The Mets had a disastrous season, but to their credit, they admitted defeat, sold off their mistakes, and then hired a new leader in David Stearns. Will it work? I think it will, and they could be contenders as soon as next season or 2025.
The system is strong, with many potential impact players. The four players at the top could have gone in any order, but Jet Williams was a monster last season and gets the nod for the top spot. Drew Gilbert can flat-out hit, and if Acuna can add some strength, he could also be an impact player. We’ve already seen what Mauricio can do – and not do.
It doesn’t end there, as they have depth at all levels; in pitching and positional players.
- Top Prospect: Jett Williams
- Biggest Mover: Christian Scott
- Biggest Disappointment: Kevin Parada (there, I said it)
- Emerging Prospect: Jeffry Rosa
1. Jett Williams (OF)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 40 OF with upside
- Tools Summary: He’s a toolsy player who is walking as much as he’s striking out.
Jett Williams spent most of his 2023 season in Low-A, showing his plus speed by stealing 32 bases in 38 attempts and walking nearly as much as he struck out. I knew he was fast, but his mature approach surprised me. In six weeks in High-A, he also maintained his approach, even walking more than he struck out (20.4% BB-Rate to 19.8% K-Rate). He finished the season playing his last six weeks in Double-A.
He needs to get stronger, but there is plenty of bat speed to project future power. I’ve made a bold statement by putting him as the number one fantasy prospect in a very good Mets system. Granted, Acuna, Gilbert, and Mauricio are close. The bottom line is that he was flat-out impressive last season, with the data supporting his breakout.
2. Drew Gilbert (OF)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2024-25 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 45 OF
- Tools Summary: He has a high floor as a solid Major League regular but lacks the tools to be a stat-stuffing fantasy player.
Drew Gilbert was the Astros’ top pick in the 2022 Draft and has lived up to his draft pedigree as a high-floor player lacking the explosive tools fantasy managers crave. That didn’t appear to be the case in High-A, as he slugged .686 with six home runs in 21 games. However, his lack of loft and high-end exit velocity was evident after his promotion to Double-A (.438 SLG, better after the trade to the Mets).
He is an above-average runner, so I would expect double-digit stolen bases. What he can do is hit posting well above average contact skills while walking at a high rate. The ceiling is a .280/.350/.425 player with 10 to 12 home runs and slightly more stolen bases. That’s a really good player – a number three outfielder, not the stat-stuffing stud many fantasy managers were hoping for.
3. Luisangel Acuna (2B/SS)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 2B or Top 20 SS
- Tools Summary: He’s a plus runner with a feel to hit. He’ll unlikely hit for a ton of power, but there is enough bat speed to project some.
Luisangel Acuna keeps getting better. There’s more speed in his game than I initially thought, as he’s stealing bases at will and has a high success rate. At this point, 30 stolen bases seem like the floor. Since 2021, he’s lowered his strikeout rate each year, and I have every reason to believe he can post a .270+ batting average with decent on-base skills.
The only thing he will not do is hit a lot of home runs. He’s not void of power, and perhaps there is an Albies power gear left; it’s not something you can project currently. Even with 8 to 10 home runs annually, he’s going to be an impact fantasy player and a no doubt Top 100 prospect for me.
4. Ronny Mauricio (2B/3B/SS)
- Highest Level: Majors ETA: 2023 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 2B or Top 10 3B
- Tools Summary: There is 20-20 potential, but it will come with a .300ish OBP.
There is plenty of fantasy goodness sitting with Ronny Mauricio. He has elite bat speed, is a plus runner with excellent instincts on the basepath, and can play all over the field. His problem has been and continues to be that he swings at everything. This year, to his credit, he has reduced his strikeout rate meaningfully. In fact, the 18.5% strikeout rate he posted in Triple-A was the best of his career. While it increased upon his promotion to New York, he still managed to keep it under 25%, and you would have to believe it would drop as he gets more comfortable with the level.
While he could post a 20-20 season, it will come with pressure on his batting average, and in OBP leagues, even more pressure. Plus, players with an overly aggressive approach usually don’t age well. Just ask Javier Baez. That doesn’t mean I don’t like the player. I do like Mauricio and even have him in a couple of Dynasty Leagues. Just know your parameters and plan accordingly.
5. Alex Ramirez (OF)
- Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 30 OF
- Tools Summary: He repeated High-A, and while he controlled the strike zone better, it wasn’t quality contact.
It was not the season I had hoped for with Alex Ramirez. The contact quality was not great, as he had a .096 ISO and a .317 SLG. The good news is that he nearly doubled his walk rate to 10.7%, but in doing so, he might have introduced some passivity to his approach. I’m not overly concerned yet, as the bat speed is excellent, and he continues to show plus speed.
We must remember that he played the entire season as a 20-year-old in High-A. He’ll get stronger and likely add some loft to his swing. When you combine that with his bat speed, 15+ home run pop should follow. Furthermore, with the potential to steal 20+ bases annually, I still very much like the upside. If there is a fantasy manager who has given up on him, I would be buying.
6. Kevin Parada (C)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 Catcher
- Tools Summary: He has potential plus future power with a feel to hit, but he didn’t show it last season.
Kevin Parada’s first full season in professional baseball was fine. He showed solid strikeout and walk rates while posting a .447 SLG in High-A. That’s good, isn’t it? Then why do I have the feeling that he underperformed? I guess I expected more, as the draft pedigree was an elite hitter with potential plus power. Adding more to my ho-hum opinion is after his promotion to Double-A, things really went poorly. Granted, it was only 14 games, but he hit .185 with a 38% K-Rate. I just expected more.
The ceiling doesn’t change for me as I still see him as a high-end catching prospect, but my radar is up.
7. Ryan Clifford (OF)
- Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2025-26 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 60 OF or Top 15 1B
- Tools Summary: A power-hitting corner outfielder/first baseman with solid OBP skills
The Astros drafted Ryan Clifford in the 11th round in the 2022 Draft and signed him for $1.25 million, more in line with someone drafted in the middle of the second round. He has plus raw power and projects to hit 20+ home runs. There have been questions about how much contact he’ll have, which showed after his trade to the Mets.
He spent the first six weeks of the 2023 season in Low-A, hitting .337 with a 22% strikeout rate. After his promotion to High-A, the strikeout rate rose slightly. However, after the trade to the Mets, he posted an ugly 36.4% K-Rate in 32 games. Hopefully, he was just adjusting to his new organization.
If it all comes together, the ceiling is a power hitter with 20+ home runs (it could be 30+) with a .260 average and 80 points more in OBP.
8. Colin Houck (SS, #32)
- Highest Level: Complex ETA: 2026-27 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 SS
- Tools Summary: He has a feel to hit with speed and power.
Colin Houck is a great athlete with size for future power. At least early in his career, he will have plus speed. He hit .487 with eight home runs in his Senior Year of High School.
As a professional, the Mets had him play nine games in the Complex League, where he slashed .249/.389/.310. That obviously wasn’t great, but the tools are what you need to focus on here.
I’ll be targeting him in the second round of FYPD, and he would be a great pick to pair with a lower-risk college bat.
9. Christian Scott (RHP)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 45 SP
- Tools Summary: He’s a converted reliever who is showing improved stuff and better control.
Christian Scott was the Mets’ fifth-round pick in 2021. He was a reliever in college, but the Mets announced on draft day that he would be developed as a starter.
After spending the first month on the IL, Scott hit the ground running, showing a tighter arsenal with improved control, actually elite control (1.24 BB/9). After his promotion to Double-A in June, he continued to pitch well. His mid-90s fastball can scrape 98 with a plus slider and an inconsistent change-up that he’s still trying to hone. It’s the building block for a number three starter if he can improve his change-up.
10. Brandon Sproat (RHP)
- Highest Level: DNP ETA: 2025-26 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 45 SP or High-Leveraged Reliever
- Tools Summary: He has the big fastball but struggles to throw strikes.
The Mets drafted Brandon Sproat in 2022 in the third round but could not sign him. He returned to Florida and didn’t pitch as well, but the Mets were not dismayed and selected him in the second round last July and paid him a $1.474 million dollar signing bonus, or almost $800K more than he would have signed for in 2022.
He has the big fastball that can touch the mid-90s, but the secondary pitches, as does his control, need work. I’m pretty bullish, as he’s athletic, with a solid chance to repeat his delivery and throw strikes eventually. If not, he’ll move to the bullpen with a chance to be a Tanner Scott type of back-of-the-bullpen arm.