10. Wuilmer Becerra, RF
Height: 6'3”, Weight: 225 lbs.
DOB: 10/1/1994 (22)
Acquired: Trade, 2012 (Toronto Blue Jays)
2016: St. Lucie (High-A): 65 G, 263 PA, .312/.341/.393, 1 HR, 7/8 SB, 19.8 strikeout rate, 3.4 walk rate
Wuilmer Becerra had a strong showing with the Savannah Sand Gnats in 2015, posting above-average numbers in an extreme pitcher’s park against older competition, and he looked to be in for a big breakout in 2016 with the St. Lucie Mets. But for some reason, something did not click.
Though his offensive output was still above league average, the right fielder stopped hitting for power, and that is a major red flag. Some of the lack of power can be attributed to a partially torn labrum sustained during spring training, which bothered him for the entire year and eventually necessitated season-ending shoulder surgery in late July, but Becerra’s lack of power goes back further than the 2016 season. The right fielder slugged .480 with eight home runs in 65 games during the first half of 2015, and then slugged .355 with one home run in 53 games during the second half of the season. The power drought roughly coincides with changes to his batting stance, as well, as Mets coaches widened his stance.
Outside of the questions regarding Becerra’s power, the Venezuelan outfielder remains an intriguing prospect with high upside. His swing is mechanically sound, and his hit tool may be better than many believed. He possesses above-average speed, and an above-average arm. Without the power, Becerra may have a fringe major league future, but he’ll have to manifest it in order to be considered something more than that.
The optimistic view on Becerra is that he will eventually develop into average regular in a corner outfield position. He does look the part at 6’3”, 225 pounds. He’s athletic and can play solid defense. The problem is that he hasn’t quite put it together with the bat yet. He did hit in St. Lucie last year, but he sacrificed all power to do so. Maybe we can blame that on his injured shoulder. Either way, 2017 feels like a make or break season for Becerra. His presence on the 40-man roster means he will need to show something more than promise this year.
Another Met prospect with a shoulder issue, Becerra had a very odd season before finally going under the knife in the middle of the summer. His power dried up which is unsurprising given the injury, but he was able to raise his batting average with a more aggressive approach. The tools are still here for the traditional right field masher, but the clock is ticking on Becerra, as he’ll be closing in on 23 and repeating High-A in 2017.
Until his power suddenly dried up, Becerra was looking like the steal of the R.A. Dickey for Noah Syndergaard/Travis d’Arnaud trade. The shoulder issue certainly has complicated matters, but Becerra’s problems go back further than that, to the second half of the 2015 season. Everything else in the Venezuelan’s profile screams out prototypical right fielder, so it is imperative that his power return so that he can fit the part going forward.