Things didn't exactly go as planned for the Mets in 2017, a season they thought they would compete in that went south and ended with a fourth-place finish in the National League East. Injuries to some homegrown pitchers were a key culprit and for the first time in three years,
Things didn't exactly go as planned for the Mets in 2017, a season they thought they would compete in that went south and ended with a fourth-place finish in the National League East. Injuries to some homegrown pitchers were a key culprit and for the first time in three years, there were no Mets mentioned in the NL Rookie of the Year Award voting (Jacob deGrom won the award in 2014, Noah Syndergaard finished fourth in '15 and Steven Matz got a vote in '16).
• Mets' Top 30 Prospects list
While there were no ROY candidates, the farm system did produce some big leaguers definitely worth watching. Shortstop Amed Rosario, who was ranked as one of the top prospects in the game a year ago, graduated off of rankings and showed glimpses of the star he has the potential to become. Dominic Smith, a fellow Top 100 prospect a year ago, struggled a bit in his call to New York, but did hit a combined 25 home runs and drove in over 100 runs between Triple-A and the big leagues. And outfielder Brandon Nimmo showed his on-base skills will play at the highest level.
:: Team Top 30 Prospects lists ::
There aren't those kinds of impact players brimming at the upper levels of the system waiting to break through in 2018, though there is some rotation depth that could contribute. Chris Flexen was pressed into service last year, and could be more up to the challenge now, while arms like Marcos Molina and Corey Oswalt could fit into the back of a big league rotation soon.
The Mets also brought in some big arms that should help out the bullpen in 2018. Jamie Callahan and Jacob Rhame got their feet wet after coming over in deals and both have close to top-of-the-scale fastballs at their disposal.
And while there may not be a Rosario or Smith lurking, role players like infielder Luis Guillorme and catcher Tomas Nido could spend considerable time in Citi Field this season. Longer-term, the Mets do have some possible impact talent coming, largely via the international market. Top prospect Andres Gimenez is a future Top 100 candidate as he matures, even if he has to slide over to second in deference to Rosario. The Mets were aggressive in 2017, signing both shortstop Ronny Mauricio and outfielder Adrian Hernandez to seven-figure bonuses. It might take a while, but they could bring another round of Mets farm system dominance to fruition.
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2017 preseason list to the 2018 preseason list.
Jump: Chris Flexen, RHP (2017: 29 | 2018: 9)
Fall: Gavin Cecchini, 2B/SS (2017: 7 | 2018: 18)
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 60 - Andres Gimenez
Power: 55 - Peter Alonso (Mark Vientos, David Thompson)
Run: 60 - Adrian Hernandez (Desmond Lindsay)
Arm: 65 - Ali Sanchez
Defense: 70 - Luis Guillorme
Fastball: 70 - Gerson Bautista (Jacob Rhame)
Curveball: 60 - Thomas Szapucki
Slider: 55 - David Peterson (Justin Dunn, Marcos Molina, Gerson Bautista)
Changeup: 60 - P.J. Conlon
Control: 60 - Conlon (Justin Dunn, Jordan Humphreys)
How they were built
Free agent: 1
Rule 5: 1
Breakdown by ETA
Breakdown by position
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.