Some say the New York Mets have one of the weakest farm systems in baseball. Those people haven’t taken a deep enough look.
Many of the top prospect sites view the New York Mets as a bottom of the barrel farm system. They’re rated as low as 27th in baseball, a ranking that doesn’t seem right.
Considering the team has had four prospects in the top 100 bottom-three in the league is flat-out wrong. That isn’t to say the Mets have one the best farm systems in the league, though at least one MLB executive thinks the Mets have the best farm system in MLB.
When prospect evaluators take a deep dive into the Mets tops prospects they often come away impressed. No, the team doesn’t have much top tier talent close to making a major league impact. That doesn’t mean they don’t have top-end talent in their system.
With that in mind, here’s a look at ESNY’s top-five New York Mets prospects for the 2020 season.
5. Andres Gimenez, SS
Andres Gimenez is a four-tool prospect. He has the hit tool, speed, arm, and defense that any scout looks for. All four of those tools grade out as plus. In fact, he’s an elite defender, maybe the best defensive shortstop in the minors. The issue is that Gimenez lacks impact power. He may never top 10 home runs in a season at the major league level.
Considering the current power state of MLB, Gimenez is considered a weaker prospect. He struggled mightily in AA last season as he dealt with injuries. When he was healthy in the second half of the season, he more than held his own.
Given even more time to rest, Gimenez dominated the Arizona Fall League. He won the AFL batting title to cap off his 2019. That’s the same title New York Yankees‘ shortstop Gleyber Torres won before his breakout 2017 season.
Gimenez is not Torres. That doesn’t mean he’s not a top prospect. Gimenez is a lot like Cincinnati Reds SS Jose Iglesias with better on-base potential. That’s an everyday major leaguer.
4. Brett Baty, 3B
Brett Baty is a three-tool guy. His bat is about as good as it gets for a prep player. He has a plus-hit tool and plus-plus power. He could develop into a true offensive force in the league.
Defensively Baty needs to do a ton of work. Coming into the year many scouts thought Baty was a surefire first baseman. He put in a ton of work to improve his defense at third. It’s no sure bet that he’ll stay there yet, but he’s going to put in the work.
He has a plus arm that helps cover for a lot of his mistakes at third base. If it wasn’t for his fringe-average speed he could play left field.
Baty is similar to Pete Alonso in a lot of ways. A big bat with defensive questions. If the bat comes together the way the Mets hope, they could be getting one of the biggest offensive forces in all of baseball. If that’s the case, nobody is going to care about his defense.
3. Matt Allan, RHP
Although Baty was the New York Mets’ first-round pick in 2019, Matt Allan was the best pick in that draft. Allan came into the 2019 draft as the top prep arm in the class. He fell all the way to the third round due to signability issues.
He was reportedly telling teams it would take $4 million to lure him from his commitment from the University of Florida. The Mets were able to sign him for $2.5 million.
Allan is elite in every facet of the game for his age. He has unbelievable polish at his age. His fastball touches 97 with great movement. The changeup is above average with plus potential. Even his control is above average, which is incredibly rare for high school pitchers.
All of those tools pale in comparison to his curveball. He’s able to manipulate the speed, depth and angle of the pitch at will. It’s three or four different pitches on its own and he’s got control of all of them. That’s unreal at just 18-years-old.
Allan hasn’t been placed in any top-100 lists so far due to his lack of playing time. He made fewer than 10 appearances in 2019. it also doesn’t help his stock among major evaluators that he was drafted in the third round.
Allan has ace potential. He could be the next great New York Mets pitcher. The flip side is that he’s so young that anything could go wrong. There’s no telling what his road to the majors could look like.
2. Francisco Alvarez, C
Francisco Alvarez shot out of nowhere. He was one of the top-10 international free agents in 2018, so he wasn’t a nobody. That said, he wasn’t expected to be a big star. That was supposed to be Dodgers catcher prospect Diego Cartaya.
Then Alvarez stole the show. He made his stateside debut at just 17-years-old and dominated and hit .312/.407/.510 across two leagues in 2019. That was a shock, but he was always supposed to be a bat-first player.
What really caught scouts by surprise was his defense. Alvarez’s defense was supposed to be fringe-average with room to improve. There were questions about him potentially moving to first base. Now, he’s considered a plus defender.
Alvarez is one of the most exciting prospects in baseball. There are so few elite catching prospects that when one comes about they’re worth their weight in gold.
Alvarez is going to get his first taste of full-season ball in 2020. He’ll do so at just 18-years-old. The last Mets’ prospect to do that is next on this list.
The sky’s the limit for Alvarez. He could be the next great catcher in MLB. The only caution here is age and playtime. He’s only played one season and he’s only 18. There’s a long road before he hits the majors, so anything can happen.
It’s just hard not to be overly excited for Alvarez. This time next year he could be a top 30 or higher prospect in baseball.
1. Ronny Mauricio, SS
Ronny Mauricio has the potential to be a Carlos Correa/Francisco Lindor type generational shortstop. He has true five-tool potential and at just 19-years-old that’s all a prospect needs.
Mauricio made his full-season debut in 2019. It didn’t go as well as many hoped, but it didn’t go poorly. He held his own and that’s okay. Amed Rosario did the same at the same level, so did Lindor. It’s about learning to make adjustments while they grow into their bodies.
The biggest concern right now is that Mauricio is a free swinger at the plate. That’s led to a ton of strikeouts and not a lot of walks. Outside of that everything is going as one would expect.
Some are disappointed by Mauricio’s power output, but he’s still growing into his body. He’s 6-foot-3, but only 166 pounds. The power will come as he fills out.
Mauricio is almost entirely projection at this point. That’s more than enough for this ranking. There’s so much potential to dream on with Mauricio that’s it would be impossible to put anyone in front of him.