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The 11 best Mets minor league hitters I saw this year: 8, Andres Regnault

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Counting down the best minor league hitters I saw in 2019.

Andres Regnault
Steve Sypa

Team: Kingsport Mets

Position: C/DH

Born: 12/21/98 (20)

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 250 lbs.

Bats/Throws: R/R

Acquired: IFA, July 24, 2015 (Caracas, Venezuela)

2019 Season: 44 G, 178 G, .292/.328/.489, 64 H, 11 2B, 0 3B, 8 HR, 8 BB, 36 K, 0/2, .321 BABIP (Rookie)

Date(s) Seen: August 13 (1-4, K), August 14 (1-4, RBI, K), August 16, (1-3, 2 RBI, K) August 17 (1-3, 2 R, 2B, 2 BB, K)

The Man

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, 16-year-old Andres Regnault was not considered a highly regarded international prospect, and as such, he signed with the Mets a few weeks into the 2015-2016 international free agent signing period. He did not suit up professionally until 2016, when the Mets assigned him to their Dominican Summer League team. He appeared in 39 games and hit an underwhelming .132/.264/.160. The Mets had him stay in the Dominican Republic in 2017, and the 18-year-old hit an improved .270/.359/.383. Treating the young backstop very conservatively, the Mets kept Regnault in the Dominican Summer League for a third year in a row. Now 19-years-old, he hit .333/.420/.573, finishing seventh in the league in OPS.

The Mets could not ignore his success and brought him stateside for the 2019 season. Along with Francisco Alvarez and Wilfred Astudillo, Andres Regnault has split catching duties for the Kingsport Mets at roughly a 33% timeshare and ended up hitting .292/.328/.489 in 44 games.

The Player

At the plate, Regnault stands slightly closed with his hands held high. Using a leg kick and a big hand load, Regnault is able to generate good bat speed and a decent amount of power. He has a fair eye and has been able to limit the strikeouts thus far in his career, but he does not walk at a particularly high rate.

Defensively, Regnault is the least defensive oriented of Kingsport’s three catchers. At 6’0”, 250-pounds, Regnault is considerably bigger than the 5’11”, 220-pound Alvarez and the 5’11”, 210-pound Astudillo. As such, he does not move as well behind the plate as the other two. While he does not excel at this aspect of catching, he has a strong, accurate arm.

Looking To 2020

Regnault finds himself in an unenviable situation, as he is at roughly the same developmental level as one of the Mets’ top prospects and another solid organizational catcher like himself who deserves playing time. Given the fact that the Mets will likely attempt to push Alvarez, I expect Regnault to begin the 2020 season in Brooklyn, splitting playing time with Wilfred Astudillo. Regnault will need to be added to the Mets’ 40-man roster in order to be protected from being selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

The List

9: Hansel Moreno

10: Wilmer Reyes

11: Luke Ritter