On Wednesday, Baseball America released its top 10 New York Mets prospects. The minor-league/draft gurus tabbed Zach Wheeler as the organization's best prospect. (Thanks to ESPN's Adam Rubin for posting the list.)
The rest of the list is as follows: No. 2, Matt Harvey, RHP. No. 3, Brandon Nimmo, OF. No. 4. Jeurys Familia, RHP. No. 5, Cesar Puello, OF. No. 6, Jenrry Mejia, RHP. No. 7, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF. No. 8, Michael Fulmer, OF. No. 9, Reese Havens, 2B. No. 10, Wilmer Flores, SS
Overall, the organization has a good mix of pitchers, five, and positional players, five. Two of the 10 players, Brandon Nimmo and first-round sandwich pick, 18-year-old Michael Fulmer, were taken in the last draft ... meaning three of the top 10 were under the Sandy Alderson regime.
New York made a huge splash by acquiring 21-year-old Wheeler for Carlos Beltran from the San Francisco Giants before the trading deadline. Wheeler finished 2011 with 115 innings, 100 hits, 52 walks and 129 strikeouts. He had a 3.52 ERA and 1.32 WHIP across the Giants' and Mets' high-A teams. With the Mets, however, he allowed 26 hits in 27 innings, fanned 31 and really cut down on his walks, issuing just five. The result was a 2.00 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. He has the potential to be an ace, but he's still far from it.
Harvey is a guy who could debut sometime toward the end of 2012, depending on how he fares at Double-A, the place he finished the year. Altogether, he had a 3.32 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 135 2/3 innings, 125 hits, 47 walks and 156 strikeouts. He did have his struggles in Double-A, though, allowing 58 hits, walking 23 and striking out 64 in 59 2/3 innings. He had a 4.53 ERA.
Nimmo received a total of 38 at bats between the Golf Cost League and the Appalachian League and amassed a .211 average, two home runs and four RBI. To see him grab the third spot speaks to his projection, because he really has no game experience to go on.
Familia also could make his way to the major-league level by the end of next season, if he improves his control. The 22-year-old finished the year at Double-A, allowing 85 hits in 87 2/3 innings, while walking 35 and striking out 96. He had a 3.49 ERA and 1.37 WHIP.
Mejia underwent Tommy John surgery last year and could've been another guy with a shot at the major leagues. Depending on what the Mets do with their center field job, Nieuwenhuis, who is 24, could earn a shot -- his season was derailed by a shoulder injury -- as he had six home runs, 17 doubles and batted .298/.408/.505 in 53 games in Triple-A. Havens is another guy whose career has been hurt by injuries, but has a plus bat for a second baseman. He hit .289/.373/.455 with six home runs and 15 doubles in a 53-game, injury-shortened season at Double-A.