With the start of spring training quickly approaching, it’s time to unveil the official Real Dirty Mets top prospect list. This is probably the best the Mets farm system has been in several years, with some real gems at the top. And because the farm system is improving, we’ll be going through the Mets top 50 prospects. Today, let’s check out 46 – 50:
50. Tyler Vanderheiden, RP – There were at least a dozen possibilities for the 50th and final spot on the list, but I decided to go with Vanderheiden. Aside from having a long and difficult to spell last name, Vanderheiden is a submarine pitcher. The Mets took him in the 19th round last year, and he already has a niche that he’s hoping will carry him to the big leagues. In 22 innings for Brooklyn last summer, Vanderheiden had a 0.82 ERA and was a ground ball machine. The ceiling is obviously fairly low, but he knows who he is, knows his role, and knows what he has to do to get to the majors, and that means a lot at this stage in his career.
49. Logan Taylor, RP – The Mets took Taylor in the 11th round last year, and he had a successful debut in Brooklyn, with an ERA of 0.93, two walks, and 19 strikeouts in 19.1 innings. He has a nice 6’5’’ frame and has some room to fill out a little more. Taylor has a fastball in the low 90’s, a nice looking curve, and a fair amount of polish, which makes him one of the more promising arms the Mets drafted in 2012.
48. Chase Huchingson, LP – Huchingson had an up and down season in 2012, but he was a Florida State League all-star and the Mets did choose to send him to the Arizona Fall League for additional seasoning. For the most part he’s been a starter, but he’ll eventually move into the bullpen, where he’ll have a chance to make it to the big leagues as a LOOGY. He throws hard enough and has decent stuff; it’s just a matter of being ready when called upon and being consistent with his performance.
47. Albert Cordero, C – Cordero took a huge, and I mean huge, step backwards in 2012 after I ranked him 20th heading into the season. He had a stellar second half in 2011, but was disappointed by the return to Savannah in 2012 and tried to swing his way to a promotion in every at bat, which is why he ended up with a line of .194/.276/.270 in 2012. He stays in the top 50 this year because the Mets are still light on catchers and he has tools behind the plate to be a major league catcher. If he can have a bounce back year with the bat, he’ll get back on the Mets radar; of course, if he doesn’t, his career will be all but over.
46. Jack Leathersich, LP – He’s another of several potential LOOGY’s the Mets are developing in their farm system. Leathersich was untouchable early in 2012 in Savannah, before being moved to St. Lucie. In St. Lucie, he struck out an astounding 76 batters in just 48 innings (more than a batter and a half per inning). However, he also saw his walk rate increase and was somewhat hittable with a 4.13 ERA. Surprisingly, lefties had a better batting average against him than righties, and also struck out against him at a lower rate. I’m not as high on Leathersich as some other people are because of how hittable he was, but his strike out rate really makes him stand out, and if he can keep missing bats as he moves to the upper levels this year, he’ll be a guy worth watching.