The Gulf Coast League is the lowest US based minor league affiliate of the Mets. The roster is mostly comprised of low round draft picks and recently signed teenage international free agents. Given the composition of the roster, the focus here is developmental instead of win-loss record. With this in mind, the GCL Mets record was still an unappealing 24-31 finishing fourth in the east.
While the record was disappointing, the progress of some of the top prospects in the system was exciting.
First and foremost was the sixth overall pick in the 2018 draft. Jarred Kelenic burst on the scene hitting an absurd .413/.451/.609 in 12 games played. With this outburst, Kelenic showed why he was the considered the top prep bat in the draft. In addition to his hot hitting, he played a strong center field. With his incredible play, he all but forced the Mets to promote him to Kingsport.
As great as Kelenic was, Ronny Mauricio would put up better power numbers with more doubles, triples, and homers. It was an impressive debut for the player who broke Amed Rosario‘s team record for bonus money given to an international free agent. As impressive as he was at the plate, what was more impressive was how he handled himself. On a personal note, Mauricio is a good friend of mine, and I have been seen how mature he is and how professional he is.
In addition to Kelenic and Mauricio, there were some other position player prospects who had noteworthy seasons. Stanley Consuegra had his best month of the season in August, was tent in the league in doubles, and he flashed a 70 arm in the outfield. Twenty-second round draft pick Jaylen Palmer‘s .808 OPS was third best among shortstops. Sebastian Espino was tied with Mauricio for sixth in the league in doubles.
On the pitching side, Gulf Coast did struggle with a 4.83 staff ERA. Even with that staff ERA, there were some truly impressive performances headlined by second round draft pick Simeon Woods-Richardson. In his 11.1 innings pitched, he allowed only nine hits and no earned runs. A big reason for that is his ability to ramp it up to 99 MPH. More important than that was his ability to maintain a mid-90s velocity given that was one of the big questions when he was drafted.
In addition to Woods-Richardson, there were some other important pitching developments during the 2018 season. Bryce Hutchinson improved his control walking 3.8 fewer batters per nine. Miguel Ramirez had a 2.60 ERA in 17 relief appearances. Junior Santos and Willy Taveras would begin and finish their strong seasons in the GCL respectively. Finally, after dealing with injuries since being drafted in the 11th round in the 2016 draft, Cameron Planck would make his organizational debut.
Overall, the GCL Mets season was a success because of how well their players developed, specifically, their best players. Mauricio, Kelenic, and Woods- Richardson looked like future building blocks for this organization. Beyond that, we saw glimpses from other prospects that they could too be prospects who rise through the system. To that end, while the team had a poor record, it was productive season from a player development perspective.
Manager- David Davalillo
Pitching Coach- Ariel Prieto
Hitting Coach- Rafael Fernandez
Development Coach- Troy Rooney
G- Stanley Consuegra 51
PA – Stanley Consuegra; Ronny Mauricio 212
AB- Ronny Mauricio 197
R- Ronny Mauricio 26
H- Ronny Mauricio 55
2B- Ronny Mauricio & Sebastian Espino 13
3B- Anderson Bohórquez 4
HR- Ronny Mauricio, Wilmer Reyes, Luis Lebron 3
RBI- Ronny Mauricio 31
SB- Jhoander Saez 11
BB- Cristopher Pujols 17
BA- Ronny Mauricio .279
OBP- Sebastian Espino .329
SLG- Ronny Mauricio .421
OPS- Ronny Mauricio .728
W- Oscar Rojas 6
ERA- Oscar Rojas 3.83
G- Miguel Ramirez 17
GS- Oscar Rojas 14
CG- Willy Taveras 2
SV- Simeon Woods-Richardson, Ronnie Taylor, Boris Sanchez, Marcos Correa 2
IP – Oscar Rojas 84.2
K- Oscar Rojas 80
WHIP- Oscar Rojas 1.087
K/9 – Oscar Rojas 8.5
K/BB Oscar Rojas 3.33
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