One of the things I will be tracking on my second post of each month will be the Mets Top 20 prospect list and major movements within the Top 50 list. During the first month of the season the Mets have had some mixed results amongst their four tiers of full season minor league baseball. The higher that you get in the rankings the less change you’re likely to see as only an act of God is likely to shift the Top 3 prospects from their ranking but a new contender for one of those top positions has emerged and everyone can expect to hear a lot about Alex Ramirez moving forward.
The Mets gave Ramirez a healthy signing bonus ($2.05 Million) during the international signing round of 2019-2020 but weren’t able to see him develop right away because of Covid 19. Add in that baseball reduced the minor league teams available and, unless you get to go watch the FCL Mets you might not have ever seen him play. His 2021 season was good but it wasn’t good enough to project him as a “Top Prospect” candidate.
His 2022 season has changed that to a major degree. Playing for the St. Lucie (Low A) Mets at the ripe old age of 19, Ramirez has shown off a contact tool that might grade in the plus plus range. Currently hitting .420, Ramirez hasn’t shown great power and has yet to flash his base stealing skills (shown in 2021) but he is proving that he can make contact when he wants to in more ways than one. His plate discipline is misleading, he doesn’t strike out too much but he also doesn’t walk too often either. The reason for his low strikeout numbers likely has to do with his ability to make contact.
Top 20 Prospects:
1. Francisco Alvarez, C (AA) – No Change: Alvarez began the season with a home run in each of his first three games and managed to get the online community buzzing about a potential 2022 MLB debut. One-ish month into the season and it’s clear he needs more time but there is plenty to get your hopes up about.
2. Brett Baty, 3B (AA) – No Change: When you realize that Baty is quietly having an absolutely great start to the season without many people noticing and you start to realize how good the Mets top three prospects are.
3. Ronny Mauricio, SS (AA) – No Change: Mauricio needs to learn a new position to have a future with the Mets but offensively, there isn’t much more that the Mets could want from him. He’s legitimately challenging Baty and Alvarez for top billing at this point with the hottest start among great prospects.
4. Alex Ramirez, CF (A) – Up 3: The upward momentum for Ramirez is real as the outfielder is off to a flying start as the leadoff hitter for the St. Lucie Mets. It would be great to see him stealing some bases but the Mets outfielder has shown a promising future as a leadoff hitter in the first month of the season.
5. Mark Vientos, 3B (AAA) – Down 1: There is downward momentum on Vientos who is hitting with some power, when he is hitting, and is striking out too often when he’s not. Vientos needs to turn things around if he wants to avoid having Baty replace him as the starting 3B in AAA.
6. Matt Allan, RHP (A+) – Down 1: Allan is still recovering from Tommy John surgery and hopes to pitch in the 2022 season but until he does he may find himself slowly sinking beneath players putting up solid statistics.
7. Calvin Ziegler, RHP (A) – Up 3: Having a strong start to his first campaign in the minors the Met’s 19 year old pitching prospect is looking to make a name for himself in a system with little Top Flight pitcher talent.
8. Nick Plummer, OF (AAA) – No Change: The early going was bleak but Plummer is emerging as a bat to pay attention to. His ceiling is in doubt and he might wind up as a bench player if he reaches the majors but there is some hope to dream on.
9. Khalil Lee, OF (AAA) – Down 3: Lee hasn’t started the season on a tear and it’s hard to fault a guy for not coming flying out of the gate but the Mets need Lee to be a star in AAA if he’s going to be relevant some day in the majors.
10. Juan Simon, RHP (DSL) – Up 1: Somehow, without playing the Mets top international signee moves up a spot as some players ranked above him do more to detract from themselves with their games played.
11. Jose Butto, RHP (AA) – Up 3: One player who might deserve more of a bump in the Top 20 than he’s received is Butto. He’s been very good in the early going and could soon be on the AAA roster. There is also a chance that Butto, who is on the 40-man roster, finds his way in Queens this season.
12. Robert Dominguez, RHP (FCL) – No Change: Dominguez should appear in Port St. Lucie at some point but the Mets are holding him in instructional a little longer. In the meantime, he stays where he was.
13. Dominic Hamel, RHP (A) – No Change: Hamel is pitching and is off to an okay start for himself in Low A. Given that he is a former collegiate pitcher, his bar for success at this level is higher than that of Ziegler. He only pitched one inning on 4/24 and might be headed for the injured list.
14. Carlos Cortes, OF/2B (AAA) – Down 5: It has been mentioned that Cortes doesn’t have a position. This is not in the same way that Jeff McNeil doesn’t have a position, playing multiple positions fairly well, this is more in line with J.D. Davis. Moving back to 4/22, Cortes has started hitting and may shift right back up if he can continue it.
15. Thomas Szapucki, LHP (AAA) – Up 1: The diminished fastball speed is showing and Szapucki no longer looks like a star in the making but he has potential to spare the Mets a full season of watching Joely Rodriguez explode.
16. Jaylen Palmer, SS (A+) – Down 1: The hitting in Brooklyn has not gotten off to a good start. People are all pulling for Palmer to make himself a career but he’s just not showing it yet.
17. Hayden Senger, C (AA) – Up 1: In an extremely limited look, Senger is showing the Mets something that will be entirely viable in his future career. Backing up Francisco Alvarez is exactly the future that a defense first catcher like Senger has on the New York Mets.
18. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B (AAA) – Up 1: While the hitting for Syracuse was supposed to be elite, the only player who seems to have gotten the memo is Blankenhorn who has a future as a major league bench player ahead of him.
19. Jose Peroza, 2B (A+) – Down 2: The darling of the 2021 season is not hitting the way he was in 2021. It could be that last season was a fluke, but we still have our fingers crossed.
20. JT Schwartz, 1B (A+) – Up 6: The boost in Schwartz’s position is a little bit of hype. He has gotten off to a strong start in 2022 and was already in the Top 30 so he got moved up a little bit extra so as to crack the Top 20.