During a Mets360 game chatter a discussion began on the future position of Ronny Mauricio. The Mets #3 prospect (making a push to become the #2 prospect) is a natural shortstop who is destined to shift positions because of Francisco Lindor and the fact that he is 6’3” tall. Mauricio could be shifted to third base but the Mets have quite a bit of prospect depth at that position and second base looks little better. One could shift Mauricio into the outfield, as his bat is big enough to play at any position but his highest value remains at his current position. For this reason, there is a significant chance that the Mets wind up trading their young shortstop prospect. The question would be, for what?

Some people might be aware that the Mets projected bullpen for the 2023 season has only Drew Smith and Joely Rodriguez slated to return. While fans may not mind seeing Trevor May, Adam Ottavino and others leaving town, the Mets will need to spend significant money in the offseason where they need to address Jacob deGrom’s opt out, Brandon Nimmo and rebuilding their entire bullpen. For this reason, the Mets might look to trade Mauricio for relief pitching that can help them both in 2022 and beyond.

Texas: Joe Barlow and Matt Bush

Texas has a ton of offensive potential but they are staring up at a few too many teams already and they don’t seem to have the pitching, at least on paper, to recover. Their closer is very young and Texas, having just signed both Coery Seager and Marcus Semien probably doesn’t want another shortstop but the Mets could certainly use a young relief pitcher with that kind of potential.

Cincinnati: Lucas Sims and Luis Castillo

Cincinnati is squarely out of contention but the issue with these Reds is that Lucas Sims is not a closer on a good team and may not even be a setup man. For this reason the speculative trade with the Mets is centered on Castillo, who the Mets could view as a potential deGrom safety net. The Reds would likely want more considering that the Mets would get Castillo for both 2022 and 2023 but on the Mets side, this has to be tempting.

Pittsburgh: David Bednar

Of the deals listed, this is one that works fairly well on paper. The Pirates need a number of pieces to achieve relevance and Bednar will likely be expensive by the time they are actually competing for a playoff spot. There isn’t a lot of history for Bednar’s success as he was a 35th round pick for the Padres and only emerged as a possible closer in 2021 but he’s off to a strong start in 2022 and could solve a large part of the Mets problems both this year and next.

Detroit: Gregory Soto and More

The Tigers have a young closer who doesn’t necessarily thrill anyone but they also have several veteran relievers who the Mets would likely benefit from in 2022. The combination of Gregory Soto with either Michael Fulmer or Andrew Chafin would make a lot of sense for a Mets team looking to go to the World Series. While Soto probably doesn’t solve closer for the Mets moving forward, he would provide a capable arm and the introduction of Fulmer or Chafin does a ton to improve the team’s chances this year.

As the season wears on, some teams who still have hopes of 2022 success will shift, shifting the Mets’ options but I expect the Mets to be on the market for relief and Ronny Mauricio is their best “expendable” prospect.

AAA: Syracuse Mets

Is Something Wrong With Mark Vientos?

Before this season, Mark Vientos was the darling of the Mets scouting world earning his way into a number of Top 100 prospect lists and looking like he’d contend with Brett Baty for the future of third base. Fast forward through April and that status is very much in doubt. He had a batting line of .164/.257/.311 and he’d struck out 21 times in 19 games. The strikeouts are part of the package but there was little to this batting line that would give fans much optimism.

Two things to consider before taking the cyanide capsule on fandom. First, it was just April and in his first three games in May he seems to have turned over a new (or in this case old) leaf. Second, even with as bad as he was, his power numbers were still good and he was far better against lefties. As Vientos profiles as a DH/Bench batter, his ability to crush lefties still leaves him some solid value.

● Mark Vientos, 3B – #5 Prospect: As mentioned, Vientos is improved in May but the month has only just begun. Interestingly, in 3 games he somehow has 5 walks this month.
Nick Plummer, OF – #8 Prospect: To get people really excited he has to do more but his .795 OPS is reason to keep him on your radar, especially if someone in the major league outfield gets hurt.
Khalil Lee, CF – #9 Prospect: Lee’s stock is fading fast as he’s already been vaulted by Plummer on the rankings.
Carlos Cortes, LF/2B – #9 Prospect: Things are looking bleak. His April was bad and his OPS in May is worse.
Thomas Szapucki, LHP – #15 Prospect: Nothing bad to report but nothing worth noting. Szapucki needs to do more to impress to have an MLB future.
Travis Blankenhorn, 2B – #18 Prospect:
Eric Orze, RHP – #21 Prospect: April was not kind to Orze but his two outings in May have shown marked improvement. His ERA is still North of 7.00 but it’s down from a high of 11.05 so… improvement.
Wyatt Young, SS – #42 Prospect: I need to mention Wyatt Young. The Mets 15th round pick from last year is 22 years old, in AAA and has an OPS of .836 which is pretty surprising.

AA: Binghamton Rumble Ponies

Where is Butto’s Ceiling?

Jose Butto has pitched and started five games this season and continues to climb the prospect rankings steadily with solid numbers and peripherals. In 22.1 innings pitched he’s struck out 33 batters and earned a WHIP of 1.07. The strikeouts are well above his typical production but the WHIP seems true to form. He had a 1.09 WHIP in 2021, a 1.17 WHIP in 2019 and a 1.32 WHIP in 2018 (made slightly higher after a promotion from Rookie Ball to Brooklyn).

Butto is currently the third highest ranked pitcher in the Mets’ farm system and should continue to rise against the younger arms in Port St. Lucie and, the still shelved, Matt Allan. Prior to 2022 Butto profiled as a someone with the ceiling of a backend rotation starter. Based on the increased strikeout rate, we could be looking at a #3 or better pitcher.

Francisco Alvarez, C – #1 Prospect: Nothing to worry about yet. Alvarez has been a little streaking in general but his numbers remain pretty good.
● Brett Baty, 3B – #2 Prospect: His numbers aren’t outside expectations but as the number two prospect, meeting expectations is good enough.
● Ronny Mauricio, SS – #3 Prospect: I know the brunt of the article above is about trading Mauricio but his season is suggesting that he might be ranked too low at #3. He’s really the top producing player on the team and his strikeouts are down.
● Jose Butto, RHP – #11 Prospect: With all the rain-outs the Mets pitched Butto on Sunday and he was bad, lasting only one inning and giving up a 2 run home run. He probably shouldn’t have been pitching that day anyway.
Hayden Senger, C – #17 Prospect: Senger is really having a pretty great season and I expect him to be promoted to AAA soon to get him more playing time.
Jake Mangum, CF – #23 Prospect: After an up and down April, Mangum has a strong start to May and could be back on his way to the Top 20.
● Michael Otanez, RHP – #30 Prospect: Now a relief pitcher, he’s splitting closing duties and having some good success. He’s not a power arm and probably profiles as a middle reliever.
Bryce Montes de Oca, RHP – #48 Prospect: I had slept on this prospect but was alerted to him having a 100+ MPH fastball. He’s also having a great season as the sometimes closer for Binghamton.

A+: Brooklyn Cyclones


● Matt Allan, RHP – #6 Prospect: Still waiting to return from injury.
Jaylen Palmer, Util – #16 Prospect: Ladies and gentlemen… we are approaching prospect free fall.
Jose Peroza, 3B – #19 Prospect: Peroza has started hitting again in May but he’s walking a narrow line to stay in the Top 20 this month.
JT Schwartz, 1B – #20 Prospect: After rising up quickly (too quickly) you can expect Schwartz to dip back below the Top 20 this month unless he gets hot again.
Garrison Bryant, RHP – NR Prospect: Sitting outside the Top 50 Bryant has settled into some solid middle of the road numbers. It’ll likely get him into the team’s Top 50 but I don’t expect a major league career.

A: Port St. Lucie Mets

We Don’t Talk About Newton

Someone tuning in to see the Port St. Lucie Low A Mets might wonder why this blog isn’t saying more about the play of former Top 20 prospect, Shervyen Newton. The 23 year old infielder is in his third season of Low A ball and people might argue, breaking out. The physically gifted player from the Netherlands offers an enticing mix of speed and power and was once thought of as a possible major league caliber prospect. The problem here is that Newton is now one of the oldest players at his level and while he’s striking out less frequently, he’s still striking out more than once per game.

There is a chance that he will bounce back into a number of Top 50 and Top 30 prospect lists if his season continues at this pace but I can promise you that, unless he performs to this level after a promotion (or two) to a more age appropriate league, he will not be doing so on my personal list of prospects.

Alex Ramirez, CF – #4 Prospect: It’s time to get really excited about this prospect. Ramirez is living up to his international hype and should be earning a mid-season promotion to Brooklyn. It could come any day.
Calvin Ziegler, RHP – #7 Prospect: Port St. Lucie seems to be having the pitchers play a little too cute with the baseball. He’s not giving up many runs or hits but he’s walking a healthy number of batters.
Dominic Hamel, RHP – #13 Prospect: After some very promising signs from Hamel he’s gotten wild. He has 9 walks in his last two games alone.
Levi David, RHP – #27 Prospect: Gotta love only one hit in 5.1 innings of work, gotta love 9 strikeouts too. Don’t love the 6 walks.
Mike Vasil, RHP – #30 Prospect: After getting roughed up in the middle of April he seems to have settled down and should be on the rise.
Carlos Dominguez, 1B – #43 Prospect: One player you can be sure will see his ranking rise is Dominguez who is the power and production of the St. Lucie Mets.
Keyshawn Askew, LHP – #44 Prospect: Since his second outing of the year the numbers on Askew have been very solid. His stock is on the rise… partially because his name is excellent.
Stanley Consuegra, OF – #50 Prospect: It’s possible he’s benefiting from the residual glow of Alex Ramirez but Consuegra is having himself a nice 2022.
● Shervyen Newton, SS – NR: He’s got a .923 OPS, 29 strikeouts in 24 games and is repeating Low A for the third time in his career.

17 comments on “The idea of trading Ronny Mauricio

  • BrianJ

    Last year the Mets traded an injured Pete Crow-Armstrong for two-time All-Star Javier Baez and most fans couldn’t believe the Mets would do that.

    I think the collection of middle relievers/2nd division closers would be an even worse return. The only one worth considering is the Luis Castillo one and it’s unlikely the Reds would be interested in that.

    PCA wasn’t a top 100 prospect. Mauricio was ranked #78 by MLB.com, #51 by Baseball Prospectus, #44 by FanGraphs and #40 by Keith Law.

    I’m not saying Mauricio is untouchable. But he wouldn’t be the first person from the farm I’d look to deal and I’d certainly want a better return than what’s suggested above to pull the trigger.

  • ChrisF

    Say it aint so David.

    I cant envision any circumstance that a top 100 prospect and near best in the system gets traded for a mercurial relief pitcher. I know, we already did that – but its come with a lot of pain.

    I also seem to not see the block at 2B. Sure McNeil’s best spot is there but I remain that 2B is the logical destination for Lindor whose arm seems to be worsening. Right now Mauricio is not worth losing and Id keep him locked in at SS. McNeils best position my be taking his career 126 OPS+ to DH.

  • JimmyP

    As a rule, trading for relief pitchers is a dangerous game — except if it’s Diaz and you get a low-earning closer with 4 years of team control.

    Ha, ha, ha.

    It’s funny you wrote this piece, because the trade I’ve been asking myself is this:

    Would I trade Ronny Mauricio for Jared Kelenic (.152 BA, 32 K in 79 ABs).

    The latest comp I’ve come up for with Kelenic is Joc Peterson.

    But he’s still young!

    Do you make that deal?

    • deegrove84

      To have Kelenic back would feel wonderful but the Mets don’t need an outfielder that gravely.

      • Jimmy P

        So no?

        Remember, you talked about moving Mauricio to the OF.

        I’m not advocating, just curious what informed people think.

  • deegrove84

    I anticipated getting grief for this because it’s a trade post but honestly, the Mets have major issues in relief this season and moving forward (unless Bryce Montes de Oca is more for real than I think he is).

    Mauricio is major league ready for call-up in 2022 but could be held one more season. Starting in 2023 the Mets simply have no home for him. You have Alonso, Escobar, Lindor, McNeil Mauricio and Baty (not to mention Vientos) all vying for the same infield. Finding a place for him to play will come at the expense of someone else.

    • Jimmy P

      Wow, I don’t see Mauricio as ML ready in 2022. He’s in AA. Still extremely raw as a defender and a free-swinger (he’ll always be one, but it’s a matter of degree). Clearly has things to work on and there’s no great rush.

      I believe that his upside is Alfonso Soriano. He has that kind of thunder in his lightning-quick wrists. But guys like that . . . if they chase . . . you look up and he’s got a .275 OBP w/ far too many non-competitive ABs.

      (Dom Smith leads that category by a mile.)

      Maybe late 2023.

  • MikeW

    I have no problem with the Mets trading Mauricio, but I would like to see either another position player or starting pitcher. I would not trade him for relievers and would definitely not want a two month rental. If noone has looked, Pete Crow-Armstrong is batting .400 with 4 HR and 17 RBI in 90 at bats with a .491 on base percentage. It was not worth trading him for Baez.

  • JamesTOB

    I won’t get any love for this, but I’d wait to see how Mauricio develops and if he’s genuinely (not just hyped) to be a potential future All-Star, then I’d like to see the Mets trade Lindor (He is aging) and keep Mauricio at shortstop. It’s possible Lindor could bring a very good pitcher or pitching prospect at that time, maybe more. It would even be worth throwing in significant cash to make such a deal. I know that not all highly touted prospects make it, but I’d love to see the Mets build from their farm and keep their payroll manageable.

  • TexasGusCC

    Thanks for the updates Dave! Many of us monitor the news, but don’t follow all the prospects as closely.

    Lots of good ideas concerning Mauricio, but he isn’t Alfonso Soriano. Soriano was a 40/40 guy in MLB and Mauricio isn’t even faster than Rafael Santana was. As for 30+ HR per year… it’s possible. As for who to keep, I will once again look at the two way player first: That leaves Vientos as the player to jettison.

    Askew and Newton both received promotions. Newton is old for his class, but he missed 2020 and was hurt in 2019 and 2021. Let’s see how he does in Brooklyn now. As for Palmer, Palmer had a revamped swing and offensive approach this off season, so the Mets are patiently letting him work through it…. Every time I hear a report on PCA, my spirit saddens. That trade was made to offset JDG’s injury and keep the Mets relevant. SMH.

    As for Kelenic, I would not trade Mauricio for him because Kelenic was rushed and it’s hard to fix that now. Here is a line from David Capobianco over at AA, summarizing a breakdown of Kelenic’s performance: “ So far, Kelenic has been worth -1.5 total bWAR and -0.2 fWAR in his brief career. Obviously, there is still time for the young outfielder to turn it around; he’s only 22 and has all the talent in the world. But players who are this bad through as many PAs as he’s received very rarely turn into productive players, and now Kelenic has an even higher offensive standard to meet as a corner outfielder.” I would offer Szapucki or at most Butto for Kelenic, but hard to see DiPoto swallowing so much pride. I mentioned he should trade him last December, and I wonder if he tried.

    Lastly, the Mets drafted Cortes three times. Somebody loved the heck out of him…

    • Jimmy P

      “He isn’t Alfonso Soriano.”

      Well, no, of course not. But it’s a comp, a reminder. In your rush to be dismissive, you state Soriano as a 40/40 guy, but in his career he hit over 40 HRS exactly once (41). If Mauricio can hit 30, and play 2B, that’s something unusual. He does not have the speed that young Soriano displayed, that’s correct.

      I was thinking of them as hitters, primarily, and as mediocre infielders. I see Mauricio as a low BA, low OBP, high SLG guy . . . with an upside comp of Soriano. You watch them hit, the bat speed, the raw athleticism, the big power from the thin frame, and the comparison is obvious to me.

      Not a guy I’d rush. And maybe an infielder with 30-HR potential. Are there a lot of those guys around?

      • Mike W

        Mauricio reminds me more of Amed Rosario than Soriano.

        • Jimmy P

          In what way?

    • Brian Joura

      Keith Law also used Soriano as a comp for Mauricio.

      • Jimmy P

        Soriano hit 412 HRs, 7x AS, 4x Silver Slugger. If he could have stuck at 2B, he’d very much be in conversation for HoF.

        So I’m not saying that Mauricio = All that.

        Just an upside comp — the ceiling — of the kind of hitter Ronny Mauricio could become.

        It’s a very, very high ceiling.

        But he’s also a guy, with his warts and blemishes, with a lower floor than most. Those guys without plate discipline (read: pitch recognition) can get eaten alive at the ML level.

        I flip him for Hader — for example — not for some guy who might get some outs in the 7th inning.

  • Metsense

    This is a great comprehensive analysis David. Thanks.

    At this point in the season, with their comfortable lead, I wouldn’t trade any prospects for relieve pitching on the trade deadline. The bullpen is more than efficient and by the playoffs it will be supplemented a starting pitcher because there are only four starters used for the playoff rotation.

    • Jimmy P

      I could see Megill bolstering the bullpen when Jake gets back (July 1?).

      But things tend to happen. Guys get hurt.

      I’m curious to give Holderman a shot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 100 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here