Finally here, the best of the best. The top two prospects for the Mets should hardly surprise anyone though some might now be arguing if Peter Alonso might be better than Andres Gimenez. It’s a good argument to have as the Mets have two prospects that most teams would be very happy to call their own. Not only that, but these are prospects the Mets might be able to promote to the majors in the near future.
Peter Alonso, who I’ve been crowing about for a long time, was a steal of a 2nd-round pick for the Mets. When the pick was made it seemed confusing. Dominic Smith was progressing through the minors well and seemed to be the heir apparent for Lucas Duda. Still, the Mets have gotten into the habit of choosing for skill over need and Alonso has paid off.
Andres Gimenez was another international signee who seemed to be chasing Amed Rosario as he made his own Top Prospect run through the minors. One and a half years in the majors and Rosario may need to be looking over his shoulder at the “New Kid in Town” who is likely on his way to Syracuse.
2. Peter Alonso, 1B (PCL) – In my time covering the Mets farm, we haven’t had many pure power hitters. Sure, I recall Ike Davis and Duda but I cannot recall another player hitting 36 home runs between AA and AAA in a season, let alone 42 with the AFL.
Alonso is the best power hitter I’ve ever covered in the minors and I’m not saying that lightly. So much about his hitting makes me excited by his future with this franchise. For one, his strikeouts are not out of control. He averages about one strikeout per game played, which is certainly a little better than some. For another, he isn’t a “Pure Pull Hitter” like others. Alonso hits about half his shots to left but divides the other half fairly well between center and right.
The knock against Alonso has typically been his defense. He’s not a highly regarded defender though he does seem to be improving. So why is he only ranked 58th overall? I strongly considered flipping he and Gimenez atop my rankings and expect to see Alonso on top of a few other’s boards. I also expect him to start the year a little higher than 58th on the Top 100 prospects in baseball.
Gus: With numbers like his and being in AAA, I expect him to be in the top 30 MLB prospects, quite possibly top 20 when MLB puts out their new list in 2019. Everyone knows about Alonso’s power, but two other positives for Alonso is his competitiveness to “win each pitch of the at bat” and his desire to be a complete player and not just a lumberjack. Two negatives are that he doesn’t have elite bat speed and while the exit velocities are impressive when he guesses right as he showed in the AFL all-star game with his 113 mph home run off a 104 mph fastball, the second negative is the two strikeouts he incurred after his home run that continue a pattern of his 26% K rate in AAA. It may help Alonso long term to work on his contact rate in the minors and master that there before he is put in the pressure cooker of Citi Field and in front of MLB pitchers.
Chris: So while we all wipe the tears from our eyes about the loss of Jarred Kelenic, or perhaps over acquiring a cheater in Robinson Cano, Mets fans need to change focus and get our eyes on Alonso. If ever there was a power-hitting AAA stud that needed to see The Show its Alonso. So much has been said in the past couple months, its not worth digging into. Ok, he hasn’t hit a ball in the big leagues yet, and thats worthy of keeping an eye on; I get that. Nevertheless he’s a stud. He bats righty. He seems like a quality guy. Took his lack of promotion like a pro. BVW went to see him personally for the AFL this year to assure him he’s wanted. Im not sure he’s really a butcher on defense, but lets imagine he’s fully aware of this, and that there are resources for him to lean on. Although he’s not in the top 50 of MLB ranked prospects, he has re-positioned to #1 at 1B, and expect he will be top 20 by the time March 1 comes around. With Jay Bruce and Wilmer Flores now gone and Smith wandering around completely lost in the deep wilderness, it seems clear he will get the full chance to prove in March for a near opening day start to his ML career. (The Mets will protect that service year for sure, so Id be shocked if he’s on the opening day roster.) Like youth? Here you go…he should make us forget Kelenic.
1. Andres Gimenez, SS (EAS) – The Mets signed Gimenez back in 2015 out of Venezuela. Three years later and he’s on the cusp of the majors with tremendous potential. Yet, people from other teams don’t look at Gimenez that way. The Mets top prospect is ranked 55th overall. This places him behind Fernando Tatis Jr., Royce Lewis, Brendan Rogers and others.
Gimenez is your typical quick and skilled shortstop. He doesn’t have much power and hits the ball on the ground the majority of the time. He does have more speed than any other relevant Met prospect currently… maybe since Jose Reyes.
Grading out with defensive tools superior to those of Rosario and as potentially a base stealer (having stolen over 30 in 2018) he is truly intriguing. Could Rasario cede short to him and move to third? Is that too presumptuous? Does this allow the Mets to trade Rosario? Or perhaps Gimenez winds up being the trade piece that gets the Mets the pieces they need to finally build a world series team. Having too many quality shortstops is not a problem the Mets are likely to complain about.
Gus: A nice combination of speed and defense with a good plate presence and sneaky pop, Gimenez is known as a smart player. Gimenez is a gap to gap hitter, but his AFL showed a need for more seasoning and strength before he can be considered a MLB piece. His 38/52 stolen base success shows a need for more experience in that area. His 0 home runs in AA and only 153 PA’s show that’s where he should start next year. While some people may have his ETA in late 2019, I don’t think it should be before 2020 to give the 20 year old’s body a chance to catch up to the MLB level. We saw how scrawny Rosario looks at 22, and Rosario is bigger with better tools and their range factor in the minors are almost identical.
Chris: Gimenez sits at the top of the list because he has shown such advanced skills for his age that it’s just incredible. A guy with a 60 hit, 60 arm, 60 field, and 55 run scouting can’t be ignored. He profiles as another of the SS train the team has, and certainly at the top of the heap, including Rosario. I’d be hesitant to use him for a trade chip because I can see him being a cornerstone piece for the Mets, with an around-the-horn look of Vientos, Gimenez, Rosario, and Alonso. Add Nimmo and Conforto to the OF and its a “squint and you mat really like it” look. There is no rush to getting him to the Bigs with with Rosario at SS and Cano at 2B for the next year or so, but I can see him taking short and a Rosario/Cano platoon as he ages. With SS an athletic position given prospects a chance to move almost anywhere on the field, he looks like a SS.
1. Andres Gimenez, SS (Age 20)
2. Peter Alonso, 1B (Age 23)
3. Jarred Kelenic, OF (Age 19)
4. Ronny Mauricio, SS (Age 17)
5. Mark Vientos, 3B (Age 18)
6. Justin Dunn, RHP (Age 23)
7. David Peterson, LHP (Age 23)
8. Franklyn Kilome, RHP (Age 23)
9. Thomas Szapucki, LHP (Age 22)
10. Anthony Kay, LHP (Age 23)
11. Adrian Hernandez, OF (Age 17)
12. Francisco Alvarez, C (Age 16)
13. Shervyen, Newton, SS (Age 19)
14. Luis Santana, 2B (Age 19)
15. Will Toffey, 3B (Age 23)
16. Jordan Humphreys, RHP (Age 22)
17. Tony Dibrell, RHP (Age 22)
18. Jaison Vilera, RHP (Age 21)
19. Desmond Lindsay, OF (Age 21)
20. Bobby Wahl, RHP (Age 26)
21. Simeon Woods-Richardson, RHP (Age 18)
22. Patrick Mazeika, C (Age 25)
23. Freddy Valdez, OF (Age 16)
24. Christian James, RHP (Age 20)
25. Ali Sanchez, C (Age 21)
26. Tyler Bashlor, RHP (Age 24)
27. Gavin Cecchini, Util (Age 24)
28. Gregory Guerrero, 2B (Age 19)
29. Gerson Bautista, RHP (Age 23)
30. Jeremy Vasquez, 1B (Age 22)
31. Wagner Lagrange, OF (Age 23)
32. David Thompson, 3B (Age 25)
33. Stanley Consuegra, OF (Age 18)
34. Stephen Villines, RHP (Age 23)
35. Eric Hanhold, RHP (Age 24)
36. Hansel Moreno, SS (Age 21)
37. Andres Regnault, C (Age 19)
38. Tim Tebow, OF (Age 31)
39. Nabil Crismatt, RHP (Age 23)
40. P.J. Conlon, LHP (Age 24)
41. Jose Miguel Medina, OF (Age 22)
42. Ryley Gilliam, RHP (Age 22)
43. Ross Adolph, OF (Age 21)
44. Juan Uriarte, C (Age 21)
45. Walter Rasquin, 2B (Age 22)
46. Felix Valerio, 2B (Age 17)
47. Joe Cavallaro, RHP (Age 23)
48. Jamie Callahan, RHP (Age 24)
49. Carlos Cortes, 2B (Age 21)
50. Chris Viall, RHP (Age 23)