The Steve Cohen era is alive and well in Queens with tons of offseason excitement. After all the drama, Cohen went out and grabbed big name players like Starling Marte and Max Scherzer. Along with those two big names were Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha just because the other two weren’t enough. This is the Mets’ year and there hopefully will be no more raccoons or rats (up for debate, ask Francisco Lindor) running loose in the clubhouse tunnel. The Mets have the talent and depth on the roster and there is no doubt about that. Some of the prospects on our list will provide more depth to the Mets as needed, and loom as potential trade pieces for a World Series push in 2022.
This is our Prospects1500 Mets January preseason Top 50, a collaboration by Philip Frank and Erik Schmollinger.
Below is the Prospects1500 tier system used to rank players. It simply gives an indication of the production expected from a player at the MLB level, leaning fantasy baseball over real life.
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above-average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have a high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players of interest, worth keeping an eye on, who have an outside chance of making their team’s 40-man roster
Levels listed for each player are the highest levels player reached in 2021
1. Francisco Alvarez, C, 20, High-A
The defense, hit tool, and power all appear real based on low minors performance. There’s reason to temper expectations of any just-turned-20-year old catcher who hasn’t seen the upper levels yet, but Alvarez has the rare talent to buck that trend. He posted a mammoth .290 ISO with impressive all fields power. It probably won’t be a short or straight line to get there, but Alvarez has what it takes to be a difference-maker and significantly impact all aspects of the game.
2. Brett Baty, 3B, 22, AA
Baty has straightened up from the deep crouch he employed pre-pitch in high school and improved his contact. The overall results are solid and the power hasn’t completely shown up yet, but keep an eye on his swing decisions and K rate. He has an impressive 60-grade arm strength. As a Mets fan, you’re hoping for years of strong offensive production to come. or now (and as an MLB team-agnostic fantasy player) it may be wise to remain a bit skeptical.
3. Ronny Mauricio, SS, 20, AA
Mauricio’s swing is sweet and the athleticism has scouts and Mets’ player dev guys gushing. His approach will need to improve to get his BB and OBP rates up to acceptable and his SB success rates say he will not be a base stealer at the highest level, but the power has blossomed and the impact potential at the dish is definitely there. His long levers and strides make him look like an OF to me.
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) October 28, 2021
4. Matt Allan, RHP, 20, Low-A
Allen is a good-looking RHP who channels former Mets ace Matt Harvey a bit. He stays on top of his heater well, which lets it play at the bottom of the zone – it can also ride well at the top – and the hook is befuddling to the lower minors hitters who’ve seen it thus far. If he comes all the way back from TJ and continues to develop, he has a #2 or #3 SP outcome still sitting on his table. He should throw highly anticipated innings again in the second half of 2022.
5. Mark Vientos, 3B, 22, AAA
Vientos is very calm in the box, and he has the ability to stay back and stay balanced in a similar way to Alex Rodriguez. Good chance to get to the “at least average hit tool with above-average power” holy grail for fantasy. Has plenty of potential, and if he continues to show consistency with his impressive exit velocities and long home runs, it could help him in the race to Queens with Brett Baty.
6. J.T. Ginn, RHP, 22, High-A
Ginn gets great groundball results and very few HRs allowed, and he finished 2021 very strong at High-A Brooklyn. His command can waver despite his strong 2021 BB rate and the uninspiring K rates will need to max out for him to be better than the #4 SP he profiles as right now. His command is looking less likely to tick up than the stuff due to mechanical inconsistencies.
7. Alex Ramirez, OF, 19, Low-A
The fact that he debuted in a full-season league at just 18 makes his average 76 A-Level games (.258/5 HR/16-23 SB/6.7% BB/33% K) extremely admirable given he was a boy among men during this year. His frame is a bit on the slight side and we’re ignoring the K rate red flag for the moment. In 2022, he most likely will be starting back at Low-A, which will take us from a baseline to a trendline for his development. If he continues to grow into his body, there is exciting five category potential.
Was able to pull some clips of #Mets OF prospect Alex Ramírez, who flashed five-tool potential as an 18-year-old for Low-A St. Lucie this season.
Some of his top exit velos:
– 104 mph HR
– 102 mph 2B
– 101 mph 3B
– 107 mph GO
90.1 avg EV, 109 max EV, 47% hard-hit%, 96 wRC+ pic.twitter.com/cV4Hk7ryy1
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) November 24, 2021
8. Robert Dominguez, RHP, 20, Rookie (FCL)
He’s a project, folks. He was hit hard in his 12 Florida Complex League innings, but showed a lot of projectability in his 6’5′ 195 frame. He made a lot of progress on the secondaries, which will be needed to get to a starting pitcher outcome. His fastball could be MLB-ready a lot sooner than that. Dominguez is a bit of a mystery box entering 2022.
9. Dominic Hamel, RHP, 22, Rookie (FCL)
The good news: no hits, no walks, and more than 2 Ks per inning. The bad news: in 3 IP in the complex. Hamel features a decent fastball and breaker from a short arm slot. He exhibits some great spin rates on all pitches and has a good feel for changing speeds on the breaking balls. Currently working on his location and control, the third rounder has the potential to be a back-end starter/high-end reliver when he makes it to Queens. There is relief risk here, but Hamel’s pitches have strong analytical earmarks.
#Mets third-round pick Dominic Hamel today in the Florida Complex League:
2 perfect IP, 4 strikeouts
Through 2 outings: 3 perfect IP, 7 K pic.twitter.com/bxFhMiPtLq
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) September 17, 2021
10. Calvin Ziegler, RHP, 19, High School
The top Canadian prospect and second round pick has another fastball-heavy power arm with work to do on his curve and changeup. He needs a little more development on offspeed pitches and consistency throwing strikes. His first professional innings will come in 2022.
11. Carlos Cortes, 2B, 24, AA
Cortes shows the capabilities of being a utility player at the highest level but will need to maintain his power and consistency to stay in the lineup if and when he gets the call. He’s likely a stronger real life over fantasy profile, though there’s some good bat to ball and on base skills to be a useful contributor.
12. Khalil Lee, OF, 23, MLB
Lee had a tough stretch during his time with the Mets in the majors, but showed a pretty solid approach. It almost borders on overly passive at times, and consistent hard contact remains elusive. His high walk and OBP rates can mitigate the hit tool issues somewhat and help him get to some of his speed, but he will need to hit more for any of that to matter at the highest level.
13. Jose Butto, RHP, 23, AA
Butto has continued to slowly tighten his repertoire and results through five minor league seasons. His season concluded with 8 reasonable Double-A starts to end 2021. The 6’1″ right hander is not an overpowering pitcher but has great command and feel of the zone. With his elite changeup and fastball, it could give him a relief pitcher opportunity with his ceiling getting higher if he really develops a breaking ball as a third pitch.
14. Jaylen Palmer, IF/OF, 21, High-A
A 22nd-round hometown pick born in Flushing who can steal some bases, Palmer would make for a true Hollywood story if he were to find success in Flushing… or at least an SNY documentary. To quote Lloyd Christmas in a highwater moment in Hollywood history: “So you’re sayin’ there’s a chance.” His type of makeup can sometimes make a big difference.
15. Junior Santos, RHP, 20, Low-A
The 6’7″ right hander has strong starter traits like a repeatable delivery and feel for spin, but it still hasn’t quite translated to exciting results since his 2018 rookie ball season. Through nearly 200 minor league innings, he’s surrendered plenty of contact and the low strikeout rates temper his ceiling.
16. Nick Plummer, OF, 25, AAA
New to the Mets organization coming from the Cardinals, the former 1st round pick is sort of a Conforto-lite with a 1+ BB:K in 75 games at AAA. He has a chance to get his modest power into games. Plummer can play any OF position and could provide the Mets major league club this year with some depth as they go on in the season.
17. Joel Diaz, RHP, 17, Rookie (DSL)
Though he’s an extremely young arm talent at 17, he showed overwhelming results in his 50.1 DSL IP in 2021. He also scattered hits and walks sparingly (63 K/9 BB/0.54 ERA). He has a long road to go, but the first step has been very strong and overall shows tons of breakout potential here.
18. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/OF, 25, MLB
19. Thomas Szapucki, LHP, 25, MLB
20. Josh Walker, LHP, 27, AAA
21. JT Schwartz, 1B, 22, Low-A
22. Hayden Senger, C, 24, AA
23. Carlos Rincon, OF, 24, AA
24. Eric Orze, RHP, 24, AAA
25. Nick Meyer, C, 24, AA
26. Joander Suarez, RHP, 21, Low-A
27. Jake Mangum, OF, 25, AA
28. Adam Oller, RHP, 27, AAA
29. Jordany Ventura, RHP, 21, DNP in 2021 (Rookie ball in 2019)
30. Michael Otanez, RHP, 24, High-A
31. Simon Juan, OF, 16, International signee
32. Shervyen Newton, IF, 22, Low-A
33. Mike Vasil, LHP, 21, Rookie (FCL)
34. Kevin Kendall, IF, 22, Low-A
Blankenhorn might have the upside of Mike Trout and the same height as Trevor Plouffe – oh wait, never mind, it’s the other way around…..Szapucki is on hold here until we see what he’s like following his ulnar nerve transposition surgery, whose 3-6 month recovery period after his July procedure should be over by Spring 2022…..Walker is a low-K, low-WHIP control lefty with a 6’6 frame…..Schwartz, New York’s 4th-round pick in 2021, struggled at Low-A and looks to rebound in ’22…Rincon hit 22 AA HR in 21 but doesn’t offer a ton in other categories…Ventura is a small righty who will need a stuff bump to matter for fantasy but has the athleticism to do it…Vasil is 6’5, thick and strong, and depends heavily on his riding mid-90s FB. Wide outcome band, worth watching until we see where/how he starts out in 2022…Kendall is a 5th-rounder out of UCLA who beat up the A-ball kids as he should’ve in 21, .327/.872 with 1 HR/8-10 SB in 113 PA with a promising 15:24 BB:K. We’ll see how his skills and 5’10 175 pound frame mature at the higher levels.
The Mets have selected SS/CF Kevin Kendall with their seventh round pick.
The left-handed hitter had a .911 OPS this season for UCLA as their leadoff hitter.
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayer22) July 12, 2021
35. Christian Scott, RHP, 22, Rookie (FCL)
36. Luke Ritter, 2B/OF, 24, High-A
37. Stanley Consuegra, OF, 21, Rookie (FCL)
38. Jose Peroza, IF, 21, High-A
39. Ryley Gilliam, RHP, 25, AAA
40. Daison Acosta, RHP, 23, DNP in 2021 (Low-A in 2019)
41. Justin Lasko, RHP, 24, AA
42. Nic Gaddis, C/IF, 25, AA
43. Carlos Dominguez, OF, 21, Rookie (FCL)
44. Raul Beracierta, 1B/OF, 22, AA
45. Willy Fañas, OF, 17, International signee
46. Mitch Ragan, RHP, 24, AA
47. Wilmer Reyes, IF, 23, High-A
48. Warren Saunders, IF, 22, Low-A
49. Daniel Juarez, LHP, 20, Low-A
50. Cole Gordon, 1B/LHP, 26, AA
Scott is a potential reliever with a high-90’s fastball who could potentially help with saves and holds in dynasty leagues…..Peroza has displayed patience at the plate, flashed some power, and has even shown some speed on the base paths, making him an under-rated potential 5 category player within the Mets’ organization…..Gilliam will most likely be a middle reliever-type who has good strikeout numbers but has shown some questionable command so far…..Dominguez showed power over approach in ’21 and is starting out behind the curve age-wise…..Saunders is a utility infielder that has played all over with average hitting abilities and little power.
Jose Peroza annihilated that baseball. 💥 pic.twitter.com/FCIIAfhavr
— Mets Farm Report (@MetsFarmReport) August 20, 2021
and two more...
De Los Santos hit .429 in 7 games in Rookie ball before being sent up to Low-A, has decent hit tool and has shown he can steal bases too…..Parra only had a couple of games at AA so look for him to start the year and get more innings in Binghamton.