Every year I do various breakdowns of the Mets Top 20 or Top 50 prospects and the rankings are grueling. This year I decided to do something different and I’m breaking out a list of rankings by position so we can evaluate the depth in a different way. I’ll be breaking down the top players at each position and showing you where the organization is strong and where we could use some reinforcements.

Catcher: Because the Mets began the year with four MLB ready prospects in their Top 10 in AAA there will be a theme to this. That theme being that the top rated prospect in multiple positions will already be in the majors. Unlike a few other positions the depth behind Francisco Alvarez is impressive.

  1. Francisco Alvarez, MLB (21) – Not only is Alvarez in the majors and beginning to show fans the reasons scouts and bloggers have been so excited about him but he’s also extremely young. At 21 years of Age, he could be the Mets primary catcher for many many years to come. Talk about his bad defense (which I always fought back against) was overblown. Given time, I believe Alvarez will be a middle of the order hitter and an All Star.
  2. Kevin Parada, A+ (21) – The Mets top draft pick from 2022, Parada has had a very good start for Brooklyn and should be moving onto AA whenever the Mets realize they are allowed and encouraged to promote their successful players. Parada has a tick less power than Alvarez but should be a higher batting average and on base percentage player. Having watched Parada live a few times I think the knock against him will be his fielding and, in time, where he is to play if Alvarez is entrenched. Parada is a “Star” prospect and it’s a good problem to have.
  3. Daiverson Gutierrez, DSL (17) – We don’t know how good he will wind up being but the signing bonus and comparisons to Alvarez make him a notable prospect.
  4. Hayden Senger, AA (26) – He’s now way too old for AA and his hitting has taken a downturn. This defensive catcher had been on the prospect list, and ranked highly, because it seemed he was on course to be a slightly better hitting Tomas Nido. Now… he seems like simply a left-handed Tomas Nido which isn’t useless but isn’t great.
  5. Nick Meyer, AAA (26) – Majestic mustaches aside, Meyer is a prospect who rates out as a 3rd option catcher. He will see time in the majors but it might not be with the Mets and it won’t have much impact.

First Base: The Mets don’t have five players in the organization that I’d rank as “prospects” playing first base. They seem inclined to move Jacob Reimer there but I’m still listing him as a third baseman until that’s official. In the meantime the Mets have only three players and one was recently promoted to the majors (where he will mostly serve as the DH.

  1. Mark Vientos, MLB (23) – Promoted to the majors on 5/17/23 Vientos is unlikely to retain prospect status beyond this season. In 150 games at the AAA level Vientos managed 40 home runs and there is reason to believe he is capable of those power numbers in the majors. The issue will be how often he strikes out and how high his average will be. If he can keep his average close to .250 he will be a major league success story and a star DH.
  2. JT Schwartz, AA (23) – There will be two distinct knocks on Schwartz and both are fair. First, he is already 23 and hasn’t played above AA. Second, his power as a first baseman is pretty light. In the month of April his SLG was .403 and I questioned if a corner had been turned but it seems that Schwartz has slumped back to the so-so hitter we feared he might be.
  3. Jaylen Palmer, A+ (22) – No, Palmer isn’t suddenly on the radar again but he has been moved to first base and there are very few players of note in the Met system who are slated at this position.

Second Base: Listing Ronny Mauricio here seems disingenuous as he has been a shortstop and will likely shift into the outfield in the future but his 2023 impact will be as a second baseman. A few players on this list are also shortstops but ultimately fall below 5th in the rankings at that position and wind up being shifted out of necessity.

  1. Ronny Mauricio, AAA (22) – As of writing this the Mets still haven’t pulled the trigger on promoting the fourth of the “Baby Mets” to Queens. Mauricio’s season has been euphoric and he is hitting for power and contact with improved (slightly) walks and improved (greatly) strikeouts. The fact he’s been moved to a position he can actually field is a godsend as well.
  2. D’Andre Smith, A+ (22) – Smith hasn’t played this year and injury seems the obvious culprit. Unfortunately minor league injury news isn’t always the easiest to parse. I would bet that we’ll see Smith in Brooklyn before long.
  3. Luke Ritter, AA (26) – Here is a strange one. Ritter isn’t really a prospect but he ranks higher than at least one player who legitimately is. Why? Well, it’s because he’s actually a second baseman. The final two names are players who fell off of the shortstop list.
  4. Jesus Baez, DSL (18) – Smallish infielder who has a touch of power and a touch of speed. Worth tracking in the DSL when their season begins next month.
  5. Wyatt Young, AA (23) – Young is technically a shortstop, though he can and has played second. He’s no longer doing much with the bat but that may change when he becomes a table setter for the talent due to be promoted from High A.

Third Base: At this point some of you are probably frustrated by having major leaguers top so many of these prospect lists. Understand that I rank prospects based on the start of the year so players like Baty and Alvarez will be listed as Prospects until 2024 begins.

  1. Brett Baty, MLB (23) – Not only is Baty in the majors, he’s been elevated to being the team’s defacto #5 hitter behind Pete Alonso. Baty looks like he’s a lock to stay in the majors for the long haul and is looking to get hot again to make his statistics start jumping off the page again.
  2. Jacob Reimer, A (19) – Perhaps I should have already moved Reimer to the first base section as the Mets seem to feel his future lies there. The young player has shown an advanced eye and some contact issues. His path to the majors will be tied to his power which has yet to formally coalesce.
  3. Jose Peroza, AA (22) – Jose Peroza doesn’t look like your prototypical prospect or that his defense would be notable but you’d be wrong. Peroza’s bat has recently come alive and as John from Albany put it, “He’s the best defensive third baseman in the system.” High praise and a prospect whose stock is on the rise.
  4. Jonathan Arauz, AAA (24) – Young enough to still be thought of as a Rookie, Arauz cooled off quickly after his great start in AAA. He will soon find himself lonely as he’s seen Baty, Alvarez and Vientos get their tickets. The issue on his profile is simple. He doesn’t strike out too much compared to a power hitter… but he isn’t one himself and that means he strikes out too much..
  5. Keiver Garcia, DSL (16) – This young shortstop is here for lack of room on the shortstop depth charts and lack of notable third base options beyond Peroza.

Shortstop: The Mets have a very good prospect in Jett Williams and it’s possible that Williams could be ascending to the majors 3-4 years from now when Francisco Lindor might be looking for a positional shift later in his career. While Williams is good and there are several solid names it is atypical to have an organization with no “Star” level prospects at this vital position.

  1. Jett Williams, A (19) – Having a solid season in Low A, Williams has shown contact ability and speed. What he hasn’t truly shown is star power which may never fully develop. He looks like his ceiling may not be as high as was hoped for.
  2. Wilfredo Lara, A (19) – A player on the rise in Low A is Lara who seems to have been shifted from shortstop (thanks to Williams) and is now playing a mix of positions with center field getting the majority. His power is the most impressive part of his game right now as he has 8 extra base hits in his first 18 games but he also has 8 stolen bases.
  3. Christopher Larez, DSL (17) – Of the most recent batch of international players Larez was the third most notable name. I am looking forward to his results in the DSL.
  4. Junior Tilien, A (20) – Williams has shifted this shortstop to second as the Mets have too many players who think they are shortstops at the same level. Tilien was hitting fourth for St. Lucie for a while and he seems to have the hitting chops to stay in the Top 50 for a while.
  5. William Lugo, A+ (21) – Lugo spent some of the year injured but is back in the Brooklyn lineup. His 2022 got him this ranking as he’s not played as well in 2023.

Outfield: Anyone who knows me will question why I have Nick Morabito on this list above Stanley Consuegra and Anthony Baptist given my distaste for the draft pick. The reality is that I weigh any prospect rankings by a combination of my gut/observation and the draft evaluation. Right now, Morabito’s draft ranking still qualifies him to be ahead of the international signees who still have to prove to me that they are legitimate starting outfielder level prospects. On this list, sadly, only Alex Ramirez rates as a “Star” prospect.

  1. Alex Ramiez, A+ (20) – You’ll see lots of comparisons to Ronny Mauricio when it comes to hitting. They have similar builds and profiles with Ramirez having a slightly better eye. In the field, the difference is that Ramirez is already playing the right position. I have never seen a more nonchalant (in a good way) outfielder since Andruw Jones. He just seems to stroll to the ball and make crazy catches look boring and everyday.
  2. Nick Morabito R (21) – Listed as a shortstop for reasons, the Mets haven’t seen Morabito in the field this season and this player is likely to fall rapidly if he cannot make good on being drafted too early last year.
  3. Stanley Consuegra, A+ (22) – The actual second best outfield prospect in the system needs to be in AA and needs to prove he can hit at that level. He’s only really emerged recently and he needs to prove himself more quickly.
  4. Anthony Baptist, DSL (17) – Should be avidly watched in the DSL as he was the #2 international signee by the Mets and has been scouted as the dreaded “Five Tool Player” a term that still makes me more nervous than happy.
  5. Lorenzo Cedrola, AAA (25) – Barely a true prospect but one of those players that I am drawn to as I can see a near immediate use for their skills. Cedrola seems like a solid fourth outfielder with speed and a little power to go along with solid defense.
  6. Matt Rudick, AA (24) – Some success goes beyond reasoning. Rudick’s OPS is now .969 and that starts to suggest his success is real. He should be promoted to AAA when Ramirez and others reach AA.
  7. Carlos Dominguez, A (23) – A solid hitter who is well past due for promotion as he’s way too old for his level.
  8. Carlos Cortes, AAA (25) – Cortes is essentially not a prospect anymore and he’s outside the current Top 50. He has some talent but should be a career AAA player.
  9. Willy Fanas, DSL (19) – Mediocre results in the DSL doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence in an international signee with some mystique.
  10. Simon Juan, DSL (17) – Was more highly scouted than Fanas but had worse results than Fanas. On the plus side he’s still super young.

Starting Pitching: The Mets woes in starting pitching are often talked about. The major league team was hurt by injury and some questionable umpiring/league decisions but in the minors the issue is that Met fans are spoiled. The Mets churned out Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz year after year and an organization generating that level of pitching talent with that kind of regularity is pretty crazy. Unfortunately, the Mets now have a farm with pitchers who all have ceilings below that of a Staff Ace and it feels worse than it actually is.

  1. Mike Vasil, AA (23) – Bring on the doubters who will be up in arms about me ranking Vasil above Hamel, Tidwell and Ziegler. Minor league performance matters and despite a lack of “Ace” stuff, Vasil is the most effective starting pitcher in the minors right now. The biggest stat for Vasil’s success is that pristine WHIP which shows how good he’s been at keeping batters off base. His strikeout numbers are phenomenal but I expect them to go down as he faces better hitters at AAA and onward.
  2. Blade Tidwell, A+ (21) – Tidwell is a solid pitcher and he has good stuff but he’s also walking way too many batters and giving up too many runs. One shouldn’t get overly hung up by ERA with prospects but, while an ERA North of 4.00 would be okay, one north of 6.00 is not.
  3. Dominic Hamel, AA (24) – Hamel is another good pitcher who has hit some rough outings. His numbers through his first start of May were good but the last two starts have been rough. The Mets will need to figure out why Hamel has suddenly become so hittable and make a correction.
  4. Tyler Stuart, A+ (23) – Generally a 6th round pick should not supplant highly scouted prospects but Stuart, like Vasil, is getting things done. The 6’9” starter has been the best starting pitcher in Brooklyn and he’s getting strikeout numbers above where things were projected. His scouting had his stuff at the fringes of making him a higher pick so there is reason to hope that he is a diamond in the rough type pitcher.
  5. Calvin Ziegler, A (20) – Injuries are not fair and Ziegler not pitching in 2023 yet has him falling beneath a number of players who would normally be ranked beneath him. When Ziegler pitches his value may take an immediate bounce but it could also take a hit as he has less time to recover from a tough start.
  6. Joel Diaz, A (19) – Another pitcher who has yet to throw innings in 2023. Diaz has potential but we want to see marked improvement from his 2022 Port St. Lucie debut.
  7. Daviel Hurtado, DSL (19) – Hurtado is a highly touted international signee out of Cuba. The lefty has a 95 MPH fastball and a “Big” curve but needs to get some stats under his belt before we rank him any higher.
  8. Matt Allan, IL (22) – Allan has lost so many seasons at this point he may never actually be anything for anyone but the Mets don’t have anyone in their system with better scouted “stuff”. If he ever is healthy enough to pitch an inning we’ll see how good he still is.
  9. Robert Dominguez, A (21) – A highly touted international signee who has also spent significant time not pitching Dominguez turned heads as a prospect who hit triple digits. He’s expected to return to the mound this year but there has been no sign of him just yet.
  10. Christian Scott, A+ (23) – Scott was thought of as a prospect when he was drafted as a two way player and a solid performance at the end of 2022 in Brooklyn supported that but his 2023 has failed to leave anyone impressed.

Relief Pitching: The most underrated part of the Mets farm system. The Mets have four pitchers listed on this depth chart who look like they could have impacts on a major league roster and that is a very healthy number.

  1. Nathan Lavender, AAA (23) – What’s to like about Lavender? Well, he’s in AAA at a good age being well below the league average, he’s a lefty, his strikeout numbers are close to being 2 per inning and his WHIP is very low because he doesn’t give up many hits. The knock is that since reaching AAA he’s given up more walks than you’d like to see. He should be in the majors this season.
  2. Daniel Juarez, A+ (22) – In 11 innings this season and 14 innings of 2022 dating back to June, Juarez has not given up a single earned run. The lefty pitcher has been amazing and it’s becoming infuriating that the Mets keep a prospect this good and this old in Advanced A instead of promoting him.
  3. Grant Hartwig, AAA (25) – I won’t lie, I jumped on the Hartwig bandwagon hard and it was a bit of hype but beneath that hype is also a solid relief pitcher who you should not fall asleep on. Through the start of May he looked like a star in the making and if not for two very ugly outings he’d look even better.
  4. Bryce Montes de Oca, IL (27) – If not for injury he’d be on the Mets right now. He looked very good this Spring and the Mets could have used his powerful arm. This Spring his control issues even seemed under control but we’ll need to see who and what he is once he comes back.
  5. Luis Montas, IL (22) – Another reliever who, if not for injury, might be higher on this list. Montas will need to return and prove his value quickly but we should recall he was the closer for the 2021 Cyclones and was very good that year.Every year I do various breakdowns of the Mets Top 20 or Top 50 prospects and the rankings are grueling. This year I decided to do something different and I’m breaking out a list of rankings by position so we can evaluate the depth in a different way. I’ll be breaking down the top players at each position and showing you where the organization is strong and where we could use some reinforcements.

11 comments on “Mets Minors: Positional depth chart

  • Brian Joura

    Good stuff, David!

    I wonder if Baez will open in the FCL instead of the DSL. He played for both DSL clubs last year. There’s a preliminary roster for FCL up which does not have Baez listed. But there are only 20 names on it and unlike with the four full-season leagues, there’s not a hard cap on the number of players you can have on an FCL roster.


    One of the two DSL rosters is up, too. And Baez isn’t on that one, either. It’s never been clear to me if the Mets view one DSL team as more advanced than the other. Back when they had multiple short-season leagues, the Mets definitely had a hierarchy, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they treated the DSL the same way.

    Teams can have 35 players on a DSL roster and the online one for the “Orange” squad is full. It includes Willy Fanas and Dangelo Sarmiento, two of the club’s big 3 Int’l signings from 2022 – which makes me think this is the higher of the two DSL squads.


    • deegrove84

      It’s possible but I list people according to MiLB.com until things are updated. The Mets are so timid with promotions… except when they aren’t.

      With regards to DSL teams and which is better. As far as I’ve seen the Mets seem inclined to split talent evenly between the blue squad and the orange squad and shuttle players about to maximize playing time. I think it has more to do about keeping players who play well together linked and getting players ABs

  • David_Hong

    Can’t wait till Mauricio is called up and joins in the fun as well.

  • Steve_S.

    Excellent work, David! Thanks for keeping us up to date on the minors!

    I am enthusiastic about Vasil and Lavender possibly helping the Mets this year!

    But what happened to Butto?

    • deegrove84

      Butto is a AAAA pitcher. His ceiling was a #5 starter on a bad team and that’s ultimately what he is.

      Vasil will not be in the majors this year. Lavender and Hartwig should both get looks.

      • Brian Joura

        Hartwig? The guy with the 5.09 ERA and the 1.75 WHIP? If Hartwig makes the majors with the Mets, their pen is even worse than I thought.

      • Steve_S.

        I don’t really disagree about Butto being mediocre, but can see him being at the bottom of the top 10 starters.

        I still think that Vasil could be promoted to AAA and then get called up to the Mets later in the year, especially when more injuries occur.

  • Metsense

    I like the new approach by categorizing the prospects with their positions. In the future maybe you can predict their arrival date also. I admire your work.
    A quibble: if Senger, at 26, is considered prospect, who will never make it to the majors then Butto at 24 , who make it to majors and has a 3.00 ERA, should be considered a depth piece also.

  • AgingBull

    Wonderful piece to read today. I like the breakdown by position; the depth chart view is much more pragmatic. Thanks for this.

  • T.J.

    Dave, great write up. Thanks.

  • JamesTOB

    I always love your articles. Thanks.

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