10 Names You Need To Know – New York Mets

The 2020 season has thus far been a challenge (putting it lightly) for the New York Mets. While they fortunately haven’t seen any COVID-19 outbreaks, a lot hasn’t gone their way. Between their extremely disappointing record and their at times questionable management of their 40-man roster, which includes the loss of prospects Jordan Humphreys (2020 Pre-season: #16) and the PTBNL for Ariel Jurado, the Mets may be approaching a lost season which could result in increased playing time for some prospects on this list. In this article, I mainly focus on guys who could get major league playing time either this year or next year, or newly drafted guys.

Included in this list are my preseason Mets Top 50 prospects rankings for the players not drafted in the 2020 MLB Draft. These are my Mets 10 Names You Need To Know for 2020:

Andres Gimenez, SS/INF (2020 Preseason: #3)
Age: 21
Highest Level: MLB

Starting off the list is Gimenez who was used frequently by the major league team given his advanced defensive skills and speed. Gimenez seems to be ticketed for an uptick in playing time with the injuries throughout the Mets infield. Gimenez has seemingly been in the Mets top prospect list forever, since he was signed in 2015. Gimenez’s scouting report has been as a low ceiling, better version of former Met Ruben Tejada. However, Gimenez has proved what good defensive skills, speed, baseball IQ, and contact skills can do for a player in the majors, as he is off to a good start. If Gimenez can improve his power, which many experts think he could thanks to his age and increased bulk, he could be a borderline star. If not, he will settle in as a solid major league player. I’m glad I slotted Gimenez as the Mets #3 prospect given his underrated high floor.

David Peterson, LHP (2020 Preseason: #8)
Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB

Another player who has shined thus far in their major league chances, Peterson has shown the underrated value of a good backend starting pitcher. While only given a chance due to the injuries to the Mets starting pitching, I thought Peterson would’ve thrown 80-100 IP in a regular season. Peterson thrives at keeping the ball on the ground (42.4% thus far), while also limiting walks (6.4 BB%). With the struggles of the mid rotation starters for the Mets thus far, Peterson should have a safe spot in the rotation when Marcus Stroman returns, assuming Peterson continues his solid start. 

Franklyn Kilome, RHP (2020 Preseason: #15)
Age: 25
Highest Level: MLB

The last of the players who made their MLB debuts this season, Kilome to this point has only had one appearance. In that appearance, he showed why he has mid-rotation potential, as he allowed only 2 hits over 4 IP, with 5 strikeouts. At his best, Kilome throws a good fastball, curveball, and changeup, with mid 90s velocity on his fastball. Acquired in the Asdrubal Cabrera trade in 2018, Kilome was struck with TJ Surgery shortly after being acquired, explaining why he is making his debut at an advanced age. Kilome is a player I’d love to see get a more extended look as a reliever this season, or be featured more as a starter if the season takes a turn for the worse.

Thomas Szapucki, LHP (2020 Preseason: #4)
Age: 24
Highest Level: AA

While he hasn’t had much upper level experience (4 IP in AA), the Mets were confident enough in Szapucki that they added him to the 40-man roster. While Szapucki hasn’t had much upper level experience, that isn’t due to his minor league performance (career 2.42 ERA and 11.7 K/9). Instead, Szapucki hit the injury bug hard, being limited to 29 IP in 2017, which was shortened by Tommy John and resulted in missing all of 2018. He already has an above average fastball and plus curveball which could result in him being a power lefty reliever as soon as this season. Before this injury he routinely threw in the mid 90s, but after has sat in the low 90s. His curveball however has stayed dynamic, with good spin rate numbers and low 80s velocity. An alternative path to the majors this season is as a starter, where he would have to rely on the development of his changeup. Given his current abilities and his status on the 40 man roster, Szapucki is a prospect who could make his debut soon, and play a big role with the Mets as soon as next year.

Kevin Smith, LHP (2020 Preseason: #13)
Age: 23
Highest Level: AA

The last of the listed prospects with a shot to debut for the Mets this season, Smith is a deceptive lefty who sits in the low 90s with his fastball. He pairs his fastball with a slider and changeup, which gives Smith three roughly average pitches. What separates Smith as a potential major leaguer is his command of his pitches and his intangibles. It is this which has allowed Smith to go from 7th round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft to the brink of making the major leagues in around 2 years. Smith is unlikely to debut this season due to him not being on the 40-man roster, but his current abilities to fill in as a back end starter plus his dominance versus left hand hitters (.504 opposing hitter OPS in 2019) give him a good chance to make a major league impact as soon as next season.

Ronny Mauricio, SS (2020 Preseason: #1)
Age: 19
Highest Level: A

With there being no minor league season this year, it is generally thought that prospects which are young for their age who need physical maturity to reach their ceiling are most likely to see their prospect stock rise. This is a very fitting description of Mauricio, given that at A ball he was 3.5 years younger than league average and is a very lanky 6’3” 166 lbs. Given Mauricio was already the consensus top prospect in the Mets system for his projectability and hit and power tools, he may take the next step and become one of the elite prospects in baseball if he comes back having added more muscle to his frame.

Francisco Alvarez, C (2020 Preseason: #2)
Age: 18
Highest Level: Appalachian League

While Alvarez does have the same benefit of being young for his league (3.5 years younger than league average at Appalachian League), Alvarez has an advanced body and likely won’t benefit as much as players like Mauricio will in this time off. However, Alvarez still looks like he could still be the Mets next franchise catcher. Alvarez combines an all-around solid defensive game with above average hit and power tools which would play any position. This combination of a lethal bat at the game’s weakest hitting position will make him one of the game’s premier prospects as he matures up the Mets system. 

Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF
Age: 18
Highest Level: Round 1 selection in the 2020 MLB Draft

Crow-Armstrong has been a player I’ve been clamoring for the Mets to take for years. A well known prep player at popular Harvard-Westlake High School for years, Crow-Armstrong plays great defense in center field thanks due his plus speed, above average arm, and great reads. Offensively, Crow-Armstrong shows a strong hit tool with developing power. Tying all of these skills together is his advanced intangibles, baseball IQ, and work ethic. Crow-Armstrong’s skill set has been one fans have been craving, with a good bat and strong defense in the middle of the outfield. 

J.T. Ginn, RHP
Age: 21
Highest Level: Round 2 selection in the 2020 MLB Draft

Signed for low end first round slot money, Ginn is clearly a first round talent taken by the Mets in the second round of this year’s MLB Draft.. Ginn was drafted in the first round (30th) in the 2018 MLB Draft by the Dodgers, but both sides were unable to come to an agreement on a contract. Ginn was on his way of improving this draft slot until he unfortunately suffered an injury in early 2020 which resulted in him getting Tommy John surgery. Prior to the injury, Ginn threw three above average pitches in his fastball, slider, and changeup. His fastball sat in the low-to-mid 90s, while his slider was in the mid 80s. Additionally, Ginn has shown good control in his collegiate career (2.1 BB/9) with good athleticism on the mound. With the current stoppage in the minor league season, Ginn is advantaged in that he was already out for the season with TJ. If Ginn is able to get back to his pre-injury self, he will have a good argument as the top arm in the Mets minor league system.

Isaiah Greene, OF
Age: 18
Highest Level: Round 2 selection in the 2020 MLB Draft

Taken with the 69th pick (compensation pick for losing Zack Wheeler), Greene fits the same mold as Crow-Armstrong as a top level athlete with great defense in the outfield. While not nearly as renowned as Crow-Armstrong in the prospect world, Greene mirrors a less refined Crow-Armstrong. Greene has plus speed which should allow him to stay in center field, if he can refine his ball tracking skills. As a hitter, he also is a hit over power player currently. Given that Greene was less known throughout his high school career, Greene could blossom with more professional coaching. Greene is a player who may be seen as a massive steal at his draft slot and signing bonus if he can polish up his game. Greene’s athleticism and batting tools give him the potential to become one of the top prospects in this system, along with the previous, higher regarded players on this list.

Christian Kainer covers the New York Mets minor league system for Prospects1500. Christian is a native Mets fan living in New Jersey, and going to school the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Christian was introduced to sports by his brother and dad, but fell in love with baseball as he learned how much math is involved in every play. Follow him on twitter at @CJ_Kainer.

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