NEW YORK -- After promoting Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith -- the "upper crust" of the organization's farm system, as manager Terry Collins called them -- the Mets had few impact prospects left on the immediate horizon. Former top pick Justin Dunn endured an uneven first full Minor League season. Blue chippers Desmond Lindsay and Thomas Szapucki underwent surgery. None of those players are likely to contribute to the big leagues in 2018.
But the Mets feel they still have plenty of intriguing talent on the farm. They awarded the best of their system on Tuesday, bringing their Sterling Minor League Award Winners to Citi Field for an afternoon of rubbing elbows with their potential future teammates. Smith, the Mets' Player of the Year, and Rosario, their Triple-A Player of the Year, joined Pitcher of the Year Corey Oswalt, Double-A Player of the Year Luis Guillorme and others for an on-field ceremony at Citi.
"It's awesome," said Class A Advanced Columbia honoree Jordan Humphreys, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery. "You get to know some of these guys a little bit more than I do, coming out here to this beautiful park and getting a little taste of it. It's nice."
In addition to Rosario and Smith, the Mets received contributions this season from two players who arrived straight from Double-A Binghamton: pitcher Chris Flexen and catcher Tomas Nido. Those two spent time during batting practice with the Award winners, who can interpret their friends' success as evidence that they, too, are close.
"Every system's got them," Collins said. "We're excited that these kids are here today. I think it's a great honor. You ask every player in the Minor Leagues on Day 1 of Spring Training to go out and have a good year and the rewards will be down the line. This is a reward that these guys should understand, and is a big step for them."
"Especially guys coming straight from Double-A like Tomas and Chris, you know you're right there," said Oswalt, who went 12-5 with a 2.28 ERA this summer at Binghamton. "But whenever the opportunity comes, it's going to happen when it happens. I'll be ready."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.