Mets Minors: Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith and the 2019 Mets

The Mets of August have been a downright watchable and entertaining ballclub. Even with Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia and Asdrubal Cabrera gone and Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce injured, it’s hard to feel like this Met team is worse than the one we endured for June and July. The reason for that has a lot to do with youth and player development. Afterall, the Mets have a ton of homegrown talent on the team right now.

1. C: Kevin Plawecki
2. 1B: Wilmer Flores
3. 2B: Jeff McNeil
4. SS: Amed Rosario
5. Util: Jose Reyes
6. LF/1B: Dominic Smith
7. CF: Brandon Nimmo*
8. RF: Michael Conforto
9. SP: Jacob deGrom
10. SP: Noah Syndergaard
11. SP: Zack Wheeler
12. SP: Steven Matz
13. SP: Corey Oswalt
14. RP: Seth Lugo
15. RP: Robert Gsellman
16. RP: Tyler Bashlor
17. RP: Drew Smith

That’s 17 (16 with Nimmo injured) players who the Met organization brought up from the minors onto the present club. Looking forward many of those faces should be back with the club in 2019 and it makes one wonder what that 2019 team might look like.

Who is Jeff McNeil?

That is the biggest question through the end of the season because 2018 has been a magical year for the infielder. Can he be the star her appears to be moving forward? What kind of player will he wind up being? Will his bat cool down? Will his glove expose him? All of them, fair questions for a player who we didn’t see much of in 2016 or 2017 because of injury.

If one is to write report cards based on expectations, McNeil blows away the curve and essentially walks away with the highest possible score. The important thing now is to establish expectations for him moving forward. The player he most reminds me of is Daniel Murphy, only McNeil isn’t waiting to turn 30 to develop a power swing. I can think of a few fans who would seriously love to have Murphy MKII on their hands for the future.

What To Do With Mr. Smith?

Can Dominic Smith be a full time Left Fielder? The Mets have some outfield decisions to make and I fully expect them to be bringing back Austin Jackson after what he’s shown so I really wonder where everyone is supposed to shake out.

If Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo are definitive starters and Juan Lagares and Jackson serve as the bench players do Smith and Bruce trade off time in the outfield and at first base? What do the Mets do with Peter Alonso if he keeps hitting? What happens with Cespedes returns? Why can none of these players be catchers? (Joke)

If the Mets decide that Alonso is their future at first, I have to imagine the team will wish to showcase Smith so that they can get some trade value for the promising player who has yet to put everything together.

Who is Next?

I count seven players in the upper minor leagues who I could see the Mets bringing up during the 2019 season. Will Justin Dunn or Franklyn Kilome make an impact in the major league rotation or bullpen? When will the Mets bring up Alonso and how will he fare? How far away is youngster, Andres Gimenez? Should the Mets start considering shuffling up that infield or will they wait for Todd Frazier to leave and free that room up naturally? Will Chris Flexen, P.J. Conlon and/or Nabil Crismatt be useful at the major league level? What about the likes of Gerson Bautista, Tim Peterson, Stephen Nogosek and others? The last few games in the minor league season may answer all of this.

AAA:

Peter Alonso looks a bit streaky – It seems that Alonso has a habit of going from being on fire to being cold as ice pretty regularly. (Last 10 Games: .189 BA, 3 HR, 5 BB and 11 K)

Does Bryce Brentz have a future on the Mets? – With Juan Lagares and Austin Jackson (likely to return) and Dominic Smith there seems little room for another righty outfielder but Brentz has more talent than your typical 5th journeyman. (Season Line: .262/.329/.578)

Luis Guillorme finishing well – What a season he might have had if the Mets left him in AAA and let him build his resume. We’ll never know. (Last 10 Games: .297 BA, 1 HR, 3 BB and 3 K)

AA:

Andres Gimenez a rare speedster – The Mets haven’t had abundant speed in the minors since Jose Reyes but Gimenez seems capable of breaking that trend. (Last 10 Games: 5 SB)

Stephen Villines dazzles – He began the year in Low A and somehow got promoted to AA based on necessity. (Last Game: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 5 K)

A+:

Brandon Nimmo on the mend – He’s not a prospect but it’s good to see his absence from the majors should not be a long one. (3 Rehab Games Played)

Jeremy Vasquez on a tear – He’s had a good year but his last week was exceptional. (Last 10 Games: .433 BA, 1 HR, 7 BB and 4 K)

David Peterson keeping them off the board – Another start without giving up an earned run. (Last Start: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB and 3 K)

A:

Hansel Moreno is a Wild Card – He could be a complete dud but he could also be a superstar. Much depends on if Met coaching can get the kid to stop striking out. (Last 10 Games: .364 BA, 1 HR, 2 BB, 8 SB but 15 K)

A-:

Ross Adolph is somewhere in the Top 50 – A name that isn’t well known, but this 21 year old out of Toledo has had a great year leading off for Brooklyn. (Season Line: .278/.348/.507 with 10 SB)

Jose Miguel Medina keeps at it – It seems every single week I look to find him among the most productive hitters on the team. (Last 10 Games: .385 BA, 2 HR, 5 BB, 6 K and 4 SB)

R2:

Mark Vientos showing his eye – His red hot streak may be over but he’s still getting on base. (Last 10 Games: 9 BB and 7 K)

Ronny Mauricio gets a promotion – While he cooled off later in the year for the GCL the Mets have moved Mauricio to Kingsport for the final games of the season. (APP Stats: .238/.280/.333 in 5 games)

Jarred Kelenic back at it – He was heating up last week and, to quote NBA Jam, “He’s on fire!” (Last 10 Games: .405 BA, 2 HR, 4 BB, 9 K and 4 SB)

9 comments for “Mets Minors: Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith and the 2019 Mets

  1. Artie
    August 27, 2018 at 10:24 am

    1. Trade Smith for Bird. Classic change of scenery deal.

    2. Conforto and Matz for Realmuto. Got to give up something to get something.

    3. Trade Flores to a AL team for whatever you can get.

    4. Somehow,some way get a good CFer.

    • David Groveman
      August 27, 2018 at 11:41 am

      1. No thanks. Smith is a better fit than Bird who still plays the same position as Alonso/Bruce/Cespedes

      2. No thanks. I really like Realmuto but that is an awful deal for the Mets in many many ways.

      3. Sure! Who wants him?

      4. Mets Outfield should be an assortment of Conforto, Nimmo, Lagares, Bruce and Smith assuming the bad trades you listed don’t happen.

  2. August 27, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Yesterday’s debacle aside, they have been watchable and fun. Games coming up with the Cubs, BoSox and Braves should be somewhat telling however.

    They should make signing Yasmani Grandal their top offseason priority. I would attempt to pry Miles Straw from Houston to play Center.

    Jay Bruce is the major roadblock. Bad-contract-for-bad-contract deals in MLB have become rarities these days, but I would be looking to move him for an equally bad contract for someone not an outfielder.

    • David Groveman
      August 27, 2018 at 11:41 am

      I like all you’ve said.

  3. August 27, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Since they played in yesterday’s game you can add Tomas Nido and Paul Sewald, too. That makes the list 19.

    It would be terrific if McNeil could come close to this production over an entire season. But, everyone looks good when they have a .366 BABIP

  4. Eraff
    August 27, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    McNeill looks like an IF Rotational Piece, at the very least—that’s a very nice starting point. At the beginning of this season, the projected Infield Backups included Reyes and Flores–McNeill is better than both. Maybe he can nail down 2b…maybe he can play “Rover.” He’s a nice player…. no speed demon, but he can run a little bit and he can make contact….he can field a bit…he can drive a ball in aggressive counts. He’s the most capable “blossoming” 24/25 that they’ve had in some time…. he could become a staple.

  5. Madman
    August 27, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    Not to worry,Reyes is getting a start tonight. What are the chances he returns next year as a reserve?

  6. August 28, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    I wish someone would give Smith a solid run to be the starting first baseman in Queens and let him figure stuff out. He’s always struggled immediately after a promotion but subsequently crushed it. He’s a kid in late summer of a lost season; now’s the time to figure it out.

    • Name
      August 28, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      Why should he get the chance? He is in no way deserving in my opinion. In fact, like Chris F suggested he should have been banished all the way to AA earlier in the year.

      He’s lazy (late in Spring Training), has no baseball instincts (runs into Rosario, throws to empty bases), is non-athletic (fat)

      It’s a bigger crime if we play this guy versus a veteran who at least cares enough to try.

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