Paul DePodesta weighs in on Dilson Herrera, injured first-round picks

Will the Mets turn second base over to prospect Dilson Herrera next season? Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The New York Mets may be prepared to turn second base over to prospect Dilson Herrera next season. If that's the case, team VP Paul DePodesta believes the Mets will be in good hands.

Herrera, 21, hit .211/.311/.367 in 103 plate appearances at the major league level last season. He spent most of the season at Triple-A Las Vegas.

"He's always hit," DePodesta said Tuesday at the GM Meetings. "He's got excellent bat speed. He's shown some control of the strike zone. For a smaller guy, he does a lot of damage. And he also plays with a lot of life. This is a guy with a lot of energy, both offensively and defensively. I think it rubs off on his teammates."

Asked if the most likely scenario is Herrera opening next season as the second baseman provided Daniel Murphy departs, DePodesta added: "It's still a long way from now until April, and we don't know all the different opportunities that may present themselves between now and then. It's certainly an option for us."

Done for winter: Not only is Gavin Cecchini out for the Premier 12 Tournament currently taking place in Asia due to a shoulder injury, he and fellow first-round pick Dominic Smith both are unlikely to return to the Arizona Fall League this offseason, DePodesta said.

Smith has a oblique strain. Cecchini, who was due to represent Team USA as the starting shortstop, has a shoulder injury.

Who's next? With Steven Matz now all but established at the major league level, who is next in the system to reach the majors?

"They want more?" DePodesta joked.

More seriously, DePodesta added: "I think some position players -- certainly Herrera, [Matt] Reynolds, [Brandon] Nimmo are all guys we think are close. Pitching-wise, in terms of starting pitching, [Robert] Gsellman, [Matt] Bowman, [Gabriel] Ynoa -- those are all guys who are moving up. [Seth] Lugo is a guy who pitched really well for us in Double-A and Triple-A. I think he's close. But to match the guys who just broke through in the last year or two, that's a high bar."

Who's that? Baseball America's new Mets top-10 prospect list was relatively straightforward. But Luis Carpio at No. 7 may have jumped out as an unfamiliar name.

Carpio, an 18-year-old Venezuelan, hit .304/.372/.359 at Kingsport in 2015.

"He's just a pretty complete player -- a pure defender at shortstop," DePodesta said. "There's no doubt he stays there. Offensively, he's really, really polished for such a young guy. He has great control of the strike zone. He has some strength in his hands. I think he'll hit for some more power as he matures. Overall, he's just really, really polished -- not just even his skills, but just his mental approach to the game for such a young player is really advanced."