Why is Lucas Duda all of the sudden considered a top prospect?”

    It’s not particularly all of a sudden.  Baseball America has the guy as number seven, and that includes Mejia.

    I guess he got too many big league reps to fit the prospect criteria tha this list uses.

  7. garik16 said...

    “8. Jeurys Familia / SP/RP / Besides his 137 strikeouts and relatively strong groundball rate, Familia did little to help his stock. His curveball was maddeningly inconsistent and his fastball didn’t take the next step. Still, youth is on his side.”

    Errr, what?  “Fastball didn’t take the next step?!?!”  Familia arguably didn’t’ take the next step, but his fastball velocity increased from 92-93 to averaging 97.  That’s going from potentially good pitch to potentially great pitch.  I’d say that’s a next step, even if the control of the pitch needs work.

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