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Think of New York Mets prospects, and a few names automatically come to mind.

Outfielder Drew Gilbert is one. His feisty, aggressive approach to his whole game is reminiscent of former Yankees scrapper Brett Gardner. Infielder Jett Williams, similarly, could be Jose Altuve Part II if he keeps improving his game.

There’s still plenty of excitement about Ronny Mauricio, even as he sits out 2024 with a torn ACL.

And then at No. 1, sitting atop the Mets’ top prospects list, is Luisangel Acuña. Yes, he’s related to a reigning MVP who plays down in Atlanta. The younger Acuña hasn’t been a Met long, only coming to New York last summer from Texas in the Max Scherzer trade. However, his size, skills, and speed are turning more than a few heads.

So many, in fact, that Luisangel Acuña could very well arrive in Flushing this year.

Keep in mind, this isn’t to say that Luisangel Acuña will crack the Opening Day lineup immediately with a strong spring training. Quite the opposite, in fact. Given his upside, it behooves the Mets to let him develop more both in spring camp and in the minors. That doesn’t mean move slower than Yankees general manager Brian Cashman does with his prospects, but I digress.

Let’s start with the bare numbers. Acuña is smaller than brother Ronald at 5-foot-8, 180 pounds and a middle infielder. He spent all of last year in Double-A across the Rangers and Mets organizations and did pretty well. Acuña hit .294 with nine home runs, 63 RBI, and 57 stolen bases.

Acuña did a good job drawing walks as well and isnt overly prone to strikeouts, though he does reportedly chase more than a few bad pitches. He’s proven able to handle the fielding demands at shortstop as well as second base.

This is where things get complicated for Luisangel Acuña and his eventual Mets debut. It’s not a matter of when he debuts for the Mets, but rather where. Francisco Lindor is the no-doubt shortstop. Jeff McNeil’s versatility leaves room for Acuña at second base, but without consistent at-bats.

There’s always the possibility of Brett Baty struggling enough to be benched and McNeil moves to third. That leaves center field as the best fit, given his speed, but cue the newly-signed Harrison Bader. His elite glove in center is such that his hitting would need to be atrocious for Acuña to supplant him. And even then, the Mets can shift Brandon Nimmo over from left field.

The strangest part is the Mets having to play this type of three-dimensional chess with Luisangel Acuña is a good thing. They have time and don’t need to rush a move. He’s starting the year at Triple-A Syracuse anyway, so let him keep developing at multiple positions while the Mets’ MLB roster takes shape.

That lets new president David Stearns watch his team for a couple of months and hope for a clearer answer. Hopefully, it’s one where Acuña dons the orange and blue and becomes a fan favorite at Citi Field.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.