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2020-21 MLB International Reviews: New York Mets

Joel Diaz Mets

The Mets have shifted personnel on the international side since Steve Cohen bought the team and installed Sandy Alderson as president, not long after the previous front office overhauled the international department.

This signing class came under the watch of Rafael Perez, who joined the Mets as director of international operations after Chris Becerra left to join the Red Sox following the 2018 season. The Mets' new regime parted ways with Perez and expanded the role of Tommy Tanous to oversee domestic and international scouting as their vice president of amateur and international scouting. Steve Barningham, who had been a crosschecker, is the team's international scouting director, with Moises de la Mota remaining as supervisor of Latin American scouting.

Top Of The Class

The Mets had a different type of class than most other clubs, signing a high volume of players, but without anyone for at least $1 million or the high six-figure range that would typically fit into this category. Arguably the best player in the class is Dominican righthander Joel Diaz, whose stock has grown considerably over the past year. Diaz was throwing more in the mid-to-upper 80s when a lot of teams were scouting him, but his fastball has jumped to the point where he's touching 95 mph. There's more physical projection left in his 6-foot-2 frame, so he should continue to throw harder. He has starter traits as a strike-thrower with a three-pitch mix that includes an advanced curveball for his age with a chance to be plus and feel for a changeup with good fade. Diaz trained with Jose Valdez.

Names To Know

Yohairo Cuevas, OF, Dominican Republic: Cuevas is a tool shed in center field, standing out for his athleticism, plus speed and a 70 arm. He hits the ball hard from the left side with a chance to grow into power as he fills out his 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame, with his raw tools more advanced than his pure hitting ability.

Ellian Nuñez, RHP, Dominican Republic: Nuñez and Joel Diaz give the Mets two promising pitching prospects from this class. A 6-foot-2 righthander, Nuñez has continued to see his velocity climb, sitting in the low 90s with the ability to reach 97. It's a lively fastball with a lot of running action and a high spin-rate curveball with power and tight rotation in the upper 70s, giving him a weapon that could potentially miss a lot of bats. He trained with Edgar Mercedes.

Gustavo Marquez, OF, Venezuela: Marquez was one of the Mets' top signings from Venezuela, standing out for his athleticism and tools. He's an athletic center fielder with a chance to be a power/speed threat with a strong arm, with his tools further along than his hitting ability right now. Marquez trained with Junior Carrasquel.

Diego Mosquera, SS, Venezuela: Mosquera is a smart, instinctive player who stands out at shortstop with soft hands, a good internal clock and fundamentally sound defense for his age, with what should be enough arm strength to stick at shortstop. He's more of a defensive-oriented player who needs to get stronger but has solid bat-to-ball skills. Mosquera trained with Javier Mendoza.

Samuel Camacaro, SS, Venezuela: Camacaro, who trained with Jose Montero, is a similar player to Mosquera. He's a headsy player with simple, efficient actions at shortstop and good range. He's a defensive-minded player who also needs to get stronger to develop more offensive impact.

Aaron Martinez, RHP, Venezuela: Martinez has a big fastball for his age, sitting in the low 90s with the ability to reach 95 mph with sink and a chance for more velocity as he fills out his 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame. His fastball is his main weapon, with a slow curveball that could eventually morph into a slider. Martinez trained with Carlos Guillen.

Juan Veliz, LHP, Venezuela: Veliz is a 6-foot-1, pitchability lefty who throws a lot of strikes with a fastball that gets into the upper 80s with a lot of movement. He pairs it with a mid-70s curveball that has good spin and shape. He trained with Carlos Romero.

Jensy Silvestre, SS, Dominican Republic: Silvestre is an offensive-oriented middle infielder with a compact stroke, keeping his hands inside the ball well to spray line drives around the field with gap power. He's a solid runner who could start out at shortstop but might end up flipping across to second base. Silvestre trained with Niche.

Juan Arnaud, RHP, Dominican Republic: Arnaud has a solid mix of stuff and pitchability, with the ability to reach 93 mph, promising spin and shape on his curveball and good strike-throwing skills for his age, which led to good game performance as an amateur.

Sleeper Watch

Dominican outfielder Francis de Leon, who trained with Nube, packs loud tools into his 6-foot-2, 193-pound frame. He's a strong, physically mature player for his age with the ability to whip the barrel through the zone to generate above-average raw power. De Leon also has a plus arm and runs well enough to have a chance to stay in center field, with a plus arm for right field if he has to go to a corner.

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