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Alonso among top prospects at first base

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Quite suddenly at first base, the Mets appear well-heeled. Five-time All-Star Adrian Gonzalez will man the position most days in April. Wilmer Flores remains a steady option against left-handed pitchers. Dominic Smith is still the Mets' first baseman of the future, in the organization's eyes -- and a promising one at that.

But it may not be long before another competitor enters the fray. Coming off a standout -- albeit injury-shortened -- first full Minor League season, Peter Alonso is ranked No. 7 on MLB Pipeline's updated list of top first-base prospects. Tampa Bay's Brendan McKay, the No. 4 overall pick in last year's Draft, led a list that includes some of Minor League Baseball's heaviest hitters.

NEW YORK -- Quite suddenly at first base, the Mets appear well-heeled. Five-time All-Star Adrian Gonzalez will man the position most days in April. Wilmer Flores remains a steady option against left-handed pitchers. Dominic Smith is still the Mets' first baseman of the future, in the organization's eyes -- and a promising one at that.

But it may not be long before another competitor enters the fray. Coming off a standout -- albeit injury-shortened -- first full Minor League season, Peter Alonso is ranked No. 7 on MLB Pipeline's updated list of top first-base prospects. Tampa Bay's Brendan McKay, the No. 4 overall pick in last year's Draft, led a list that includes some of Minor League Baseball's heaviest hitters.

:: Top 10 Prospects by Position ::

A college standout at the University of Florida, Alonso parlayed a strong junior season into a second-round Draft selection by the Mets, who considered his power potential as substantial as that of nearly anyone in the 2016 Draft. That tool manifested itself in a significant way last summer, when Alonso hit 18 home runs with a .524 slugging percentage over two levels, rising from Class A Advanced St. Lucie to Double-A Binghamton in late August.

It was a promotion that came two months after Alonso returned from a broken hand -- an injury that did not bog down his offensive statistics, despite costing him a significant chunk of the summer. Overall, in parts of two professional seasons, the 23-year-old Alonso has hit 23 homers in 123 games with a .903 OPS.

"He's got a chance to be a prototypical slugging first baseman," Mets director of Minor League player development Ian Levin said. "He has elite raw power and has shown consistent ability to use it in games, and his overall ability to hit should allow him to continue to progress."

Like most first-base prospects, Alonso's burden is that to succeed in the Majors, he must not just hit, but hit with authority. Alonso is likely ticketed to begin this season back at Binghamton, where he mashed five home runs in 11 games down the stretch in 2017. Similar success early this year could hasten Alonso's rise to Triple-A Las Vegas, a hitter-friendly environment where sluggers such as him tend to thrive.

From there, it's just a quick hop to the Majors, where Alonso could provide a legitimate challenge to Smith -- or become a tantalizing trade chip for help at another position.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

 

New York Mets

Bullpen, infield Mets' priorities at Meetings

Reliever Reed, 2B Walker could return; Lind on radar for 1B depth
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The first five weeks of the Hot Stove season may have come and gone quietly for the Mets, but that is about to change. A team in need of multiple significant pieces is bound to spring into action soon, with the baseball industry's annual Winter Meetings providing the proper atmosphere next week in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

After trading Lucas Duda, Addison Reed, Jay Bruce, Neil Walker and Curtis Granderson last summer, the Mets simply have too many holes to fill to stay quiet. They've spent much of the last month focusing on their managerial, coaching and training staff hires, as the player market around baseball stayed cold. It's not a silence that can last.

NEW YORK -- The first five weeks of the Hot Stove season may have come and gone quietly for the Mets, but that is about to change. A team in need of multiple significant pieces is bound to spring into action soon, with the baseball industry's annual Winter Meetings providing the proper atmosphere next week in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

After trading Lucas Duda, Addison Reed, Jay Bruce, Neil Walker and Curtis Granderson last summer, the Mets simply have too many holes to fill to stay quiet. They've spent much of the last month focusing on their managerial, coaching and training staff hires, as the player market around baseball stayed cold. It's not a silence that can last.

Hot Stove Tracker

Here, then, is a look at what the Mets hope to accomplish at the Winter Meetings and beyond:

Club needs

Bullpen: The Mets have made this their clear top priority, and it's one they're likely to address soon. General manager Sandy Alderson's goal is to find at least one established reliever to group with Jeurys Familia, AJ Ramos and Jerry Blevins at the back of new manager Mickey Callaway's bullpen, and it appears he's willing to spend a sizeable portion of his budget to do so. Realistically, the Mets will shop in the second tier of free-agent relievers -- a group that includes Brandon Morrow, Bryan Shaw and Reed.

Video: NYM@SEA: Reed retires Cruz to solidify the save

Second base: Though there is a chance the Mets could pivot and acquire a third baseman instead, pushing Asdrubal Cabrera to the keystone, the team's clear preference is to fill its infield gap at second. The trade market appears riper than free agency, with Ian Kinsler among those reportedly available. But the Mets could also pursue an old friend, Walker, on the open market.

First base/outfield: Ideally, the Mets will acquire a hybrid capable of playing both these positions, such as Bruce, Logan Morrison or Adam Lind. That would cover them in the outfield in the event that Michael Conforto's recovery from shoulder surgery stalls, and at first base in case Dominic Smith's rookie struggles spill over into his sophomore season.

Video: Smith on fighting to earn job at first base in 2018

Who they can trade if necessary

The Mets do not have many trade chips available at the Major or Minor League levels. Their lack of rotation depth should prevent them from dealing Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman to fill other needs, and their selloff of veteran hitters last summer left them without much fat on their active roster. Perhaps Wilmer Flores, a valuable platoon infielder, could become expendable if the Mets acquire the right infield piece. Perhaps Smith could entice, but the Mets would be selling low on him.

On the farm, the Mets have already graduated top prospects Amed Rosario and Smith, leaving their system relatively thin. It is unlikely the Mets could make a major trade splash using just prospects.

Top prospects

Per MLBPipeline.com, the Mets' top prospects are left-hander David Peterson, right-hander Justin Dunn, shortstop Andres Gimenez, left-hander Thomas Szapucki, outfielder Desmond Lindsay, right-hander Marcos Molina, first baseman Peter Alonso, infielder Gavin Cecchini, catcher Tomas Nido and third baseman Mark Vientos.

Of that group, only Cecchini and Nido are likely to play significant roles in 2018. Gimenez, who is just 19, shot up the prospect ranks this year and boasts a high ceiling. Peterson, the Mets' first-round Draft pick in June, is about to enter his first full professional season.

Video: NYM@PHI: Cecchini makes a tough scoop to rob Herrera

Rule 5 Draft

The Mets have selected and kept just one Rule 5 selection, Sean Gilmartin, since 2010. That trend isn't likely to change now, with a jammed 40-man roster and a crowded bullpen.

Big contracts they might unload

The only guaranteed contracts on New York's books are those of David Wright, Yoenis Cespedes, Cabrera, Juan Lagares and Blevins. Of that group, only Lagares stands even the slightest chance of being traded, and that's unlikely given the Mets' uncertainty in center field.

Payroll summary

The Mets opened last season north of $155 million, a number that Alderson has expressed a desire to stay below this offseason. But the GM hinted that he convinced ownership to overspend its budget last offseason, with a promise to unload salary if things went south. When they did, Alderson kept his promise, which could earn him enough trust to make a similar bargain this offseason.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

 

New York Mets

Prospect Nido learns from '17 MLB, AFL stints

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Though he spent many summers of his youth traveling to Florida for baseball leagues, Tomas Nido did not permanently move from Puerto Rico until his junior year of high school. It was there, at Orangewood Christian High School outside Orlando, that Nido developed into an eighth-round Draft pick and top-10 prospect of the Mets.

Nido made his big league debut in September but, unlike most of his new teammates, did not return home for good at season's end. Instead, Nido traveled onward to the Arizona Fall League, appearing in 13 games at catcher for the Scottsdale Scorpions.

NEW YORK -- Though he spent many summers of his youth traveling to Florida for baseball leagues, Tomas Nido did not permanently move from Puerto Rico until his junior year of high school. It was there, at Orangewood Christian High School outside Orlando, that Nido developed into an eighth-round Draft pick and top-10 prospect of the Mets.

Nido made his big league debut in September but, unlike most of his new teammates, did not return home for good at season's end. Instead, Nido traveled onward to the Arizona Fall League, appearing in 13 games at catcher for the Scottsdale Scorpions.

"Baseball's a lot harder these days than it was back in high school, but being on the same team, you see how hard he works and how much he's dedicated to being the best player he can be," said David Thompson, Nido's roommate this summer at Double-A Binghamton. "I love Tomas. I think everybody does."

Video: Nido discusses improving during Arizona Fall League

It was one year ago when Nido made his most significant jump as a professional, batting .320 with seven home runs and an .816 OPS in 90 games for Class A Advanced St. Lucie. That earned Nido a promotion to Binghamton, a spot in the 2017 SiriusXM Futures Game in Miami and an invitation to the AFL, typically the haunt of some of baseball's best prospects.

Although Nido took a step back offensively in 2017, posting a .641 OPS in Binghamton and a .577 mark for the Scorpions, he has earned accolades for his throwing and receiving skills.

"He made a lot of good adjustments last year, and I think he's still adjusting," Mets director of player development Ian Levin said earlier this year. "Double-A is a more difficult level. It's a big jump going from [Class] A ball to Double-A, and he has definitely shown signs that he can be a very good Major League player. He's still going through his development process."

Video: WEST@EAST: Nido pops quick to nab Acuna at second

Nido isn't likely to make the Mets out of Spring Training, with Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki penciled in as the team's primary catchers. But with a strong spring, he could position himself to be a significant contributor at some point next summer -- particularly considering d'Arnaud's injury history and Plawecki's inconsistencies.

For now, Nido can at least fall back on his brief Major League experience, which included a 3-for-10 performance in five games (two starts) down the stretch for the Mets.

"I think the first two or three days, it really didn't sink in," Nido said. "I was still numb. Even when I got my first hit, I didn't even remember running to first base. It was everything I dreamed of and more. It was worth everything I did to get there."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

 

New York Mets, Tomas Nido

Four top prospects added to Mets' roster

Bautista, Bashlor, Oswalt, Guillorme protected from Rule 5 Draft
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The Mets added four prospects to their 40-man roster Monday in order to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft, including one of the relievers they acquired during their midsummer flurry of trades.

The club protected right-handed pitchers Gerson Bautista, Tyler Bashlor and Corey Oswalt, and infielder Luis Guillorme, bringing the 40-man roster to 39 players.

NEW YORK -- The Mets added four prospects to their 40-man roster Monday in order to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft, including one of the relievers they acquired during their midsummer flurry of trades.

The club protected right-handed pitchers Gerson Bautista, Tyler Bashlor and Corey Oswalt, and infielder Luis Guillorme, bringing the 40-man roster to 39 players.

Teams must add players who signed their first professional contracts at age 18 or younger within five Minor League seasons, or those who signed at 19 or older within four seasons, or they become eligible for other clubs to take in the Rule 5 Draft. Clubs pay $100,000 to make a Rule 5 selection, but if that player doesn't stay on his new organization's active roster for the entire next season, he must be offered back to his former club for $50,000.

Bautista, 22, was one of three pitchers the Mets acquired from the Red Sox for Addison Reed on July 31, along with Stephen Nogosek and Jamie Callahan. Appearing in 37 games overall in Class A ball, Bautista went 3-3 with nine saves and a 4.22 ERA. The Mets' 30th-ranked prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, Bautista struck out 73 batters in 59 2/3 innings.

Video: Corey Oswalt named Mets' Pipeline pitcher of the year

Oswalt, 24, earned Double-A Eastern League Pitcher of the Year honors after going 12-5 with a league-leading 2.28 ERA in 24 starts for Binghamton. He finished second in the Eastern League in victories, third in WHIP (1.18) and fifth in opponents' batting average (.236), and is MLBPipeline.com's 27th-ranked Mets prospect.

Bashlor, 24, went 3-2 with 13 saves and a 3.44 ERA in 46 games split between Class A Advanced St. Lucie and Binghamton. He struck out 84 batters in 49 2/3 innings, a rate of 15.2 per nine.

Guillorme, 23, is the highest-ranked prospect the Mets protected, clocking in at 11th on MLBPipeline.com's list. An Eastern League All-Star and one of the organization's best defenders, Guillorme hit .283 for Binghamton and was the league's toughest player to strike out.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

 

New York Mets, Tyler Bashlor, Gerson Bautista, Luis Guillorme, Corey Oswalt

Mets outright 5 to clear space on 40-man

Goeddel, Pill are free agents; prospect Becerra eligible for Rule 5 Draft
MLB.com

The Mets outrighted five players off their 40-man roster on Wednesday, clearing space as the Hot Stove season approaches. Outfielder Travis Taijeron, infielder Phillip Evans and pitchers Tyler Pill and Erik Goeddel will become Minor League free agents after the conclusion of the World Series. Outfielder Wuilmer Becerra will remain under team control, but is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft in December.

Becerra, 23, was once ranked by MLBPipeline.com as high as seventh on the Mets' Top 30 prospect list, and most recently 12th. But Becerra underwent shoulder surgery in 2016 and struggled upon his return, slugging just .335 in 128 games this season. He was part of the trade that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays for Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard, among others, in 2012.

The Mets outrighted five players off their 40-man roster on Wednesday, clearing space as the Hot Stove season approaches. Outfielder Travis Taijeron, infielder Phillip Evans and pitchers Tyler Pill and Erik Goeddel will become Minor League free agents after the conclusion of the World Series. Outfielder Wuilmer Becerra will remain under team control, but is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft in December.

Becerra, 23, was once ranked by MLBPipeline.com as high as seventh on the Mets' Top 30 prospect list, and most recently 12th. But Becerra underwent shoulder surgery in 2016 and struggled upon his return, slugging just .335 in 128 games this season. He was part of the trade that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays for Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard, among others, in 2012.

Taijeron, Evans, Pill and Goeddel all appeared for the Mets this season. Most prominent was Goeddel, 28, who has pitched in 110 games since 2014. Arm trouble limited Goeddel to 33 appearances this summer, with a career-high 5.28 ERA.

Video: ARI@NYM: Goeddel induces a fly ball to escape a jam

Pill started three games and appeared in relief in four others, going 0-3 with a 5.32 ERA. Evans and Taijeron hit .303 and .173, respectively, in limited time down the stretch.

With three players due to come off the 60-day disabled list this offseason, the Mets needed to create roster space. They have just two pending free agents, Jose Reyes and Tommy Milone, and will need to add at least one player, No. 11 prospect Luis Guillorme, to the 40-man roster next month to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. The Mets are likely to add a handful of free agents this winter as well, with needs in the infield, outfield, rotation and bullpen.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

 

New York Mets, Wuilmer Becerra, Phillip Evans, Erik Goeddel, Tyler Pill, Travis Taijeron

Mets' Thompson sparks offense in Fall League

New York's No. 24 prospect goes 3-for-4 with his first homer in AFL
MLB.com

PEORIA, Ariz. -- After hitting a career-high 16 homers during the regular season, David Thompson notched his first homer of the Arizona Fall League in Scottsdale's 13-7 win over Peoria on Wednesday.

Thompson, the Mets' No. 24 prospect, reached base four times and fell a triple shy of the cycle as he finished 3-for-4 with a homer, double, walk, two RBIs and a trio of runs scored.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- After hitting a career-high 16 homers during the regular season, David Thompson notched his first homer of the Arizona Fall League in Scottsdale's 13-7 win over Peoria on Wednesday.

Thompson, the Mets' No. 24 prospect, reached base four times and fell a triple shy of the cycle as he finished 3-for-4 with a homer, double, walk, two RBIs and a trio of runs scored.

"Just feeling good at the plate," Thompson said. "Been working with [the coaches], just trying to get comfortable working on a few things."

Box score

Thompson, who slashed .263/.325/.429 across 133 games in his first experience at the Double-A level, is off to a good start in the AFL, hitting .421 through five games.

The 24-year-old flashed some power with a pair of extra-base hits -- a double in the second and a homer in the fourth -- and also added an RBI single in the seventh, before a ninth-inning strikeout ruined his perfect day at the plate.

"It was a 2-1 count, he had already dropped me a couple of curveballs, so I figured he'd throw me a fastball," Thompson said of his homer. "He threw me a fastball in and I put a good swing on it."

Thompson's blast was the first homer of the game, but it was just the first of five on a day where both offenses were on fire, combining for 20 runs on 28 hits.

The Scorpions scored in five different frames and put up multiple runs in four of those innings.

"It's been a lot of fun," Thompson said. "As a team we've hit the ball really well here and it's just been fun, everybody is doing what they can."

Peoria struck first as Padres' prospect Javier Guerra, who is 7-for-14 (.500) through four games, hit a solo homer, his first, in the bottom of the first. However, the lead didn't last long as the Scorpions struck for four in the second.

Video: Top Prospects: David Thompson, 3B, Mets

Yankees prospects Thairo Estrada (No. 17) and Estevan Florial (No. 3, No. 78 overall) jump-started the rally with back-to-back hits and eventually scored on an RBI groundout and a wild pitch.

Thompson, who also scored in the second, helped extend the lead as he went deep in the third, but just as he was getting back in the dugout, the Scorpions had already tacked on another run as Kyle Holder (Yankees) made it back-to-back homers. Holder finished 4-for-6 with three RBIs.

From there, the Yankee prospects continued to do damage as Holder drove in two, including Thompson, with a two-run triple in the sixth and Florial added a two-run triple of his own in the seventh.

"It's been a ton of fun," Thompson said. "I just like being around all these really good players and picking the brains of them guys on the team -- their hitting approach and things like that. It's been a lot of fun."

While Peoria didn't score enough to come up with the win, there was no shortage of offense from that side either.

In addition to his first inning homer, Guerra added an RBI single in the third. Braves top prospect Ronald Acuna (MLB No. 5) drove in two runs in a 1-for-3 performance and was also credited with an outfield assist as he threw out Florial, who was trying to stretch a single into a double in the third.

The Javelinas also hit a pair of homers in the fourth as Alex Jackson (Braves' No. 16) hit his second homer in as many days and his third in six AFL games. Red Sox No. 24 prospect Chad La Guerra also hit a solo shot, his second long ball of the season.

William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

 

New York Mets

Mets' Arizona Fall League overview

Guillorme has eyes on New York during climb through organization
MLB.com

During the 2017 season with Double-A Binghamton, Mets prospect Luis Guillorme saw his organization-mate and fellow middle infielder Amed Rosario reach the big leagues. He watched and hoped that perhaps he could follow in Rosario's footsteps at some point in the near future.

"That would be awesome," said Guillorme, the Mets' No. 11 prospect. "Being in Binghamton, we were literally across the street, it's two hours away. It was always exciting, if something happened up there, you could be there right away."

During the 2017 season with Double-A Binghamton, Mets prospect Luis Guillorme saw his organization-mate and fellow middle infielder Amed Rosario reach the big leagues. He watched and hoped that perhaps he could follow in Rosario's footsteps at some point in the near future.

"That would be awesome," said Guillorme, the Mets' No. 11 prospect. "Being in Binghamton, we were literally across the street, it's two hours away. It was always exciting, if something happened up there, you could be there right away."

While that might sound like an awfully long street to cross, it's all relative. After stops in St. Lucie, both for the Gulf Coast League in 2013 after he was taken in the 10th round of the Draft and the Florida State League in 2016, Kingsport in 2014 and Savannah in 2014 and 2015, just being in the same state as his parent club got Guillorme's pulse going a bit quicker.

"It's right there," Guillorme said. "It's the closest I've ever been to it."

To climb even closer, Guillorme headed a couple of thousand miles west to play for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. Even after 128 games and 481 Eastern League at-bats, the 23-year old was more than happy to head to the desert. "It was a great honor," Guillorme said. "I felt like I had a good year, and them telling me I was going to come over here, I was really happy about it. You're always looking forward to it at the end of the year, hopefully they say there's a little extra baseball. I'm glad it happened."

• Mets' Top 30 Prospects list

While Guillorme continues to get work on both sides of second base, his defensive acumen has never been in question. But he is striving to improve his offensive game while in Arizona. He hit .283 in 2017, right in line with his career .285 average, but he feels there is more he can do. Power is likely never going to be a part of his game -- he has two career homers and a .328 slugging percentage -- but that doesn't mean he can't provide a little extra-base thump more often.

"I'm mostly trying to keep being consistent with my swing, repeat the same swing every time," Guillorme said. "Drive the ball a little more. That's really what I'm trying to work on at the moment."

Doing so could make him a more serious offensive weapon considering he seems to have the on-base skills down pat. Guillorme's .376 on-base percentage in 2017 upped his career mark to .361, and he drew more walks (72) than strikeouts (55) while making that often-difficult leap to the upper levels of the system. It's clearly something the left-handed hitter takes pride in.

"I take pride in taking those counts deep," Guillorme said. "I'm looking at pitches, making sure I get my pitch. At the end of the day, my job is to figure out a way to get to first, then figure out a way to get to second, then let the other guys worry about driving me in."

In all likelihood, Guillorme will move up to Las Vegas in 2018 (the Mets' Triple-A team will move to Syracuse in 2019). That's the same path Rosario took, and while he's not the same caliber of prospect, the similarity motivates him to join Rosario in Queens soon.

"It does, because he was in the same spot I was last year, playing in Double-A, then this year from Triple-A to the bigs," Guillorme said. "It makes you feel, 'I'm almost there. I'm almost there, I almost got it.'"

Mets hitters in the Fall League

Kevin Kaczmarski, OF -- Capable of playing all three outfield positions, though he's largely played the corners, Kaczmarksi continued to be an on-base machine in his first taste of Double-A in 2017 (.370 OBP for the year; .376 in his career since being a ninth-rounder out of Evansville in 2015). There isn't much power to speak of (.418 career slugging), but he did reach double-digits (15) in stolen bases for the third summer in a row.

Tomas Nido, C -- Nido had a breakout with the bat in 2016 in the Florda State League (.320/.357/.459), but his offense regressed with the move to Double-A in 2017 (.232/.287/.354), though he did make his big league debut. He's working to rediscover his consistency in the batter's box while continuing to refine his work behind the plate after throwing out 45 percent of would-be basestealers in Double-A.

Video: Top Prospects: Tomas Nido, C, Mets

David Thompson, 3B -- The Mets' fourth-round pick out of Miami in 2015 is coming off of a solid second full season in pro ball. He spent the year with Double-A Binghamton and set a career high with his 16 homers, all while improving his walk rate and decreasing his strikeout rate from the previous season.

Mets pitchers in the Fall League

Mickey Jannis, RHP -- Initially drafted in the 44th round of the 2010 Draft by the Rays, Jannis was signed by the Mets as a Minor League free agent in July 2015 after he had become a knuckleballer. He was sent to the AFL that year as well, and he posted a 2.48 ERA in 29 innings. The 5-foot-9 starter is coming off his first successful go-round in Double-A, where the 29-year old posted a 3.60 ERA in 122 1/3 IP.

Video: Mets' Jannis unleashes knuckleball in Fall League

Tim Peterson, RHP -- Taken by the Mets out of Kentucky in the 20th round of the 2012 Draft, the 26-year-old reliever is coming off his best year as a pro, as his 1.14 ERA and .176 batting average against in Double-A earned him a brief, albeit unsuccessful, bump up to Triple-A in late May.

Matt Pobereyko, RHP -- Signed as a non-drafted free agent by the D-backs in July 2016 out of independent ball, Pobereyko was released by the organization that October. He went back to the Frontier League this season before landing a gig with the Mets in June, pitching well enough in the South Atlantic League (3.05 ERA, .205 BAA, 13.9 K/9) to earn an invite to Arizona to see how the 25-year-old fares against a higher level of competition.

Kyle Regnault, LHP -- After pitching in college ball at the University of Rhode Island, Regnault spent three seasons in the indy Canadian-American Association. The Mets signed him in the summer of 2015 and sent him to the AFL (1.17 ERA, 12 K in 7 2/3 IP). He split the year between Double- and Triple-A in 2017, finishing with a combined 2.78 ERA and .229 BAA.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

 

New York Mets

Smith, Oswalt named Mets Prospects of the Year

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Once it became clear that the Mets were not going to compete for a playoff berth this year, the most significant events on their calendar became the promotions of top prospects Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith. While Rosario received the lion's share of hype, Smith enjoyed one of the best summers of anyone in the organization.

As such, Smith has earned honors as the Mets' MLBPipeline.com Prospect of the Year, with right-hander Corey Oswalt winning Pitcher of the Year. MLBPipeline.com staff members chose each club's winners, considering only players who spent at least half the year in the Minors, appeared on their team's Top 30 Prospects list and played the entire year in the organization.

NEW YORK -- Once it became clear that the Mets were not going to compete for a playoff berth this year, the most significant events on their calendar became the promotions of top prospects Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith. While Rosario received the lion's share of hype, Smith enjoyed one of the best summers of anyone in the organization.

As such, Smith has earned honors as the Mets' MLBPipeline.com Prospect of the Year, with right-hander Corey Oswalt winning Pitcher of the Year. MLBPipeline.com staff members chose each club's winners, considering only players who spent at least half the year in the Minors, appeared on their team's Top 30 Prospects list and played the entire year in the organization.

Mets' Prospects of the Year

The Mets' second-ranked prospect before his promotion to the big leagues, Smith batted .330 with 16 home runs in 114 games at Triple-A Las Vegas, establishing himself as the franchise's first baseman of the future. Though Smith scuffled in September, he called the experience he gained along the way invaluable.

"The crowd, the situation you get put in, playing in front of this many people, playing on TV -- that stuff is all normal to me," Smith said in September. "I'm just learning every day. It's a tough game. And every day you step on the field, you don't get a break. You're playing against the best players in the world."

Less heralded -- but just as successful -- was Oswalt, MLBPipeline.com's 27th-ranked Mets prospect. A former seventh-round Draft pick, Oswalt went 12-5 with a 2.28 ERA at Double-A Binghamton this summer, striking out 119 batters in 134 1/3 innings. He credited a mechanical tweak -- being more direct to home plate with his delivery-- to his success.

Binghamton ultimately bowed out in the Eastern League semifinals to Trenton, three games to one, with Oswalt going seven strong innings in the Rumble Ponies' only win.

"It all started in Spring Training, in the beginning of the season, just working hard," Oswalt said. "We had a great team. Unfortunately, we didn't finish what we wanted to do at the end of the season. But overall, it was a great season."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

 

New York Mets

Mets instructs: Urena trying hand at outfield

MLB.com

Since signing with the Mets out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, Jhoan Urena has played a grand total of 477 games in the field defensively. A total of 410 of those have come at third base and another 56 were at first. Up until the 2017 season, he'd only seen time at the infield corners.

The Mets started introducing him to the outfield corners this year and the 23-year-old saw 10 games in left and one in right as an introduction. That is continuing for the Mets' No. 15 prospect during instructional league play in St. Lucie this fall.

Since signing with the Mets out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, Jhoan Urena has played a grand total of 477 games in the field defensively. A total of 410 of those have come at third base and another 56 were at first. Up until the 2017 season, he'd only seen time at the infield corners.

The Mets started introducing him to the outfield corners this year and the 23-year-old saw 10 games in left and one in right as an introduction. That is continuing for the Mets' No. 15 prospect during instructional league play in St. Lucie this fall.

Alonso at instructs to help glove catch up to bat

"It's an experiment for now," Mets farm director Ian Levin said. "For now, it's to evaluate and see how he looks out there, see if it's a fit."

Watch: Urena belts walk-off homer

It certainly looks like his bat will fit somewhere in the future as the switch-hitter finally got back to producing like he did during his stint in the short-season New York-Penn League in 2014. His 2015 was derailed by a pair of broken hamates and while he was mostly healthy in 2016, he never got in any kind of rhythm. This year, however, he finally conquered the Florida State League in his third go-round and got a late double-jump up to Triple-A as a result. His final numbers, .277/.358/.440 with 14 homers, 70 RBIs and 18 steals, were by far the best of his career.

Gimenez, Guerrero give Mets future infield depth

That's part of the reason for the longer look in the outfield. Positional flexibility certainly makes a player more valuable, but in addition to that, it gives the organization more than one avenue to get that bat into the lineup when he's ready.

"We certainly won't get a final answer in three weeks of instructs, but it will inform us," Levin said. "We think he's capable of it. He's certainly athletic enough, but we'll see how the speed works out there and see how he deals with reads."

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

 

New York Mets

Gimenez, Guerrero give Mets future infield depth

MLB.com

As if it's not enough to have Amed Rosario at shortstop in New York for what the Mets feel will be a very long time, there's a lot more talent down on the farm. Some have seen time at second or third during the season, like Luis Guillorme has the last two seasons, to potentially figure out a way to get them to the big leagues without running square into that Rosario obstacle.

Some of the others are much farther away from Citi Field. But it's never too early to work on multiple positions, even if it's not because there's fear of a shortstop logjam.

As if it's not enough to have Amed Rosario at shortstop in New York for what the Mets feel will be a very long time, there's a lot more talent down on the farm. Some have seen time at second or third during the season, like Luis Guillorme has the last two seasons, to potentially figure out a way to get them to the big leagues without running square into that Rosario obstacle.

Some of the others are much farther away from Citi Field. But it's never too early to work on multiple positions, even if it's not because there's fear of a shortstop logjam.

Mets No. 3 prospect Andres Gimenez made his full-season debut this year and played all 88 games he saw defensively at shortstop. No. 18 prospect Gregory Guerrero, the nephew of Vladimir Guerrero, saw time on both sides of second base during his United States debut in the Gulf Coast League. Now at instructs, they will both continue to move around the infield.

"It's just for versatility and flexibility," Mets farm director Ian Levin said. "You never know what will come in the future. Also, getting exposure to other positions makes you better at your position. We get all of our middle infielders experience at second, short, even third."

Instructs, with its low-key atmosphere, allows for that kind of fluid movement even more so than the regular season, especially since the Mets aren't playing other organizations this fall. It's also a great way to get Gimenez, Guerrero and others together in one place to work with them en masse and allow them to push each other.

"That's the beauty of this time of year," Levin said. "We have a really strong crop of young middle infielders. They compete against each other in drills, collectively they make each other better. It's fun to watch them take ground balls."

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

 

New York Mets

Mets' Alonso at instructs to help glove catch up to bat

MLB.com

It isn't typical for a college draftee to attend instructional league play after finishing a first full season, especially if he's had a successful and healthy one. So it was a little surprising to see Peter Alonso on the Mets' instructs roster as the fall program opened up after a one-week delay due to Hurricane Irma.

By all accounts, Alonso, the Mets' second-round pick from the 2016 Draft had a strong first full professional year. The University of Florida product, ranked No. 7 on the Mets' Top 30 Prospects list, spent most of the year in the Class A Advanced Florida State League, a circuit rightfully known as a pitching-friendly league, and eventually hit his way up to Double-A. Combined, the first baseman finished with a .289/.359/.524 line to go along with 18 homers. That came in 93 games as a broken hand forced him out early for six weeks.

It isn't typical for a college draftee to attend instructional league play after finishing a first full season, especially if he's had a successful and healthy one. So it was a little surprising to see Peter Alonso on the Mets' instructs roster as the fall program opened up after a one-week delay due to Hurricane Irma.

By all accounts, Alonso, the Mets' second-round pick from the 2016 Draft had a strong first full professional year. The University of Florida product, ranked No. 7 on the Mets' Top 30 Prospects list, spent most of the year in the Class A Advanced Florida State League, a circuit rightfully known as a pitching-friendly league, and eventually hit his way up to Double-A. Combined, the first baseman finished with a .289/.359/.524 line to go along with 18 homers. That came in 93 games as a broken hand forced him out early for six weeks.

Mets Pipeline

But Alonso isn't at instructs, which runs to October 14 for the Mets and will not include any games against other organizations this fall, to make up for lost at-bats. The Mets wanted Alonso to come to St. Lucie to focus specifically on one side of his game.

"Instructional league is a time for continued exposure of specific refined work," Mets farm director Ian Levin said. "He has some work to do with his defense. We brought him in to make some strides in that area."

Video: Top Prospects: Peter Alonso, 1B, Mets

Alonso, who played third in high school but was a first baseman for the Gators over the course of his career, played 83 games at first in 2017. He made 19 errors in that span. While that rarely tells the whole story about a prospect's defensive ability, it's clear there is room for improvement. The hope is the extra work Alonso is getting now will help make sure that his glove doesn't keep his bat from continuing a quick path to the big leagues.

"He realizes that's an area he needs to continue to improve at," Levin said. "He's put in a good amount of effort and he's totally on board. His bat has the chance to be impactful, and we want to make sure he's ready for that so he can live up to that."

Those looking at Dominic Smith getting settled in at first base in the big leagues might be wondering how that will play out, given that neither player is capable of playing elsewhere. Levin definitely has a "cross that bridge when we get there" approach to the subject.

"Guys will always find a way to play," Levin said. "You'd rather have more than less."

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

 

New York Mets

Mets add catcher Nido, team's No. 11 prospect

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The Mets added another September callup to their roster on Tuesday, promoting No. 11 prospect Tomas Nido from Double-A Binghamton. Nido, who was already on the Mets' 40-man roster, gives them a third catcher to back up Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki down the stretch.

One of the Mets' two SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game representatives last season alongside top prospect Amed Rosario, Nido enjoyed a breakout 2016 campaign, in which he hit .320 with an .816 OPS at Class A St. Lucie. But he struggled at Binghamton this summer, batting .232 with a .641 OPS in 102 games. The Mets waited to recall Nido until after Binghamton lost its best-of-five Eastern League semifinal with Trenton, 3-1.

Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- The Mets added another September callup to their roster on Tuesday, promoting No. 11 prospect Tomas Nido from Double-A Binghamton. Nido, who was already on the Mets' 40-man roster, gives them a third catcher to back up Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki down the stretch.

One of the Mets' two SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game representatives last season alongside top prospect Amed Rosario, Nido enjoyed a breakout 2016 campaign, in which he hit .320 with an .816 OPS at Class A St. Lucie. But he struggled at Binghamton this summer, batting .232 with a .641 OPS in 102 games. The Mets waited to recall Nido until after Binghamton lost its best-of-five Eastern League semifinal with Trenton, 3-1.

Full Game Coverage

A native of Puerto Rico who grew up in Florida, Nido does not figure to see significant playing time in September. The Mets are using the month to evaluate both d'Arnaud and Plawecki, whom general manager Sandy Alderson recently hinted will serve as the big league catching tandem in 2018.

Nido joins starting pitcher Robert Gsellman, relievers Jamie Callahan, Jacob Rhame and Kevin McGowan, infielder Phillip Evans and outfielder Travis Taijeron as the Mets' September call-ups. Their active roster is at 33 players.

Worth noting

• Reliever Erik Goeddel underwent an examination Tuesday in New York after experiencing dizziness and blurred vision for a period of "three or four days," according to manager Terry Collins. The Mets did not have an immediate diagnosis available for Goeddel, who has posted a 3.95 ERA in 30 relief appearances.

Noah Syndergaard played catch off flat ground Tuesday in Chicago, though he did not complete a bullpen session as Collins initially hoped. The Mets are remaining cautious with Syndergaard, who has not pitched since April 30 due to a strained right lat. They have not yet announced when he will resume his Minor League rehab assignment.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

 

New York Mets, Tomas Nido

Brewers send pitcher to Mets to finish Walker deal

Hanhold, 23, pitched in relief past two seasons in Minors
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers sent Minor League right-hander Eric Hanhold to the Mets on Tuesday to complete the Aug. 12 trade that brought veteran infielder Neil Walker to Milwaukee for a player to be named and cash.

Hanhold, 6-foot-5 and 23 years old, was the Brewers' sixth-round Draft pick out of the University of Florida in 2015, and he was converted to relief this season, his second at the Class A Advanced level. He was 8-3 with a 3.94 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 64 innings for the Carolina Mudcats, setting career highs for strikeouts per nine innings and WHIP.

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers sent Minor League right-hander Eric Hanhold to the Mets on Tuesday to complete the Aug. 12 trade that brought veteran infielder Neil Walker to Milwaukee for a player to be named and cash.

Hanhold, 6-foot-5 and 23 years old, was the Brewers' sixth-round Draft pick out of the University of Florida in 2015, and he was converted to relief this season, his second at the Class A Advanced level. He was 8-3 with a 3.94 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 64 innings for the Carolina Mudcats, setting career highs for strikeouts per nine innings and WHIP.

Walker, a free agent to be, made a splash in his first week with Milwaukee, but he has significantly cooled at the plate since then. He entered Tuesday with seven hits in 43 at-bats (.163) in his past 15 games.

Piecing together pitching

The Brewers answered one question Tuesday by saying Chase Anderson would start Wednesday's series finale against the Pirates on three days' rest, but opted not to answer any of the questions beyond that. The team is listing "TBD" for all three games of its scheduled series in Miami, an indication that a mid-September callup from the Minors may still be in store to help replace injured ace Jimmy Nelson.

Friday is Zach Davies' regular day to pitch, but manager Craig Counsell said the team was considering pushing that back, in part to give Davies a bit of extra rest. Doing so would not impact his number of remaining starts; Anderson and Davies each will pitch four more times.

"We're trying to figure out the best way to get through these games," Counsell said. "Somebody that's not on the team could figure into another start, for sure. That's something that we're having to be open to as we keep going here. Nothing is off the table. We feel like that's how we have to operate right now."

If the Brewers promote a starter from the Minors, the candidates include Taylor Jungmann, who is already on the 40-man roster and had a solid season at Triple-A Colorado Springs, and Aaron Wilkerson, who is not currently on the 40-man roster but pitched seven hitless innings in Game 2 of Colorado Springs' playoff series after spending the rest of the year at Double-A Biloxi.

Wilkerson was scheduled to throw off a mound at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix on Wednesday as he stays sharp in the event of a callup.

Last call

• Nelson departed Tuesday for Los Angeles, where he was scheduled to get a second opinion Wednesday on the course of action for his season-ending right shoulder injury. The Brewers haven't said whether their physician, William Raasch, recommended surgery, but that is one option on the table.

• Counsell posted another starting lineup on Tuesday afternoon without Opening Day second baseman Jonathan Villar, who had been limited to one pinch-hit appearance since a disastrous showing in center field on Sept. 5 in Cincinnati. Counsell said it was just circumstances that had kept Villar out.

"We've been choosing to go with defense [in center field]. At second base, we've got other options," Counsell said. "That's how it's played out. Like most of our lineups and position players, it can change."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

 

New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers

Rosario set to return for finale against Reds

Syndergaard to throw approximately 50 pitches in simulated game Sunday
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- With little left to play for in the final weeks of a lost season, the Mets are exuding caution with shortstop Amed Rosario, the club's top prospect according to MLBPipeline.com. 

The rookie was out of the starting lineup for a sixth consecutive game Saturday against the Reds due to swelling in his right index finger, but manager Terry Collins said after the Mets' 6-1 win over Cincinnati that Rosario would return to the lineup for Sunday's series finale.

Full Game Coverage

NEW YORK -- With little left to play for in the final weeks of a lost season, the Mets are exuding caution with shortstop Amed Rosario, the club's top prospect according to MLBPipeline.com. 

The rookie was out of the starting lineup for a sixth consecutive game Saturday against the Reds due to swelling in his right index finger, but manager Terry Collins said after the Mets' 6-1 win over Cincinnati that Rosario would return to the lineup for Sunday's series finale.

Full Game Coverage

Rosario did see action on the bases on Saturday against Cincinnati, entering as a pinch-runner after pinch-hitter Jacob deGrom walked in the seventh inning. He scored on Norichika Aoki's two-run single.

The swelling in the 21-year-old's finger had gone down considerably from when he first bruised the digit on Sunday in Houston. Rosario participated in a full range of baseball activities, including swinging in an indoor cage, on Saturday before the game.

When Rosario returns, the Mets remain wary of an errant pitch causing the swelling to return.

"It's not going to be caused by hitting off the tee or [taking] batting practice," Collins said. "It's going to be caused by someone throwing a 95-mph fastball on your fist. So that's what he's got to be able to deal with."

In 31 games since his Aug. 1 callup, Rosario is batting .245 with four home runs, four stolen bases and a .699 OPS. He projects as the Mets' Opening Day shortstop in 2018.

Worth noting

Noah Syndergaard, who pitched two innings in a rehab start for Class A Brooklyn on Thursday, will throw approximately 50 pitches Sunday in a simulated game at Citi Field. The Mets have not determined when Syndergaard's next rehab outing will be. He is recovering from a torn right lat muscle, which has sidelined him since April 30.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

 

New York Mets, Amed Rosario