Mets Metamorhphasis Staggered

One year you think the Mets are rebuilding. Then they get a new General Manager and they trade prospects for veterans. It was a farm system pretty bare before they traded Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn, two first round picks of the Mets. Last year the only Met to make a Top 100 prospect list was Andres Gimenez and he has been subject of trade talk for the acquisition of J.T. Realmuto.

Gimenez is probably their top prospect this year. With Ahmed Rosario at shortstop Gimenez may have to move to second. He has all the tools except power with the speed, arm and glove to stay at shortstop. The Venezuelan sprays his hits through the gaps and uses his speed and instincts to take the extra base.

One strength of the Mets is shortstop. If they should trade Gimenez they have a gold glove fielding shortstop in Luis Guillorme but his bat is questionable. Last year he made his major league debut and hit .209. In the minors he has a career average of .287 but just a .701 OPS. He is more suited for a utility role. Ronny Mauricio may have the bat but his range to play the position is a bit sketchy. He signed in 2017 for $2.1 million and has yet to escape rookie ball, so he is still a few years away. He needs to develop the power to play third base. If the power is absent then a move to second is a possibility.

Another intriguing candidate is Curacao native, but Netherlands born Shervyen Newton. Like Mauricio he did not escape rookie ball last year after signing in 2015 for $50,000. At 6′4″ and only 19 he may eventually outgrow the position. He is not afraid to take a walk putting together a .408 OBA but he also swings and misses a lot with 84 whiffs in just 56 games. Power should come as he matures.

The jewel of the farm system may now be first baseman Peter Alonso who can hit the ball a long way. His defense is poor and his speed is nonexistent so if the balls do not carry over the fence his worth is little. Last year Alonso hit 36 homeruns. He is ready to debut with the Mets this year.

Mark Vientos was once considered a shortstop but his range is not adequate there. He has moved to third where the Mets hope his power develops. Currently he is more a gap hitter whose power should materialize as he matures. At 19 Mark spent all his time in rookie ball last year hitting .287 with 11 homeruns for a .489 slugging average.

The outfield is a little short on prospects. A lot was thought of Desmond Lindsay at one time but his shine has softened. He has the speed to play centerfield but last year in the Florida State League he struggled with a .218 average and a .320 slugging, his season ended early with an arm injury. Staying free from injuries have been a challenge for Desmond preventing him from getting a full season of development after he was a second round pick in 2015.

Pitching is a bit suspect after their fantastic four of Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob de Grom and Steven Matz appeared to be anchors in the rotation for many years to come. Harvey has departed and Syndergaard and Matz have had trouble staying healthy. Like the Royals the Mets are counting on two first round picks to fill their rotation. David Peterson (2017) and Anthony Kay (2016) are both lefthanders who rely more on command than power to get hitters out. Peterson is 6′6″ with excellent control, relying on a low 90s fastball, slider and change combination. Kay also has a low 90s fastball but needs to find a breaking pitch if he hopes to stay in the rotation. Last year the opposition hit him at a .270 clip in A ball.

When it looked like the Mets were rebuilding last year they traded Asdrubal Cabrera to the Phillies for Franklyn Kilome. Franklyn has a fastball that hits the high 90s and at 6′6″ can be intimidating on the mound. He struggles with his command and lacks an offspeed pitch, which could result in a future in the bullpen if he can not improve on those traits.

Simeon Woods-Richardson was the Mets second round pick in 2018. Currently his fastball sits in the low 90s but at 18 the Mets feel confident that it will hit the mid-90s as he matures. He still needs to work on his secondary pitches. Last year he started four games in rookie ball and struck out more than one batter per inning, limiting the opposition to a .224 average, a nice start to his professional season.

With the Mets new GM now on the road to trading prospects for veterans in a belief that the Mets can contend in 2019 don’t expect this farm system to improve. They do have some promising prospects at the lower levels of the minors that could make an impact as they percolate through the system. By mid-season the Mets will know whether they are contenders or pretenders and the staggering may continue.

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