This morning, Baseball Prospectus released its list of the top 101 prospects in baseball. There are four Mets on the list: RHP Zack Wheeler (5th), Catcher Travis d’Arnaud (15th), RHP Noah Syndergaard (28th), and RHP Michael Fulmer (98th).
Feb 23, 2013; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (65) throws in the third inning during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus describes what went into producing the list:
"This list was conceptualized and constructed in late December, and finalized and submitted for the Baseball Prospectus annual in early January. I have avoided it ever since out of revisionist fear. When this particular list was created, the Baseball Prospectus prospect crew was only two months into the team top 10 lists, having found our rhythm in the process but only scratched the surface of all the talent in the minors. With countless emails, calls, texts, IMs, letters, and Candygrams exchanged between members of the BP team and members of the baseball industry, we played prospect Nostradamus and worked ahead of the team lists, spelunking for information like we had never spelunked before. It was a stressful time, but also one of the most rewarding of my career, a daily debate about prospects that consumed all available energy and intellect. It was a prospect boot camp, and I loved every second of it."
Below is a a blurb from Rising Apple on each Mets prospect on the list:
RHP Zack Wheeler, 5th – Wheeler, 22, was ranked 30th by BP in 2012. He rose 25 spots, and the only pitchers ahead of him are Gerrit Cole of the Pirates (4th) and Dylan Bundy of the Orioles (3rd). Wheeler is on the cusp, and will most likely open 2013 with AAA Las Vegas. His fastball is electric, and that’s what he’ll work off of. His curveball is viewed as plus and is his best secondary offering. He also features a developing changeup. Wheeler needs to work on his control a bit (he averaged 3.3 walks per 9 last year in AA), but it isn’t a glaring issue. Wheeler has true ace potential, and could arrive in Flushing around May or June.
Catcher Travis d’Arnaud, 15th – d’Arnaud, 24, was acquired from Toronto in the R.A. Dickey trade. He was ranked 16th by BP in 2012. His season was cut short last year in AAA when he injured his knee sliding into second base in an attempt to break up a double play. If it wasn’t for the injury (that didn’t require surgery), d’Arnaud would have likely been called up to Toronto during the second half of last season. He’s the highest ranked catcher on BP’s list (Mike Zunino of Seattle is ranked 33rd). d’Arnaud is expected to hit for both power and average in the bigs, and is seen as an already average defender with the potential to be above average. It’s unlikely he’ll break camp with the Mets due to the fact that the team wants to ensure an extra year of control, but he should arrive in the bigs in late April or early May.
RHP Noah Syndergaard, 28th – Syndergaard, 20, was also acquired from Toronto in the R.A. Dickey trade. He was ranked 93rd by BP in 2012. Pitching in High A ball last season, Syndergaard posted a 2.60 ERA and a WHIP of 1.08. He struck out 122 batters over 103.2 innings pitched. He works mainly off his fastball that sits in the mid-90’s, and a developing curve that he throws in the mid-70’s. He’s expected to begin 2013 with high A St. Lucie, and will likely rise to AA Binghamton before the season concludes. Syndergaard has the upside to be a front of the rotation starter, but his arrival in Queens will likely be in late 2014 or early 2015.
RHP Michael Fulmer, 98th – Fulmer, who will turn 20 in March, was drafted 44th overall by the Mets in 2011. He was unranked last season. He excelled at Low A Savannah last season, and is expected to open 2013 with High A St. Lucie. Some scouts project him as a middle of the rotation starter, while others feel his upside is higher. Fulmer was nice enough to speak with Rising Apple back on February 5th about his repertoire, expectations, and more. That interview can be read here. Like Syndergaard, Fulmer is likely a few years away from contributing at the big league level.