The Kingsport Mets were one of the more exciting minor league teams all season long. For that reason alone, it should come as no surprise the Mets had more players on Baseball America‘s ranking of the Top 20 prospects from the Appalachian League. As Baseball America explained, there was some real promising talent we need to follow closely:
No. 3 Jarred Kelenic, OF
MMN Rank: 2
Stats: .286/.371/.468, 10 2B, 6 3B, 6 HR, 42 RBI, 15 SB
BA: “Kelenic faded down the stretch in the Appy League but showed solid plate discipline and the ability to hit the ball with authority to the opposite field thanks to a balanced, simple swing and quick hands. Coaches rave about his work ethic, which is nothing new. Kelenic was renowned in high school for the massive amount of time he spent in the gym and hitting in batting cages.”
No. 7 Mark Vientos, 3B
MMN Rank: 7
Stats: .287/.389/.489, 12 2B, 11 HR, 52 RBI, SB
BA: “Vientos started slow but made a few adjustments with his timing and rhythm and hit .292/.396/.500 over 53 games in July and August, all while doubling his walk rate from last season. With quick hands and strength in his bat, he should have the power needed to profile at a corner and should also continue to add muscle to a 6-foot-4, 185-pound frame.”
No. 11 Shervyen Newton, SS
Stats: .280/.408/.449, 16 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 41 RBI, 4 SB
BA: “Scouts believe Newton will wind up having plus raw power or better down the line as he fills out a frame that is currently listed at 6-foot-4, 180 pounds. A switch-hitter, Newton’s swing works from both sides though he’s more line-drive oriented from the right side and he walked three times more frequently from the left side.”
While the Appalachian League is one of the youngest leagues in all of the minor leagues, all three of these teenagers were younger than league average, and yet, they still put up impressive numbers. Specifically, Kelenic and Vientos were quite young for this league, and they played well beyond their age and experience.
While having three prospects was impressive, you could make the argument the Mets should have had more prospects on this list. Specifically, Luis Santana, the Mets Sterling Award winner for this level, was snubbed. The 19 year old second baseman was in the Top 10 in nearly every offensive category with him being third overall in OBP.
With the aforementioned players, the Mets have four foundation pieces for the future. It should be exciting to see each of these players continue to develop as they hopefully progress towards the Major Leagues.