Here is a look at the players in St. Lucie most likely to help the Mets in the years ahead.

There are no shortages of prospects at St. Lucie, even if the club is scuffling with a 20-20 record.  The pitching staff is virtually an all-prospect rotation with four people profiled below and a fifth, Angel Calero, has a 3.57 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 40.1 innings.  Additionally, all three of 2008’s top picks are in the Florida State League and showing promise.

Here are nine players that should be on your radar for 2010 and beyond:

Carlos Guzman – The Brooklyn native leads the team with an .855 OPS.  He has a little trouble with southpaws, but the lefty-swinging Guzman has a .308/.346/.583 line versus righties.  At age 23, he’s a little older than you would like for the FSL but if he continues to hit he’ll get a chance.

Ike Davis – Last year’s first-round pick and the 18th player selected overall, Davis was chosen for his power potential but then hit zero homers in his professional debut last year.  He has just two home runs this season but carries a solid .282/.365/.429 line.  St. Lucie is famous for being tough on power hitters, so we will probably have to wait until next season to see where Davis’ power potential is really at.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis – A third-round 2008 pick from NAIA school Azusa Pacific, Nieuwenhuis is tied for the team lead with seven home runs.  A center fielder with both power and speed, he’ll need to cut down on his strikeouts to realize his potential.  Nieuwenhuis has 40 strikeouts in 145 at-bats.

Reese Havens – Chosen four picks after Davis in last year’s draft, Havens is hitting for good power with 15 XBH, including seven homers, in 157 at-bats.  He’s playing shortstop for now, but will likely be a second baseman at higher levels.  After fanning nearly 32 percent of the time in his professional debut last year, Havens’ K% is at 17.2 percent.  He has just a .229 average, thanks to a dismal .236 BABIP.

Scott Shaw – A 6’5 RHP with a solid low 90s fastball, Shaw has a 3.17 K/BB ratio.  A 13th-round draft pick in 2008 out of the University of Illinois, Shaw has displayed much better control in the pros than he did in college.  He also keeps the ball in the park, having allowed just four homers in 45.1 IP.

Eric Niesen – A third-round pick in 2007, Niesen fell off the radar after a poor season at St. Lucie in 2008.  Repeating the level this year, Niesen has gotten off to a strong start with a 2.45 ERA and a 2.92 K/BB ratio.  The lefty from Wake Forest has a 1.05 WHIP after eight games.

Jenrry Mejia – The 19-year old with the golden arm is off to a great start this year.  He leads the team in Wins (3) and ERA (1.82) and has yet to allow a HR in his first 39.2 IP.  With the way the Mets like to promote their top prospects, it is not impossible that Mejia will wind up in Double-A as a teenager if he keeps this pace up.

Brad Holt – The 33rd player selected in the 2008 draft, Holt is mowing them down in the FSL.  He has an outstanding 4.89 K/BB ration thanks to a K/9 mark of 11.21  Holt is having some trouble with the longball, allowing a 1.27 HR/9.  The fastball is a plus pitch but his other offerings are inconsistent and Holt’s future may be in the bullpen.

Brant Rustich – A second-round pick in 2007 out of UCLA, Rustich has found a home in the bullpen.  In eight games covering 28 IP, Rustich has a 2.25 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 28 IP.  A 6’6 right, Rustich has limited RHB to a .211 average this year.

Advertisements