Team: Kingsport Mets
Born: 7/31/00 (18)
Weight: 195 lbs.
Acquired: 2018 MLB Draft, 22nd Round
2019 Season: 62 G, 242 AB, .260/.344/.413, 12 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 31 BB, 108 K, 1/4 SB, .434 BABIP (Rookie)
Canarsie native Jaylen Palmer attended Holy Cross High School over in Flushing, about 15 minutes over from Citi Field. His first few years in high school were relatively unremarkable, but a massive growth spurt changed all of that. He began his 2016 sophomore year a scrawny, 5’5”, 150-pound undersized middle infielder and returned in 2017, his junior year, a 6’3”, 195-pound athlete. That year, he hit .308/.439/.371 in 28 games for the Holy Cross Knights, getting the attention of major league scouts. He was even better in his senior year, hitting .286/.511/.476 in 24 games this past season. With their twenty-second selection in the 2018 MLB Draft, the Mets selected Palmer, signing him for $200,000. The 17-year-old was assigned to the GCL Mets for the remainder of the 2018 season and hit .310/.394/.414 in 25 games, slugging a lone home run and stealing five bases. He was promoted to the Kingsport Mets for the 2019 season, and as the fourth-youngest hitters in the Appalachian League hit .260/.344/.413 in 62 games, launching seven homers and stealing one base.
The tall, leggy Palmer holds his hands high, swinging with a big leg kick. His swing is smooth and flows well, but because of the length and loft in it, he is currently susceptible to swinging over pitches and striking out. His bat speed is above average, allowing him to stay back on pitches and swing at the last moment. His bat speed gives him a bit of pop as well.
Palmer has good range in the infield and a strong, accurate arm, giving him the ability to play shortstop and third base, position he handled with equal aplomb in 2019. Thanks to his above-average speed and overall athleticism, if his body continues growing and he loses some of his quick twitch muscle and agility, he has all of the tools needed to hunt down fly balls in the outfield. Though he has no real experience there, Palmer is an extremely hard worker and would no doubt pick up the position with ease.
Looking To 2020
Palmer struck out at an alarming rate, but outside of that, his 2019 season was a success. He hit for a solid average, hit for power, and played solid defense at both third base and shortstop. If the Mets are looking to be aggressive with the 19-year-old Palmer, he will be assigned to Low-A Columbia. If they want to hold him back a bit and let him work on his swing, Brooklyn may be the better place for him to work things out.
7: Shervyen Newton
8: Andres Regnault
9: Hansel Moreno
10: Wilmer Reyes
11: Luke Ritter