Welcome to short season baseball! The Mets now have Las Vegas, Binghamton, St. Lucie, Columbia, Brooklyn, Kingsport, the Gulf Coast and their Dominican Summer Leagues entering action and we are starting to see some of the Met prospects move up the ladder. With Dominic Smith getting his second chance in the majors and Peter Alonso getting his first taste of AAA Las Vegas, the second half should have a lot of storylines to keep us interested in Met baseball… even if the major league team isn’t very watchable.
One such storyline is the Met’s 2018 top draft pick, Jarred Kelenic. The 18-year-old outfielder and the Mets came to terms on his contract on Friday and the Mets are eager to put Kelenic into service with the Gulf Coast League affiliate. For those who put stock in the money of baseball, the Mets wound up going $400,000.00 over the slot value for the 6th overall pick who is their highest draft selection since 2004.
For those of you who are still in need of a draft profile, here are the quick cuts:
● Plus Hitting lefty outfielder
● Solid Speed and Power
● Plus Arm Strength
● Good Bat Speed
● Good Defensive Instincts
Slotted to play center field with the potential to be shifted into the corners as he develops, Kelenic is a “Five Tool” player and for those familiar with Lastings Milledge or Alex Escobar you know why that is a loaded qualification. At the age of 18, Kelenic will be taking a few years to reach the majors and, in doing so, he may have some company.
Ronny Mauricio Starts his Major League Career, Stateside:
Joining Kelenic in the Gulf Coast is a young, 17-year-old Shortstop from the Dominican Republic. Mauricio is the highest paid international prospect in Met history, surpassing Amed Rosario. Expect to start reading more about this talented tandem next week.
Mets Opt for Caution with Mark Vientos:
Why? It’s anyone’s guess but the thirdbaseman was not placed into the Brooklyn Cyclones or Columbia Fireflies roster to start the year and will instead return to Kingsport, where he finished his 2017 campaign. There is considerable likelihood that he sees himself promoted for the very end of the season but it seems like the Mets are being overly cautious with a few of their better prospects.
Kevin Kaczmarski continues to make his case for the bench – If only the Mets needed a left-handed outfielder.
Jeff McNeil and Peter Alonso make their debut – They’ve made some magic together in AA and the Mets are hoping both can keep it rolling in AAA.
Corey Oswalt tosses a gem – 6.0 innings with 5 hits and no earned runs doesn’t happen often in the PCL.
Justin Dunn is succeeding but walking too many – Maybe AA hitters are harder to fool but he cannot afford to walk four batters a game. Thus far he has somehow skated by.
David Peterson is settling in – He’s had one outing in Port St. Lucie and will need to prove he can repeat his success from Columbia before anyone will get too excited.
Jeremy Vasquez back hitting – He’s hit .297 over his past 10 games, which is a good sign.
Ali Sanchez keeps going – The 21-year-old caching prospect might finally be making good on the potential the scouts once saw.
Joe Cavallaro deserves a promotion – He’s been about as good as Peterson but was left behind in Columbia.
Anthony Kay is coming around – He’s stayed healthy and I think that was all we could hope for. Expect Kay to start 2019 with Port St. Lucie.
Wagner LaGrange back in action – One of the more exciting players from the 2017 Kingsport Mets, LaGrange is hoping to make some magic in 2018.
Adrian Hernandez is earning that big money – He’s batting .351 with 3 doubles in his first 7 games. He’s also striking out far too often.
Malvin Nunez knows how to get on base – The speedy shortstop has 10 walks amd 13 hits in his first 7 games.
Andres Regnault showing the power – 19-year-old catcher has four doubles, a triple and two home runs in only 11 games.