09/06/12 10:00 AM ET
Cecchini makes splash in new Mets Top Prospects list
By Joey Nowak / MLB.com
The reshuffling of the Mets' top prospect list was highlighted this fall by the in-season callups of Jordany Valdespin and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, as well as Gavin Cecchini's rapid ascension toward the top of the list after he was selected with New York's top pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.
Valdespin has provided some valuable power primarily from the outfield and off the bench for the Mets in 77 games, hitting eight homers and driving in 26 runs in 174 plate appearances through Thursday. He had a fantastic July, batting .347 with five homers and 10 RBIs in nine games (52 plate appearances) and has played six positions (including designated hitter) for Terry Collins this season.
Nieuwenhuis has proven to be a valuable outfield piece this season, appearing in 91 games (314 plate appearances) through Thursday in his rookie campaign. He's hit .252 with 40 runs, seven homers and 28 RBIs while stealing four bases. Nieuwenhuis was particularly strong in the first half, starting 62 games and batting .268, and has played all three outfield positions.
Infielder Danny Muno (previously No. 17) received a 50-game suspension in May after testing positive after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. He was with Class A St. Lucie at the time, where he hit .280 with six homers and 39 RBIs in 81 games this year.
Outfielder Darrell Ceciliani (previously No. 18), who has been in the Mets system for four seasons, played just 23 games for St. Lucie due to a recurring hamstring injury, batting .329 with an OPS of .861.
Left-hander Darin Gorski (previously No. 19) also has spent four seasons with the Mets organization, and made 25 appearances (24 starts) for Double-A Binghamton this season. He went 9-8 with a 4.00 ERA and averaged 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
Muno and Ceciliani will represent the Mets in the Arizona Fall League.
Top pick Gavin Cecchini, the right-handed-hitting shortstop drafted out of Barbe (La.) High School, headlines the new names on the revamped list. In 53 games with Kingsport, he hit .246 with one homer and 22 RBIs, moving all the way up to the No. 6 spot on the rankings.
Third baseman Jefry Marte, who hit .251 with nine homers and 58 RBIs with Binghamton, also moved onto the list at No. 15.
The team's No. 2 and No. 3 picks from the 2012 Draft - catcher Kevin Plawecki and third baseman Matt Reynolds, respectively -- also broke in at Nos. 17 and 18. Second baseman Wilfredo Tovar, who spent the year split between St. Lucie and Binghamton, joins the list at No. 16.
mets' top prospects
No one rose higher this season than Cecchini, who technically jumped 15 spots into the No. 6 slot on the prospect rankings. Marte leapt six spots, while right-hander Cory Mazzoni also jumped six, and Tovar moved up five spots.
There was little movement near the top of the list, with the top three prospects (Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia) standing pat but Juan Urbina (previously No. 14) and Cory Vaughn (previously No. 15) each dropped five spots toward the bottom of the Top 20.
Top 100 representation
The Mets climbed the overall MLB team rankings in terms of Prospect Points, with Harvey and Wheeler remaining among MLB's Top 100 overall prospects (Wheeler is No. 7 and Harvey is No. 25).
Before his callup to the Mets, Harvey spent the season with Triple-A Buffalo (7-5, 3.68 ERA), while Wheeler split time between Binghamton and Buffalo with an overall 12-8 record and 3.26 ERA.
In the preseason, the Mets checked in with 147 overall Prospect Points and are set to finish the season with 170 largely thanks to the emergence of Cecchini. That has New York 17th overall among the 30 MLB clubs, after it stood 20th at the beginning of the year.
Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.