As the Mets stare at Shohei Ohtani with longing and despair we should look at the players the Mets have spent their international signing bonuses on in recent years. One should always remember that the international market is essentially a high-stakes game of roulette. Sometimes you hit the numbers and win big but often you simply hand the money back to the house.
- Amed Rosario, SS, Dominican Republic ($1,750,000.00)
- Should be remembered that prior to rising through the Mets minor leagues and reaching the majors the Mets signed Rosario for the second highest international bonus of 2012. The scouts, at the time, weren’t quite sure this was a wise decision. For what it is worth, the Texas Rangers signed Jairo Beras for $4,500,000.00 and he is still only in Advanced A.
- Yeffrey de Aza, SS, Dominican Republic ($475,000.00)
- After failing to impress in three years of stateside play the Mets released de Aza after the 2017 season. The shortstop had never played beyond Brooklyn and had only ever briefly played well in the GCL in 2015.
- Luis Silva, RHP, Venezuela ($275,000.00)
- Currently assigned to the Low A Columbia Fireflies, Silva did not pitch at all in 2017 and hasn’t managed to pitch many innings since being drafted.
- Ali Sanchez, C, Venezuela ($690,000.00)
- When drafted, Sanchez was considered the #2 international prospect. His sub .600 OPS was not impressive in the SAL or NYP leagues and the Mets may be reaching the end of their patience with this once promising prospect.
- Kenny Hernandez, SS/3B, Venezuela ($1,000,000.00)
- The Mets signed Hernandez to a very large contract but cannot be pleased with the lack of progress he’s made in the DSL or GCL. At 19 years of age, there is plenty of time for this prospect to rebound but there is little success to hold onto.
- Tulio Garcia, OF, Venezuela ($175,000.000)
- Having never progressed to the GCL or APP Garcia has not impressed in either of his three DSL seasons. His 2017 was better but failing to surpass a .700 OPS in a poor league like the DSL isn’t a good sign.
- Jhoander Chourio, RHP, Venezuela ($130,000.00)
- While Chourio has not played in the GCL as of yet, that may soon change. His success in the DSL, particularly his ability to keep opponents below a .200 batting average. He is not “Ace” material but there is reason to believe the young pitcher will make his way to the states in 2018.
- Edgardo Fermin, SS, Venezuela ($250,000.00)
- While many of the players on this list have not panned out particularly well Fermin should give distinct reason for hope. Fermin began his 2017 in Kingsport where he was part of a very strong offense and managed an .876 OPS. This earned a promotion to Brooklyn. His power and speed don’t project particularly well but his age allows for hope.
- Yoel Romero, SS, Venezuela ($300,000.00)
- Thanks to Vicente Lupo I will not tell you to read into stats from the DSL. After two poor showings in the DSL, Romero broke out at the age of 19. In 2017 he produced a .903 OPS with decent speed and patience. He should be in the GCL or APP to begin 2018.
- Andres Gimenez, SS, Venezuela ($1,200,000.00)
- Despite being signed in 2015, Gimenez has progressed at a faster pace then most of the players signed before him. After obliterating the DSL in 2016, he was promoted past several levels of the minors directly into the ranks of the Columbia Fireflies. There, he managed an OPS just below .700 which (at the age of 18/19) was incredibly impressive. Thanks to this Gimenez has earned his place among most Mets Top 10 prospect lists. Gimenez is likely to be the starting shortstop for the Port St. Lucie Mets and will be saddled with some heightened expectations.
- Gregory Guerero, SS, Dominican Republic ($1,500,000.00)
- Younger than Gimenez, he has not progressed nearly as quickly. Gurero played his 2017 in the GCL after a mediocre debut in the DSL. While his numbers don’t jump out as being incredibly impressive. It’s more likely that the Mets paid a premium for his name. Perhaps they should have done that back in the day when they could have signed his uncle.
- Sebastian Espino, SS, Dominican Republic ($300,000.00)
- The Mets assigned Espino to begin his year with the DSL but promoted him for a taste of the GCL after a succesful start. Espino is big for a typical shortstop and that, in turn, will likely shift this young player to third base. Plenty of reason for hope.
- Ezequiel Pena, OF, Dominican Republic ($200,000.00)
- Nothing good to report on Pena. He was pretty terrible in his DSL debut and will hope to rebound in 2018.
- Luis Santana, 2B/CF, Dominican Republic ($200,000.00)
- Santana managed to sign early enough to play in 2016 and followed up 22 solid games with a full season that should have turned more than a few heads. His .911 OPS in the DSL was good, his 16 stolen bases were good and his 23 XBH were good but anything that happens in the DSL is suspect.
- Jean Carlos Soto, OF, Dominican Republic ($150,000.00)
- In 2017 Soto was assigned to the DSL and produced a solid first showing. It may not be enough for the Mets to promote him to the GCL but his .695 OPS was a good start.
- Ronny Mauricio, SS, Dominican Republic (No. 3 prospect, $2,100,000.00)
- A switch hitter with solid defensive skills to play anywhere in the infield. He doesn’t have a ton of power but is considered one of the best contact hitters among the 2017 crop.
- Adrian Hernandez, OF, Dominican Republic (No. 16 prospect, $1,500,000.00)
- Considered a top defensive centerfielder he also offers solid speed and some power.
- Stanly Consuegra, OF, Dominican Republic (No. 40 prospect, $500,000.00)
- Consuegra is tall and lean and could develop any which way. We’ll have to wait and see if he develops into more of a speed player or if he builds muscle enough to become a power hitting outfielder.
- David Marcano, RHP, Venezuela (No. 49 prospect)
- The Mets traded Milton Ramos to free up extra money for international signees. The final price of Marcano was not available but he is considered a promising pitching prospect.