The Mets rookie-ball affiliates had their season openers earlier this week, and now every minor league team in the organization is playing baseball. The rookie level teams in the Gulf Coast League and Kingsport of the Appalachian League are home to plenty of teenagers, as well as kids fresh out of college. Instead of going through the whole rosters, let’s just take a look at the players worth keeping an eye on, even at a young age.
Michael Hebert, RHP: Hebert has a serious heater, and now in his 4th professional season will hopefully prove himself worthy of moving onto A-ball.
Akeel Morris, RHP: At just 18 years old from St. Thomas, Morris has an electric arm. In 24 innings last year, he struck out 28 and had a 2.19 ERA in the GCL.
Hansel Robles, RHP: After 2 years in the Dominican Summer League, Robles has graduated to the States, and deservedly so with an ERA below 3 and a WHIP of 1.12 over the past 2 years.
Domingo Tapia, RHP: Still a teenager, Tapia is throwing in the low 90’s and reaching as high as 94. He could quickly rise up the prospect rankings in the next couple years.
Juan Urbina, LHP: The son of a former major leaguer. Pitched well in roughly 2 out of every 3 starts last year. He just turned 18 at the end of May, and is easily one of the top 15-20 prospects the Mets have.
Ernesto Yanez, RHP: A promising youngster from Venezuela who faired well in the GCL last year.
Camden Maron, C: A local product from Huntington, NY played in the GCL the past 2 years with an OBP and slugging percentage both above .400.
Alexander Sanchez, 1B: A 20-year old slugger who crushed the Dominican Summer League 2 years ago and hit 16 doubles, a triple, and 2 homeruns in the GCL last year.
Julio Concepcion, OF: Just like Sanchez, Concepcion had 19 extra base (10 doubles, 5 triples, 4 homeruns) hits in the GCL last year. He slugged .466.
The K-Met’s rotation is highlighted by Urbina, Tapia, and Morris, which is the rookie league equivalent to having Jenrry Mejia, Matt Harvey, and Jeurys Familia in the same rotation. Very exciting stuff!
Carlos Gomez, RHP: Last year in the Dominican, this Venezuelan went 7-2 with a 1.47 ERA; that’s enough to win a trip to the GCL, especially for a 19-year old.
Rainy Lara, RHP: Last year in the Dominican, Lara had an ERA under 2, a WHIP under 1 and a pretty good strikeout rate, especially for a teenager.
Steven Matz, LHP: He won’t be ready for opening day, but Matz should make his professional debut soon. If he can blow away the competition early on, he may get a quick promotion to Kingsport or possibly Brooklyn.
Gabriel Ynoa, RHP: He was the opening day starter after an ERA under 2 and a WHIP below 1 in the Dominican last year. Not bad for someone who is barely 18.
Gilbert Gomez, OF: He will repeat the GCL after a .229 average and 11 doubles there last year, but a 19-year old with a 6’3’’ frame is worth monitoring.
Eudy Pina, OF: He tore up the Dominican last year with 21 extra-base hits, a .310 average, and a .435 slugging percentage.