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New York Mets: Top 10 Prospects For 2013

Mets ProspectsFeaturing a young core of homegrown names like David Wright, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Jonathan Niese and Matt Harvey, the New York Mets bolstered their farm system with two key trades that yielded right-handed starting pitcher Zack Wheeler from San Francisco in 2011 and catcher Travis d’Arnaud and right-hander Noah Syndergaard from Toronto this offseason.

The latter three names represent the prized trio in the Mets farm system, and two of them (Wheeler and d’Arnaud) can help the parent club this season. Syndergaard was the 38th overall selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Legacy High School in Mansfield, Texas.

Here are the top 10 prospects in the Mets’ farm system entering the 2013 campaign:

1) Ranked as the No. 8 overall prospect on the Baseball News Source Top 10 Prospects List for 2013, Travis d’Arnaud is a rarity in today’s game – a catcher  who is exceptional behind the plate (with his arm, agility and athleticism) and a run producer at the plate. In 2012, he hit .279/.380/.595/.975 with 16 home runs and 52 RBI in 279 at-bats at Triple-A Las Vegas. His season was shortened by a knee injury, but he is expected to be fully recovered in time for spring training.

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2) A power right-hander with a plus fast ball and an improving surve ball and change-up, 22-year-old Zack Wheeler has gradually improved his command since arriving in the Mets organization as part of the Carlos Beltran trade with the Giants in 2011. He split 2012 between Double-A and Triple-A and could make his Major League debut at some point this year.

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3) Acquired with d’Arnaud this offseason in the blockbuster deal with Toronto that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays, 20-year-old Noah Syndergaard was a supplemental first rounder (38th overall) in 2010. The right-hander struck out 122 in 103.2 innings at low Single-A last season and showcases a plus fast ball, curve ball and change-up.

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4) The younger brother of Red Sox third base prospect Garin Cecchini, 19-year-old Gavin Cecchini was drafted in the first round (12th overall). Currently a shortstop, his future home could be at second base. Baseball’s equivalent of a gym rat, Cecchini is fundamentally sound and has a high baseball IQ. A contact hitter with gap power, he has speed and is a threat to steal bases.

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5) Wilmer Flores is a 21-year-old third baseman out of Venezuela is one of those rare power hitters who consistently make contact. He had a breakout 2012 season when he batted .300 with a .827 OPS, 18 home runs and 75 RBI between advanced Single-A and Double-A.

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6) A 23-year-old right-hander out of the Dominican republic, Jeurys Familia has a high 90s fast ball with improving secondary pitches. He spent all of 2012 at Triple-A Buffalo (his first season at that level) where he recorded a 4.73 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP in 28 starts and 137 innings. He has a high ceiling if he improves his command.

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7) A supplemental first rounder (44th overall) out of high school in 2011, 19-year-old right-hander Michael Fulmer joined fellow Oklahomans Dylan Bundy (Baltimore) and Archie Bradley (Arizona) as highly regarded pitchers high in the draft that summer. He is working on a change-up to accompany his high 90s fast ball and power slider.

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8) A 22-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic, Luis Mateo is a hard-thrower who is trying to master a change-up. He was impressive in the short-season New York-Penn League last year (2.45 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 85 strikeouts, 9 walks, 73.1 innings).

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9) Drafted in the first round (13th overall) out of high school in 2011, 19-year-old Brandon Nimmo has the distinction of being the first Major League first rounder out of Wyoming.  A left-handed power hitter with speed and plus defense in the outfield, Nimmo has raw skills but an extremely high ceiling.

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10) Rafael Montero has packed a lot of suitcases in the last two years as he has climbed the Mets organization ladder. The 22-year-old Dominican right-hander started the 2011 campaign in the Dominican Summer League and has been promoted five times, all the way to where he finished in 2012, at advanced Single-A St. Lucie. He is working on secondary pitches beyond his fast ball, but he has the arsenal to continue his rapid ascent.

Jeff Louderback is a professional freelance writer and the founder and editor of BoSox Banter a site about the Red Sox, the Red Sox farm system and baseball-themed travel