- Adam Rubin, ESPNNewYork.com
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JUPITER, Fla. -- It should be fun for Wally Backman to manage the Las Vegas 51s this season. The New York Mets’ Triple-A affiliate will be stocked with talent. And several of those prospects should make their major league debuts in 2015.
The five most likely:
1. Danny Muno, IF: Like Josh Satin and Eric Campbell before him, Muno has become a front office darling because of his ability to work the count, draw walks and have a high on-base percentage. The Fresno State product looks like he will break camp with the team if Daniel Murphy opens the season on the DL, although Murphy is now expected to be ready. If Muno did start on Monday in D.C., he would become the 11th different Opening Day second baseman for the Mets in the past 15 seasons.
2. Noah Syndergaard, RHP: Syndergaard figured to be promoted last season. Instead, the 6-foot-6 right-hander was inconsistent at Las Vegas, while less-heralded Jacob deGrom ran with a major league opportunity and never let go of a rotation spot. Syndergaard ultimately went 9-7 with a 4.60 ERA in 26 starts for Vegas in 2014. He became too reliant on his fastball at points and also struggled with runners on base. He seems to have outgrown those issues now and is merely biding time for a rotation spot to open. The Mets do not intend to introduce him to the majors with relief work.
3. Matt Reynolds, SS: A former second-round pick from the University of Arkansas, Reynolds has stuck at shortstop, despite some questioning his range. He hit a combined .343 with six homers and 61 RBIs and had a .405 on-base percentage last season between Las Vegas and Double-A Binghamton. Reynolds continued to impress during spring training at the plate.
4. Steven Matz, LHP: Backman has suggested the southpaw Matz might have more upside than Syndergaard, which is lofty praise. The Stony Brook, Long Island, native was slowed for two years early in his career by a lengthy rehab from Tommy John surgery. He went a combined 10-9 with a 2.25 ERA in 24 starts last season between Binghamton and Class A St. Lucie. Matz took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning in Binghamton’s Eastern League title clincher last September.
5. Kevin Plawecki, C: If Travis d’Arnaud gets injured at any point during the season, and that could happen given his track record, Plawecki would be summoned from Vegas. The 24-year-old former Purdue catcher hit a combined .309 with 11 homers and 64 RBIs in 376 at-bats last season between Las Vegas and Binghamton.
Meanwhile, other prospects who could debut in 2015 include right-handed starter Matt Bowman and left-handed reliever Jack Leathersich.
JUPITER, Fla. -- It should be fun for Wally Backman to manage the Las Vegas 51s this season. The New York Mets’ Triple-A affiliate will be stocked with talent.