When the Dominican Summer League kicks off over the weekend, a notable name will not be among the players on one of the two DSL Mets squads.
That’s because shortstop Ronny Mauricio, who commanded the largest signing bonus among amateurs in Mets history, will open his first professional season in the Gulf Coast League.
The 17-year-old Mauricio signed for $2.1 million last year on July 2 as part of an impressive signing class that included Adrian Hernandez, Stanley Consuegra, and David Marcano, who will all start in the DSL.
Mauricio reported to Extended Spring Training in Port St. Lucie this March and has been creating quite the buzz among coaches and staff.
Here’s what Baseball America had to say about the teenager in their Prospect Handbook:
Mets international scouts first set eyes on Mauricio at a Dominican Prospect League event. They stuck with him in the months leading up to the 2017 signing period, when the 16-year-old ranked as the No. 3 prospect on the international market but appeared fatigued at times as he showcased daily for teams. The Mets ultimately signed Mauricio for $2.1 million, a franchise record for an international amateur, surpassing Amed Rosario in 2012.
A switch-hitter from a young age with plenty of room to fill out his 6-foot-2 frame, Mauricio could develop into a power-hitting shortstop with the fluid actions to stick there. Direct to the ball despite long limbs, he projects for plus power once he fills out his skinny frame. His effortless stroke is compact, particularly from the left side, and he has good bat-to-ball skills. A below-average runner, Mauricio has smooth actions and good range at shortstop to go with a plus arm. He has solid body control and a strong internal clock, though some scouts project him to third base because of his size and lack of pure speed.
Also debuting stateside in 2018 after time in the DSL will be diminutive infielder Luis Santana, Dutch-born infielder Shervyen Newton, and hard-throwing Michel Otanez, who missed all of 2017 after Tommy John surgery.
The GCL season will begin in late June, following the signing of selections in next week’s draft.