Born in the Dominican Republic in April of 2001, Ronny Mauricio is just old enough to drink in the US and yet many fans think his prospect star has fallen to earth. Mauricio signed with the New York Mets as an international free agent in July 2017.
Mauricio surged to relevance in 2018 when he made his minor league debut for the GCL and later APP Mets. At the age of 17, Mauricio held his own in the minor leagues against older prospects showing some immediate promise in his speed.
In 2019 he was assigned to the South Atlantic League (where power went to die) and he performed as well as expected. His power numbers took a hit and he showed little ability to take a walk but he was able to make relatively consistent contact and still hit the ball with authority.
After the lost season of 2020 Mauricio would be assigned to Brooklyn and show fans how much power potential he really had. He was good enough in Advanced A to earn a late season promotion to AA where the power numbers held true. The problem, as Met fans will all know, is that his weaknesses were also showing themselves. Mauricio struck out more than once per game and still showed no ability to draw a walk.
This past season people hoped he’d break through and suddenly be a hitter who did it all. Despite hitting 26 home runs and stealing 20 bases, his 125 Ks in 123 games are all that critics can see. To make things worse, he only walked 24 times. All of this being said, his OPS of .768 is pretty darned impressive.
Recently, Mauricio played in the Dominican Winter Leagues for the Tigres de Licey. He had a truly phenomenal short season here on his way to winning the league’s MVP award. His ultimate scouting report doesn’t change exponentially, despite this showing but does suggest a profile closer to Javier Baez or Alfonso Soriano than his 2022 year in Binghamton had.
Having seen Mauricio at bat in person he has plenty of “swinger” to him. He takes big ugly hacks at the ball and seems to approach some at bats oddly, falling behind in counts in ways that almost appear to be on purpose. Most times though, his swing is quick and the ball explodes off his bat. Having no ability to walk will always make his OBP a pathetic 30-50 points higher than his batting average but his BA should remain above .250 as he knows how to make contact.
The power is there and cannot be ignored. Other than his year with Columbus, he’s had a SLG above .400 and looks to have the makings of a 30 home run hitter.
Mauricio is quick but a little too tall to be a natural base stealer. He runs the bases well and stole 20 bags in 2022 but I don’t think he ever steals that many in the majors. Instead, I think fans would enjoy his speed when the ball is hit in play and how quickly he can round the bases.
Mauricio is 6’3” and still playing shortstop but he’s not playing shortstop well. Mauricio had a horrendous .936 fielding percentage at the position and it falls well in the heart of where he’s projected. The Mets need to move Mauricio to the outfield and should have probably done that years ago.
As has been mentioned, Mauricio’s ideal development track has him eventually profiling as a free swinging player like Baez or Soriano. He has a basket full of offensive weapons and one glaring flaw but enough offensive upside to be a major asset to a team. He has the raw speed to play center field or the arm to fit into right but the Mets should have begun that transition years ago. With the moves the Mets have made (Carlos Correa is pending at this time) it seems the AAA lineup will have multiple players learning new roles. Mauricio could split time between second base and the outfield but the outfield seems ultimately the best spot for his future.