Ronny Mauricio, SS, S/R, 17
For all the talk of Pete Alonso and Andres Gimenez or the trade that lost the Mets Jared Kelenic and Justin Dunn, the player I am most eager to watch is likely to play on a short season minor league team. Just over 9 days from his 18th birthday, Mauricio was a big international signee from 2017 who bucked the norm by both playing his first year stateside and playing pretty darn well.
The switch hitting shortstop showed that he could hit for power and that his eye was fairly advanced for a player of his age. Collecting 57 games between the GCL and APP, I have him slotted to start with the Brooklyn Cyclones where he will hopefully not fall victim to the offensive vacuum of the New York Penn League.
At 6’3” he’s almost assured to move from the position but his quick start in the majors suggests that, while he’s still a few years away, he may be allowed to progress more quickly than the cautious Mets typically allow.
Allowing fans to get a glimpse of this distant prospect during the 2019 Spring Training speaks volumes towards the Mets view of this young player.
Mark Vientos, 3B, R/R, 19
Vientos was side-by-side with Mauricio at the end of 2018 and looked pretty phenomenal in his own right. At the age of 18 he showed an experienced eye at the plate and the type of power one needs from a corner infielder.
The Mets 2019 plans might be a touch hazy though. For while the modern (cautious) Mets might keep him back in Brooklyn for another year of short season baseball, it feels like Columbia might be the ideal home for his bat this season. At 19 and having hit for an OPS over .800 it seems that the next logical step would be trying to stretch him out for a longer season in the South Atlantic League.
That being said, I think the Mets will not agree and he will wind up playing next to Mauricio on a very talented left side of an infield.
Simeon Woods-Richardson, SP, R/R, 18
People thought the Mets reached on Woods-Richardson by taking him in the second round of the 2018 draft but he silenced the naysayers by putting together 17.1 really good innings in his minor league debut.
Here, I see the Mets cautious approach to be wise and having the young righty join the Cyclone staff as a sage approach in player development.
That being said, if he managed to perform to the same levels as his 2018 debut, I could see the Mets skipping him over Columbia to Port St. Lucie to begin the 2020 campaign… but that is getting ahead of myself.
Adrian Hernandez, OF, R/R, 18
With his international signee counterpart playing in the states the Mets allowed Hernandez to play out his first year with the Dominican Summer League and, while the stats may not jump off the page, his season was pretty solid.
His 2019 season will determine much of his future stock with the team but there is reason to hope that Hernandez could display a healthy mix of speed and power as he develops.