At the Major League level, the Mets have Francisco Alvarez nearing his return to the team. Alvarez had an impressive rookie campaign with the Mets in which he showed a ton of power. He’s also shown a tremendous ability to work with pitchers and a “surprising” (not truly but the media wanted you to believe he had defensive issues) defensive surety. At 22 years of age the Mets are not ultimately likely to need a catcher at the major league level but after having the position be a relative black hole for several seasons the Mets have gone in heavily on developing catchers.

The Catcher Depth Chart:

1. Francisco Alvarez, MLB (22)
2. Kevin Parada, AA (22)
3. Ronald Hernandez, A (20)
4. Yovanny Rodriguez, DSL (17)
5. Daiverson Gutierrez, DSL (18)
6. Julio Zayas, R (18)

While not every player on this list is a household name and while not every player on this list is playing well cough cough Kevin cough Parada cough cough. The Mets have a number of players who deserve to be in their Top 50 prospects who play a position of scarcity. To point out how this is an anomaly see the depth chart below.

The Outfield Depth Chart:
1. Drew Gilbert, AAA
2. Alex Ramirez, AA
3. Nick Morabito, A+
4. Ryan Clifford, AA
5. Willy Fanas, A
6. Simon Juan, R
7. Stanley Consuegra, A+
8. Bohan Adderley, DSL
9. Edward Lantigua, DSL

So in the Top 50 players in the organization the Mets have dedicated 12% to a single fielding spot and 18-20% on a position that fields several. Now there are several prospects who are potentially transitioning to the outfield like Jett Williams and Ronny Mauricio and there’s players who lied about their age like Anthony Baptist but it still seems a strange balance.

Why are the Mets doing this? I cannot say for sure but the team has been targeting the position more heavily in the international pool than the amateur draft. Does this hurt or help the organization? Well, that depends, as always, on how the players develop and what the Mets can do with them. Since catcher is a scarce position, typically, the Mets could have good trade chips on their hands but other teams likely also know that the Mets can’t play all their catchers at once either. Time will tell.

AAA Syracuse Mets:

Back at it in AAA – Christian Scott will be back in the majors this season and is likely earmarked as a near lock for the Mets 2025 rotation. His first start back in AAA and he was the pitcher he’d been before promotion. This includes his insane habit of letting teams exclusively do damage to him via the home run. The splits are truly interesting because Scott’s biggest issue is clearly getting through the first inning without harm. His ERA in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th innings has been pristine but he has a 9.00 ERA in the 1st.

Jose Butto, RHSP – The Mets did Butto dirty but his numbers since demotion have not been great.
Blade Tidwell, RHSP – Someone needs to find the strikezone at the AAA level. This has been a pattern for Tidwell so don’t panic… yet.
Luisangel Acuna, SS – It’s looking more and more likely that Acuna doesn’t finish the year as a Top 10 prospect.
Brett Baty, 3B – Unfortunately for Baty, the question has never been can he hit in AAA. My gut tells me that he becomes a solid performer on another club after he and the Mets part ways.

AA Binghamton Rumble Ponies:

Worth the Wait – A player who should excite a lot of Met fans is Brandon Sproat. The player who said no to the Mets in the 2022 draft was drafted a second time in 2023 and has been better than imagined. Sproat was supposed to be a future relief pitcher but was able to work on his other offerings to quickly develop into one of the top pitchers in the organization. It’s actually hard to weigh his future and value against Tidwell and Scott right now.

He began the year in Brooklyn, earned his way up to Binghamton and has looked sharp each step of the way. At 23 and beginning the 2025 season at 24 I would hope the Mets give him the longest of looks in Spring Training. Depending on how the Mets decide to play financially in the 2025 offseason, Sproat could become a member of a very young Met rotation.

Ryan Clifford, OF/1B – Don’t look now but someone realized he’s not in Brooklyn anymore. In seven games this June he has four home runs, eight walks and only four strikeouts.
Tyler Stuart, RHSP – He isn’t quite on par with Scott, Tidwell and Sproat but Stuart is building a resume that should get him a look at the back end of a major league rotation.
Joander Suarez, RHSP – Very hit or miss in his starts, Suarez waffles between looking to have Ace potential to giving up too many hits. I still see him as a future reliever.
Kevin Parada, C – His value has taken a deep dive in 2024 and a fall from the Top 10 is likely. He has every ability to come back from this but his contact and power aren’t where we want them to be.
Nolan McLean, DH/RHSP – McLean has a strikeout problem on the offensive side of the ball and a home run problem on the pitching side. Still more reasons for optimism than pessimism.
Jose Peroza, IF – Raise your hand if you are frustrated by the Mets treatment of Peroza. Is anyone besides me emphatically raising their hand?
Alex Ramirez, OF – Five walks in his last three games after having only one in his previous seventeen.

Advanced A Brooklyn Cyclones:

Sometimes You Are Wrong – Sometimes you are right and are ridiculed for saying that Jacob deGrom is going to be a star and sometimes you are less right and keep bringing up Patrick Mazeika. Nick Morabito is a player I guessed wrong on. There wasn’t a lot in his scouting profile to excite and I had felt the Mets reached a bit in drafting him where they did. I’ve now, in my mind, corrected that error and have moved Morabito into my Top 10 Met prospect list.

There are issues with Morabito and his major league future. He doesn’t have a lot of power. Where he makes up for that is in his ability to get on base and use his speed. He profiles as a leadoff hitting center fielder and one who occasionally gets some extra base hits. I don’t think he is ever going to crack 15 home runs in a major league season but I think his OBP will sit closer to .400 than .300 and that isn’t nothing.

Stanley Consuegra, OF – It’s about time (in 2024) but Consuegra has gotten hot and the time has come to free him from Brooklyn.
Jonah Tong, RHSP – There are some growing pains for Tong at the Advanced A level but he’s finding his footing and will hopefully start getting his ERA back in line.

Low A St. Lucie Mets:

The Darkhorse Shortstop Prospect – Jesus Baez wasn’t a completely unknown player before the 2024 season but he’s established himself as a firm Top 20 in the Mets system. He’s got some speed, some power and doesn’t even have a glaring strikeout problem. In a recent conversation, Brian and I compared him with Luisangel Acuna in a favorable light. There is some possibility that he finishes the year ranked higher than Acuna.

Willy Fanas, OF – His 2023 season was okay but the expectations on Fanas were tempered. His 2024 has been significantly better than expected and he could find himself finishing the year in Brooklyn.
Ronald Hernandez, C – Hernandez has been a consistent performer and looks about ready for a mid-season promotion to Advanced A.
A.J. Ewing, 2B – With Vargas struggling to stay healthy the Mets called up Ewing from Rookie ball. For a player under six feet tall, he has a surprising amount of power.
Boston Baro, IF – Solid looking utility player, Baro is hitting reasonably well but it’s hard to see a ceiling as a major league regular.
Joel Diaz, RHSP – In 16.2 innings this year Diaz has been sharp and looking like a rising star. He has 22 Ks and a WHIP under 1.00.
Colin Houck, SS – One step forward and two steps back. As soon as Houck strings together a few solid games he hits a series of 0-fers with lots of strikeouts.
Marco Vargas, 2B – Having problems staying on the field in 2024 seems to be the largest issue.

FCL Mets:

A Tremendous Steal, Even if He Never Reaches the Majors for the Mets – Jeremy Rodriguez was acquired at the trade deadline for a couple month rental of Tommy Pham. Rodriguez wasn’t some no name player as he was the Arizona Diamondbacks top international signee of 2023. Back with the DSL Arizona squad he hadn’t been doing too much but from the moment he put on a Mets uniform he’s been fantastic. With just under a month left at the Age of 17 he’s playing stateside rookie ball and looks like he will be finishing the year in Advanced A if he keeps playing this well.

The reason he’s already a steal is because Pham was a rental and the Mets could flip Rodriguez for far more than they gave up were they to deal him today. They should, in no way, think of trading him. Based on his age, he should be reaching the majors around the time where Francisco Lindor needs to move on from the position.

Simon Juan, OF – Another former top international signee who is making good a few years late. Juan has some power and can take a walk but his Achilles Heal will be strikeouts.
Jake Zitella, 1B – In 23 games this season he has 8 doubles but it’s hard to get excited about a first baseman who doesn’t hit home runs.
Juilo Zayas, C – Unlike Alvarez, Gutierrez, and Rodriguez, Zayas wasn’t signed with any pomp. He had a great 2023 season in the DSL and is beginning to make good on those numbers stateside.

DSL Mets Blue and Orange:

Daiverson Gutierrez, C – He was a highly thought of international free agent going into 2023 and wound up with a dismal .565 OPS. This season has started well (.922 OPS) but with only 4 games in a meaningless level it’s hard to get excited.
Yovanny Rodriguez, C – This year’s highest-ranked international signee has gotten off to a slow start. He is walking but has struck out too much and isn’t getting hits yet.
Bohan Adderley, OF – The best start of any of the prospects in the DSL but the kid needs to learn how to take a walk.

8 comments on “Mets Minors: Are the Mets specializing in catcher development?

  • Brian Joura

    Another name for your catching list is Christopher Suero. He began the year in Lo-A but after putting up an .824 OPS, they promoted him to Hi-A, where he has an .820 OPS.

    Like with Hernandez, they have him playing other positions besides catcher. For Brooklyn, he’s played 13 G at catcher, 7 in LF and 4 at 1B.

    Free Stanley Consuegra! OPS away from Brooklyn is .826 now. Glad to see him walking but now he needs to work on those Ks. In his last 48 PA, where he has a 1.063 OPS, Consuegra has 18 Ks.

  • Jimmy P

    What are we to make of the Mets abysmal record in Port St. Lucie?

    19-38 and in last place by a great distance.

    If the organization is moving to improve the minor league system, shouldn’t we be seeing that at the lowest levels?

    • David Groveman

      Our pitching at this level is not good. That’s what I make of it.

    • Metstabolism

      The St Lucie team is very young. Lots of 18- and 19-year olds where the league average is closer to 21. As such, they’re going to have growing pains.

  • NYM6986

    Thanks David for making keeping track of the Mets minor league players, simple, and all in one place. It is from this group that we need to rebuild the major-league team. For most of their history, they developed pitching and that seems to still be their talent. It really shows you how hard it is for a prospect to move up the ranks and make it to the big leagues and why so few end up succeeding.

  • Metsense

    David, this was a thorough report. Thanks, it’s much appreciated.
    The depth with catchers and outfielders is a nice problem to have. The problem is that no position players are ready in AAA for 2025. Williams, Gilbert and Mauricio have lost so much development that they may not ready until 2026.
    Scott and Butto could in the MLB as soon as this summer. Hopefully Tidwell will be in the mix also for a 2025 rotation. The 2025 rotation many mid rotation candidates.
    They need a SP1 or SP2 free agent pitcher to solidify the 2025 rotation.

    • BoomBoom

      Assuming Senga comes back – eventually? – I could see them going after Burnes to fill the ace role. You’ve got Burnes and Senga at the top, with some combo of Butto, Scott, Peterson, etc…doesn’t feel too shabby.

    • David Groveman

      Every so often I take a look at an offseason plan for the Mets and I could see them going one of two ways in 2025.

      Option 1: Go All-In

      The team spends over $300 Million on their 2025 salary bringing in a number of free agents hoping to have more success than the last crop we had to pay other teams to take from us. Resigning Alonso, Bringing in Bregman, Soto, Burnes, Fried, and multiple relievers maybe even trading some of the farm to build out the roster.

      Option 2: Wait for 2026

      The team continues to play year to year signing stop-gap options to short term contracts but getting the overall payroll below the salary cap. This is a season where the Mets could conceivably have a rotation of Senga, Manaea, Scott, Butto, Tidwell/Sproat and where players like Mauricio, Gilbert and Williams have a chance to reach the majors.

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