Top Prospects, Tebow Among Invitees to Major League Camp

By Jack Ramsey

January 17, 2019 No comments

Andres Gimenez/Photo by Ed Delany, MMN

The New York Mets announced on Thursday 13 non-roster players that have been invited to major league Spring Training including top prospects 1B Peter Alonso, SS Andres Gimenez, and left-handed pitchers Anthony Kay and David Peterson.

Alonso mashed last season between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas, hitting 36 total home runs and knocking in 119 runs. The 24-year-old hit .285/.395/.579 over 132 games.

The Florida native will get a chance in major league camp to win the first base job according to GM Brodie Van Wagenen.

Peterson, drafted in 2016 out of Oregon, is a crafty left-hander that caught the attention of many last season. He dealt with a dead-arm period in the middle of the season, but finished with a 7-10 record and a 3.16 ERA between Low-A Columbia and Advanced-A St Lucie.

The ground ball specialist had the third highest GB% rate in the minors last season at 64.5%, and his 0.14 HR/9 was fourth among all pitchers with at least 100 innings.

Kay, a former first round pick from UConn, pitched his first complete season in the pros last year. He pitched to a 7-11 record and a 4.26 ERA between Columbia and St. Lucie. He reached up to 96 mph with his fastball and showed off an improved curve despite missing all of 2017 after Tommy John Surgery.

Gimenez saw time between St. Lucie and Binghamton, and hit .281/.347/.409 with 38 stolen bases on his way to being regarded as the team’s best prospect by many. The 20-year-old was recently named to MLB Pipeline’s All-Defense team.

Ryder Ryan/Photo by Ed Delany, MMN

Right-handers Stephen Villines and Ryder Ryan are two bullpen arms invited to keep an eye on.

Villines, sidearmer from 2017 draft, has been incredible in his 94 pro innings. He reached Double-A Binghamton in 2018, and has a career 2.68 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 9.79 SO/W. The 23-year-old has struck out a whopping 137 batters compared to only 14 walks.

Ryan, 23, has a 3.00 ERA and has held opponents to a measly .195 average since coming over from the Cleveland Indians organization in the Jay Bruce trade. He had a 3.57 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 10.0 K/9 between St. Lucie and Binghamton last season.

Catchers Colton Plaia, Patrick Mazeika, and Ali Sanchez will all compete for a potential 40-man spot behind Tomas Nido as catching depth. Right-handed pitchers Joshua Torres and Corey Taylor, and lefty P.J. Conlon were also invited to big league camp.

Heisman winner and Eastern League All-Star Tim Tebow rounds out the list as the only outfielder.

The Mets previously announced veterans LHP Luis Avilan, LHP Hector Santiago, LHP Ryan O’Rourke, RHP Arquimedes Caminero, infielder Dilson Herrera, and outfielders Rymer Liriano, Rajai Davis, and Gregor Blanco were signed to minor league deals with an invitation to major league camp.