So we’re a few weeks into the season but it’s not too late to come out with our official list of top prospects. Throughout the week we’ll be counting down from 20 all the way down to 1. So without further adieu let’s start the prospect countdown:
20. Akeel Morris – Morris rounds out the top 20 because he owns one of the most electric arms in the organization. Such electricity brings a lot of strikeouts, but it also brings control issues and a lot of walks. Morris is still not in full-season ball, so he has a lot of time left to learn how to control his pitches better and hone is stuff, but in the mean time a guy that can throw heat the way he does should be interesting to watch.
19. Erik Goeddel – If Goeddel can get back on the mound, he has potential to become a nice bullpen arm for the Mets, it will certainly be interesting to see if they convert him to the pen or not, as it appears that his arm struggled with the stress of being a starting pitcher. He pitched well before being injured and has the potential to have two plus pitches, so all hope is not lost.
18. Aderlin Rodriguez – Rodriguez ranks here because he has a lot of raw power. Last year as a 19-year old he hit 17 homeruns while playing half of his games in pitching friendly Grayson Stadium in Savannah. His power and youth will continue to give him a chance to prove himself as a prospect for years to come, which is a good thing because other than his power he doesn’t have a whole lot going for him. He does not hit for a good enough average and his walk rate is low while his strikeout rate is high. Also, his defense at third base is subpar, despite having a strong enough arm to play the position. His power is too much to ignore, but if he can’t become more of a well-rounded player in the next couple of years he’ll top out as a homerun-hitting AAA player.
17. Juan Urbina – Urbina was a major international signing, and although the results haven’t been there yet, he is not yet 19 so he has plenty of time to reach his potential, which is rather high. Any lefty who can throw in the 90’s is going to be a guy to watch, let alone one with a potential plus breaking pitch and great bloodlines from his father Ugueth, who pitched in the big leagues for 11 years. Keep an eye out for Urbina to breakout at some point, because he is young and loaded with talent.
16. Matt Den Dekker – One would have to search far and wide to find a better defensive centerfielder than Den Dekker. He has plus speed, gets good reads on the ball, and has a propensity for making spectacular plays. That defensive prowess is his biggest asset in making it to the major leagues. The question with Den Dekker is whether or not his hitting will be enough to make him an everyday player. He is coming off a season in which he had an outburst of power with 32 doubles, 11 triples, and 17 homeruns. However, his strikeout rate was way too high and he still hasn’t proven that he can consistently hit lefties in the upper levels. Moving forward he’ll need to improve against lefties and show a diminished strike out rate while still being able to hit for some power. If he can do that then he may just be the Mets centerfield of the future, but if not he projects more as a fourth outfielder.