Law Believes Mets System is On the Right Track

By Dilip Sridhar

August 1, 2018 No comments

Photo by Ed Delany, MMN

In his chat today, Keith Law of ESPN talked about the Mets system. The system after last season did not look great due to injuries and poor performances. Most notably, injuries to Thomas Szapucki and Anthony Kay plus and a poor season from 2016 first round pick, Justin Dunn.

The Mets system had talent but it needed that talent to bounce back in 2018. So far, the farm looks much better.

In the chat, Law said: “Small sample so far but I’m thrilled to see him (Vientos) showing some power too. Solid defender at third trending up. Very promising. I’ve said before but I think some of the results bear it out – their drafts are not the problem, and recently they’ve been quite good. Dunn has broken out. Peterson had a little dead arm deal but has been very good most of the season. Vientos looks great. I’m way in on Kelenic. Alonso is something. And from the international side Ronny Mauricio is getting a lot of buzz as a potential star. I know #lolmets is a thing because of the ownership situation but the outlook from their farm system is not bleak.”

I agree with Law, the farm has been much better this year and it should get even better in 2019 when rankings are updated, guys from the lower levels move up, and another top 10 pick.

Photo Credit – Allen Greene Photography

Mark Vientos was the Mets 2017 second round pick and he was one of the youngest players in the draft. He will only turn 19 this coming December and for reference, he is younger than Toy Story 2 and Star Wars, the Phantom Menace.

Vientos is hitting .270/.345/.492 and he has really turned it on in his last 10 games. In his last 10 games, Vientos has five homers, six walks, only four strikeouts, and he’s hitting .342. The bat speed is great and the power is starting to show. His plate discipline at such a young age is promising and the Mets could be aggressive with him next season and start him in Columbia.

Justin Dunn’s improvements have been well documented this year. His walks are down and his strikeouts are up plus he has shown more confidence in his slider. David Peterson has struggled in St. Lucie but his ground ball rate is very high and his FIP (4.11) suggests that he will get better.

Kelenic is having a really weird season in Kingsport. He was basically using the GCL as a launching pad but he is hitting .147/.326/.309 in Kingsport. He’s not striking out a ton, he’s walking 18.6% of the time, and his BABIP is just .178. There’s a good chance that he will go on an offensive tear soon.

The Mets were aggressive by starting Mauricio in the GCL at just 17-years-old, but he responded by hitting .333/.345/.529 in that league. The shortstop is 6’4″ and might still be growing. His footwork is good enough to play shortstop but maybe he’ll outgrow the position down the line. There’s quite a bit of time to determine that.

Luis Santana 2, Shervyen Newton 12/Photo by Tanner Cook of Kingsport Times-News

Other guys who are doing well are Shervyen Newton, Luis Santana, and Anthony Kay. Kay has a 2.83 ERA in 28.2 innings in St. Lucie. His command isn’t fully back from Tommy John Surgery but his velocity is so that is a very good sign.

Santana, a second baseman, and Newton, shortstop, are very different in size and game but both have been getting good reviews.

Santana (5’8″, 170 LBS) barely strikes out and has some great bat control. He is hitting .353/.456/.451 with two homers for Kingsport and is striking out just 8.5% of the time.

Newton meanwhile is strikes out a good amount but he also has raw power. He’s about 6’4″, 180 LBS and is hitting .284/.401/.478 with four homers in Kingsport, but he’s also strikes outs about 34% of the time.

Overall, the Mets system is definitely not the same group that started the season among baseball’s worst.