Francisco Alvarez
Ron Chenoy | USA TODAY Sports

Keith Law is higher on the Mets’ future than others.

On Monday, Keith Law released his updated top 100 prospect rankings at The Athletic. Here’s what he had to say about the New York Mets‘ players who made his list.

8. Francisco Álvarez, C

Previous Ranking: 19
Comments:Álvarez was so good in Low-A St. Lucie to start the year that the Mets bumped him up to High A after just 15 games, even though he was just 19. He then hit .247/.351/.538 as the youngest regular anywhere in High A last year, making him one of the most productive hitters at that level, with a strikeout rate right around the median. Álvarez’s swing is easy and quick — his hand acceleration is great, and he’s very balanced from when he starts moving his hands through contact. And he’s a catcher with a plus arm and at least adequate/fringy receiving already, but enough agility to improve back there with more reps. He has 20-plus homer power already, with 30-plus in his near-term outlook, and he’s going to hit for higher averages once he’s no longer the youngest player at his level. The only knock on Álvarez’s upside is that he has a more mature body than some of the other catching prospects of his age around the game, so he may not have much more power coming to him, but the response is that he has plus game power already, and if this is all there ever is, so what? He could be as mobile as a statue and still be an above-average regular for a catcher with — dare I say it — a Mike Piazza-like upside if his bat keeps improving.

40. Ronny Mauricio, SS

Previous Ranking: 32
Comments:Mauricio signed with the Mets for $2.1 million back in 2017, and had a fairly quiet full-season debut in Low A in 2019, hitting .268/.307/.357 with just four home runs. He came back from the pandemic stronger, and it showed in his production, as he hit 20 homers in 453 plate appearances last year, mostly in High A. And I think that’s just the beginning for his power potential. A true switch-hitter, Mauricio has loose, quick wrists, and generates surprising power from his wiry frame because of his bat speed and the strength he already has in his forearms. I don’t think he’s going to stay at shortstop; for one thing, his defense there is too erratic, and for another, he’s got a lot of room to add muscle and has already grown quite a bit in height and weight since he signed. He reminds me a lot of a young Alfonso Soriano, who never got that big but hit 30-plus homers seven times in the majors and 412 in his career, and who did move off shortstop even when he was still an above-average runner. The Mets would probably be thrilled with that outcome.

41. Brett Baty, 3B

Previous Ranking: “Just missed”
Comments:Baty was a controversial first-round pick from a data perspective because he was 19 1/2 on draft day, exceptionally old for a high-school hitter. He could flat-out hit, though, and had huge power from his 6-3 frame, so the Mets took him with the 12th pick. Baty mashed last year in High A at 21, and continued to hit in Double A and the Arizona Fall League (where everyone hit, though — you actually hit .285 there last year), with less power than expected but strong walk and contact rates. He hit the ball on the ground too often last year, but that’s one of the easiest flaws for player development staffs to fix. And Baty hits the ball hard enough that once the Mets get him lifting the ball a little more often, he’s going to end up with 25-plus homers; Vlad Guerrero Jr. used to hit the ball on the ground too often, too. Baty has worked hard to maintain his conditioning, slimming down a little since high school, when it looked like he’d end up too big to play anywhere but first. At this point, it’s no worse than even money that he’ll stay at third for the near future, unless he just gets pushed off by a plus defender down the line. He has the core ingredients for an impact bat who hits for average, gets on base, and has doubles and home run power, and any concerns about his age are over.

71. Mark Vientos, 3B

Previous Rankings: Unranked
Comments:Vientos returns to the top 100 after a two-year absence after a breakout year in Double A, hitting .281/.346/.580 for Binghamton before hitting three homers in 11 games to finish the year in Triple A. He did strike out more than you’d like, 29 percent of the time, but his pitch recognition and strike zone awareness are better than his strikeout and walk rates imply, as the Mets have worked on getting him to be more selective in the zone and focus on pitches where he can do the most damage. His exit velocities have consistently been among the best in the Mets’ system, and he projects to be a 30-35 homer guy in the next few years. Even though he’s transformed his body since he was an amateur, he may not stay at third base, and first base would put a big dent in his prospect value, so the Mets have started trying him a little bit in left field; the early returns weren’t great, but if he can be a 45 defender there, his bat will carry him. If he manages to hold on at third, he could be a four-win player.

100. Alex Ramirez, OF

Previous Ranking: Unranked
Comments:Ramirez signed for $2.05 million in July of 2019, and made his pro debut in 2021 as one of only two 18-year-olds in the Low-A Southeast League. He was slightly overmatched at the plate, but showed incredible defensive skills in centerfield with great reads and plus speed, and flashed what should be grade 60 or even 70 power when he fills out. He’s 6-3 and still close to the 168 pounds he was when he first signed, although he’s likely to put on 25-30 pounds of muscle as he fills out. It’ll come down to control of the strike zone, as with so many young hitters; if he shows he can do it enough to get to the power, he’ll be a plus-plus defender in centerfield who hits 25-30 homers a year.

Tab has written about MLB, the NHL and the NFL for more than a decade for publications including The Fourth Period, Bleacher Report and La Vida Baseball. He is the author of two books about the Chicago Blackhawks and has been credentialed for the MLB All-Star Game and postseason and multiple Stanley Cup Finals. He is the co-host of the Line Drive Radio podcast.