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New York Mets Top-10 Fantasy Prospects

Yes, the Mets still have legitimate pitching prospects on the way - and we had a few more just miss the cut. Their best prospect, however, is an elite shortstop prospect who just keeps getting better.

MLB: All Star Game-All Star Futures Game Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Our Basis

With fantasy prospect rankings, the key to knowing the usefulness of a specific player is how large and deep of a league you would need to be in for them to end up as a fantasy starter. We will be ranking 10 prospects in each system, but that doesn't mean that every one of them is useful if you play in a 12-team mixed dynasty league. With that said, we're aiming to provide useful information whether you play in a 10-team mixed, a 15-team AL-only, or a 24-team mixed.

Prospect rankings also come with the same caveat that must be rehashed every year. They represent a snapshot of how we view the players at the time of publication. There will inherently be more information published throughout the off-season, and so how we view a player may evolve significantly over time. We're going to get some of these right, we're going to get some of these wrong, and in general my reminder is to find information you trust, and use it to your advantage. If that comes from us, that's great and we're happy you're here. If it doesn't, we'll continue to work and hope that you'll keep checking in to see how we're doing.

The Tiers

The tiers are here though to provide some clarity when comparing players between different teams. It's by no means a perfect system, but the goal is to give you a general idea of which players we think are in a similar range in terms of value and ranking. Since the tiers are also expected to be relatively consistent across teams, there may be tiers that do not have prospects for certain teams.

Tier 1 - The Elite Prospects

These prospects are expected to be in the top-50 prospects overall, and have the potential to be among the top options at their position regardless of format or league size.

#1 - Amed Rosario (SS)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 21

ETA: 2017

Rosario is an interesting case, as a player that will likely be better in the real world than fantasy, despite being a borderline elite option in even the deepest of leagues. The 21-year-old slashed .324/.374/.459 with 5 HR and 19 SB between High-A (where he was among the youngest position players in the FSL) and Double-A (as the youngest position player in the EL). The hit and speed tools both grade as plus, and he has average raw power, to boot - it’s easy to project him as a .290 hitter with 10-plus home runs and 20-plus steals down the line. Add in the fact that he’s a no-doubt shortstop with Gold Glove potential, and his ceiling is quite high.

Tier 2 - The Top 100 Candidates

These prospects are expected to be in the discussion for the top 100 prospects overall, and are expected to be starting options in all formats.

New York has no prospects in this tier.

Tier 3 - The Next Group of Starters

These prospects would likely slot into the 100-200 range on an overall ranking list, and would be starters in mid-depth formats, like 12 and 14 team leagues.

#2 - Thomas Szapucki (LHP)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 20

ETA: 2019

This is an aggressive placement for Szapucki, who has just 54.1 IP as a professional, despite having been drafted back in 2015. As with most rankings of this nature, it has to start somewhere - in this case, it begins with the southpaw’s ridiculous fastball. Szapucki’s fastball works in the mid-90s, with great movement and surprisingly strong control, and he can change the shape of it with ease. The secondary pitches are still works in progress, but his change-up and curveball have both flashed plus consistently enough to suggest that both will be usable offerings at the highest level. He needs to stay healthy and build up innings this year; if he can do that, he could rocket into the top-50 range by mid-season.

#3 - Justin Dunn (RHP)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 21

ETA: 2019

Dunn made 45 appearances in his three years at Boston College, where he primarily served as a reliever, starting just 15 of those games. The Mets viewed him as a starter from the get-go, however, as he has a legitimate shot at having four fringe average or better offerings. His fastball is the best of them, sitting in the mid-90s with movement, and his slider is an above-average pitch that should pick up whiffs at the highest level. Dunn’s curveball and change-up lag behind a bit, but he has more than a little feel for both - and working as a starting pitcher will give him the opportunity (through necessity) to throw both. He’s a bit small for a power pitcher, checking in a 6’2” and 185 pounds, but he could be a solid mid-rotation starter.

#4 - Robert Gsellman (RHP)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 23

ETA: 2017

Gsellman appears to be the latest beneficiary of the black magic of the Mets pitching staff, picking up velocity on his fastball and movement on his slider upon reaching the Majors. It is oftentimes difficult to rate pop-up prospects, as Baseball Prospectus’ team notes, but it’s even harder to not get excited about Gsellman’s performance in the Majors, where he pitched to the following line: 44.2 IP, 42 H, 15 BB, 42 K, 2.42 ERA, 1.28 WHIP. He long profiled as a back of the rotation type that would eat innings and keep the ball on the ground, but if he can hold onto that velocity and his newfangled slider, he may well be another solid mid-rotation guy.

#5 - Desmond Lindsay (OF)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 20

ETA: 2019

Lindsay should come with a disclaimer, as he missed most of his senior year of high school and much of what should have been his first full professional season with the same hamstring injury. He’s a fantastic athlete, with plus raw power and plus speed, but repetitious injuries are often a bad sign for the latter. That being said, Lindsay does have the tools to be a special fantasy asset, capable of hitting 15-plus home runs and stealing 20-plus bases, with a solid batting average. As is the case with Szapucki, Lindsay could move up this list quickly if he can stay healthy.

#6 - Dominic Smith (1B)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 21

ETA: 2017

As a first baseman, Smith will face an uphill battle towards fantasy relevancy. Most every scouting report out there references his plus (or better) raw power, but it has yet to show up with any semblance of consistency in games. His plus (or better) hit tool has, which makes him as safe a bet as any prospect to hit .300 at the highest level - yet he will need a bit more than that to dignify this ranking. He is still quite young at 21, and, to be fair, his professional career has been dominated by pitcher’s parks, so there’s still hope that the power will come. For the time being, though, he looks like a .290 hitter that could hit 15 to 18 home runs.

Tier 4 - Single League and Deep Format Plays

These prospects would likely slot into the 200-300 range on a ranking list, and would have the most value to mixed leagues with 16+ teams and single-league formats with 12+ teams.

#7 - Brandon Nimmo (OF)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 24

ETA: 2017

With over 250 games between Double-A and Triple-A under his belt, Nimmo has little left to prove in the minors. He has a good approach at the plate, working deep counts and drawing walks, and his hit tool has climbed into above-average territory. His value would undoubtedly be higher in leagues that utilized on-base percentage as a result. And yet his ultimate value will be dependent on his ability to tap into his plus raw power, as he does not offer much in the way of base-running, nor will he be an elite batting average guy.

#8 - Gavin Cecchini (SS)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 23

ETA: 2017

The shape of Cecchini’s fantasy production may not be all that different from Nimmo’s, albeit from the shortstop (or, more likely, second base) position. He has a strong approach at the plate, making a great deal of contact and taking plenty of walks, but his power is fringe average at best. He could chip in a handful of steals, but that isn’t his game, either. If the hits are dropping in, Cecchini could hit .270 with 8 to 10 HR and 5 SB; the position he does so from is an open question, though, as few see him as a big league shortstop.

#9 - Tomas Nido (C)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 22

ETA: 2018

The Mets have moved Nido steadily through the system, largely on the strength of his terrific defense as his offense was practically nil over his first four seasons. That changed in a hurry in 2016, when he batted .320/.357/.459 with 7 HR in 370 PA, on the strength of his ability to drive the ball to all fields. This didn’t come entirely out of nowhere, as Nido has been known for his quick bat and plus raw power, but it’s still a bit too early to go all-in on his stock. However, the combination of his tools and the knowledge that he’s all but a lock to stick at catcher is quite appealing.

#10 - Marcos Molina (RHP)

Age on Opening Day: 22

ETA: 2019

Molina did not pitch in the 2016 regular season, having underwent Tommy John Surgery in the Fall of 2015. He returned a bit earlier than expected, as a member of the Mets Arizona Fall League affiliate, where he tossed 16.2 IP across seven outings. Molina’s stuff became progressively better with each appearance, which is the most encouraging aspect of his recovery thus far. Prior to the injury, he was highly regarded for his arm strength and polished secondaries, and it bears watching to see if he can recapture that form.