Welcome to the latest installment of the official RDM top prospect list. Today, we’ll tackle prospects 21-25, as things really start to get interesting. Let’s get to it:
25. Darin Gorski, LP – Gorski cracked my top-20 last year after being the Florida State League pitcher of the year in 2011, but he drops back to 25 after a rather average season in AA. Now that he’s on the 40-man roster, he’ll supposedly have a shot at making the roster as a LOOGY, but more likely he’ll be rotation depth in AAA, where he could use some more seasoning. Gorski’s biggest problem last year was the long ball, and if he continues to give up homeruns at such a high rate he’ll spend the next few years shuffling back and forth between the majors and AAA (basically a Pat Misch clone). If he can get back on track after being ordinary last year, he could lock down a spot at the back end of a big league rotation.
24. Robert Carson, LP – Carson made 17 big league appearances in 2012, as he made the transition into the bullpen as a full time LOOGY. He’ll have a chance to make the big league club out of spring training, but the Mets would probably prefer he gets more seasoning in AAA. His ceiling is nothing more than a LOOGY, and perhaps not even the top LOOGY on his team, but he slots in at 24 because there’s a real good chance he becomes a major league contributor.
23. Cory Vaughn, OF – I once dreamed that Vaughn would be big-league ready by the time the Mets were able to rid themselves of Jason Bay, but that’s obviously not the case. Vaughn has all the tools to be a big-league corner outfielder. He’s got good power, hitting 23 homeruns and 25 doubles last year, he’s got enough range and a strong enough arm to hold down a corner defensively, he can take a walk, and is a good base runner. However, scouts like to describe his swing as “complicated”, which has led to a low batting average and an alarming number of strikeouts during his year and a half in St. Lucie. He’s too talented to give up on completely at this point, but he’s aging fast and needs to find a way to remedy his swing and his strikeouts, or else he’ll get stuck at the upper levels and never make it to the big leagues.
22. Luis Mateo, RP – Mateo is the highest rated pitcher from last summer’s team in Brooklyn. A lot of rankings will have him in or near the top 10; however, all he has on his resume at this point is blowing away the New York-Penn league at age 22. Still, his fastball is a plus pitch, and it could take him a long way. Mateo will be fascinating to watch in 2013 because there’s a chance the Mets try to push him through the system quickly, and he could find himself close to the big leagues a lot sooner than you’d expect.
21. Alonzo Harris, OF – I like Harris a lot more than most people. Due to injuries in St. Lucie last season, he finally got a chance to get some regular playing time, and he certainly made the most of it. In 116 games, he his .287/.354/.424 with 8 homers, 7 triples, 23 doubles, and 40 stolen bases. His tools aren’t as impressive as some of the other a-ball outfielders the Mets had last year, so it’d be asking a lot to think Harris could be anything more than a 4th outfielder, but he has great speed, impressive athleticism, and he can play centerfield, so coming off the season he just had in 2012, he’ll be a guy to keep an eye on this year.