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New York Mets prospects

New York Mets: 10 undervalued prospects to watch this season

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PHILADELPHIA - MAY 01: Batting helmets are seen during batting practice before the Philadelphia Phillies play the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on May 1, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - MAY 01: Batting helmets are seen during batting practice before the Philadelphia Phillies play the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on May 1, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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Mets
Mets

Christian James RHP

James is a low ceiling, high floor prospect. Therefore, he is the least exciting kind of prospect. This doesn’t mean he has no value to the Mets organization, though.

Every team needs a back of the rotation starter to eat up innings and James certainly has potential to do that in the future. He complements a 90 mph sinker with a plus slider and an average changeup to go with decent command that continues to improve.

He threw 80.2 innings between Low-A, High-A, and Double-A ball last year, allowing only 17 runs (1. 90 ERA) along the way. The results, coupled with his multiple promotions, may indicate that James is on his way to competing for a big league spot in a couple of years.

If he improves on his control and continues to dominate next year in Double-A, he may jump on some more radars and ultimately reach his ceiling of a 4th or 5th starter.

Mickey Jannis RHP

Jannis was taken by the Rays in the 44th round of the 2010 draft. Since then, he was released after about a year and chose to play independent ball from 2012 through 2014. Then the Mets signed him. He’s 5’9’’ and 31 years old, so why do we care about him?

He throws a knuckleball. Now, I’m not saying he will be the next R.A. Dickey. But, you never know, right? Sometimes a knuckleballer is just one adjustment away from being dominant. R.A. Dickey was. Once something clicks, a knuckleball pitcher can become completely unhittable.

Guys like Tim Wakefield and Steven Wright were streaky for the Red Sox because of this phenomenon. Knuckleballers can be really good when they’re hot. That gives Jannis a high ceiling, albeit a really low floor. Still, I’m all for collecting lottery ticket prospects if the sole objective is to produce Major League talent.

Jannis allowed 57 runs through 142.1 innings (3.60 ERA) in Double-A last year, proving his longevity and ability to get outs. He had the same exact ERA through 122.1 Double-A innings last year as well, a testament to his consistency.

He was promoted for a couple of Triple-A starts in 2018 but was pretty bad, giving up 13 earned runs through 8 innings (14.63 ERA). If he can make the jump to Triple-A and succeed at that level, there is little doubt he’d receive a chance in the Major Leagues to try and keep hitters off-balance and maybe even catch lightning in a bottle.

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