Mets honor top prospects with Sterling Award

Mets honor top prospects with Sterling Award
The 10 Mets minor leaguers who were awarded the Sterling Award — reserved for the organization’s top prospects — visited students at PS 92 in Corona.
Photo by Michael Shain
By Zach Gewelb

While the Mets haven’t seen too much success throughout the organization this season, some prospects in the lower levels of the system had breakout seasons. Ten prospects were honored by the team as Sterling Award winners, given to the top players in the system.

The prospects made a trip to PS 92 in Corona Tuesday to spend time with some hometown fans.

Let’s take a closer look at the 10 award winners.

Corey Oswalt, Organizational Player of the Year

Oswalt received perhaps the top honor in the system after an incredible 2017 campaign for Class-AA Binghamton. The 24-year-old righty pitched to a 12-5 record with a 2.28 ERA in 24 games played — all starts. Oswalt, a seventh-round pick back in 2012 out of James Madison, struck out 119 batters and walked just 40 in 134.1 innings pitched. He ended the season on a high note, pitching to a 7-1 record and allowing just 10 earned runs in his final 10 starts of the season.

Luis Guillorme, Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League

Guillorme had a strong first season with Binghamton at second base, posting a .283 batting average to go along with 43 runs batted in. While he slugged only one home run in 128 games, the 2013 10th round pick got on base at a .376 clip and scored 70 runs on the season. Guillorme walked more (76) than he struck out (55) and emerged as one of the team’s better positional prospects.

Jhoan Urena, St. Lucie (A) of the Florida State League

Urena made it as high as Class-AAA Las Vegas this season, but did most of his damage for Class-A St. Lucie. The 23-year-old first baseman posted a batting line of .282/.364/.437 with 11 home runs and 62 RBI in 122 games for the 51’s. Urena also showed surprising speed for a first basemen, stealing 17 bases in 20 attempts.

Jordan Humphreys, Columbia (A) of the South Atlantic League

Humphreys emerged as one of the Mets’ best pitching prospects in the lower levels with a dominant 2017 season. The 21-year-old righty pitched to a 10-1 record with a 1.42 ERA in 11 starts, including two complete-game efforts. The Mets’ 18th round pick in 2015 struck out 80 and walked just nine batters in 69.1 innings, while allowing just two home runs on the season.

Nicolas Debora, Brooklyn (A) of the New York Penn League

Debora split time in the bullpen and the rotation for the Cyclones and dominated in both roles. While the 23-year-old Domincan pitched to a 1-4 record, he had a stellar 2.33 ERA and struck out 56 batters in 54 innings. Debura also recorded one save in two opportunities out of the bullpen.

Rigoberto Terrazas, Kingsport (R) of the Appalachian League

Terrazas, 21, shined for Kingsport in 2017, posting a .348 batting average in 54 games played. The switch-hitter smacked three home runs and recorded 24 RBI while getting on base at a .413 clip, and is primed to continue his climb up the organizational ladder.

Jaison Vilera, Gulf Coast League (R)

The 20-year-old Venezuelan made a strong first impression in the Gulf Coast League. Vilera pitched to a 1.88 ERA in 62.1 innings (11 games, eight starts) and held the opposition to just 43 hits and three home runs on the season.

Miguel Ramirez, Domincan Summer League No. 1 (R)

Ramirez impressed in 14 starts for the Mets in the summer league, pitching to a 6-2 record with a 1.76 ERA. The 20-year-old righty allowed just one home run all season and walked only three batters, which is no small feat for a young pitcher.

Yoel Romero, Dominican Summer League No. 2 (R)

Romero, 19, stood out for the Mets in his third year with the team. The third baseman posted a .364/.439/.464 batting line with two home runs and 35 RBI. Romero also showed flashes of elite speed with 17 stolen bases in 24 attempts.

Luis Santana, Dominican Summer League No. 2 (R)

The 18-year-old second baseman showed signs of improvement in his second year in the Mets organization. Santana hit .325 with three home runs and a stellar 54 RBI in 65 games played. He showed a knack for getting on base, evidenced by his sterling .413 on-base percentage. Santana also showed his speed, stealing 16 bases in 20 attempts.

So while the Mets have endured a nightmare season at the major league level in 2017, these 10 prospects show that the organization has a bright future.

Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe[email protected]glocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4539.

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