Another month into the system and we’ve started to learn things about the prospects in the Mets system but the biggest and most important thing we’ve learned is that Francisco Alvarez is a great prospect. Since ascending into the #1 prospect slot he’s held there pretty firm through some surging months of Brett “The Met” Baty and Ronny Mauricio. We’d be really excited about the seasons that Baty, Alex Ramirez and Mark Vientos are having in most years but they all fall short of the tremendous hype we feel for Alvarez.

The Mets made a public statement on Alvarez recently, noting that they would not rule out a promotion (to the majors) in the 2022 season. Shades of Michael Conforto’s 2015 promotion come to mind as Met fans salivate over the prospect of having a catcher whose bat gets featured instead of one whose bat must be hidden.

The concern is three-fold. The Mets don’t want to rush a prospect to the majors before his time like the Mariners did with Jarred Kelenic, catchers take longer to develop and Alvarez may be a step down defensively, and the Mets have veteran elite pitchers who may not take to pitching to this newcomer.

The first concern is not one you can fully predict. Kelenic’s numbers in the minors remain outstanding and for reasons that cannot be discerned he has not failed to impress in the majors two seasons in a row. Alvarez could come up to Queens and be the next Ivan Rodriguez or he could wind up hitting below the Mendoza line for several weeks and be sent back down. The second concern is warranted but expected. James McCann and Tomas Nido are good defensive catchers who save additional runs with their defensive play. Alvarez is a solid backstop but is not a defensive dynamo.

The final concern is one the Mets could have done something to mitigate, in part because the Mets have their two Ace pitchers nearing rehab assignments. If the Mets had Max Scherzer and soon Jacob deGrom rehab with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies then the two pitchers could have gotten a chance to audition and evaluate Alvarez. Unfortunately for Alvarez, Scherzer was assigned to Binghamton and pitched to James McCann.

A final thing for the Mets to consider is to have their cake and eat it too. They could trade for Wilson Contreras to bolter their 2022 season and promote Alvarez as a DH to take over for the struggling bats of J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith. Alvarez continues a torrid pace and looks to be ready to swing a bat at the major league level.

Top 20 Prospects:

  1. Francisco Alvarez, C (AA) – No Change: If he doesn’t lose his prospect status he will be ranked as the #1 prospect in baseball on multiple prospects lists next year. That’s how good he’s doing. He’s slashing .300/.400/.713with 6 doubles and 9 home runs in the month of June.
  2. Brett Baty, 3B (AA) – Up 1: Baty had a bit of a down May but has turned things on in June and now looks to be well past due for promotion to AAA. Nobody is going to sniff Alvarez’s line but Baty’s .329/.424/.494 slash is still very impressive.
  3. Ronny Mauricio, SS (AA) – Down 1: Mauricio drops a spot but holds in the Top 3 with a late June streak of good hitting. Is it time to panic? Calm down and understand that he,  Brett Baty and Alex Ramirez are now all in the mix for being less good than Alvarez. He has 4 doubles and 7 home runs in June and will be the center of trade talks for Wilson Contreras, Shohei Ohtani, and Luis Castillo as the Mets are looking to make a move to put themselves over the top.
  4. Alex Ramirez, CF (A) – No Change: As the season goes on the speed begins to take hold but the recent weeks have seen a cold snap in his numbers. Nothing to be upset about but he’s no longer looking to unseat one of the Top 3 just yet.
  5. Mark Vientos, 3B (AAA) – No Change: While the 67 stirkeouts in 51 games isn’t good, he’s got a .832 OPS on the year after having a dismal start to the season. The Mets will want Vientos’ bat on the playoff bench and could be letting him audition as DH much sooner.
  6. Calvin Ziegler, RHP (A) – No Change: The good news is that Ziegler seems to be a legitimate prospect. The bad news is that his ceiling feels lower than I’d like from a #6 prospect. I don’t think he is a “Front of Rotation” stater.
  7. Nick Plummer, OF (AAA) – No Change: Plummer has had his moments of glory with the major league team but seems to be struggling with his limited playing time. He still doesn’t feel like a major league starter but we can see the potential and that is intriguing.
  8. Matt Allan, RHP (A+) – No Change: Not expected back until the end of the year at the earliest. He could rocket back up to the Top 5 in a hurry.
  9. Jose Butto, RHP (AA) – No Change: Ultimately, Butto belongs at the bottom of the Mets Top 10 and would be farther back still in a healthier farm system.
  10. Khalil Lee, OF (AAA) – Up 1: Lee salvaged a season in free fall but the promotion to the majors may have actually de-railed him as he isn’t seeing much playing time in the majors at all.
  11. Juan Simon, RHP (DSL) – Down 1: DSL game are under way and so far Simon has not been great but it’s only been 13 games and he’s now riding a four game hit streak.
  12. Robert Dominguez, RHP (FCL) – No Change: FCL games have begun but Mr. Dominguez still hasn’t made an appearance.  At this point an injury is assumed.
  13. Thomas Szapucki, LHP (AAA) – No Change: Szapucki made the least of his chance to grab a rotation spot and since demotion he hasn’t been great.  The time has come to move him into the bullpen.
  14. Hayden Senger, C (AA) – No Change: A six game audition in AAA was cut short to keep Senger in playing time. He still profiles as the backup catcher for Francisco Alvarez offering a solid defense and offense above the level of Tomas Nido.
  15. Dominic Hamel, RHP (A) – No Change: More to like than meets the eye. He actually has a high K/9 suggesting “Front End” possibilities but he seems to have control and stamina problems. Looks like he might become a future closer candidate.
  16. Jose Peroza, 2B (A+) – No Change: This would be a drop of one or two spots under normal circumstances. He had a very good month of May and has been suffering through a down month of June.
  17. Willy Fanas, OF (DSL) – Up 3: Currently on the DSL 2 team, Fanas is off to a strong debut showing great contact and plate control in the early going.  DSL stats will forever be meaningless, you can thank Vicente Lupo.
  18. Jake Mangum, OF (AAA) – Up 3: Mangum is in AAA and has kept hitting through his promotion with one glaring problem. How do the Mets make room for yet another lefty outfielder aiming for a bench role? The Mets may opt to promote Mangum to the majors to give more playing time to Plummer and Lee who have higher ceilings but you should expect Ender Inciarte to get the first look.
  19. JT Schwartz, 1B (A+) – Up 4: Seeing is believing and despite having an 0-fer night when I attended the Cyclones recently, Schwartz bat looks to be very real. In an interview he mentioned that the team made some adjustments to his mechanics that hadn’t been working for him, which may have contributed to his drop in production.
  20. Jaylen Palmer, OF (A+) – Down 2: On the plus side, Palmer has made the shift into center field well and looks solid there. On the negative side he seems to be taking swing and miss lessons from Shervyen Newton.

Rising Talent:

Junior Tilien, SS 29th Overall (Previously Unranked) – Slashing a .276/.345/.408 line for June is nice and being only 19 is even nicer. The Mets have a number of promising players in St. Lucie and they will all be seeing time in Brooklyn next year.

Brandon McIlwain, OF 40th Overall (Previously Unranked) – The Mets 26th round pick from the 2019 draft is now 24 years old and has come tearing through the minors back to relevance. He played his way to a promotion onto the Binghamton squad and is already succeeding there with the offensive backing of the three Met superstars.

5 comments on “Mets Minors: The future of Mets’ catching and the June top 20 prospects

  • Metsense

    Alvarez should be promoted to AAA immediately. In September, when the roster expands , and if he hits in AAA, then promoted him to the major league roster. The minor season ends on September 11 so won’t miss much time in his defensive development also the experience would serve him well. By the playoffs, the Mets could add him on the playoff roster, if his bat warrants it. At that point, he would be a hitter, not a catcher. McCann would start each game. If McCann would be injured then Nido, who would still be on the 40 roster, would replace the injured McCann. Come spring, evaluate Alvarez to see if he defensively ready. If not, send him to AAA to work on it.

    • sportsmedia3

      The Syracuse AAA schedule ends on September 28, not September 11

  • JohnFromAlbany

    Mangum has a back injury and probably will be out for the rest of the year. Ernest Dove reported on Twitter that the hope is for him to come back in September and get some playing time before the season ends. He will be a rule 5 draft pick but I think the injury will keep him from being added to Mets roster or getting picked by another team.

  • Mike W

    The Mers can trade for Contreras or any other player. I just want to see them trade any of the top five prospects or Allan for a rental.

  • Woodrow

    Wonder if Mauricio or Vientos is traded for a DH and/or a RP.

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