Five Needing Breakout Seasons

Gilbert Gomez needs to turn tools into production

Every prospect heads into a new season each year hoping for one, but five Mets prospects in particular really need to have a breakout season in 2013.

OF, Darrell Ceciliani: The 2009 fourth round pick has some really exciting tools and can do a lot of things on a baseball field, especially with his great speed. However, now three full years into his career and he has accumulated barely 500 at-bats over the past two seasons as he has battled hamstring issues.

He has been very productive when he's played, hitting .329 in 23 games for St. Lucie last season and he's shown a propensity for drawing walks to go with his great speed. Throw in above average defense too, he can help a team in a lot of ways. But now 22 years old and barely high-A experienced, he needs a full healthy season to not only showcase what he can do but also have the time to work on his game.

OF, Gilbert Gomez: Long lauded for his great tools, the Dominican native shows flashes of brilliance in short spurts but has yet to put it all together for an entire season. He hit .256 for the Savannah Sand Gnats in 2012 with three home runs and eight stolen bases, but both latter totals are not indicative of the type of above average tools he possesses.

He'll turn 21 years old by the start of the 2013 season and now is the time for the 2008 International free agent signing to begin to make some noise in the Mets farm system and turn those tools into actual on the field production or else start to slide into the non-prospect category.

RHP, Akeel Morris: The pitching version of Gomez, Morris has one of the best arms and some of the nastiest stuff in the entire organization but has yet to find on the field success. In fact, he not only repeated the short-season Appalachian League level in 2012, statistically he regressed from the year prior, seeing his ERA jump from 3.86 to 7.98.

He can hit the mid-90s with regularity with his fastball and both his secondary pitches flash plus potential. However, his mechanics remain very inconsistent and so does his release point, so much so that he continuously pitches behind in counts and that's a recipe for disaster for any pitcher at any level. He has pure swing and miss stuff but 20-year old needs to start proving it more consistently real soon and do so in the long-season leagues.

OF, Cesar Puello: There arguably isn't a more frustrating prospect than this 21-year old Dominican native [who turns 22 by the start of the 2013 season] in the entire Mets farm system. As physically gifted as they come, he could be a potential big league All Star in the making in all aspects of the game and yet he hasn't come close to putting it all together.

In fairness to him he did take some in 2012 recovering from surgery to remove the hamate bone in his left hand and that's not easy for a right-handed batter, but that doesn't excuse him from an approach that not only remains very inconsistent but often times way too aggressive. He simply gets himself out a lot of times by swinging at bad pitches. A little more patience at the plate and a bit better health and he could break out at a moment's notice, but it really needs to come sooner rather than later as he's entering his sixth professional season.

OF, Cory Vaughn: It's tough to put him in this category after he just completed a season that saw him club 23 home runs for the St. Lucie Mets in a very pitching friendly league, but part of the reason is he is just so talented that could be so much better than he has been.

He displays plus power potential, speed, defense, and actually good pitch recognition. His problem has been not using the whole field enough and often times gets way too pull happy. And while he's extremely patient at the plate, sometimes he is just too patient sitting on his pitch and often times gets behind in counts. If he could get more aggressive in hitter's counts and show a real willingness to go to the opposite field more, he could be a much more consistent hitter and the great power could play even higher.

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