Mets Minors: Thomas Szapucki and the impact prospects

Last month the focus here was on Patrick Mazeika, a “hitting” catcher who is already past the age that most prospects have reached the majors. As great as his Spring Training numbers were, even I know that Mazeika will never impact a major league team in any meaningful way so instead of focusing on players who are looking at a couple seasons of riding the major league bench, let’s look at some of the players the Mets have who might actually make a meaningful impact on the Mets franchise.

Starting Pitchers:

Jacob deGrom is going to be the Ace of the team for a number of additional years and Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are set to return in 2021 but the pitching staff of the New York Mets has significant issues ahead as players like Marcus Stroman and Rick Porcello leave the team. Assuming the Mets are going to look to bring in, at least, one starter through trade or free agency for the 2021 season, here are some players who have a shot at becoming part of the Starting Rotation solution.

Thomas Szapucki: Age 23 (June), Throws: Left, Assigned: AA

The “Diamond in the Rough” hero of the Mets organization returned to the mound in 2019 after spending most of 2017 and all of 2018 injured. While the pitcher has never completed over 65.0 innings in a single season there is more than a little reason to hope that he can make his way to the major league squad as a major contributor. The strongest indicators for his success come from his healthy K/9, K/BB ratio, solid WHIP and his surprisingly good stuff.

Much has been written in the past about how his actual velocity exceed scout expectations once he reached the minors and his splendid return to the mound in 2019 give a lot of hope. Assuming baseball comes back in May (as is suggested) it will allow Szapucki to complete more innings than he’s ever managed in a single season. If he can continue his brief success in AA and even earn a promotion to AAA it would make him the frontrunner for a rotation spot in the 2021 season. It is unlikely that he will be able to perform to “Ace” levels of production but he does have a ceiling of performance as a #2/#3 rotational arm.

Kevin Smith: Age 22 (May), Throws: Left, Assigned: AA

Where people were looking for Szapucki to perform in 2019, nobody was really paying a ton of attention to this 7th round pick from 2018. Smith turned in a great season between his 85.2 innings in Advanced A and his 31.1 innings in AA. The lefty seems likely to earn his way onto the AAA squad by the end of 2020 and could even see time in the majors if the injury bug begins to rear its ugly head. His ceiling is still a little lower than others but he certainly could manage to project as a very good workhorse starter.

David Peterson: Age 24 (September), Throws: Left, Assigned: AAA

Why are there so many lefties at the upper levels of the Met system? I have no explanation. The former first round pick has not lived up to his scouting potential thus far but his 2019 numbers are also not as bad as many people make them out to be. His K/9 saw a rise to such a degree that he reached above a 9.0 for the first time in his minor league career and his 1.34 WHIP suggest that his 4.19 ERA might be a little higher than it ought. Peterson is already knocking at the door of the rotation and could see game time in 2020 if people are inured. His ceiling is closer to Kevin Smith’s than Thomas Szapucki’s but his pedigree could still come into play.

Harol Gonzalez: Age 25, Throws: Right, Assigned: AAA

The least heralded of the Met pitching prospects, all Gonzalez has ever done is gone out and toss quality innings across six minor league seasons. The starting pitcher is only six feet tall but his sparklingly low WHIP and walk rate make him an ideal back of rotation starter. I truly hope that he gets his chance to do that for the Mets and that he doesn’t leave the team and do it for someone else.

Tommy Wilson: Age 23 (May), Throws: Right, Assigned: AA/AAA

If it is unlikely that a fifth round pick like Szapucki or a seventh round pick like Smith should become impact players, how unlikely is it to see a nineteenth round pick like Wilson on this list? The pitcher joined Smith in having a solid season across two levels and while he projects as someone who is likely more of a surplus pitcher there is enough in the 2019 season for Wilson to make people wonder if he could be a solid back of the rotation arm.

Bullpen:

The Mets have a number of arms on board through the 2021 season thanks to Seth Lugo, Edwin Diaz, Dellin Betances, Jeurys Familia, Brad Brach and Robert Gsellman. In fact, it would be fairly unlikely that without a general implosion of performance in the 2020 shortened season that the Mets will add a free agent reliever of much impact for next season. That means the only likely source of relief support is to come from the minors.

Franklyn Kilome: Age 24 (June), Throws: Right, Assigned: AA

If you were expecting to see Kilome in my list of starters, I apologize. The former Phillies prospect has always had explosive stuff but has also long been considered a candidate for the bullpen. Ultimately, I think that’s where the Mets will look to use the imposing righty and, while I don’t think he’s going to be moved from the rotation in AA or AAA I would bet that the Mets only promote him into the bullpen if he reaches the majors in 2020. If you were looking at the internal prospect who most fits the profile as a future closer, this is your man and we will look to see if he can keep his K/9 high while keeping his BB/9 in check.

Steve Villines: Age 24 (July), Throws: Right, Assigned: AAA

One of the best WHIP performers I’ve seen come up through the organization, Villines did not enjoy his 16 games in AAA in 2019. He did have a fairly successful 45.0 innings in Binghamton so there is less need to fret. Of the relief arms the Mets did not bring up in 2021, Villines seems to be the most likely to stick in the majors thanks to a career minor league WHIP of 1.05 over three seasons.

Lineup:

The Mets have most of their 2020 lineup returning for the 2021 season with Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis, Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso and even Dominic Smith all set to return. That’s good news as there aren’t many players in the upper minors who are ready to contribute and that there could be a number more by 2022 when more holes develop. Still, there are a few names who could become relevant.

Andres Gimenez: Age 21 (September), Hits: Right, Assigned: AAA

The Mets have a shortstop already on the team but there is a viable future regular waiting in the wings in Gimenez. As we have said, if Amed Rosario were to ever sustain a lasting injury the Mets have their man in the wings but barring that how do the Mets deal with having a solid defensive and offensive option that doesn’t fit onto the roster? I’ll remind people that while his AA numbers for 2019 weren’t exceptional (.695 OPS), his numbers were dramatically better in the Arizona Fall League and Spring Training. It is possible that the Mets will look to shift him into their eternal hole in centerfield or that a return of defensive struggles for Rosario could do the same to him. It is not the worst problem to have.

Ali Sanchez: Age 23, Hits: Right, Assigned: AAA

The defensive catcher has always seemed to hang around in the wings of prospect reviews but he really broke out with a supernaturally good few weeks in 2019. I have long said that if Sanchez could manage to be a .650-.700 OPS hitter that his defensive metrics might make him a starter but there is little reason to expect a player with a career .648 OPS in the minors to suddenly better that figure in the majors. He does seem like an heir to Tomas Nido as the backup option for Wilson Ramos but his 2020 season will dramatically affect his outlook.

Scouting Jarred Kelenic against top pitching prospect Forrest Whitley

Late last season, the Seattle Mariners AA affiliate, the Arkansas Travelers, were facing Forrest Whitley (23) and the AA affiliate of the Houston Astros, so it was a good time to see personally how good Jarred Kelenic (21) actually was. Whitley is a top prospect for the Astros that had a tough 2019 and was rebuilding his strength after some injuries and mechanical problems derailed his season. The Travelers were a very good team with a .600 record, but the Astros AA affiliate, the Corpus Christi Hooks, were below .500 and no one was going to these games the first week of school (most schools start in Texas the last Monday in August) anyway, so getting a seat behind home plate was pretty easy.

We all know Kelenic, so he doesn’t need the introduction. Whitley has been ranked as high as the top pitching prospect and a top-10 MLB prospect but last season slipped to #19 due to the mechanical issues. Whitley has a 60 grade fastball, 60 curve, 55 slider, 60 changeup and 55 cutter, so the stuff is there with five all-star quality pitches. He needs to fix his 35 grade control, but most taller pitchers need time to harness the whole package and at 6’7”, he’s tall.

As my purpose was to go see how good Kelenic looked, but I will touch on some other players that caught my attention that day:
-Whitley looked like he was toying with this lineup. He was consistently in the mid-90’s and hit 98 once. Can we give the Astros a few low minors players for him? It looked so effortless. Striking out 8 in five innings and no one got a good piece off him except for Cal Raleigh. Also, Whitley was pitching to a third baseman trying to learn catching to improve his standing in the pecking order of third basemen but like a true professional, he never showed concern.
-One player I would want from the Travelers is the catcher, Cal Raleigh. He looks like the Colossus of Rhodes standing in the box and his throws down to second on stolen bases are just lasers. An ex-catcher sitting behind me, who saw the whole series, told me that he has very good defensive approach. I loved this guy.
-Another top Travelers prospect, Kyle Lewis, has all the tools and a very good right field arm, but doesn’t get good jumps defensively and dogs it running out ground balls.
Mike Ahmed is Nick Ahmed’s brother, a utility type player on the Travelers, that seems more heady than toolsy. I don’t see a major leaguer there.
-The only Astros reliever, Yohan Ramirez, hit 99. So, the Travelers were facing a good arm all night.

Now to move onto Kelenic, a player that oozes confidence. Kelenic has a quick bat and can barrel up a fastball, but has no chance against a good curve, and Whitley’s is MLB caliber. Now I realize that many players have struggled against curveballs, but MLB hitters can get a piece of it through recognition. I have uploaded three at bats. The first two against Whitley were both strikeouts, the second two were against Ramirez. The only at-bat I couldn’t upload due to MB restrictions by Vimeo was Kelenic’s sixth inning atbat against Ramirez which resulted a pop-up to the left field line behind third that the Hooks in perfect Bad News Bears form let drop with man on first and second and one out, but it was an infield fly, so no damage.

Kelenic does have good speed, a strong arm and navigates center field easily, but plays rather deep. Moving to the intangibles, I went to two games. Kelenic didn’t play in the first one but was on the top step of the dugout all game. Always greeting his teammates when they came back, moving over to talk to coaches who were close by and always in the game, he looks the part of a studious player. So glad Brodie Van Wagenen got rid of him; who wants players like that anyway? No wonder there were people in the Mets front office that were crying when that trade was made.

I can see a good player here but not a player I would already rank at #11 as MLB did. Kelenic has the tools and like a good young hitter he can hit a lightning bolt, but in the upper minors pitchers throw more consistent secondary pitches and Kelenic looks like he needs work in that area. As we are in April and can’t find a live game anywhere, sure felt good to watch these videos. Hope you enjoy them.

https://vimeo.com/user111631747

Mets Minors: Patrick Mazeika and other NRIs you might not know

If anyone listens in when I join Brian on the Mets360 podcast you are aware that there is a history on the player Patrick Mazeika. When the Mets drafted the “hitting” catcher in the 8th round of the 2015 draft and assigned him to Kingsport you would rightly assume he was just a depth piece but he managed an OPS of .991 and I was intrigued.

Sadly, the former Stetson catcher has never quite hit enough (once he advanced to higher minor league levels) to ever be worth the amount of hope I had once assigned to him. I was intrigued by a catcher who batted lefty, hit for average and had some power but Brian thought (rightfully) otherwise. Mazeika’s power never truly manifested in an impactful way and despite a career minor league SLG of .424 one has to admit that the major leagues are something of a stretch.

When the Mets invited him to Spring Training Brian joked that I would finally get to see him fail against major league pitching and we assumed that would be the end of it. Thanks to some timely good and powerful hitting we might be talking about Mazeika for some time. Thus far he has managed 4 Hits in 9 Games and has hit 3 Doubles and 1 Home Run. It is a small sample size but the catcher/designated hitter will likely have a bit of a confidence boost going into his AAA debut.

To bring people up to speed, Mazeika is not a good defensive catcher but holds his own. He’s likely the second string AAA catcher behind Ali Sanchez (who has excellent defensive chops and poor hitting). It would be logical that Mazeika will feature prominently in the AAA lineup even on days he’s not catching as the DH or even playing first base.

Regardless of how Mazeika finishes this Spring he would have a ton to prove in AAA to warrant more than the cup of coffee I’d expect him to earn presently. I fully expect Brian to continue to make fun of my devotion to a player who is still more likely to never get a major league at bat then to have any sort of major league impact. One of the things that makes Spring Training fun is musing over what might be and being hopeful for the future.

Other Notable Spring Training Showings:

Edgardo Fermin, SS/2B – The AA middle infielder is having a solid Spring Training thanks to taking a disproportionate amount of walks. Historically, his eye is good but not this good and the sample size is super small but it’s always nice to see a player succeed before they’d be expected to.
Batting Line: .333/.714/.333

Ryan Cordell, OF – The former Whitesox outfielder has had a ton of at bats but is unlikely to make the team unless Dominic Smith is traded before the start of the season. He can play center field and will spend time in the majors for the Mets in 2020.
Batting Line: .233/.258/.367

Johneshwy Fargas, CF – If you exclude his outing on March 5th (where he hit for the cycle) Fargas isn’t a particularly exciting name. The speedy centerfielder will be waiting in AAA in the case that Jake Marisnik is injured.
Batting Line: .280/.308/.520

Andres Gimenez, SS – People know who Gimenez is but after a disappointing 2019 it’s very good to see him having such a good Spring Training. It’s worth noting that Amed Rosario has been struggling badly.
Batting Line: .250/.308/.458

Jarrett Parker, LF – The former Giant’s outfielder is 31 and no longer remotely classified as a prospect but he’s been a solid producer in part time roles at the major league level several times. It is worth noting, however, that he cannot play center field.
Batting Line: .217/.308/.478

David Peterson, LHP – After a ho-hum 2019 the shine has badly faded on this 2017 first round pick. He’s been a solid performer this Spring and looks to ride that confidence boost into AAA. He should see time in the majors for the Mets when injuries start to crop up.
Pitching Stats: 6.0 IP, 6K, 5H, 3 BB

Adonis Uceta, RHP – The 25 year old relief pitcher doesn’t ping on most radars but he’s been hanging around the top 50 Mets prospects for the last couple of years. Overall, his Spring hasn’t been great but his strikeout numbers have been solid. He’s destined for the AAA bullpen.
Pitching Stats: 5.0 IP, 8K. 8H, 2BB

Alexander Ramirez and the international signees of 2019

The Mets have a long history of making a splash in the international free agent market. People paid attention when the Mets signed Amed Rosario for $1.75 Million in 2012. In 2015 we remember hearing about the $1.2 Million the mets gave Andres Gimenez. Ronny Mauricio’s $2.1 Million dollar signing bonus was the big news out of the 2017 season. We’ve heard about Freddy Valdez and 2019 breakout sensation Francisco Alvarez ($2.9 Million). We haven’t talked much about the seventeen (17) players the Mets signed out of the 2019 international signing pool. That changes today.

The Mets gave Alexander Ramirez a $2.05 Million dollar signing bonus, making him the third highest paid international signee in Mets history. Ranked 26th in the Top 30 international prospects, Ramirez is considered to be a possible “Franchise” center fielder. With the Mets currently without a “True” centerfielder and Jared Kelenic long gone, the Mets don’t have many other candidates already in their system. Ramirez could find himself pretty high in the positional depth charts for the role even if he starts the year in the Dominican Summer League.

He is a tall young player who can add some muscle to his frame without sacrificing his speed. At 6’3” and 170 pounds (16 years old) it’s very probable that he has some growing to do. He shows advanced hitting skills and knowledge of the strike zone considering his young age and he makes solid contact. It is possible that with time he will develop some power but his defense and speed are the reason the Mets decided to make him such a lucrative offer.

Considering where Ramirez ranks in the history of Met signees it is a bit surprising to see so little buzz attached to his name. It may be that scouts assume the Mets couldn’t possibly strike gold again after seeming to strike it rich multiple times over the past years. Or, it could be that two million dollars is no longer thought of as an overly large signing bonus. Afterall, the Yankees and Athletics each shelled out $5.1 Million for their respective free agents this offseason. It could even be the type of player that Ramirez is in the context of the modern game. Teams have moved away from contact/speed players (Like Kenny Lofton) in favor of outfielders who can club a strong number of home runs while fielding the position. Ramirez could add power but is thought of as more of a high average hitter with linedrive power.

Another possibility for why there is so little buzz is that the Mets best international signee might actually be a player who signed for only $95,000 in 2019. Jose Robert Dominguez is 18 years old but many scouts consider him to have been the premier international pitcher from last year’s market, which begs the question of why the Mets got him for so little.

Most of this thinking has to be generated by Dominguez’s considerable velocity which ratcheted up significantly in 2019 to sit at 97 miles per hour (topping out at 99 MPH). Adding to the excitement around him, it is said that he has a breaking pitch that looks like it could develop into a Plus pitch with the right development. At 6’4” and 200 lbs it seems that he has the exact physicality that most scouts look for. It is very possible that Dominguez will be coming on quickly behind Matthew Allan and Josh Wolf.

The Mets owe their ability to sign him to the fact that, at 18, he was one of the oldest prospects available. It is said that many teams were hoping to snare him at the international signee minimum ($10,000) but the Mets took the leap and made him the best offer. As with any prospect there is a lot of development and pitfalls to encounter between here and a major league debut.

Over the past few years we’ve seen the Mets aggressively assign their top international signees to the Gulf Coast League instead of starting them in the DSL. With Dominguez already 18 years old, it seems likely that he will skip the international minor league assignment but the placement of Ramirez remains to be seen.

If Ramirez and Dominguez work out as hoped, you can expect the duo of Omar Minaya and Tommy Tanous to get a lot of credit since taking over the international scouting in 2017. Keep tuned to Mets360 throughout the season to get crucial updates on these and other Met prospects.

Key Takeaways:
Alexander Ramirez garnered the 3rd highest international signing bonus in Met history.
He profiles as a speedy centerfielder with solid contact and some power.
The Mets also picked up Robert Dominguez who boasts a 99 MPH fastball and may prove to be a major diamond in the rough.

2019 Mets International Signees:
Alexander Ramirez, of, Dominican Republic
Jostin Almonte, of, Dominican Republic
Junior Tilien, ss, Dominican Republic
Fraudy Vizcaino, lhp, Dominican Republic
Victor Gonzalez, ss, Dominican Republic
Juan Pacheco, rhp, Colombia
Geral Martinez, of, Dominican Republic
Eric Santana, of, Dominican Republic
Jose Dominguez, rhp, Dominican Republic
Alexander Lopez, rhp, Panama
Jefrey de los Santos, ss, Dominican Republic
Jose Acuña, rhp, Venezuela
Fabian Machado, of, Venezuela
Jesus Suarez, ss, Venezuela
Vincent Perozo, c, Venezuela
Joel Flores, of, Venezuela
Yonaiker Palacios, rhp, Venezuela

Mets Minors: Drafting mistakes necessitate Jake Marisnick deal

The Mets have quite a few outfielders they would like to have in their lineup in 2020. Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo will likely find playing time on a daily basis, Yoenis Cespedes would get to start if he were ever healthy, J.D. Davis’ bat proved to be enough of an asset to ignore his defensive shortcomings and, with Pete Alonso entrenched at first, Dominic Smith could see playing time in left field again. The only problem is that not a single one of those players is an ideal center fielder.

With the departure of the defensive dynamo Juan Lagares the Mets were left with a vital vacancy on their team. While Nimmo and Conforto might be able to just about cover the position, neither is an ideal candidate for the role and the Mets are left with too many corner outfielders and nobody to step up in center.

All of this leads to the Mets trading a couple of prospects for a $1.9 Million Dollar 1.2 WAR center fielder with a career .227 batting average. Jake Marisnick is not a bad player, but no team should ever “need” to trade for a fourth outfielder. Teams are supposed to stockpile the key defensive positions so that such trades are never necessary. Based on the Mets draft history, it looks like that might be something Sandy Alderson forgot.

A team should be drafting players who are capable of fielding the hardest to find positions. That means you should see teams stocked with center fielders, catchers and shortstops. Let’s look back at some of the early (Top 10 Rounds or so) defensive depth draft picks since 2010:

2019: The Mets 2019 draft has been covered in depth. People are aware that the Mets intentionally “gamed” the system in drafting three first round talents and seven college seniors with their top 10 picks. Even so, this draft had the Mets pick up a number of defensive outfielders, a move that made sense with the relative depth they already had at shortstop.
Jake Mangum, OF – The Mets took the switch hitter in the fourth round and sent him to play center for Brooklyn. He wasn’t great but will get a chance to bounce back for Port St. Lucie in 2020.
Zach Ashford, CF – This college outfielder actually had a surprisingly good debut year and may find himself playing center in Binghamton to start the 2020 season. Problem is… he’s already become a corner outfielder.
Antoine Duplantis, CF – Technically a 12th round pick, Duplantis got more money than most of the 7th through 10th rounders. He’s looking at playing for either Columbia or St. Lucie in 2020.

2018: Thanks to a trade in the 2018 offseason the potential star center fielder the Mets drafted has gone on to the Seatle organization. With a catcher and shortstop also part of the top 10 picks it seems the Mets were doing their diligence in signing defensive depth.
Jarred Kelenic, OF – Traded for an aging past-his-prime second baseman and a closer who flamed out in New York City’s limelight. He was not drafted for his defense but could hold onto center field thanks to his physical ability.
Nick Meyer, C – The mustache is great but his bat will never make this sixth round pick viable in the majors.
Manny Rodriguez, SS – The college shortstop has an okay year in Port St. Lucie and could prove to be a backup infielder down the line.

2017: The Mets drafted seven pitchers with their first ten picks and picked up a shortstop (who was quickly moved to third) and two corner outfielders with their non-pitcher picks.

2016: The Mets did grab two shortstops and an outfielder in their Top 10 picks but have since traded away their Top 2 picks. The good news is that Pete Alonso was also drafted this year.
Michael Paez, SS – Briefly showed signs of being a legitimate prospect but he’s no longer a shortstop.
● Colby Woodmansee, SS – An okay Brooklyn debut quickly bottomed out. Woodmansee is currently listed as “released”.
Gene Cone, OF – While he doesn’t exclusively play center he has played significant time there in each of his minor league seasons. Unfortunately, Cone has a career OPS of .575 which will never make him viable.

2015: The Mets were without a first round pick in 2015 and did select several players in the defensive need positions but two of the three were more offensively minded picks.
Desmond Lindsay, CF – If he were a first round pick, he’d be the worst one of the last decade. A disappointment all across the board, Lindsay was hurt… again… in 2019.
Patrick Mazeika, C – He’ll be in AAA for 2020 but is the farthest thing from a defensive asset on this list. If the Mets lose Ramos and want a bat at the catcher position, he might get a shot.
Kevin Kaczmarski, OF – I had pencilled Kaczmarski into the fourth outfielder spot until the Mets made their trade. He has the bat for the role but is more of a corner outfielder.

2014: If Ramos had panned out this would look a little better but it seems that the Mets felt they had drafted enough outfield depth in 2013 to justify drafting none in 2014.
Milton Ramos, SS – People thought highly of the Met’s 3rd round pick but he never really seemed to break through. He never played above Low A and is currently released.
Tyler Moore, C – A catcher who couldn’t hit at all. I watched him play in Brooklyn and wondered why the Mets saw him as a sixth round talent.

2013: The year the Mets seemed determined to draft defensive depth. One out of the four players they drafted this way panned out, which isn’t a terrible success rate.
● Ivan Wilson, OF – A third round pick that never proved his scouting reports correct. He retired after a flailing season at Low A in 2016.
Champ Stuart, OF – Stuart is exactly the type of player that teams are supposed to stockpile, but Stuart hasn’t panned out. The speedy outfielder has shown glimpses of being an MLB caliber fourth outfielder but he’s fallen short and victim to injury.
Patrick Biondi, CF – A solid depth pick when it was made. Biondi profiled as a high contact/high speed outfielder with good defense. His numbers in the minors never matched the hopeful scouting reports. He last played with AA Binghamton in 2018.
Luis Guillorme, SS – One of the better late Top 10 picks of the past 10 seasons. Guillorme is currently serving as the team’s middle infield depth.

2012: If you ignore the fact that the Met’s #1 pick was an absolute bust, the Mets did draft two viable defensive players in the backend of their Top 10 picks.
Gavin Cecchini, 2B/SS – The worst first round pick the Mets have made in the past 10 years. There were better players with higher ceilings and I’m not sure Cecchini can even play shortstop anymore.
Kevin Plawecki, C – Wasn’t considered a defensive catcher but was good enough to play in the majors for a while.
Matt Reynolds, SS – Ironically, drafted as a third baseman. Became a defensive replacement option but was ultimately let go because of the numbers game. He may have been promoted to the majors too quickly.
● Brandon Kaupe, SS – The Hawaii native never panned out or performed above the Kingsport level. Currently listed as released.
Tomas Nido, C – Nido has developed into a defensive catcher and has already become a favorite of certain starting pitchers. Interestingly he was not drafted for his defense but certainly proved to be gifted in that capacity.

2011:
● Brandon Nimmo, CF – The Mets weren’t sure what Nimmo would develop into and there was certainly hope he could play center field when he was drafted but Nimmo has developed into more of a corner infielder.
● Danny Muno, SS – A player who showed a lot of promise early on, Muno was eventually shifted to third and wound up leaving the Mets in 2016. Mets gave him a cup of coffee promotion in 2015.

2010:
● Blake Forsythe, C – After four years with the Mets with nothing standing out about his game, Forsythe found his way out of the organization. He last played professional baseball in 2015.
Cory Vaughn, CF – The son of Greg Vaughn never lived up to his namesake and last played in 2015 for the Reno Aces.
● Matt Den Dekker, CF – Played for the Mets but was eventually the victim of the numbers game. He would have likely been an acceptable fourth outfielder if he were still with the team.

In the end, the Mets have not drafted for a ton of defensive depth over the past decade. Because of this they were left with a choice between Kaczmarski, Sam Haggerty and signing/trading for someone else. The Mets should be using Marisnick on a daily basis even if the outfielder only starts a handful of games. Here’s hoping that the trade works out for them.

Minor league park factors for Mets affiliates in 2019

Often times we talk about either hitter-friendly parks or pitcher-friendly ones. It’s an easy concept for major league teams, which we get to see on a regular basis and can confirm the results with our own eyes. The concept is easy with minor league teams, too, but there it requires a little more faith for the average reader, since they probably haven’t seen games in both Syracuse and St. Lucie in the same season.

It always helps when you use a descriptive term, like hitter-friendly, to put some numbers alongside it. Fortunately, Matt Eddy from Baseball America has done the heavy lifting for us. He examined the 2019 numbers for all classifications from Triple-A to the short-season leagues, except the Arizona, Dominican Summer and Gulf Coast loops. So, we have these numbers for the Mets’ top six farm clubs.

Eddy calculated both park factors for the league and percentiles for the 160 minor league teams in his study. The park factors are expressed as multipliers, where 1.000 is average, that have been halved in magnitude to reflect the fact that players compile only half their statistics at their home parks.

With the percentiles, you can place each park in an overall minor league context. These numbers, under the headline %tile, should be used to inform perceptions of how parks play. And these are all stated in terms of the batter. So a park in the 70% or above range are certainly hitter-friendly for that metric, while parks in the 30% and below range are pitcher-friendly ones.

Team Runs %tile HR %tile BABIP %tile
Syracuse 1.011 74% 0.960 85% 0.991 65%
Binghamton 0.961 11% 0.943 48% 0.999 22%
St. Lucie 1.007 20% 1.065 21% 1.020 51%
Columbia 0.899 9% 0.853 20% 0.954 11%
Brooklyn 0.983 23% 0.932 13% 0.986 8%
Kingsport 1.023 88% 1.076 67% 1.045 94%

It’s important to note that these are one-year factors and sometimes you get wacky results in a single season. Since they used the MLB ball in Triple-A, the numbers for Syracuse – especially the %tile ones – are different than what we would find if these numbers were compiled for the 2018 season, instead.

Still, when we say that Brooklyn and Columbia are pitcher-friendly, you can now see how much that is true. And the hitting environment in Kingsport is certainly a favorable one. The Florida State League is a pitcher’s league but St. Luice is one of the better hitting parks in the loop. We see the park factor for home runs is pretty good for the league yet one of the bottom ones in the 160-park universe, similar to Columbia.

Perhaps the most surprising thing to me was how pitcher-friendly Binghamton was last year. In the past, we’ve talked about the “Binghamton Bump,” the boost that Mets’ hitters get when they escape Columbia and the FSL. But last year, Binghamton was horrible for runs and nearly as bad for BABIP. It will be curious to see if this was a one-year blip.

Shoot, let’s look to the past and see what we can find. Sam Dkystra from MiLB.com did a three-year park factor study and Binghamton was below average in the league for Runs, HR and Hits, the three factors he examined in his study covering the 2014-16 seasons. There are a handful of really good hitter’s parks in the league, which makes the rest of the loop look tame in comparison.

Still, there are some examples of Mets’ prospects who put up crazy numbers in Binghamton and only so-so numbers in the other parks in the Eastern League. In 2017, David Thompson had an .889 OPS in Binghamton and a .635 mark in road games. The previous year, Dominic Smith had a .981 OPS in Binghamton and a .677 mark in road games. The same season as Smith, Victor Cruzado had a home OPS of .841 compared to a road mark of .614

Most hitters do better at home than on the road. If a player posts an OPS 30-40 points higher in his home park, that’s pretty normal. Even a 75-point advantage is not unusual. But once you start getting 200 points higher at home, that raises eyebrows. It’s not universal but there’s something in Binghamton that certain players have been able to exploit. Let’s move on.

After six years in Las Vegas, the Mets finally got their Triple-A team back in the Eastern Time zone and away from the silly ball nature of the PCL. Or so we thought. But the MLB ball flew out at a tremendous pace in the International League, as well as the Pacific Coast League. Syracuse was a below-average park for homers in the IL last year. But it was in the 85th percentile for homers among all 160 parks in Eddy’s study. That’s pretty wild.

We all know that Coors Field and Great American Ball Park are good hitting venues in the majors. With the information compiled by Eddy, we can see how the ball parks in the Mets’ minor league system rate. If you’re a HR hitter, you would have enjoyed playing in Syracuse in 2019. If pitching is more your thing, enjoy the time in Brooklyn, Columbia and St. Lucie.

Mets 2020 Top 50 prospects

One of the challenges for ranking the Mets’ prospects is how to handle when a player goes from a pretty good hitter’s park in Kingsport to a pretty good pitcher’s park in either Brooklyn or Columbia. Last year’s top hitting prospects from the APPY did not repeat their numbers at the higher levels. How much do you dock them, especially when new hitters have put good numbers up in Kingsport?

There’s no right answer to that question. And the same thing can be said for proximity to the majors versus raw talent years away. That guy in the short-season league may have tools you can dream on but he still has to go through so many levels before he reaches the majors. Is a 125 wRC+ in Double-A better than a 150 wRC+ in the APPY? And how do you handle the MLB ball being used in Triple-A this past season while the rest of the minors used a different one?

These questions and more lead the creation of top prospects lists to being more art than science. Few lists look good in hindsight and doing these open you up to ridicule, both now and in the future. And that’s okay. If you can’t handle that, you shouldn’t make one in the first place. The list that follows is based on assumed MLB impact. Patrick Mazeika may very well make the majors one day. But if he does, his impact will be negligible, the equivalent of Joe Depastino. So he doesn’t make the cut here.

You could make a case for any of the top five to be the team’s #1 prospect. The next level for me is guys six through 12 and then 13-21. The rest all have something going for them, although at least as many question marks as they have strengths. If your favorite guy is ranked 44th and you think he should be 28th – you won’t get much push back from me.

Here’s the list. There are two numbers following the brief write-up, with the first one being where they ranked last year on my list and the second being their ranking on David Groveman’s list. The number for David’s list will be hyperlinked to his write-up on the player, which will have more detailed information.

*****

50. Jake Mangum – Everyone seems to love him besides me. Can he hit? (NR, 38)
49. Quinn Brodey – L/L outfielder can do a little bit of everything but is too much of a tweener for my tastes. (NR, 29)
48. Branden Fryman – Son of former All-Star Travis Fryman, Mets drafted him out of high school in 2016 and then again out of Samford in 2019. Showed good contact skills in his pro debut last year. (NR, NR)
47. Jace Beck – The 6’9 RHP had a strong pro debut, as he fanned 10 in 8 IP and picked up two saves. (NR, NR)
46. Dedniel Nunez – Power arm whose peripherals exceeded his results. (NR, NR)
45. Bryce Hutchinson – Oft-injured pitcher was finally healthy and did well as a reliever then moved to the rotation the last month of the season. (NR, NR)
44. Jeremy Vasquez – Low power 1B had a solid season in the FSL but did most of his damage at home, where his OPS was 227 points higher. (23, 26)
43. Tommy Wilson – Fly ball pitcher kept the ball in the park in the FSL but surrendered 11 HR in 69 IP in Double-A. (NR, 15)
42. Ryder Ryan – After missing a month with an undisclosed injury, Ryder finished the year with a 1.20 ERA and a 1.133 WHIP in 30 IP, with 26 Ks. (43, 33)
41. Hayden Senger – Built like an NFL Tight End. Need to see what happens with his power once he escapes Columbia. (NR, NR)
40. Blaine McIntosh – This seems to be the CF from the 2019 Draft on which to dream. McIntosh turned down a scholarship to Vanderbilt to sign with the Mets. The final numbers don’t look good but in his final nine games he posted 11 hits and eight walks. The defensive rep is very good and he comes with elite speed. (NR, NR)
39. Scott Ota – A low-cost senior drafted in 2019, Ota showed power and patience in his pro debut and put himself as a guy to watch. (NR, 39)
38. Franklin Parra – Raw lefty from the 2018 Draft limited batters to a .490 OPS in 21 IP and fanned 29 in the GULF. (NR, NR)
37. Michel Otanez – Posted 70 Ks in 63 IP split between two short-season leagues. (NR, NR)
36. Jefferson Escorcha – Lefty put up a 2.38 ERA and a 1.152 WHIP in 41.2 IP in the APPY as a 19 year old. (NR, 49)
35. Yoel Romero – Saw more game time than expected, as he played in SAL and FSL before the opening of the NYP League. Had an OPS 176 points higher in road parks than his home parks last year. (41, 46)
34. Matt Blackham – Fanned 70 in 55.1 IP split between Double and Triple-A but too many walks. (44, 48)
33. Adonis Uceta – Bounced back nicely after injury-shortened 2018. Great in Double-A but hammered in both games in Triple-A. (45, 44)
32. Wagner Lagrange – Had the highest OPS (.748) of any hitter to appear in at least 50 games with Columbia in 2019. Promoted to the FSL and in 36 games put up a .776 OPS, the second-highest mark on the club among those with at least 100 PA. (NR, 18)
31. Wilmer Reyes – Infielder put up an OPS 137 points higher than the club average for Brooklyn. (NR, 37)
30. Wilfred Astudillo – Threw out 12 of 26 baserunners who tried to steal. Switch-hitter posted a .731 OPS for the year. (NR, NR)
29. Andres Regnault – Posted an .865 OPS over his final 26 games, with 13 XBH in 114 PA. (NR, 47)
28. Steve Villines – Dominated at Double-A and got a promotion. In his first 11 games in Triple-A he posted a 1.98 ERA and held opposing batters to a .620 OPS. But then he got rocked in back-to-back outings and found himself back at Binghamton. In his final 20 games of the season, Villines notched a 1.67 ERA and a 1.052 WHIP. (33, 28)
27. Franklyn Kilome – Missed all of 2019 and has not shown up in any winter leagues yet, either. (14, 9)
26. Tony Dibrell – Pitched well in the FSL but got smoked after promotion to Double-A. (13, 21)
25. Daison Acosta – After four starts in Brooklyn, Acosta made his full-season debut at age 20. Made eight strong starts before fading in his last three appearances with the Fireflies. (NR, NR)
24. Harol Gonzalez – After a disappointing 2018, which included an 0-9 record with a 7.79 ERA in Binghamton, Gonzalez came back with a vengeance last year. He posted a 3.42 ERA in his second shot at Double-A and went 6-0 with a 2.68 ERA after his promotion to Syracuse. But his Triple-A FIP was an ugly 6.03, as he had an unsustainable 97.7 strand rate. (NR, 16)
23. Ryley Gilliam – Started in the FSL and ended up in Triple-A. Has trouble at the higher levels but had a strong season in the Arizona Fall League, where he fanned 11 in 9.1 IP. (20, 30)
22. Ali Sanchez – Defensive backstop nailed 43% of opposing baserunners but has almost no power. (27, 19)
21. Gregory Guerrero – After missing all of 2018 with a shoulder injury, Guerrero came back strong, putting up an .846 OPS in his first 25 games, with 11 XBH in 104 PA. But he slumped badly at the end of the year. Will need to do it over a full season to keep a spot in the third grouping. (49, 22)
20. Jaylen Palmer – Tied for fifth in the APPY in Total Bases with 100 as an 18 year old. (38, 24)
19. Hansel Moreno – Got off to a dreadful start and found himself demoted to the SAL. But heated up and earned promotion back to FSL, where he hit at the higher level. In his final 299 PA, he posted a .755 OPS. (25, 27)
18. Jose Butto – Had an eight-start stretch in the middle of the year with a 1.99 ERA and a 1.037 WHIP with 46 Ks in 45.1 IP. (30, NR)
17. Adrian Hernandez – Got off to a hot start and then suffered a season-ending leg injury. Considered a five-tool talent, it remains to be seen how the injury will affect his speed and overall development. (21, 13)
16. Jordan Humphreys – After missing all of 2018, came back to make two starts in the GULF and hurled 11.2 IP in the Arizona Fall League, with a 0.77 ERA and a 1.029 WHIP. Added to 40-man roster after the season. (18, 23)
15. Kevin Smith – LHP fanned 130 in 117 IP last year split between Hi-A and Double-A. (48, 12)
14. Shervyen Newton – Season got off to a late start due to a shoulder injury and then didn’t hit a lick. Had a solid month of July but otherwise it was a lost season. Strikeouts a major concern. (5, 17)
13. Junior Santos – Numbers don’t look good but he was a 17 year old holding his own in the APPY. (9, 20)
12. Alexander Ramirez – Last year’s big international free agent signee, Ramirez is a power/speed guy who plays CF. (NR, NR)
11. Luis Carpio – Middle infielder dominated in his second go-round in the FSL and more than held his own after a promotion to Double-A. Binghamton’s team OPS was .686 and Carpio posted a .709 mark as a 21 year old. (22, 11)
10. David Peterson – Considered a disappointment by many, his peripherals paint a much rosier picture than his actual ERA. He gets groundballs and strikeouts but was done in last year by a .340 BABIP allowed and a 66.3 strand rate. (6, 14)
9. Josh Wolf – Mets second-round pick in 2019 had a solid debut season in the GULF, with 1 BB and 12 Ks in 8 IP but he allowed four runs to score. (NR, 8)
8. Brett Baty – A month younger than Vientos, Baty spent most of the year in the APPY, where he put up a .775 OPS. Played at three levels and delivered 25 XBH in 228 PA. (NR, 6)
7. Freddy Valdez – Heralded international signing had a strong year in the Dominican as a 17 year old and ended up with a cup of coffee in the GULF, where he went 4-10 with a double and a homer. (12, 10)
6. Mark Vientos – Didn’t match his strong season in the APPY from 2018 but had a tough go with his home park, where he put up an OPS 132 points lower than he did in road parks. Finished the year on an up note, with a .774 OPS in his final 182 PA as a teenager in the SAL. (3, 1)
5. Thomas Szapucki – After missing most of 2017 and all of 2018, Szapucki saw time at three levels last year and posted a 2.63 ERA with 72 Ks in 61.2 IP. (11, 5)
4. Andres Gimenez – After a disappointing turn in the Arizona Fall League in 2018, Gimenez got off to a rotten start in 2019. He was saddled with a .562 OPS after 45 games. But in his final 219 PA, Gimenez posted a .771 OPS. And in his second go-round in the AFL, Gimenez put up a .371/.413/.586 line in 75 PA. (1, 3)
3. Francisco Alvarez – Easily the best story of the year, Alvarez debuted in the GULF as a 17 year old and quickly hit his way to a promotion to Kingsport. He finished with a .916 OPS. But he allowed 15 PB in 229 innings behind the plate. (10, 2)
2. Ronny Mauricio – He has a higher ceiling than Gimenez. But at Columbia last year, Mauricio put up a .665 OPS in 504 PA. At the same level in the same park at the same age, Gimenez put up an OPS 30 points higher. (2, 4)
1. Matthew Allan – Rated by some as the best high school pitcher in the 2019 Draft, Allan fell to the third round due to signability concerns. He blew away the competition in the GULF and made one appearance in the NYP. (NR, 7)

*****

Injuries knocked guys like Raul Beracierta, Stanley Consuegra, Desmond Lindsay, Bryce Montes de Oca, Juan Uriarte and Chris Viall from the list. May they all be healthy and force their way back on the 2021 version.

Connor Wollersheim and Scott Ota: The guys who made the Mets’ 2019 Draft possible

It would have been great to have been a fly on the wall in the war room for the Mets’ 2019 Draft. In the first three rounds, they took two guys who ended up signing for significantly more money that their slot level or pool allotment for those picks. In order to do that, they needed to go under slot with their next seven picks. You have discussions with picks before you take them, so you have a pretty good idea what the player will sign for. But it’s one thing to do this in theory. It’s another thing to do it in reality. For as much bashing as Brodie Van Wagenen gets for other area of his job in his debut season as GM, he deserves plenty of praise for pulling off this particular maneuver.

Josh Wolf and Matthew Allan, the two overslot picks in the first three rounds, signed for a combined $4.65 million. The next seven guys after Allan signed for a combined $62,000. The only way the Mets were able to pull off signing Wolf and Allan was to go cheap with the next seven, the slots that determine the overall pool allotment of money the Mets had to spend on the draft class. And the only way to do this was to pick guys with little or no leverage – college seniors.

Jake Mangum was the team’s fourth-round pick and the last to sign. He received a $20,000 bonus, which was $467,000 under his slot. The Mets took that money – and the savings from the others in the top 10 picks – and applied it to Wolf and Allan. Perhaps the most interesting guys among the Mets’ top 10 picks were eighth-rounder Connor Wollersheim and 10th-rounder Scott Ota. Both of those guys signed for a bonus of just $1,000.

Wollersheim is a LHP from Kent State, who became a full-time starter in his senior season in college. A lefty who fanned 97 batters in 83.2 IP would seem to deserve more than a four-digit signing bonus. But he didn’t. Instead he pitched 11 games split between Kingsport and Columbia and combined for a 2.25 ERA in 16 IP. He only fanned eight batters and allowed 11 walks. It will be interesting if he returns to Columbia for his full-season debut or if he goes to extended Spring Training and opens the year for short-season Brooklyn.

Ota played four seasons at Illionis-Chicago and had a terrific senior year, putting up a 1.207 OPS in 238 PA, with 20 HR and 33 BB. He also was assigned to Kingsport and continued to show both power and patience, as he produced 7 HR and 21 BB in 211 trips to the plate. Ota finished with an .875 OPS, compared to a Kingsport team average of .731 for the 19 hitters who played for the club last year. Only Anthony Dirocie finished with a higher OPS and that was produced in just 70 PA. Highly-touted Francisco Alvarez finished with an .820 OPS while first-round pick Baty put up a .775 mark for Kingsport.

Under the current rules for the draft, clubs get a pool of money to spend based on the slot value of their first 10 picks. Each pick after that is assigned a slot value of $125,000 but you cannot use any savings after pick 10 to apply to your pool. But, anybody who signs for above $125K needs to have money from the bonus pool to cover the difference. So, if you sign your 11th-round pick for $150,000, then $25,000 of that has to come from your bonus pool.

In the early years of the bonus pool rule, the Mets went cheap in the early rounds to spend money in the double digit rounds. It didn’t make sense at the time and looks even worse in hindsight. Chris Flexen and Corey Oswalt are two of the guys who got a healthy signing bonus in later rounds under this strategy by the Mets. You could say that it worked out, as the odds of a guy drafted after the 10th round to make the majors are pretty low and both of these guys suited up for the Mets. But neither of them have given the team much to date – there’s still a bit of hope for Oswalt – and one of the guys they went cheap on early was Gavin Cecchini, who didn’t give them much, either.

In the 2019 Draft, the Mets did not go overslot on any of these double-digit draftees. In fact, they only went up to the slot maximum for two guys – Blaine McIntosh and Jace Beck. And even though there was no benefit to signing guys for low-money deals (besides, you know, not having to pay them much) the Mets signed two guys to $5,000 deals and five players to $1,000 contracts.

McIntosh was a prepster who turned down a scholarship to Vanderbilt to sign with the Mets. His debut season wasn’t anything to write home about, as he put up a .228/.311/.228 line in 103 PA in the GULF. But McIntosh can at least say he recovered from a brutal starts to post 11 hits and eight walks in his final nine games. The other thing McIntosh has going for him is that with all of the college seniors that the Mets signed in this draft class, it’s nice to see a teenager in the crop. And he’s a center fielder, too.

Beck’s another teenager and he joined McIntosh in the GULF. The thing that jumps out about Beck is his size, as he’s 6’9. He’s not overpowering but he did have 10 Ks and 1 BB in 8 IP as a professional. It’s curious how Beck got the maximum signing bonus. Unlike McIntosh, he did not have a scholarship to an SEC school. Instead, he had a commitment to attend a Junior College. But obviously the Mets liked what they saw from the big righty.

If someone like McIntosh or Beck breaks through and makes the majors, that will be the cherry atop the 2019 Draft sundae. But the class will likely rise or fall on the strength of the first three picks. It’s an aggressive strategy, for sure, but one that the Mets should be applauded for taking. The system needs as many high-impact prospects as it can get and they could potentially add three in this particular draft. But it’s still good to recognize the guys like Mangum, Wollersheim and Ota who allowed the strategy to happen.

Mets Minors: Pondering a five-team farm system

There has been considerable talk this season and offseason about the idea that there are too many minor league levels and that baseball might consider getting rid of some of them.  Juggling the names, I have to admit that the number of short season leagues seems a bit high and the number of players a team carries who have no shot at an MLB future is also very high.  I grade players from A+ to C and I find that the Mets and most teams have a surprisingly high number of C and C+ rated players lingering in the minors for no reason.  For those keeping score, I’m including my grading ranks below:

  • A+: Prospect has a relatively good chance of becoming an All Star in the majors
  • A: Prospect has a relatively good chance of being an impact starter in the majors
  • A-: Prospect has a relatively good chance of starting in the majors
  • B+: Prospect has a relatively good chance of playing multiple MLB seasons
  • B: Prospect has a relatively good chance of reaching the MLB as a backup
  • B-: Prospect has a relatively good chance of reaching the MLB
  • C+: Prospect has an outside chance of reaching the MLB
  • C: Prospect is unlikely to ever reach the MLB

This month I’ve done an exercise, in which I’ve adjusted the Mets’ prospect depth charts as if the New York Penn and Gulf Coast leagues are no longer in existence. I’ll review some of the key names who now find themselves assigned at each level and then get into the broader impact to the organization. Lastly, I’ll review my overall thoughts after going through this entire exercise.

AAA: Syracuse Mets

There are little to no functional changes to the highest level of the Mets system.  You have a solid corp of starting pitchers vying to be backend starters, a handful of relievers who are looking for their chance in the majors and Andres Gimenez (the impactful prospect).  Sure, I’m ignoring Ali Sanchez, Luis Carpio and a few others who could reach the majors but the basic idea is that the players who would be in AAA for the Mets (with seven minor league teams) remains the same. One could argue this proves the upper minors for the Mets are devoid of talent but truthfully most teams would see little change to AAA other than a winnowing of the C and C+ ranked prospects who serve as AAA reserves.

AA: Binghamton Rumble Ponies

The weakest overall level in the Met system, the Rumble Ponies will still boast a few very promising players (Thomas Szapucki, Franklyn Kilome and Wagner Lagrange) while also carrying the fewest Top 50 players of any level.  At this level of the minors you begin to see an impact to the condensation of teams but it isn’t the one you’d expect.  Here I foresee the Mets sliding up unproven talent that may not be ready for the level in order to protect the more valuable bigger names in leagues below.

A+: St. Lucie Mets

Based on the makeup of the Mets system the Advanced A squad gets a very high number of the Mets Top 50 players.  Nobody will be surprised to see Ronny Mauricio, Mark Vientos, Jordan Humphreys or Shervyen Newton regardless of if there are five or seven teams.  What this exercise does is force the escalation of college players after their short season debut league regardless of their immediate success.  This means that Jake Mangum, Scott Ota and others wind up joining Luke Ritter.  This “fast-tracking” by age is likely the biggest notable change that we see so far. With seven teams you have room to promote highschool/prep school players to Kingsport or Brooklyn, leaving Columbia free for the collegiate names who had less success in Brooklyn. Now, it becomes a numbers game and age would force a lot of players to skip Low-A regardless.

A: Columbia Fireflies

While we are talking about escalation we should look at the number of Top 20 prospects who are jammed into the first full season level. Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, Matthew Allan, Josh Wolf, Anderson Hernandez and others all find themselves sharing the same field.  This team is so jammed with talent it almost hurts but without Kingsport and/or Brooklyn, there is no where else to put them.  This would greatly escalate the timeline on a number of top prospects who will suddenly find themselves thrust, regardless of their debut, into full season baseball in their second seasons. This could get great players to the majors quicker but it could also rush player development and breakdown players who aren’t ready.  Myself, I want almost all those players to start in Columbia anyway.

Rookie: Gulf Coast Mets

Five players ranked in my Top 50 wind up either repeating or starting in the GCL.  Some of these players were in the GCL last season and some were in the DSL but for a few, this means actually delaying their progress. If the Mets still had Kingsport, Freddy Valdez and Ronny Rincones are no brainers to begin in that league.  If the Mets also had Brooklyn, I’d likely send Sebastian Espino on there.  The other half of the issue with this condensation is that you will wind up with no room to put the players drafted in the 2020 amateur draft.  It becomes extremely crowded down in the rookie leagues in a hurry. Perhaps this would just mean that teams don’t select as many prospects each year.

Overall Thoughts:

I maintain that baseball could likely get rid of either the Advanced Rookie League or the Short Season A league and not greatly impact the development process.  In this exercise, when you remove both, you wind up with no good place to put prospects very quickly.  While I understand that the Amateur Draft may be too deep, I think there is a real value in having (at least) two levels of short season baseball to assign players to.  This way you have a league for newly drafted high schoolers and Dominican Summer League graduates and another for collegiate draftees and those high schoolers who are not yet ready for full season baseball after their first year’s.

Takeaways
1. Removing the APP and NYP leagues from the minors would most directly impact each year’s draft class.
2. It would compress the timeline of player development and force teams to shed career minor leaguers.
3. The changes don’t have much impact on the upper levels of the Mets’ organization.

Mets Minors: Don’t be so fast to trade Andres Gimenez

After posting a mediocre .695 OPS in a full season of AA baseball, many scouts and pundits soured on Andres Gimenez. For example, he dropped two ranks in my 2019 Top 50 Prospect List. He was still young (20 years old through most of 2019), he still showed promise (36 XBH and 28 SB) but his star had been dimmed in the esteem of those who talk about prospect players. Part of this trend was the emergence of Ronny Mauricio, who had a solid (if not spectacular) season in Low-A Columbia.

The Mets sent Gimenez and seven other players to the Arizona Fall League (AFL) to get some extra playing time. For those not familiar with the AFL, the league tends to get AA and AAA talent from around the league and is unique in that each team of players is comprised of prospects from multiple other teams. The Scottsdale Scorpions are made up of players from the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays. The team may have finished a dismal 12-17 but a number of Mets prospects managed to impress the scouts in their time there.

Gimenez stood above the crowd. He netted himself the AFL batting title and managed an impressive .371/.413/.586 batting line while playing shortstop. During this short season he knocked nine extra base hits, including five doubles, two triples and two home runs. He only stole two bases during the brief AFL season but there were likely a number of contributing factors to keep that number from being higher. The only issue with this tremendous performance is that the sample size of 18 games, which is hardly enough to determine if a performance is purely a lucky streak or a bona fide breakthrough.

Looking back at the regular season, Gimenez suffered through a dismal month of June and still managed to finish with an OPS near the .700 range. The batting line in June: .203/.261/.283 served to weigh down the season long numbers. If you, instead, begin to follow his stats from July onward (including the AFL games) you wind up with a batting line of .276/.316/.443 and a .759 OPS. So, if you look at his last 74 games you are left with a far more optimistic impression on his outlook than you may have had before.

This is all part of the reason that I have been so adamantly opposed to the idea of trading Gimenez away this offseason. Other people in the sports world argue that he is blocked at his natural position by Amed Rosario, who made defensive strides in the second half of 2019. Viewing development projections, it is hard to say that Gimenez appears likely to out hit Rosario but he certainly appears to be more of a base stealing threat. In most calculations, Rosario remains the player with the much higher offensive upside. Though, there seems to be a larger issue.

People seem to be ignoring the lack of depth the Mets have at the shortstop position and the possibility of Rosario’s defensive regression in 2020. If Gimenez were traded and Rosario got hurt, the Mets will be sending up Jed Lowrie (who can’t really field the position), Luis Guillorme or Luis Carpio. Sure, the Mets could sign a player as a backup option but the team’s bench is already stacked with overqualified and overpaid benchwarmers. With Gimenez having yet to play in AAA there is little to lose by having him start the year in Syracuse.

The final issue with trading him centers on the return that the Mets are likely to get. The team would be foolish to keep Gimenez off the table if they could net a superstar (in a position they actually needed) in a trade. The odds that another team is going to offer the Mets such a player in return for Gimenez are slim. Had the Mets looked to make a move in 2018 they might have been able to obtain someone like J.T. Realmuto (the Marlins had wanted more anyway) but a down season means that they are not going to be getting the same “Top Prospect” value for him anymore.

The strategy of selling on a young player coming off a disappointing year is not a good one. Consider that the Mets traded very little for J.D. Davis, who was once a well thought of hitting prospect. Instead, they should give Gimenez the time he needs in AAA to establish if his AFL success is more than a flash in the pan. If he doesn’t succeed to the same degree the Mets will still benefit from the depth he provides and, if he does, the 2021 Mets could well thank themselves for holding onto him.

Other Mets in the AFL

Jordan Humphreys back on the mound – After a few lost seasons thanks to health, Humphreys disappointed by only managing to throw in two innings of GCL rehab time for 2019. He made up for this with 11.2 innings in the AFL where he was able to limit his base runners and find success against players with many more innings in the upper minors than himself. It’s important to note this as Humphreys has not pitched above Advanced A and was facing plenty of AA and AAA talent this fall.

Ali Sanchez building a case – The defensive catcher was a solid, if not spectacular, force on the offensive side of play for the Scorpions. He finished the AFL season with a .656 OPS. Intriguing and odd, Sanchez did significantly worse against lefty pitchers in the AFL but this aberration has more to do with a scant 6 AB sample size.

Ryley Gilliam auditions for the bullpen – The Met farm hand made some waves as he was one of the sharper arms among Met relievers in 2019. In the AFL he produced a 10.9 K/9, a 1.07 WHIP and a 0.96 ERA over 7 games and 9.1 innings.

Blake Taylor puts his name on the radar – The only player whom the Mets sent to the AFL who wasn’t on my Top 50 prospect countdown did exceptionally well for himself. The lefty threw 9 innings and managed to hold opponents to a 2.00 ERA thanks to a nearly flawless 0.78 WHIP.

David Peterson solid but not spectacular – The left-handed starter had a solid 3.46 ERA but his 2.00 WHIP illustrates how much of a tightrope he was forced to walk. He needs to allow fewer baserunners to make anything of himself as a major leaguer starter and the 8 walks in 13.0 innings does not do him any favors.

Mets Minors: Drawing comparisons for Matthew Allan

Much was made of the Mets’ decision to draft Matthew Allan, the top rated high school pitcher in the 2019 draft, in the third round. The risk was that Allan would skip out on signing with the Mets in order to go to college and attempt for an even higher draft position in two years. Instead, the Mets loaded up on easily signed college seniors and nabbed him. Now that he’s here, what kind of future do we see for Allan as he develops in the farm system?

While each pitcher is a microcosm into themselves, I’ve delved into the minor league careers of eight of the most recent “Top Rated High School Pitchers Drafted” from the 2018-2011 drafts. In this article, we’ll explore how these prospects have fared and what their successes (or failures) might mean for Allan as he moves forward.

2018 – Matthew Liberatore – Tampa Bay Rays

The 6’5” lefty was selected by the Rays in the first round of the 2018 draft and he was assigned to the rookie level Gulf Coast League. There, he pitched a robust 27.2 innings (a lot considering he was drafted and signed that year) before cutting his teeth with a 5.0 inning start in the Rays’ APP affiliate. His second season with Tampa Bay was also solid as he was aggressively advanced to Full Season Low-A ball to find more success. The only concern hanging over Liberatore is that his power numbers are hovering right around a 9.0 K/9 and would ideally be a little higher for a “Future Ace”. A 78.1 inning debut in Low A with few hiccups suggests that he could be MLB ready by the time he’s twenty two years old.

2017- Hunter Greene – Minnesota Twins

When Greene was drafted there was doubt as to whether he’d wind up as a pitcher or an infielder but the Twins have their eyes on Greene becoming a starter. The 6’4” righty only pitched 4.1 innings over three games in 2017. The 12.46 ERA and 8 hits aren’t super meaningful in that small a sample but what is more telling is that the Twins had him move from the Pioneer League right into the Midwest League for 2018. This past year was very much better for the pitcher who turned 20 in August. His ERA was 4.48 but his K/9 held safely above 9.0 while pitching against players who were typically 2-3 years older than himself. He also wound up losing some time to injury and may have his 2018 go down as a cautionary tale. We’ll need to wait and see.

2016 – Jay Groome – Boston Red Sox

Boston selected the 6’6” lefty out of Barnegat, NJ with their first round pick and assigned him to start the 2016 season in the Gulf Coast League. Like Allan, he only had a handful of innings but inspired the team to give him a shot at the New York Penn League to finish the year. With only 6.2 innings under his belt the Red Sox held Groome in Short Season ball for 2017 but quickly promoted him after 3 strong outings for Lowell. His 11 starts after the promotion were less good as opponents batted .257 against him which lead to a 6.70 ERA. Then, to make matters worse, he missed all of 2018 with an injury and only managed a handful of rehab innings this past season. After losing a season the Red Sox will be looking for Groome to make up for lost time in a hurry and might be forced to promote him to Advanced A.

2015 – Ashe Russell – Kansas City Royals

Nothing about Russell’s early minor league career should inspire confidence in “Top High School Pitchers”. He last pitched in 2016 and has a grand total of 38.1 innings pitched since a draft four years ago. A pitcher who should be nearing the majors (Pitching in AA or at least Advanced A) was recently assigned to the Advanced Rookie level, Burlington Royals. At 23 years of age the Royals have to have dwindling hopes for this former top draft pick.

2014 – Tyler Kolek – Miami Marlins

While Aiken was the highest rated high school pitcher in the draft, it was Kolek who took the honors of being the highest rated high school pitcher who signed out of the 2014 draft. The stats on Kolek are hardly shining examples of success. He managed a solid, if a bit mediocre, debut in the GCL in 2014 and the aggressive Marlins promoted him directly to the SAL. He continued to perform adequately (108.2 IP, 4.56 ERA) but missed most of his 2016 season due to injury. Since then, it’s been a perpetual tale of injuries for Kolek. In 2017 he pitched only 3.2 innings, in 2018 he managed 15.2 and in 2019 he just tossed 13.2. At 23 years of age he hasn’t pitched a single inning above Low-A ball.

2013 – Kohl Stewart – Minnesota Twins

The first “Top High School Pitcher” who has gotten to the majors on my list. Stewart pitched fairly well in his “Cup of Coffee” outings of 2018 but less well this year. Despite the prospect pedigree, nothing about Stewart’s numbers in his minor league career suggest he will be an “Ace” caliber pitcher. He has a sub 9.0 K/9 and a WHIP that hovers in the 1.40 range. You can dissect his year by year numbers all you like but unless those two statistics change drastically, he’s not a very good first overall pick. It could be worse, since he does appear to at least belong in the majors.

2012 – Max Fried – San Diego Padres

Drafted by the Padres, the Braves traded Justin Upton over to San Diego and appear to have seriously won on the deal. While Fried’s numbers don’t suggest he’s quite an “Ace” caliber pitcher, he certainly looks like a quality major league level arm. Garnering 17 wins for the 2019 NL East Champion Braves, Fried has an ERA just north of 4.00 with a K/9 safeling in the 9.0 realm. Part of Fried’s success is going to always be based on the defense behind him as he draws a lot of ground balls. While Fried doesn’t come off as a superstar, he’s a quality starter at the major league level.

2011 – Dylan Bundy – Baltimore Orioles

Now 26 years old, Bundy has been an MLB regular since 2016. While he was drafted with a ton of acclaim and promising scouting the majors have not been kind to him. As a major leaguer, Bundy sports a 4.67 ERA, though he does have an 8.8 K/9 and a WHIP of 1.33. It suggests that Bundy might look like much more of an “Ace” if he escaped the confines of Baltimore. Adding more credence to this, his minor league numbers are really quite good. He has a sparkling 1.05 WHIP and a K/9 well over 9.0 in his 167 minor league innings. He may have been rushed to the majors, he may have been saddled with a bad franchise but Bundy is a mixed success at best.

What Does This Mean for the Mets and Allan?

The easiest comparison is to Liberatore who, only one season ahead of Allan, had a very similar debut in 2018. This also suggests that Allan would be promoted to Columbia for the start of the 2020 season, which my previous articles have already suggested. The large majority of the other comparisons are pretty distressing. Injuries creep up in most and many of the high school arms fail to develop into the arms that the scouts predicted. If Allan, can stay healthy and develops with the power and precision that scouts projected, the Mets look very good but the sad truth that this exercise proves is the odds are against him.

Mets Minors 2019 top 50 prospects (Top 10)

Many sports pages and blogs only list a Top 10 prospects. That is fine and dandy but many more than a team’s Top 10 wind up making an impact on the roster eventually. Just ask Jeff McNeil who may have never sniffed the Top 10 before emerging as an MLB star. When you list a Top 50, you really drill down into the depth of a team and get a clear picture of what the franchise does and doesn’t have.

The Mets Top 10 I have for you, below, is surprisingly well balanced. You have four pitchers, four infielders, a catcher and an outfielder. It also has, perhaps surprisingly, three players in the upper reaches of the minor leagues. Considering how much bashing the Met farm system endured in 2019 for not having anyone serviceable in the upper levels of the minors you are looking at a Top 10 with two players slated for AAA, one for AA, two for Advanced A and at least one more to begin the year in Full Season A. The talent is there and thanks to some aggressive player management, it’s not as far away as you might think.

It will be interesting to see how Brodie Van Wagenen handles his 2020 draft after the sneaky success of his 2019 gambit. Some years I feel like ranking recent draft picks in the Top 10 can be a bit premature but I do not feel that way in 2019. It would be quite the thing if he were able to add three first round talents each year the Met system would rapidly become one of the best around.

The Top Two:

Most people who rank players will not have the same players ranked 1 and 2 on their lists. While both will undoubtedly rank in the Top 10 I would bet that this ranking will be somewhat unique in where these players are listed. One player was a surprise addition to the stateside rookie leagues, a catcher with plus ratings in hitting and power with no red flags on defense. The other is a third baseman whose bat appears to have great potential to find its way into the middle of a major league lineup some day.

1. Mark Vientos, 3B (SAL) – A year older than Mauricio and manning the same position as the Top Draft Pick of 2019 few Top Prospect Lists will rank Mark Vientos as the #1 Met Prospect. Here is why I do. While Mauricio succeeded in Columbia, Vientos seemed to take a few months to get going before surpassing the overall stats of his shortstop. If you look at his overall batting line, .255/.300/.411 it’s all pretty good (especially in the SAL) but it doesn’t feel like Top Prospect material. When you look at his second half batting line, it looks even better. In the second half of the season, he managed a .271/.315/.462 batting line. He currently is manning third base and that might be a position he is able to stick with long term. Since the Mets have fewer options for the outfield depth charts, it’s possible that they shift him there, but based on what he’s done so far it looks like the Mets plan on him being the third baseman of the future. In 2020 he’ll be in Port St. Lucie and should be batting 3rd or 4th in the lineup alongside Mauricio. If he is able to get a boost in his numbers by leaving the difficult confines of the SAL he might even be on track to reach AA before the end of the year. There will be stiff competition for the Mets’ Top Prospect honors after next season but for me, Vientos is the man of the 2019 season. Most pundits will rank Mauricio or Gimenez higher but I truly think that Vientos earned the spot this year.

2. Francisco Alvarez, C (GCL/APP) – There are few prospects I’ve been as excited about in my time covering the Met system. Alvarez is a true hitting prospect. His debut at age seventeen saw him tear through the GCL and prove more than a match for the pitching in Kingsport. In 42 games between the two leagues he hit seventeen extra base hits and seven were home runs. His plate discipline is not perfect but for a player who has this much power he shows the ability to avoid falling victim to the strikeout blues and occasionally take a walk. Both of those skills can be coached and should improve over time but it is the hitting tool that will drive his way to the majors. The 5’11” catcher managed a.916 OPS for the year playing against competition 2-4 years his senior. The question really remains how aggressively the Mets will be with his assignments. Should he follow Mauricio’s path the Mets will have Alvarez play in Columbia and act as the primary catcher and designated hitter for the Fireflies but, because of the length of time catchers typically take in development it would be easy to see the Mets holding him in Brooklyn or even Kingsport. If he managed the type of numbers he did in 2019 in any of the full season leagues in 2019 he’d immediately jump to the Top Prospect spot on my list.

The Top Four:

The Mets Top Prospect going into 2019 and the player who seemed best poised to step into the role of Top Prospect beyond. This is a tale of two young shortstops who are both young for their respective levels. Both of whom didn’t exactly scream off the pages in 2019 but who should still have excellent major league careers if things continue to work out. One is a lot closer to the majors having had a mostly successful year in AA and the other is looking at his first test in Advanced A ball. I expect one to graduate off of this list in 2020 and the other to continue vying for the top spot.

3. Andres Gimenez, SS (EAS) – A twenty one year old shortstop managing almost a full year of a .695 OPS with solid defense is nothing to sneeze at and there is still hope that the numbers will improve. When Gimenez began the year with AA Binghamton I thought he would quickly earn his way onto the AAA roster and start knocking on Amed Rosario‘s door. Instead he languished with an okay but disappointing year in AA. Nothing about Gimenez’s year was “Bad” it just wasn’t “Good” and we Met fans expect more out of our Top Prospects, especially when they are rated ahead of Pete Alonso. Thanks to fan expectations and the Mets having a hot new shortstop prospect in the wings some of us (mostly me) may have jumped the gun on criticism. While his season could have been better he’s proven up to the task of swimming with the fish at the AA level and should find his way onto the Syracuse roster to start his 2020 season. With nothing in the depth charts between he and Rosario he’s only an injury or some continued defensive struggles (for Rosario) away from his own major league debut. Regardless, expect to see Gimenez in the majors before the end of the 2020 season.

4. Ronny Mauricio, SS (SAL) – I had ranked Mauricio as the #1 prospect for almost the entire season before going through the stats and reevaluating the numbers. Mauricio is great, don’t get me wrong, he could be a superstar shortstop and has a higher ceiling than Gimenez on offense but his 2019 didn’t support ranking him where I had him. What you have is a player who your gut tells you will be a star and your brain coaches caution on. His numbers in Columbia were good, especially given his age, but they were not exponentially more impressive than his older and more advanced counterpart in Binghamton. Compared to prospects like Shervyen Newton, he looks like he’s already a superstar but we are comparing apples to apples and it seems like our cart and horse were a bit reversed. The 2020 season will see Mauricio in Port St. Lucie and he should be a little bit more able to show his offensive stuff. Because of his size you might see the Mets eventually move him to a new position but that will not happen in 2020.

The Back-End of the Top Tier:

It’s misleading to call anyone in the Top 7 prospects “”Back End”” but each tier is ranked and these three players fall to the lower end of those rankings. Here we have a talented lefty pitcher who came back from injury to pitch well and into AA ball, a top draft pick who earned two promotions in his debut year and the third round pick nobody thought the Mets would be able to sign with the cap money they had left. Any of these players could have found their way into the Top 4 in another year but the 2019 farm system finished with a lot more high end talent than most people want to acknowledge.

5. Thomas Szapucki, LHP (SAL/FSL/EAS) – One of the most talked about prospects here on Mets360, Szapucki had a successful return to action in 2019. Pitching, a career high, 61.2 innings between Columbia, Port St. Lucie and Binghamton he did his best to make up for the two years of lost development time. The left-handed pitcher represents the best mix of ceiling and floor in the system. Projecting as a front-end starter he could reach the majors by the end of the 2020 season though he has lingering questions about health and longevity thanks to his injury plagued development. When he returned to the rotation I listed areas to watch during his rehab and season. The K/9 stayed well above 9.0 and the WHIP hovered around 1.22 which was a bit of a mixed bag. His control seemed to suffer while his stuff was maintained. In 2020 he will begin the season with Binghamton but he could quickly move beyond that with positive developments of any kind.

6. Brett Baty, 3B (GCL/APP/NYP) – The Met’s top draft pick from the 2019 draft was a third baseman with lots and lots of power potential. Baty was assigned to the GCL and did not disappoint. The nineteen year old was able to earn a promotion to Kingsport after only five games hitting an OPS above one thousand in that time. After that promotion his batting average took a major hit. Baty had hit .350 in his short time with the GCL but saw his BA drop in the APP to .222 and the NYP to .200, after his second promotion. Despite the low average, his power production kept his SLG and OPS very healthy. He also managed a .333 batting average for Brooklyn as he supported the team in their championship run. While the pitchers selected behind him in 2019 could use some time to stretch out to a major league workload it would be very hard for the Mets to not put “Brett the Met” into Columbia to give him a chance for a full season of game action.

7. Matthew Allan, RHP (GCL/NYP) – It is extremely unusual for a team to promote a top draft pick pitcher the year they draft him, with only 8.1 innings under his belt. Not only did the Mets do that with Allan but they skipped him past the Advanced Rookie level and had the eighteen year old pitcher face off against college batters on his way to a short season Championship. Allan’s numbers in the GCL were only slightly better than his counterpart, Wolf’s, but the Mets chose to aggressively move Allan up on his own. His one regular season outing in Brooklyn was not great but he followed that up with 5.0 scoreless innings in the playoffs in which he did not issue a single baserunner. Having pitched, successfully, in Brooklyn in 2019 would suggest that the Mets could have Allan pitch for Columbia in 2020 but that might be a little ambitious for a player who only has 20.1 innings of minor league baseball under his belt.

The Second Tier/First Tier Fringe:

Any one of these players could be looked at as a “First Tier” player but as we’ve discussed before, the tier system has to do with trades more than skill level. Players at the back end of your team’s Top 10 prospects are more tradeable than those in the Top 7 or the “”untouchable”” Top 4. The trio of fringe players here are an intriguing mix. We have a high power pitcher who might wind up a closer or setup pitcher in the majors, an international prospect who had a brief stateside audition and a second round pick who is ranked lower than the third round pick of the same year. These are all really good players and players who bring a quality level to the Top 10 that has not always been present in my time covering the Mets.

8. Josh Wolf, RHP (GCL) – Ignoring one very bad outing, Wolf’s 2019 debut in the GCL was just as impressive as Allan’s which is why they are still ranked so closely. The righty pitcher had 12 strikeouts in his 8 innings of work which is not a wide enough sample to get too excited but gives the team plenty of reason to hope they have three “First Round” talents on their hands coming out of the 2019 draft. Wolf’s scouting was a tick below Allan’s (despite the fact the Mets selected him in the 2nd round) but still placed his overall scouting as a fringe first rounder. The Mets could have Wolf pitch in Kingsport or Brooklyn in 2020 but they’ve been extremely aggressive of late and I could see the Mets throwing him to the much older sharks in Columbia. My personal preference is to have both he and Allan pitch for Kingsport and get their arms stretched out more slowly.

9. Franklyn Kilome, RHP (EAS – Injured List) – The Mets traded for Franklyn Kilome back in 2018 but a late season injury put him on the shelf for the 2019 season. Justin Dunn was a slightly better prospect with a higher likelihood of starting in the majors but the power of Kilome’s arm is very real. We will need to see how long he needs to get back into the groove after he comes back but I could see him slotting into the relief corp for the Mets before the end of the 2020 season. Plus, there is still potential for Kilome to start. Even if he becomes a reliever to finish his 2020 there is plenty of potential left for him to transition back into starting for 2021 and beyond.

10. Freddy Valdez, OF (DSL/GCL) – The Mets signed Valdez the same year as Alvarez and the outfielder was scouted as having plus power and poor speed/defense,which led some to question his long term viability in the outfield. He was assigned to the DSL and played 57 games there before getting a three game callup to the GCL. Overall you have to like the power which looked more than readily apparent in his time both with the DSL and GCL. While it doesn’t come screaming off the page there is plenty to suggest that he can develop into a 30+ home run player as he progresses through the system. What came as a surprise was his 3 triples and 6 stolen bases which suggest that his speed may, in fact, be better than some of the scouting provided. In 2020 I have Valdez playing for Kingsport but if he performs well in the APP there is no reason he couldn’t finish the year with Brooklyn.

Top 50 Prospects:

1. Mark Vientos, 3B (2020 – FSL)
2. Francisco Alvarez, C (2020 – SAL)
3. Andres Gimenez, SS (2020 – INT)
4. Ronny Mauricio, SS (2020 – FSL)
5. Thomas Szapucki, LHP (2020 – EAS)
6. Brett Baty, 3B (2020 – SAL)
7. Matthew Allan, RHP (2020 – NYP)
8. Josh Wolf, RHP (2020 – NYP)
9. Franklyn Kilome, RHP (2020 – EAS *Rehab)
10. Freddy Valdez, OF (2020 – APP)
11. Luis Carpio, IF (2020 – EAS)
12. Kevin Smith, LHP (2020 – INT)
13. Adrian Hernandez, OF (2020 – APP)
14. David Peterson, LHP (2020 – INT)
15. Tommy Wilson , RHP (2020 – INT)
16. Harol Gonzalez, RHP (2020 – INT)
17. Shervyen Newton, SS (2020 – SAL)
18. Wagner Lagrange, OF (2020 – EAS)
19. Ali Sanchez, C (2020 – INT)
20. Junior Santos, RHP (2020 – NYP)
21. Tony Dibrell, RHP (2020 – EAS)
22. Gregory Guerrero, 2B (2020 – NYP)
23. Jordan Humphreys, RHP (2020 – SAL *Rehab)
24. Jaylen Palmer, 3B (2020 – NYP)
25. Patrick Mazeika, C (2020 – INT)
26. Jeremy Vasquez, 1B (2020 – EAS)
27. Hansel Moreno, OF/SS (2020 – EAS)
28. Stephen Villines, RHP (2020 – INT)
29. Quinn Brodey, OF (2020 – EAS)
30. Ryley Gilliam, RHP (2020 – EAS)
31. Carlos Dominguez, OF (2020 – APP)
32. Willy Taveras, RHP (2020 – FSL)
33. Ryder Ryan, RHP (2020 – INT)
34. Carlos Cortes, 2B (2020 – EAS)
35. Luke Ritter, 2B (2020 – FSL)
36. Stephen Nogosek, RHP (2020- INT)
37. Wilmer Reyes, SS (2020 – SAL)
38. Jake Mangum, OF (2020 – FSL)
39. Scott Ota, OF (2020 – FSL)
40. Nathan Jones, RHP (2020 – SAL)
41. Federico Polanco, SS (2020 – APP)
42. Sebastian Espino, 2B/SS (2020 – NYP)
43. Ronny Rincones, RHP (2020 – APP)
44. Adonis Uceta, RHP (2020 – INT)
45. Will Toffey, 3B (2020 – INT)
46. Yoel Romero, Util (2020 – FSL)
47. Andres Regnault, C (2020 – NYP)
48. Matt Blackham, RHP (2020 – INT)
49. Jefferson Eschorcha, RHP (2020 – NYP)
50. Desmond Lindsay, OF (2020 – FSL)