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New York Mets

With another excellent draft in 2020 and some key international acquisitions over the past three years, the Mets continue to replenish their system.  From the draft: I thought Matt Allan was the best high school pitcher taken in the 2019 draft.  This year, the Mets took outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong in the first round.  He’s athletic with a feel to hit.  They also snagged JT Ginn in the second round.  He’s recovering from TJ Surgery but before he went down, he showed electric stuff with the ability to throw strikes.

From the International Ranks: Ronny Mauricio has significant offensive upside with plus bat speed and a feel to hit.  Francisco Alvarez is much better than I thought when he was signed in 2018 and has a chance to be one of the better catchers in the game.  I’ve also heard nothing but great things about Freddy Valdez and Alexander Ramirez. 

Prospect Quick Shot

  • Top Prospect: Ronny Mauricio
  • Biggest Mover: Francisco Alvarez
  • Emerging Prospect: Freddy Valdez

1. Ronny Mauricio (SS)

  • Highest Level:  Alternate Site ETA: 2022-23 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 15 SS
  • Tools Summary: Athletic with wiry strength that should grow into power.  Believe the scouting report and ignore the results for now.

With the graduation of Andres Gimenez, Ronny Mauricio becomes the top prospect in the Mets system.  While I preferred Gimenez from a fantasy standpoint, the industry considered Mauricio as the better overall talent.  There is plenty of bat speed coupled with an understanding of the strike zone.  While the approach is aggressive, given his age, I think he grows into some plate patience.  He’s currently an average runner but not that adept at stealing bases. If it all comes together, I see a .270/.330/.430 slash line with 15 to 20 home runs playing a great shortstop. 

2. Matt Allan (RHP)

  • Highest Level:  Alternate Site ETA: 2023 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 40 SP
  • Tools Summary: Two potential plus pitches in his fastball and curveball.  Great size.

Matt Allan was the Mets third-round pick in the 2019 Draft but signed for an impressive $2.5 million.  With a history of drafting well, particularly pitchers, Allan is yet another talent with a ceiling of at least a number three starter.  Despite being drafted out of high school, the arsenal is solid with a fastball that will scrape the mid-90s and a plus curveball that should be a real weapon. He’s also 6-foot-3 and a solid 225 pounds, which likely means there won’t be any additional velocity in his stuff, but it’s the kind of size that should allow him to remain a starter.

3. Francisco Alvarez (C)

  • Highest Level:  Alternate Site ETA: 2023-24 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 15 C
  • Tools Summary: Solid on both sides of the ball with a chance to hit and hit for power.

There’s a lot to like about Francisco Alvarez from both an offensive and defensive perspective.  He has a nice compact swing with excellent bat speed that he gets from great hand and forearm strength.  I like players that generate power this way as the power will look like it comes out of nowhere.  Alex Bregman also has great hand and forearm strength and at 6-feet and 180 pounds, he doesn’t look like he has 35 to 40 home run power, but he does.  While I don’t think Alvarez will have that kind of power, I think he hits with a chance for 20 home runs annually.

4. Mark Vientos (3B)

  • Highest Level:  Alternate Site ETA: 2022-23 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 15 3B
  • Tools Summary: Pedestrian 2019 season but was young for the level.  There is plus power potential with enough contact to get to it.

While all players were hurt from the lack of competitive minor league games in 2020, Mark Vientos was at the top of the list for me in the Mets system.  His 2019 year was so inconsistent that I was anxious to see what he could do against more advanced pitching.  I’ve always liked the swing and believe there is power lurking as he adds loft.  The approach still needs work but if it all comes together, the upside is a full-time regular with a chance for 25 plus home runs batting .260 with a .330 OBP. He’s currently playing third, but at 6-foot-4, a move to a corner outfielder position or even first base might be in the cards long-term.

5. Brett Baty (3B)

  • Highest Level:  Alternate Site ETA: 2023 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 15 1B
  • Tools Summary: He has plus raw power, but his size should make a move to first base likely.

Brett Baty’s carrying tool is his double-plus raw power that already started to show in his debut.  He’s currently a third baseman but given his size, a move to first base may be necessary.  Regardless, the power should play at either position but at 6-foot-3, there will be holes in his swing and therefore, there will be pressure on the batting average.  But in the modern game, that appears to be acceptable provided the production is there.

6. Pete Crow-Armstrong (OF)

  • Highest Level:  DNP ETA: 2023 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 40 OF
  • Tools Summary: Intriguing all-around skills with good speed, a little bit of pop, and an idea at the plate

It was hard drafting high school players in the first round last June as you’re making bets on players that got very few if any at-bats.  The Mets drafted Pete Crow-Armstrong of Harvard-Westlake High School located in Hollywood CA.  The school is a prominent private high school where many children of Hollywood actors attend. The tuition is nearly $40K annually, which is more than most colleges. The baseball program also developed several recent major league players including Lucas Giolito, Jack Flaherty, and Max Fried.  Crow is not a pitcher but is a talented outfielder with a feel to hit, good foot speed, and enough bat speed to project some future power.  It’s all the tools you look for in a draft pick.  So, the Mets grabbed him at pick number 19, and I think the upside is very intriguing.

7. Thomas Szapucki (LHP)

  • Highest Level:  Alternate Site ETA: 2021-22 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 45 SP
  • Tools Summary: Solid three-pitch mix with his change-up taking a step forward in 2020

Thomas Szapucki has good stuff with a fastball that sits 93 to 94 MPH, a plus curveball, and a change-up that he worked on extensively over the summer.  He has a low three-quarters delivery which could point to a bullpen role long-term as glove-side batters should get a good look (it’s why the development of a change-up is so critical).  Despite losing time to Tommy John surgery, he still will enter 2021 as a 24-year-old and a chance to see the Major Leagues at some point during the year.

8. Freddy Valdez (OF)

  • Highest Level:  DNP ETA: 2024+ Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 45 OF with extreme risk
  • Tools Summary: Big kid with big power potential.  Based on early returns, it appears he might have a more advanced hit tool than originally believed

Freddy Valdez was another big international sign for the Mets in 2018 (after Francisco Alvarez).  He got off to a fast start to his professional career when he slashed .268/.358/.432 in the DSL in 2019.  He was invited to the Fall Instructional League in 2020 and the reports from there were also good.  He has great bat speed to go along with plus raw power.  What has been the most impressive aspect is his approach and feel to hit.

9. Alexander Ramirez (OF)

  • Highest Level:  DNP ETA: 2024+ Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 45 OF with extreme risk
  • Tools Summary: The Mets’ big 2019 international free agent signee.  He has solid all-around tools.

Alexander Ramirez was one of the premier international free agents available in the 2019-20 signing period.  The Mets signed the 6-foot-3 outfielder for $2.1 million and liked the overall skills that he brings to the table.  He’s athletic with plus power potential and should be able to run a little, at least early in his career.  He’s a long way from the Major Leagues, but the skills are enticing.

10. JT Ginn (RHP)

  • Highest Level:  DNP ETA: 2023 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 45 SP or Closer
  • Tools Summary: Recovering from TJ Surgery but the stuff could be elite

The Mets took JT Ginn in the second round last June and paid him well over slot money.  With a fastball that he could run to the upper 90s and a wipeout slider, he had first-round talent, but he also had TJ Surgery in the spring, and teams passed on him.  I like what the Mets did here.  The arm is electric and assuming health, the floor is a back-of-the-bullpen reliever.  However, the Mets will develop him as a starter and if he can find his control, he could a mid-rotation pitcher, or maybe more.

11. Josh Wolf (RHP)

  • Highest Level:  DNP ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 45 SP
  • Tools Summary: Has the makings of a solid arsenal.

The Mets drafted high schooler Josh Wolf in the second round of the 2019 MLB Draft.  They started him in the GCL where he pitched extremely well striking out 11 and walking one in eight innings of work.  The 6-foot-2 right-hander is known for his plus curveball but needs a lot of work on refining his fastball and other secondary offerings. If it all comes together, there is a number three starter upside.

12. Isaiah Greene (OF)

  • Highest Level:  DNP ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 45 OF with extreme risk
  • Tools Summary: Double-plus speed with a feel to hit

The Mets drafted Isaiah Greene in the supplemental second round last June.  He was old for his draft class turning 19 in August.  His carrying tool is his plus speed with a feel to hit.  He’s short to the ball, making good contact but doesn’t have much leverage in his swing.  There is definite 4th outfielder risk but the speed and feel to hit should get the attention of fantasy managers.

13. Shervyen Newton (IF)

  • Highest Level:  DNP ETA: 2022-23 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 15 3B with extreme risk
  • Tools Summary: Elite bat speed that could turn into plus future power.  However, he’s striking out a third of the time.

Despite being overwhelmed in his first exposure to full-season competition, Shervyen Newton continues to be an intriguing prospect.  At 6-foot-4, he’s a big kid with tremendous bat speed that could translate into future plus power.  His problem, as with many kids, he just doesn’t make enough contact.  Will he figure it out?  Probably not, but the bat speed is not something you see every day.  The Mets will continue to work with him in hopes that he does in fact, figures things out.

14. Robert Dominguez (RHP)

  • Highest Level:  DNP ETA: 2024+ Fantasy Ceiling:  Unknown
  • Tools Summary: Late 2019 International signee with a big arm

Robert Dominguez flew under the radar in 2019 as he didn’t sign until November.  He’s tall and lanky with an electric arm but doesn’t always know where the ball is going.  He’s yet to pitch in a professional setting and Covid didn’t help his cause.  He should spend time in the DSL in 2021 with a chance to come stateside.

15. Matthew Dyer (OF/IF/C)

  • Highest Level:  DNP ETA: 2022-23 Fantasy Ceiling:  Backup catcher
  • Tools Summary: Classic utility player that can play all over the field.  He has some pop and speed.

The Mets signed Matthew Dyer in the fourth round last June.  He profiles as a super-utility player that can play all over the field.  He shows a feel to hit with some pop.  He’s also a good runner and should be able to steal a handful of bases.  He’s not a star but guys like Dyer seem to find a way to make it to the big leagues and contribute.  He kind of reminds me of Jake Cronenworth…

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