In 2008, the Mets once again finished as runners up in the NL East, and are looking to improve on their 89-73 record this season. Despite a terrific amount of talent brought in by free agency over the past few seasons, New York is also developing some home grown talent. Here are the top five Mets rookies and minor league prospects who may have a future impact in fantasy baseball.
Jonathon Niese (SP)
The 22 year old Niese will be fighting for a spot on the starting rotation this season. Niese had mixed results in a September call up last season, sandwiching an impressive 8 inning, 5-0 win against Atlanta, in between two starts where he only lasted 3 innings each. The 6-4, 215 lb lefty had a fast rise through the Mets’ farm system, compiling an overall 23-15 record with 420 strikeouts in 457 innings of work. At best, Niese is worth a flyer in the late rounds of an all keeper league draft, or an NL only draft.
Eddie Kunz (RP)
Kunz has a chance to work his way into a spot in the Mets’ bullpen. At 6-6, 265 lbs, the imposing Kunz had success as a closer at Class AA Binghamton in 2008, picking up 27 saves during his stay there. Kunz got a late September call up but was over matched in 2-2/3 innings of work spread over 4 games, yielding 5 hits and 4 earned runs. Still a few years away from the majors at 22, pass on Kunz in your fantasy draft for now.
Stefan Welch (1B/3B)
The 20 year old, Australian born Welch, is a promising left-handed hitting prospect who is years away from showing his ability at the major league level. Welch will probably spend the year at Class A ball, but as he matures, the gap power he currently exhibits may turn into homers. In 104 total minor league games, Welch has collected 37 extra base hits, while hitting .282. Look for Welch to arrive at the major league level in 2011 or 2012. For now though, he will not have any fantasy baseball impact.
Ruben Tejada (SS)
Tejada, a 19 year old out of Panama, was an impressive hitter at two Rookie Class minor league stops in 2007, hitting .324 with 18 steals in 67 games. Struggling to hit at his Class A stop in 2008, Tejada still looks to have a future in the big leagues. Tejada is years away from having any kind of fantasy baseball impact, but he is worth keeping an eye on for now.
Nicholas Carr (SP)
Carr has a major league fastball, which he has had trouble controlling in 4 minor league stops over the past three years. Though he has only posted an 8-14 record with a 4.74 ERA in the minors, he has chalked up 214 K’s in 233-1/3 innings of work. Carr is not ready for the big leagues yet, but if he works out his control issues, he could provide a few K’s for future fantasy baseball teams.