Here’s the final five prospects of our New York Mets midseason countdown in a farm system that is now ranked No. 19 according to Baseball America.
No. 5 Ronny Mauricio, SS
Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 166 lb. Level: GCL Mets
B/T: S/R Age: 4/4/01 (17) Age Dif: -2.7
Acquired: IFA from the Dominican Republic for $2.1M bonus (7/2/17)
2018 Stats: 42 G, 181 PA, 167 AB, 13 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 28 RBI, 1 SB/5 CS, 15.5 K%, 5.0 BB%, .293/.320/.461
The Mets were very aggressive in the 2016-2017 international signing period. Along with signing highly-regarded talent Adrian Hernandez, they also inked Ronny Mauricio to a franchise-record 2.1 million dollar signing bonus. He’s been worth every penny, tearing up the GCL most of the season before a recent first pro slump.
Mauricio is a switch-hitting shortstop who hails from the Dominican Republic. He’s been one of the best hitters in the GCL this year, exhibiting impressive bat speed and above-average power. Among Mets farmhands, he’s one of the best pure hitters and started his pro career with a 22-game hitting streak. Keep in mind: he’s been doing this as one of the youngest players at the GCL level.
The 17-year-old already shows quality defensive instincts and a decent arm. His 6’3″ frame may eventually force him off shortstop, but he would still slot in well at third base. Mauricio has a chance to be an impact player on both sides of the ball. Mauricio joins a crop of talented middle-infielders in the Mets minor leagues.
No. 4 Peter Alonso,1B
Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 245 lb. Level: Binghamton Rumble Ponies/Las Vegas 51s
B/T: R/R Age: 12/7/94 (23) Age Dif: -1.3/-3.5
Acquired: Drafted in the Second Round of the 2016 Amateur Draft
2018 Stats: 109 G, 473 PA, 391 AB, 23 2B, 3B, 28 HR, 101 RBI, 0 SB/3 CS, 22.4 K%, 13.7 BB%, .286/.402/.565
Earlier this year, Jeff McNeil and Peter Alonso formed a dynamic duo in Binghamton’s lineup, terrorizing opponent’s pitchers. The pair were promoted to Las Vegas together and while McNeil has found himself in the Majors, Alonso is starting to mash in Vegas. He got off to a slow start for Vegas, but has recently found his stride. He is in the midst of a 18-game on-base streak and he’s hit .365/.429/.770 during that stretch.
His best tool is obviously his power and he’s somehow improved in that area this year, posting a career-high ISO. When he hits baseballs, he hits them hard and out of sight. His prodigious pop was on display during this year’s Future’s Game where he slammed a homer that went 415 feet and 113.6 MPH, according to StatCast. He also has a solid hit tool that profiles him as an everyday first baseman.
The key for him is defense. He’s certainly improved in that area this year though it’s still below average and worth monitoring going forward. It’s possible we see him in Flushing this September to get is feet wet.
No. 3 Justin Dunn, RHP
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 185 lb. Level: St.Lucie Mets/Binghamton Rumble Ponies
B/T: R/R Age: 9/22/95 (22) Age Dif: -1.0
Acquired: Drafted in the First Round of the 2016 Amateur Draft
2018 Stats: 7-7, 2.93 ERA, 19 G, 19 GS, 107.1 IP, 120 K, 36 BB, 1.267 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, 10.1 K/9
Coming off a brutal 2017 campaign where he posted horrific numbers and was shut down in early August, Justin Dunn’s prospect luster was certainly on the verge of cratering. His velocity was down, and there was legitimate concern that he’d never develop into the ace the Mets envisioned him to be. However, he’s rebounded with a year that’s elevated him to the top of Mets pitching farmhands.
He began the year repeating St. Lucie, but quickly showed he could retire hitters at that level, thus earning a promotion to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in June. He’s used this year to blossom back into a successful starter.
Dunn has four pitches that he will throw in games. His fastball sits in the mid-90’s and touched 99 in college as a reliever. His slider has extremely effective this season and he’s also used a two-seam fastball with good late life. His changeup needs to be more consistent to take his potential to the next level.
In Mets system that lacks healthy, effective front-line starting pitchers, Dunn is looking like the outlier. He has a similar timeline to Gimenez and so, it’s entirely possible he pitches for the Mets in 2019.
No. 2 Jarred Kelenic, OF
Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 196 lb. Level: GCL Mets/Kingsport Mets
B/T: L/L Age: 7/6/99 (19) Age Dif: -1.7/-2.3
Acquired: Drafted in the First Round of the 2018 Amateur Draft
2018 Stats: 40 G, 177 PA, 153 AB, 6 2B, 5 3B, 4 HR, 26 RBI, 11 SB/1 CS, 20.3 K%, 11.9 BB%, .242/.339/.425
The Mets were miserable last year which gave them a high pick in 2018 that they used on what many considered to be the most polished high-school bat in the draft, Jarred Kelenic. Even though Kelenic is from Wisconsin, the Mets found his offensive potential, his cannon of an arm, and his mature approach too good to pass up on.
Despite the fact Kelenic never played for his high school baseball team, he was still ranked by MLB.com to be top high-school hitter nationwide. He dominated both his travel ball opponents and his American 18U team.
The recently turned 19-year-old Kelenic already displays a tremendous aptitude for hitting. He knows how to barrel up the ball and isn’t too aggressive at the plate. He draws walks at a fine clip and shows plenty of raw power. However, his best tool is his arm. He’s shown the ability to throw darts to home from the outfield.
It’s been a mixed bag for the 19-year-old so far in pro-ball. He was assigned to the GCL Mets after being drafted and he quickly showed the Gulf Coast League wasn’t enough of a challenge. The Mets aggressively promoted to him to Kingsport, where’s he’s hit a bit of a funk. That being said, he’s still getting on base at a quality clip and has been utilizing his speed in route to 11 stolen bases. Despite his current slump, he’s still a teenager who has potential to develop into an All-Star.
No. 1 Andres Gimenez, SS
Ht: 5’11″ Wt: 161 lb. Level: St.Lucie Mets
B/T: L/R Age: 9/4/98 (19) Age Dif: -3.4/-5.3
Acquired: IFA from Venezuela for $1.2M bonus (7/2/15)
2018 Stats: 102 G, 421 PA, 367 AB, 26 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR, 38 RBI, 32 SB/11 CS, 19.0 K%, 6.4 BB%, .286/.356/.428
Gimenez has made a steady journey up the Mets minor-league ranks. Currently excelling at a level where he’s five years younger than the average player, the Venezuelan-born player has been named by every prospect pundit to be the Mets top prospect and top 100 in baseball.
As a 19-year-old, he has an extremely advanced skill set for someone his age. His smooth, compact lefty swing allows him to make consistent, hard contact. Although power will never be a huge part of his game, he’s improved upon that aspect this year by posting the best ISO of his career. As his body continues to develop, he’s expected to grow into a little more pop. His offensive profile is enhanced by above-average speed. Before his well-deserved promotion to Binghamton this year, he led the Florida State League in stolen bases.
Even though he started his pro career at shortstop, his path to Queens is blocked by Amed Rosario. He’s a gifted defender whose strong arm and talented defensive instincts suit him well for the middle-infield. He does have experience already at second base as well.
He profiles as an everyday, top-of-the-order table-setter. The Mets have promoted him aggressively so far, and it’s not out the question that we’ll see him in Citi Field next year.