Tonight on the MLB Network and via the internet at MLBPipeline.com, MLB.com unveiled their list of the top 100 prospects in baseball.
According to Jim Callis of MLB.com, Mets first base prospect Dominic Smith narrowly missed making the list.
It’s nice to see Rafael Montero starting to get the recognition he deserves. He didn’t crack the Top 100 prior to last season, but opened eyes in 2013.
The 23 year old was tremendous last season between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas. He posted a 2.43 ERA and miniscule 0.91 WHIP for Binghamton, before putting up a 3.05 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in the ridiculously hitter friendly PCL for Las Vegas.
Montero will be in the mix for the fifth starter job during spring training, but will most likely open the year back in Triple-A.
D’Arnaud, 24, was ranked 6th on this list last year, but fell to 22nd on this year’s list. That drop in the rankings had nothing to do with his ability, and everything to do with the fact that he missed a huge chunk of the season after breaking his foot. He’s still viewed as every bit the prospect he was when the Mets acquired him from Toronto, and he’ll have a chance to make an impression in the majors from the outset in 2014.
Syndergaard, 21, who was ranked 29th on this last a year ago, checked in at number 11. When you get that high on the list, it’s really a matter of semantics. Taijuan Walker and Archie Bradley were the only pitchers ranked ahead of Syndergaard.
Syndergaard’s numbers last year were fantastic, and were actually more impressive after he made the jump from High-A St. Lucie to Double-A Binghamton. One poor start for Binghamton late in the season skewed his ERA, but he still finished with a an ERA of 3.00 and a 1.07 WHIP to go along with 69 strikeouts in 54 innings pitched.
Syndergaard often toyed with hitters last year with his blazing fastball and hammer curve, and it’s expected that he’ll open the 2014 season with Triple-A Las Vegas. He’ll likely make his debut with the Mets shortly after the Super Two deadline passes.
Smith, 18, a left-handed hitting first baseman who profiles as someone who will hit for both average and power and play gold glove defense, barely missed making the list. If he performs in 2014 like he did last season, he’s a safe bet to appear on the top 100 when the midseason rankings come out.