Yankees vs. Mets: Second Base Prospects

Anderson Feliz gets lost in the shuffle

Continuing our comparisons between the Yankees and Mets farm systems, we take a look at the crop of second base prospects in each system. Which system is deeper? Which prospects have the most power? The highest ceilings? Take a look at this comparison between the two rival New York farm systems.

The Two Farm Systems: It is wave the white flag time for the Mets in this positional comparison with the New York Yankees as the Bombers have no less than five legitimate potential big league starting candidates among their four long-season league teams and the Mets have a whole lot of question marks at the position, even if top hitting prospect Wilmer Flores could stick at the position [many talent evaluators doubt he can] defensively.

The Yankees have the top two second base prospects not only closest to the big leagues but also the safest pair to reach their ceilings too in the form of left-handed hitting Corban Joseph and right-handed hitting David Adams. Joseph isn't a great defender but he's a .300 hitter in the making and the power is really starting to develop. Not only did he hit club a career-high 15 home runs at the two highest minor league levels last year [13 of which came at Triple-A], but he's also the kind of batter who will walk nearly as much as he strikes outs. He's basically Daniel Murphy hitting-wise with more power potential and a bit better defensively.

Adams is just as good a natural hitter as well. He too will walk nearly as much as he strikes out and probably more so than any other player in either organization he hardly ever swings at pitches out of the strike zone. He was sidelined production-wise for the previous two years while battling his way back from a horrific broken ankle injury, but he proved the power is starting to come back in his swing after hitting a career-high eight home runs last year. The home run power numbers don't do his extra-base power any justice either -- he could be a high doubles guy who hits for very good averages and he's one of the best at turning the double-play pivot.

The Yankees are not done with those two though. Switch-hitting Anderson Feliz and right-handed hitting Angelo Gumbs provide even more long-term potential than Joseph and Adams because both are vastly more athletic. Feliz missed most of the 2013 season with an array of injuries but he sports plus bat speed, plus running speed, plus defensive potential, and the power, which grades out as average right now, has room to get better.

Gumbs is a bit of a physical freak. He too has plus bat speed, above average power potential with room to project for even more down the road if things break right, above average speed, and the approach at the plate has gotten a lot more consistent for the 20-year old recently. He has the look of a potential five-tool talent at second base.

The Mets have a couple of potential starting second baseman in Reese Havens and Daniel Muno, but both have enough question marks that neither is a bonafide given at this point prospects-wise. Havens shows average power and solid defense, but the left-handed hitter is probably the most snake-bit player injury-wise in either farm system at any position and his inability to stay on the field consistently has cost him development time.

Muno has plate discipline that's right up there with Joseph and Adams, the kind where drawing as many walks at striking out is nearly a given. He also has shown an ability to steal some bases, use the whole field when he hits, and drive balls into the gaps. Like Adams he might not ever be a big home run guy but he could pile up the doubles. He did serve a 50-game PED suspension last season, however, so there is some question as to how the power will surface in 2013.

The Yankees have arguably the biggest wildcard among the second base prospects in Rob Refsnyder, last year's fifth round pick and College World Series MVP. He was a starting right fielder for the University of Arizona who shows great plate discipline, an ability to hit for average, average to above average power power potential, and some great intangibles. He just moved to second base during Instructs this offseason though so it remains to be seen if he will stick there long-term. If he does, the bat is going to be a big-time tool for him there.

The Mets have some potential intriguing guys at second base beneath Havens and Muno; T.J. Rivera, Robbie Shields, Brandon Brown, and Branden Kaupe. Rivera, a shortstop by trade, has average power and speed, and profiles better at second base. He doesn't have the one plus tool though most scouts would like to see to make him more of a potential big league threat.

Kaupe, last year's fourth round pick out of high school in Hawaii, does have some plus tools that makes him intriguing; plus speed and now big league plate discipline. However, at just 5-foot-7, the switch-hitter needs to get stronger in the coming years to have more of a big league chance.

The Yankees have two other potential second base prospects who, like the Mets' Rivera and Muno though, project probably better as long-term utility players than viable big league starting second basemen. Jose Pirela, a Venezuelan native, hit .293 in Double-A last season while splitting time between second, third, and left field, and he has solid tools across the board; power, speed, plate discipline. It's at second base though where he's shown flashes of being a plus defender.

Jose Rosario is a short-season league version of Pirela talent-wise, also a former shortstop who looks much better defensively at second base but whose solid tools and lack of a plus one might keep out of the starting second base mix down the road.

How Do They Compare In...

Power: Even if Wilmer Flores could successfully transition to second base it still would not be enough to overcome the combined power potential of Joseph, Adams, Feliz, Gumbs, Refsnyder, Pirela, etc. Advantage: Yankees

Hitting For Average: Again, the Yankees have too much depth here. Muno has superb plate discipline but so do Joseph, Adams, and Refsnyder. Advantage: Yankees

Defense: This is where the Mets can make it a bit of a race. Both Havens and Muno are average to above average second basemen, and Kaupe and Rivera show that kind of potential as well. The Yankees have Adams, Feliz, and Gumbs, all of which are average to perhaps even plus, but Joseph and Refsnyder aren't in that group yet. Advantage: Even

Overall Potential: Flores being able to stick at second would make this more of a race but since most believe he won't for now it's a no contest situation. Gumbs and Feliz have immense ceilings, Joseph and Adams will be solid big leaguers, and Refnsyder's bat could tip the scales here into a butt whooping. Advantage: Yankees

Highest Ceilings: Angelo Gumbs (Yankees), Anderson Feliz (Yankees), Corban Joseph (Yankees), David Adams (Yankees), Rob Refsnyder (Yankees)

Best Power: Angelo Gumbs (Yankees), Corban Joseph (Yankees), Anderson Feliz (Yankees), Reese Havens (Mets), David Adams (Yankees)

Best Average: David Adams (Yankees),Corban Joseph (Yankees), Rob Refsnyder (Yankees), Daniel Muno (Mets), Anderson Feliz (Yankees)

Best Defense: Anderson Feliz (Yankees), David Adams (Yankees), Angelo Gumbs (Yankees), Daniel Muno (Mets), Reese Havens (Mets)

Best Speed: Angelo Gumbs (Yankees), Anderson Feliz (Yankees), Branden Kaupe (Mets), Daniel Muno (Mets), Rob Refsnyder (Yankees)

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