Many New York Mets fans are pessimistic heading into 2011.

Now I’m not saying there’s not a good reason for this—payroll inflexibility, infield depth, Oliver Perez—but fans right now prefer to look to the future than the present.

Unfortunately, the Mets are just one of four teams that did not have a single prospect featured on Jonathan Mayo’s Top 50 list, unveiled on Tuesday night.

Jenrry Mejia was ineligible for the list because he no longer has rookie status and Wilmer Flores came in at No. 58, on the bubble behind Rangers shortstop Jurickson Profar and pitching prospects Jarred Cosart (Phillies), Tyler Skaggs, (D-backs), Dellin Betances (Yankees) and Ethan Martin (Dodgers).

The Mets don’t have the prospects or the farm system like the Rays or the Royals, but they’re not playing them every day. So where do the other NL East teams rank in the list?

The Braves had three guys in the top 21, the Phillies had two prospects inside the top 30 including the fourth overall prospect Domonic Brown and the Nationals had Bryce Harper ranked at No. 3.

The Marlins, like the Mets, had no one in the top 50.

New York’s biggest problem is that, other than Mejia, they have very few, if any, Major League-ready prospects. Mejia will start in Triple-A most likely, and there’s a really good chance that the Mets will be fielding the same core at the position players for many years to come.

Baseball America predicts David Wright, Jose Reyes, Ike Davis, Josh Thole and Angel Pagan will all be in the Mets’ starting lineup on Opening Day of 2014, with the previously-mentioned Flores in left field, Reese Havens at second and Cesar Puello in right.

Puello is seen by some scouts as a better prospect than Kirk Nieuwenhuis, while Baseball America doesn’t seem to rank Lucas Duda or Fernando Martinez, both players with big league experience, that highly at all any more.

The fact is that the Mets haven’t drafted particularly well over the last decade. Their high school picks have looked distinctly average, and until last year Angel Pagan, Jon Niese and Josh Thole had made little to no impact. Take that trio out of the equation and you’re left with very limited success in first-rounders David Wright and Scott Kazmir.

Then consider that the Mets sent Kazmir to the Rays in exchange for Bartolome Fortunato and Victor Zambrano only to watch him rack up 55 wins over the next five seasons as a full-time starter, and things are even less rosy.

The junior college picks have been even less impressive and the four-year college picks are headlined by a pitcher with an ERA north of 5.00 (Bannister) and a batter who has 14 homers in 639 at-bats (Murphy).

With few high-level draft prospects in the system and even fewer legitimate All-Stars on the 40-man roster, 2011 does indeed predict as being tough.

That’s okay though, because the Mets have the cash to bring in everybody they need to succeed, right?

I’ll cheer for this team through thick and thin, but 2012 can’t come soon enough.

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