Some fans remain upset at the Mets lack of big-ticket moves this trade deadline. While some of us pined for Juan Soto or Willson Contreras, no major deal materialized. Looking at what the Padres gave up, I’m not sure we’d be better off if they had. In the end the Mets brought in a pair of major platoon DH upgrades with Darin Ruf and Daniel Vogelbach– an upgraded fourth outfielder with Tyler Naquin and bolstered the bullpen with Mychal Givens.
The Mets gave up J.D. Davis and Thomas Szapucki– who had fallen to 18th overall in the Met’s system after the draft, in return for Ruf and didn’t give up any members of their prospect core. Adding additional positives, the Mets saw four of their players listed high on Baseball America’s top prospect list. With all of these things, one player seems missing. Where is Mark Vientos+
Vientos hasn’t had a ton of playing time lately which suggests a minor injury but is currently healthy and coming off a very successful month of July. His stat line for the month wound up at .316/.353/.595 which shows a ton of power but also shows that he has a rather poor walk rate. It could be the lack of plate discipline that convinced the Mets to acquire Ruf instead of promoting their own lefty-masher from the minors.
This lack of faith brings into question the Mets plan for Vientos in 2023 and moving into the future. The Mets will be moving into the offseason with a plethora of players entering free agency and a number of roles that require filling. One such position will not be a right-handed DH/1B/3B. The Mets have Darin Ruf covering the vs LHP platoon of DH through 2023 and the Mets might want to bring back the vs RHP side of that platoon as well, Pete Alonso is the only first baseman the Mets should need for the foreseeable future, and if a prospect ascends to play third base it will likely be Brett Baty.
With this in mind, it could well mean that the Mets might intend to trade Vientos in the offseason in order to restock their vacated bullpen or as part of a package for a starting pitcher. It would seem Vientos’ future will be determined by his performance in Spring Training and if he can win out a head-to-head battle with either Baty or Ruf.
AAA: Syracuse Mets
Welcome to Syracuse, Brett Baty
In a move that will make playing time a bit of a commodity, the Mets have added Baty to the AAA lineup. Baty earned this promotion with an absolutely blistering month of July in which he carried a .365/.435/.688 stat line for the month. He proved to be a complete hitter and more than ready for a mid-season promotion.
It has been said that Baty’s season has gone unheralded because of the shadows being cast by the future Mets catching superstar, Francisco Alvarez. Baty has a stat block in line with becoming an All Star candidate third baseman in the majors. The Mets will have both Jeff McNeil and Eduardo Escobar on the roster in 2023 and while McNeil can shift to the outfield, there would be little room for him if Brandon Nimmo is extended.
● Francisco Alvarez, C – #1 Prospect: The power is apparent but seeing more balls landing in play would be nice to see.
● Brett Baty, 3B – #2 Prospect:
● Mark Vientos, 3B – #4 Prospect: Vientos saw a brief gap in playing time at the beginning of August but is back on the field.
● Nick Plummer, OF – #11 Prospect: A down month of July has been followed by a strong start to August. There is little future for Plummer on the Mets and that leads to him having little trade value.
● Jose Butto, RHP – #13 Prospect: Also graduating to AAA, Butto’s first start was solid if not exceptional.
● Khalil Lee, CF – #15 Prospect: Lee hasn’t been keeping his average as high as we would like but his OBP and SLG have stayed healthy enough to not be down on him. Again, there is little value/future for Lee with the Mets.
AA: Binghamton Rumble Ponies
Ronny Mauricio Stands Alone
Nothing in this world could have kept Francisco Alvarez from being promoted to AAA this season, Brett Baty earned his way into a promotion by being the Player of the Month for July and now, Ronny Mauricio is the last top prospect remaining in AA. The Mets, Baseball America and the fans have soured some on Mauricio at this point and, at one point, he was the #1 overall prospect in the system.
People should remember that Mauricio is still only twenty one years old and he does have a .746 OPS on the year. He hasn’t had a “Bad” season by most stretches but the faults in Mauricio’s game have become more and more apparent as the season wears on. He has a power approach at the plate and will always be a victim of the strikeout. We also now know that the OBP will never be a major part of his game but, thankfully, we also know that the power and speed combination is real.
Mauricio’s talents are now fully on display as he should not be overshadowed offensively by Hayden Senger, Carlos Cortes, Wyatt Young, or Brandon McIlwain in the lineup. The question will be, can Mauricio re-establish his prospect status to once more be a valuable trade chip for the Mets this offseason.
● Ronny Mauricio, SS – #5 Prospect: He already has three home runs in the month of August.
● Hayden Senger, C – #14 Prospect: Senger is just a defensive backup catcher but the Mets will find value in him at the major league level.
● Tony Dibrell, RHP – NR Prospect: Thanks to injury, Dibrell steadily fell from 23rd in the rankings to being entirely off the list. He’s healthy and he’s pitching well as the Mets are rapidly stretching him out for some late season innings.
● Harol Gonzalez, RHP – NR Prospect: Was ranked 16th overall at the start of the season. This innings eater has been out of commission for over a year and may not really be a prospect anymore. Gonzalez has completed his rehab in Low A and has been promoted to AA.
A+: Brooklyn Cyclones
Looking At Dominic Hamel
We all know that the Mets chose not to sign Kumar Rocker in 2021 and that the team’s draft picks from that year are a little disappointing but, after a season of not having much good to say about Mets pitching prospects, Hamel appears to be a viable rotation piece for the future. Do not expect Hamel to suddenly become an “Ace” as his raw stuff is not going to generate the swings and misses required for that moniker but he currently looks to have a ceiling of a #3 pitcher.
● Alex Ramirez, CF – #4 Prospect: While his August hasn’t started well, his July was very successful.
● Matt Allan, RHP – #8 Prospect: Still no news.
● Dominic Hamel, RHP – #12 Prospect: Not only did Hamel earn a mid-season promotion, but he’s pitched dang well since earning it.
● Jose Peroza, 3B – #20 Prospect: With new prospects in the minors Peroza holds onto the Top 20 by the skin of his teeth. His July was good and he’s started August strong.
● Mike Vasil, RHP – #25 Prospect: He hasn’t been perfect in Advanced A but remains a viable prospect to keep an eye on.
● Keyshawn Askew, LHP – #33 Prospect: The Mets have shifted Askew into a starting role after a successful season in relief. They’ve also promoted him to Advanced A, and you can expect him to finish the year closer to the Mets Top 20.
A: Port St. Lucie Mets
St. Lucie Team = Rehab Squad
The Mets don’t have much star power assigned to Port St. Lucie presently but that could be mostly because the team isn’t ready to assign the recently drafted there and the team needs the squad as a Florida port for players getting ready to come of the IL.
● Calvin Ziegler, RHP – #6 Prospect: The Mets have cut back steeply on Ziegler’s innings, perhaps as a simple precaution to easing him into a professional innings amount.
● Robert Dominguez, RHP – #17 Prospect: Still has not pitched in 2022.
R: FCL Mets
When Will We See Kevin Parada?
Kevin Parada and Francisco Alvarez have a lot in common. They are both catchers known for hitting, they are both Met prospects and they are both 21 years of age. What they don’t have in common is their timeline to the majors.
Alvarez is playing and hitting bombs in AAA Syracuse and should be in the majors in the 2023 season, barring and act of God. Parada was just drafted and has yet to be assigned to a minor league team.
Assuming Parada plays as well as he’s been scouted, the Mets are hoping to see him potentially begin next season in St. Lucie with a mid-season promotion to Brooklyn a possibility. If he plays as well as Alvarez that should not be a problem but his major league timeline should be kept in mind. Even if his offensive numbers are great, Parada’s earliest possible MLB debut is likely not until 2025 and that is extremely unlikely. Despite being the same age, the Mets may be talking of extending Alvarez’s contract by the time Parada is bound for the majors.
● Kevin Parada, C – #3 Prospect: Parada hasn’t been assigned to any team as of yet and may not see any playing time in 2022 but seems primed to rocket through the Mets system based on scouting and accolades.
● Jett Williams, SS – #7 Prospect: The Mets have assigned Williams to the FCL squad and we will continue to monitor his performance as he picks up playing time.
● Blade Tidwell, RHP – #10 Prospect: Tidwell has gotten a lone inning of work but managed 2 strikeouts and no earned runs in that frame.
● Nick Morabito, OF – #18 Prospect: Not yet assigned to a minor league team.
● Jacob Reimer, 3B – #19 Prospect: Not yet assigned to a minor league team.