Disclaimer: This is a ranking of the best players that I saw during the 2018 season. I saw a wide cross-section of teams in 2018, seeing the Kingsport Mets, Brooklyn Cyclones, Columbia Fireflies, and Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but I did not see the GCL Mets, St. Lucie Mets, or Las Vegas 51s, nor did I attend every single game of the teams that I did see. As such, this is not a comprehensive Mets prospect list. If a player is not on the list, I either did not see him, or considered the listed ten players better.
Name: Jose Moreno
Team: Kingsport Mets
Born: 7/31/96 (22)
Weight: 165 lbs.
Acquired: IFA, July 2, 2014 (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
2018 Season: 8 G (2 GS), 19.2 IP, 11 H, 9 R, 9 ER (4.12 ERA), 8 BB, 26 K, 1 HBP, 1 BLK, 5 WP, .238 BABIP (Rookie)
Date(s) Seen: August 16 @ Pulaski (1.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 BLK, 2 WP)
On July 31, 1996, a pair of twins were born in Santo Domingo. Jose and Angel Moreno would both go on to play baseball, with Angel singing with the Tampa Bay Rays as a 16-year-old in October 2012 and Jose signing with the Mets as a 17-year-old in July 2014. Jose spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons in the Dominican Summer League but missed the entire 2016 season due to injury. He returned to the field in 2017, pitching in a handful of games with the DSL Mets before making his stateside debut with the GCL Mets. He didn’t show much rust, as he posted a 2.49 ERA in 21.2 innings with the DSL team and a 3.12 ERA in 40.1 innings with the GCL team. Moreno was promoted to the Kingsport Mets in 2018 and was named their opening day starter. He would be primarily used in relief, and posted a 4.12 ERA in 19.2 innings, allowing 11 hits, walking 8, and striking out 26.
The lanky Moreno is a tall-and-fall thrower, using a three-quarters arm slot. He has an extremely live arm, possessing a fastball that ranges anywhere between 93-100 MPH, generally settling in around 96-98 MPH. Moreno’s frame is still very thin and there is room for him to fill in more, potentially adding even more velocity to the pitch. In addition to velocity, it also has some run thanks to arm slot. He complements the pitch with a 78-83 MPH slider that features sharp drop.
Looking To 2019
With the exception of two outings- one of which was opening day- Moreno was used exclusively as a relief pitcher. Given his relatively advanced age and the stuff that he has, the right-hander should be pushed aggressively. I would like to see Moreno start the year in the Columbia Fireflies bullpen, skipping Brooklyn completely.