45. Hansel Moreno
Pos: 2B/3B/SS/OF B/T: S/R Age: 9/3/96 (22)
Acquired: International Free Agent from Dominican Republic on July 15, 2014.
2018 Stats (Columbia): 89 G, 319 AB, 44 R, 79 H, 16 2B, 4 3B, 8 HR, 33 RBI, 21 SB, 11 CS, 101 K, 24 BB, .248/.307/.398
The lanky 6’4″ Moreno has plenty of tools, but he remains a raw player. The first thing which stands out is his speed. He was able to utilize his speed not just on the base paths, stealing 21 bases, but also defensively. On defense, Moreno did see regular playing time all season, but he moved around the diamond playing middle infield, third base, and the outfield. He has the tools to stick at any one of those positions.
While he did hit a career-high eight homers and 16 doubles, he would only slug .398 leaving room for improvement in that area. As he begins to mature and continue to grow into his frame, we may see him hit for increasingly more power. More important than that is his cutting down on the strikeouts. For his career, he has a 30.3 percents strike out rate including 28.5 percent last year.
Ultimately, Moreno is an interesting prospect, and he is one who should fare better as he progresses to more hitter friendly environments.
Pos: RP B/T: R/R Age: 4/23/96 (22)
Acquired: 2018 Ninth Round Draft Pick from University of Missouri.
2018 Stats: N/A
Montes de Oca is a mixed bag full of size, stuff, intrigue, and risk. He would undergo Tommy John surgery in high school and ulnar nerve transposition surgery as a Junior. As seen with Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz, having both of those surgeries should not stand in the way of future performance.
At 6’7″ and 265 pounds, Montes de Oca uses all of his gigantic frame on the mound to throw hard and intimidate hitters with a quick and explosive motion. He touches the upper 90s, often working into the triple digits, with bowling-ball sink on his fastball. As a secondary offering, Montes de Oca has a slurve-like, wipeout slider. Both the fastball and slider are legitimate strikeout pitches for the right-hander.When he is throwing strikes, he is nearly unhittable as evidenced by his striking out 137 batters in 124 collegiate innings.
The challenge for Montes de Oca is to get him to throw more strikes as he is prone to fits of wildness as exhibited by his 5.43 walks per nine last year. If he is able to hone his sometimes wild delivery and throw strikes, he could very well rise quickly through the Mets farm system.
43. Jose Moreno
Position: RP B/T: R/R Age: 7/31/96 (22)
Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent from the Dominican Republic (10/2/2014)
2018 Stats (Brooklyn): 3-0, 4.12 ERA, 8 G, 2 GS, SV, 19.2 IP, 0.966 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, 11.9 K/9
The big story with Moreno is the fastball. Moreno was one of just 63 minor league pitchers in 2018 to hit the triple-digit mark with any pitch, and one of only two Mets – the other being Gerson Bautista, who was traded to the Mariners earlier this off season. It’s clear that his big cheese is overpowering young hitters, as he struck out 33% of all hitters he faced, and only allowed 5 hits per 9 innings. Moreno also keeps the ball in the ballpark at an impressive rate as he has only allowed 3 home runs over the last 4 season in 119.6 innings pitched.
Having had a number of starts the last few years, it seems that Moreno will be making a full transition to the bullpen, where his maximum effort style of pitching plays better. Moreno’s arm may be just a bit too wild to have utility in a starting pitching position, but his fastball/slider combination can certainly have success in a relief roll. Being that Moreno will turn 23 in the 2019 season, the Mets may play him a bit aggressively in his current roll, and possibly start his year in Columbia.
42. Raul Beracierta
Pos: OF B/T: R/R Age: 5/24/99 (19)
Acquired: International Free Agent from Venezuela (December 2015)
Previous Rank: 44
2018 Stats (Kingsport): 46 G, 159 AB, 35 R, 43 H, 8 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 29 RBI, 7 SB, 2 CS, 36 K, 26 BB, .270/.389/.415
Beracierta is viewed as both raw and extremely athletic but with a good baseball IQ. This is most evident with his approach at the plate. Beracierta is a disciplined hitter who has a very good walk rate coupled with a low strikeout rate. He is able to identify his pitch, and he is learning how to drive that pitch somewhere. Notably, last year he set a career best with a .145 ISO.
Defensively, Beracierta has athleticism, game speed, and arm to play all three outfield positions. However, he is probably better suited to the corner outfield positions. If he is going to stick there, he will have to continue to develop his power and all fields hitting approach like he did this past season.
41. Ranfy Adon
Pos: CF B/T: R/R Age: 8/2/97 (21)
Acquired: International Free Agent from Dominican Republic (October 2014)
2018 Stats (Kingsport): 40 G, 146 AB, 29 R, 43 H, 6 2B, 6 3B, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 10 SB, 5 CS, 52 K, 7 BB, .295/.338/.521
Adon is as toolsy as almost anyone in the Mets system. Standing at 6’3″, he has size, plus-power potential, and plus-speed. With those skills, the real question will be if Adon can put it all together. If 2018 was any indication, he seems to be heading in the right direction.
Adon finally tapped into his power with a career-high 17 extra base hits in 40 games. His double-digit stolen base total adds to his list of impressive feats from this season. With him, there is also legitimate room for improvement.
In his career, Adon has struck out an inordinate rate including a 32.5 percent strike out rate last year. Part of that is plate discpline as evidenced by his 4.4 percent walk rate. Another part is his swing. By making adjustments to his swing and approach, Adon is a player who could have a truly breakout season and truly put himself on the map.