Mets Minors: Jarred Kelenic and second-half storylines

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.


Harol Gonzalez left behind unfairly – With Josh Prevost and Justin Dunn being promoted to Binghamton, I can’t help but feel that Gonzalez should have been as well.

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.

13 comments for “Mets Minors: Jarred Kelenic and second-half storylines

  1. TexasGusCC
    June 18, 2018 at 9:38 am

    David, excellent info. Kelenic signed for a more than $1MM underslot. It was the overreach in the second round, Woods-Richardson, that was $400K overslot.

    Personally, if I could have any type of player, I’d prefer the five tool kinds. It leaves more room for growth and seeing which areas develop the most. The Mets severely lack those players which is why I would have loved Alek Thomas in round 2, rather than Woods-Richardson. The Mets need to be looking for more athletic hitters, especially the outfielders, but instead they tout their athletic pitcher. #LOLMets.

    • David Groveman
      June 18, 2018 at 9:42 am

      Two weeks in a row I said something nice about Ali Sanchez

      • TexasGusCC
        June 18, 2018 at 9:59 am

        I fainted, LOL. I heard the podcast also, and have something to say about the topics covered but I’m waiting for the catch-all article.

        Sanchez is offensively underdeveloped, whether due to injuries suffered or just lack of talent. They need to see if he can catch up, so batting him third every game regardless is the best way to give him good pitches and many plate appearances. My fingers are crossed but he’s just way too far away for all the years he has been a pro. Like the kid’s defense, praying for the offense.

        • June 29, 2018 at 3:41 pm

          Would love to see Sanchez make it. But he’s a free agent after 2019, so the clock is starting to wind down on him. Very, very hard to see him go from where he is now to being added to the 40-man by then.

        • June 29, 2018 at 7:03 pm

          Follow up: Sanchez just got promoted to St Lucie.
          The rest of the catching merry-go round…… Brandon Brosher was released (no surprise, and overdue, IMO).
          Carlos Sanchez has been moved from Brooklyn to Columbia, with Matt Foley going from Kingsport to Brooklyn.
          Juan Uriarte was officially placed on the 60-day DL, but is reportedly unlikely to return at that time. That essentially means that he’s out for the season.

  2. Hobie
    June 18, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Any skinny on Wilfredo Astudillo (DSL2), just turned 18.

    Was “following” him last year. Caught 47G last year as a 17 yr old (.291/.719OPS, 35%CS rate, only 20K in 182AB). Has only appeared in 3G this year @1B, .538, 1.385, 2B,HR & 0K).

    Have seen any reports on him.

  3. James M O'Malley
    June 18, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    I saw the Rumble Ponies play yesterday in Conn. They didn’t look too strong. Their right-fielder was ok; Jhoan Urena (he also hit a 2-run HR). Tebow pinch-hit and looked like the biggest guy on the team. Champ Stuart didn’t look great.

    • June 29, 2018 at 3:46 pm

      Champ Stuart is a non-entity at this point. Teams need bodies to fill the rosters, and thats what he is now. Urena is a free agent after this season. I don’t think he’s doing enough for the Mets to add him to the 40-man and keep him, and its been fairly rare for them to bring back minor league FAs.
      But the Mets were high on him before his injuries. Given his age (23), and the sorry state of the OF in the system, he might qualify as someone worth bringing back for another year.

  4. Eraff
    June 18, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Vientos won’t be 19 Until December….He’s younger than some of the HS Kids!

  5. Mike Walczak
    June 18, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    If the Mets continue to lose, I think we will start to see some player movement around the all star break. We will probably see the expiring contract players move which should open up some roster spots for the youngsters.

  6. MattyMets
    June 19, 2018 at 7:42 am

    Nice to see we have catching talent in the system.

  7. Chris B
    June 19, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Great info, David. Thanks for your review and analysis.

  8. June 29, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Harol Gonzalez is really beginning to master the art of command pitching.
    That said (and current stats notwithstanding), he is being left behind because he’s a low-velo pitcher, and the Mets already have two of those in the Binghamton rotation. Fair or not, thats the way it is. The overriding perception is that, even with great command, at some level his stuff won’t be enough to keep fooling batters. Low-velo pitchers need more than two pitches to succeed in the upper levels. And I’m told he still needs to command his slider better.

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