The New York Mets made a big splash on MLB‘s unofficial “International Signing Day,” reaching an agreement with 16-year-old shortstop Ronny Mauricio from the Dominican Republic.

The signing wasn’t necessarily a surprise, as the Mets were considered the favorites to land him, according to Baseball America‘s Ben Badler.

Badler had a slightly higher opinion of Mauricio than MLB.com’s Prospect Pipeline, ranking the tall, lanky teen as the second-best shortstop and third-best overall prospect in this year’s class of international talent.

A switch-hitter, Mauricio has already shown the ability to make consistent contact from both sides of the plate. While he offers little in the way of power, that should come as he continues to add bulk to his 6’0″, 160-pound frame.

He’s smooth defensively with the instincts, lateral range and arm strength to stick at shortstop. But he could also find himself playing elsewhere, perhaps third base, depending on how the Mets view their future needs.

Mauricio is still incredibly raw and years away from potentially contributing in the majors. But he has all the tools a team looks for and it’s hard not to get excited about the kind of player he could develop into one day.

After all, Amed Rosario, the team’s top prospect and a player that fans have been clamoring for, joined the organization in similar fashion, signing as an international free agent back in 2012.

Could Mauricio be the next Rosario? Only time will tell.

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Rick Weiner

I’ve been dunked on by Shaq and yelled at by Mickey Mantle. ESNY Editor In Chief. UMass alum. Former National Columnist w/Bleacher Report & former member of NY Knicks Basketball Ops department. Nephew of Rock & Roll Royalty.