MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Breaking down the Mets' 2016 Top 30 Prospects

Eight shortstops headline rankings; lefty Matz leads list

Breaking down the Mets' 2016 Top 30 Prospects

The 2015 Mets marched to the World Series largely on the shoulders of what their player development system has sent to New York. It was a largely homegrown roster that went on that October run, including getting some major contributions from prospects called up from what was ranked as the No. 5 farm system in baseball a year ago.

That rookie crop included original draftees like Michael Conforto, Kevin Plawecki and Steven Matz, who still officially qualifies for this year's Top 30 Prospects list, as well as prospects who had been traded, but developed by the Mets, like Noah Syndergaard, who finished fourth in National League Rookie of the Year Award voting.

Some of those graduations have weakened the Mets' system a bit, but it is far from barren. Starting with Matz, who is expected to start the year in the big league rotation, eight of the Top 30 have a chance to impact the Major League roster at some point during the 2016 season. And what makes the organization even deeper than most is that there is a whole new wave coming a few years down the road, thanks largely to aggressive work in Latin America.

Top 30 Prospects lists
Division Teams/Release date
NL East ATL, MIA, NYM, PHI, WAS
AL East BAL, BOS, NYY, TB, TOR
NL Central CHC, CINMIL, PIT, STL
AL Central CLE, CWS, DET, KC, MIN
NL West ARI, COL, LAD, SD, SF
AL West HOU, LAA, OAK, SEA, TEX

Some see the Mets' system as "Shortstop University." There are eight of them on the Top 30, from Amed Rosario and Gavin Cecchini at the top to recent international signees Andres Gimenez and Gregory Guerrero. Putting them on a timeline, Cecchini and Matt Reynolds appear to be the first who will contribute in New York, while Gimenez and Guerrero have ETAs in what seems like a futuristic 2020. Obviously, the Mets won't have eight shortstops in the big leagues at one time, but all of them have the chance to stay up the middle in some capacity. That will only help the Mets continue their winning ways, both in terms of feeding infielders to the 25-man roster, and also in providing interesting trade chips to the other 29 teams, all of which are always looking for middle-of-the-diamond talent.

Biggest jump: Luis Carpio, SS (2015: Unranked | 2016: 7)
Biggest fall: Blake Taylor, LHP (2015: 24 | 2016: Unranked)

Best tools
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.

Hit: Dominic Smith (60)
Power: Wuilmer Becerra (55)
Run: Desmond Lindsay (60)
Arm: Amed Rosario (65)
Defense: Luis Guillorme (65)
Fastball: Josh Smoker (70)
Curveball: Seth Lugo (55)
Slider: Dario Alvarez (60)
Changeup: Akeel Morris (60)
Control: Gabriel Ynoa (60)

How they were built
Draft: 17
International: 10
Trade: 1
Free agent: 2

Breakdown by ETA
2016: 8
2017: 5
2018: 5
2019: 10
2020: 2

Breakdown by position
C: 1
1B: 1
2B: 1
3B: 3
SS: 8
OF: 5
RHP: 6
LHP: 5

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.