New York Mets 2019 Top 30 MLB Prospects Midseason Update
UPDATE: The Mets Top 30 now includes moves made through the July 31 trade deadline.
The Mets entered 2019 with high expectations but hobbled into the all-star break with one of the worst records in the National League. The main culprit was a pitching staff that sported a park-adjusted ERA+ of 84, which ranked last in the NL. Despite the offseason additions of relievers Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia and Justin Wilson, the Mets’ bullpen vied with the Nationals’ for the title of worst in NL history.
While the continued excellence of ace Jacob deGrom was the lone bright spot on the pitching side, the Mets’ offense produced two all-stars in first-year starters Pete Alonso (160 OPS+) at first base and second baseman/left fielder Jeff McNeil (149 OPS+). Other young position players such as right fielder Michael Conforto and shortstop Amed Rosario continued their fitful development, while Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis had their moments in part-time roles.
Beyond Triple-A lefthander Anthony Kay, who pitched a scoreless inning at the Futures Game, the Mets have no prospect reinforcements on the immediate horizon. Most of the organization’s top talent is concentrated at low Class A Columbia and in short-season ball, a product of focusing on high school talent in recent drafts and a continued emphasis on Latin America. College lefties Kay, David Peterson and Kevin Smith are the only exceptions in the Mets’ midseason Top 10 Prospects ranking.
1. Ronny Mauricio, SS
The 18-year-old has held his own as one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League. Mauricio impressed scouts with his defense, showcasing strong body control and a plus arm. He showed good feel to hit but fringy present power and average speed that will decline as he matures.
2. Andres Gimenez, SS
Gimenez rocketed to Double-A last season at age 19 and returned there this season. He draws raves for his fielding skill and has maintained his basestealing aggressiveness. Additional physical maturity should help unlock his offensive potential.
3. Brett Baty, 3B
The 12th overall pick in June, Baty combines advanced feel to hit, 70-grade raw power and a disciplined hitting approach to rank as the best “now” hitter in the 2019 high school draft class. Already 19, he has the type of impact potential to move quickly.
4. Francisco Alvarez, C
Signed in 2018 out of Venezuela, Alvarez reported directly to the Gulf Coast League this season, but his bat was too advanced and he moved to the Appalachian League after a week. Alvarez has tremendous opposite-field power, strong bat-to-ball skills and a strong catch-and-throw foundation.
5. Matt Allan, RHP
The top high school pitching prospect in the 2019 draft, Allan slipped to the third round because of bonus demands. He signed with the Mets for $2.5 million and has the dominant fastball-curveball repertoire and physicality to dominate pro competition.
6. Mark Vientos, 3B
A sound hitting approach and plus power potential define Vientos, who started slowly in the South Atlantic League against same-side spin. His future is less certain in terms of his feel to hit and viability at third base.
7. David Peterson, LHP
The 6-foot-6 lefty is missing more bats this season at Double-A while maintaining a strong groundball rate. Peterson’s unique angle, extension and control help his fastball and slider play up.
8. Kevin Smith, LHP
Drafted in the seventh round out of Georgia a year ago, Smith has shined in the Florida State League this season, recording a 3.05 ERA and one of the highest swinging-strike rates in the league. His high-spin fastball, competitiveness and unique angle help him dominate hitter from both sides of the plate.
9. Thomas Szapucki, LHP
10. Shervyen Newton, 2B
11. Franklyn Kilome, RHP
12. Josh Wolf, RHP
13. Walker Lockett, RHP
14. Junior Santos, RHP
15. Dedniel Nuñez, RHP
16. Jordan Humphreys, RHP
17. Tony Dibrell, RHP
18. Ryley Gilliam, RHP
19. Ali Sanchez, C
20. Carlos Cortes, 2B
21. William Lugo, SS
22. Freddy Valdez, OF
23. Hayden Senger, C
24. Sam Haggerty, 2B/OF
25. Daison Acosta, RHP
26. Michel Otañez, RHP
27. Will Toffey, 3B
28. Luis Carpio, 2B/SS
29. Bryce Hutchinson, RHP
30. Jeremy Vasquez, 1B
Ronny Mauricio Keeps Making Adjustments
The 18-year-old was holding own both offensively and defensively as one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League.
The Mets aggressively assigned 6-foot-8 RHP Junior Santos to Rookie-level Kingsport as a 17-year-old. He has the big arm (up to 97 mph) and competitive drive to handle the jump.
RHP Dedniel Nuñez signed at age 20 out of the Dominican Repuclub but has advanced to high Class A St. Lucie as a 23-year-old. He sits 93 mph with an elite-spin fastball that he has paired with a curveball to get swings and misses.
Dominican RHP Michel Otañez has spent four seasons in Rookie ball, but his arm could be worth waiting for. He sits 95 mph and this season had turned his heat into strikeouts, with 13.3 per nine innings in the Appalachian League.
Twenty-year-old Dominican RHP Daison Acosta earned an in-season promotion to low Class A Columbia because of his precocious feel to pitch. He sits in the low 90s with a solid slider and improving feel for his changeup.
The Mets might have found a keeper in the 24th round of the 2018 draft. Low Class A Columbia C Hayden Senger, a product of Miami (Ohio), showed life in his bat and strong receiving and leadership traits behind the plate.
Acquired along with Walker Lockett when the Mets traded Kevin Plawecki to the Indians in January, 2B/OF Sam Haggerty had opened eyes at Double-A Binghamton with his plus-plus speed, strong baserunning instincts, plate discipline and versatility.
Low Class A Columbia 2B Shervyen Newton had been a bit banged up and was slow to adjust to full-season ball, hitting .225/.291/.335 through 66 games.
High Class A St. Lucie OF Desmond Lindsay’s struggles continued in 2019, due in part to diminishing speed and questionable instincts. He was the club’s top pick in 2015.
1B Pete Alonso led major league rookies with 30 homers and 68 RBIs in the first half. Now he takes aim at the rookie record of 52 home runs, set by Aaron Judge in 2017, and the National League Rookie of the Year award.
RHP Drew Smith had Tommy John surgery during spring training. He made his big league debut in 2018 and appeared in 27 games.
2B Gavin Cecchini tore his quad in spring training and didn’t return until June. Designated for assignment in January, he cleared waivers and was removed from the 40-man roster.