ronny mauricio mets
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At the start of the 2023 regular season, the Mets’ Triple-A lineup in Syracuse was absolutely loaded. While Francisco Alvarez and Brett Baty are no longer there, Mark Vientos and Ronny Mauricio still are. And they’re tearing apart opposing pitching at every opportunity.

Mauricio, who just turned 22 years old, has been firing on all cylinders in the batter’s box for quite some time. He won Dominican Winter League MVP honors after hitting .287/.335/.468 with five homers, 15 doubles, two triples, 31 RBI, 26 runs scored, and 10 steals in 203 plate appearances.

He rolled right into Port St. Lucie for spring training, picking up where he left off. Mauricio posted a .922 OPS while displaying some incredible power en route to slugging four homers and eight RBI in Grapefruit League action. Through his first 16 games in Triple-A, he’s slashing .355/.403/.790. These numbers include 14 extra-base hits (seven doubles, one triple, six homers), 14 RBI, and 13 runs scored.

When he began terrorizing opposing pitchers in winter ball, I initially thought he was just building his trade value. But his development has been so drastic and eye-opening that like many Mets fans, I’d like to see him eventually make landfall in Queens. There’s one (small, I think) problem, though — the position in which he plays.

Mauricio has been playing shortstop for virtually all of his professional baseball career. That position is obviously filled for the foreseeable future thanks to Francisco Lindor. Jeff McNeil can play the outfield, but he’s the primary second baseman. And if all goes well with Baty, he’s the long-term answer at the hot corner. I’m not even going to mention first base because if Pete Alonso isn’t there for years to come, we’re going to have a problem.

There’s some thought that Mauricio’s profile/skill set could translate well to the outfield. Based on how the Mets are currently constructed at the big-league level, switching positions is his best shot at playing for the Amazins in the future.

But so far with Syracuse this season, Mauricio has played 15 games at shortstop, along with appearing as a designated hitter once. So, what gives? Even if New York doesn’t see him making a huge MLB contribution in 2023, more time to adjust to a new position is probably best, isn’t it?

After thinking about it for a bit, I’ve come up with the following thoughts to speculate why Mauricio is still playing shortstop every day in Triple-A:

– Billy Eppler and Co. don’t see him as part of the Mets’ future one bit. So, they’d rather maximize his value ahead of the trade deadline.

– They’re kicking the can down the road, so to speak. The Mets could be keeping him at shortstop right now to maximize potential trade value. But maybe they’d prefer to hold onto him in an ideal world. If he’s still with the organization after the deadline, that’s when they’d start experimenting more regularly in the outfield/other positions.

– They’d rather him stick at his natural position. Once the time comes, he could slot in as the Mets’ primary designated hitter while still playing some infield.

Of these three scenarios, I think the last one feels the least realistic. My guess would be it’s one of the first two (or some form of them). There doesn’t seem to be a legitimately good reason why Mauricio isn’t at least dipping his toe in the proverbial water when it comes to different defensive positions.

You’d have to think the Mets have a plan in their minds about the top prospect’s future with the club. I hope we see Mauricio make landfall in the majors with the Mets. It doesn’t feel like the possibility of that is too high at the moment, though.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.