Name: Pete Crow-Armstrong
Weight: 180 lbs.
Acquired: 2020 MLB Draft, 1st Round (Harvard-Westlake School)
The son of actress Ashley Crow and actor Matthew John Armstrong, Pete Crow-Armstrong was far from a baseball prodigy as a child. He grew up like many other American boys, playing little league, but he and his family approached the game as just that: a game. It was not until 2014, when his little league coach suggested that he attend the Under-12 United States National Baseball Team tryout in Los Angeles, that he even began entertaining the idea that baseball could be more than just a game. He attended the tryout and made the U-12 United States National Baseball Team, starting a journey that would see him compete in baseball tournaments all over the world. In 2017, he began attending the Harvard-Westlake School, a prestigious a co-ed college preparatory school in Los Angeles that has produced major leaguers Brennan Boesch, Jack Flaherty, Max Fried, Lucas Giolito, Josh Satin, Nik Turley, and Austin Wilson. Between his time playing for Harvard-Westlake and his time playing for the U.S. National Baseball Team, the outfielder would play with some of the best players in the U.S. against not only some of the best players in the U.S. but some of the best players in the world. The Mets selected Pete Crow-Armstrong in the first-round of the 2020 MLB Draft, the 19th player selected overall. He signed with the team for a $3.36 signing bonus, the exact slot value assigned by Major League Baseball.
At the plate, Pete Crow-Armstrong stands slightly open, holding his hands high and wrapping his bat behind his head. He swings with a slight leg kick, using an easy, low-effort, contact-oriented left-handed swing that has registered exit velocities as high as 99 MPH. He hits left-handers and right-handers equally well, spraying line drives across the entire field. He is currently a hit-over-power player, slashing balls away or hitting them back up the middle, though he does show pull-side pop. At 6’1”, 180-pounds, he will likely add muscle to his frame in the years to come, but just how much power he will be able to add is a question that has scouts and evaluators split; some see him as possessing below-average power in the future, while others believe that whatever raw power he does add will be augmented by slight mechanical alterations that will improve his in-game power, such as keeping his weight back and using more of his body in his swing. He demonstrates excellent plate awareness, with a good understanding of the strike zone and a burgeoning eye for recognizing spin.
While there are questions about his offensive potential, there are no questions about his defensive potential. Not only does Crow-Armstrong play center field, but he excels at virtually every aspect of the position. He reads the ball well off the bat and shows an advanced understanding of routes. A plus runner, he effortlessly glides around the outfield, showing a great deal of range. He releases the ball quickly, and his arm is above-average in terms of arm strength and accuracy. He is vocal and a leader among his fellow outfielders, taking charge and directing traffic.
Name: Brett Baty
Weight: 210 lbs.
Acquired: 2019 MLB Draft, 1st Round (Lake Travis High School)
When Brett Baty started attending Lake Travis High School, the coaches of their baseball, basketball, and football teams all licked their lips- especially their basketball coach, who just happened to be Baty’s father. Because Baty was held back a year while in the fifth grade, Baty had a leg up on his peers athletically and was more physically developed. He excelled in all three sports, and all three coaches could see Baty leading Lake Travis High to championships, but by the time he entered his senior year, he had abandoned all other sports in favor of baseball. Helping lead the Cavaliers to a 37-4 record and the Class 6A regional tournament, Baty appeared in 39 games through draft day and hit hit .602/.737/1.306 with 49 walks, 9 strikeouts, 19 home runs, and 10 stolen bases. In addition, he spent time on the mound once again, posting a 0.92 ERA in 53.0 innings pitched, allowing 29 hits, walking 12, and striking out 96.
With their first-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, the Mets selected Baty, the twelfth player selected overall. He eventually signed for $3.9 million, $466,000 below slot and was assigned to the GCL Mets. His time there was brief, but productive, as he hit .350/.480/.650 in five games. He was then moved up to the Kingsport Mets, where he spent the majority of the season. In 42 games in the Appalachian League, Baty hit .222/.339/.437 with six home runs. In the final week of the season, he got a token promotion to Brooklyn, where he hit .200/.529/.300 in four games and went 3-9 in their playoff run. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, he did not get to play in 2020, but he was invited to the Coney Island alternate site and the fall instructional league, where he impressed many in the organization.
At the plate, Baty has a wide base, setting his hands up high and close to his body. Using a moderate leg kick and stride, the ball jumps off his bat with a crack when he makes solid contact. His swing is smooth and easy, generating power through a combination of his own raw strength, his quick bat, and the torque from his lower half. He has a natural feel for hitting and is able to use the entire field. He works the count, fouling away pitches, taking close ones, laying off borderline pitches, and generally dueling with the pitcher to get into a favorable count. He is, at times, too passive, and in 2019, hitting coach Mariano Duncan worked with Baty to be a little more aggressive at the plate during his time in Kingsport.
Defensively, Baty is currently capable third baseman. He is an athletic 6’3”, 210-pounds, possessing the body of the prototypical slugging third baseman. His strongest asset there is his arm, which grades out as well above-average and capable of hitting 90 MPH. His mobility is something of a concern, as he lack much quick-twitch muscle. He is slow to react and reach balls, resulting in balls getting past him, or errors when plays are rushed. Evaluators have concern that he will eventually be forced to move off of third base, either to first base or possibly left or right field, though his below-average speed will be of concern in the outfield as well.
Name: Francisco Alvarez
Weight: 220 lbs.
Acquired: IFA, July 2, 2018 (Guatire, Venezuela)
Considered one of the top international rookies in the 2018-2019 class, the Mets pounced on Venezuelan catcher Francisco Alvarez, immediately signing him for a club-high $2.7 million, breaking Ronny Mauricio’s then-record $2.1 million signing bonus. The Mets elected not to have him play professionally that year, instead delaying his professional debut until 2019. The 17-year-old began his year with the GCL Mets but forced a promotion to Kingsport after hitting .462/.548/.846 in seven games. As the youngest player in the league, Alvarez appeared in 35 games for Kingsport, catching 23 and serving as DH in 12, and hit a robust .282/.377/.443. His much-anticipated 2020 season never actually got to happen thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, he did not get to play in 2020, but he was invited to the Coney Island alternate site and the fall instructional league, where he impressed many in the organization.
Alvarez has a very advanced approach at the plate for someone so young. He stands with a wide base, holding the bat high and barring it behind his head. He swings using a toe tap mechanism, generating power from his stocky body and above-average bat speed. The swing itself is loose and flows, and the ball really jumps off his bat when he makes solid contact. His frame is unlikely to fill in much more, but he will likely add more power in the future thanks to refinements in his swing and an improved eye- and as it is, he already a good eye and a fairly patient approach, recognizing spin well and displaying a good sense of the strike zone.
Though a stocky 5’11”, 220-lbs., he is incredibly mobile behind the dish. In the future, his weight may need effort to maintain, but for now, it should be no issue. He is adept at framing and blocking pitches. His arm is above-average, as are his pop times, release and accuracy. He is wise beyond his years, handling his pitching staff well and generally being an energetic gamer and excellent clubhouse presence. He is also tough as nails, taking a beating behind the plate but not letting it stop him getting into games.
Name: Matthew Allan
Weight: 225 lbs.
Acquired: 2019 MLB Draft, 3rd Round (Seminole High School)
After helping lead Seminole High School to its first state championship since, Matthew Allan entered the draft ranked among the best prep pitchers in this year’s class. While not a complete unknown coming into the 2019 season, Matthew Allan wasn’t exactly at the top of the draft boards. Thanks to a strong showcase on the summer circuit in 2018 and then an excellent spring- which included a perfect game- Allan rocketed up the draft boards. While his talent on the mound was undeniable, a strong commitment to the University of Florida and other concerns scared teams away from drafting him in the early rounds of the 2019 MLB Draft. After Allan ended up going unselected on the first night of the 2019 MLB Draft, Marc Tramuta and Tommy Tanous had a long night ahead of them, making phone calls and carefully planning how they would navigate day two of the draft. When the it came the Mets’ turn to select when the second day of the draft began, they selected Allan with their third-round pick, the 89th selection overall. The Mets drafted inexpensive college seniors for the rest of day two in order to save money in their bonus pool, and the two sides eventually agreed to a $2.5 million signing bonus, almost the $667,900 above the assigned slot bonus.
The right-hander was assigned to the GCL Mets to start his professional career. There, he posted a 1.08 ERA in 8.1 innings, allowing 5 hits, walking 4, and striking out 11. Shortly after the GCL season came to a premature close due to the threat of Hurricane Dorian, the Mets promoted Allan to the Brooklyn Cyclones, to get him some more work and to help bolster the Cyclones’ pitching staff as they sought to secure a playoff spot. Allan debuted for the Cyclones against the Staten Island Yankees in their last series of the season, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk over two innings, striking out three. The Cyclones clinched a postseason berth a few days later, and Allan played an important role in their playoff run, throwing five perfect innings with two strikeouts in two multi-inning relief appearances, including the winner-take-all championship series game three. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, he did not get to play in 2020, but he was invited to the Coney Island alternate site and the fall instructional league, where he impressed many in the organization.
Throwing from a three-quarters arm slot with a high leg kick, Allan has fluid, effortless mechanics and a strong, durable frame, which should allow him the ability to soak up innings in the future. At 6’3”, 225-pounds, he is mostly filled in, but there may still be a bit of room left in his frame to add muscle. He periodically has control problems related to his arm action in the back, but Allan is otherwise mechanically sound.
His fastball lives in the mid-90s, sitting 94-95 with the ability to top out at 97 MPH. Combined with the arm-side run it exhibits, the pitch is almost certainly an above-average pitch currently, with the ability to improve. The right-hander is able to command it well, spotting it to all four quadrants of the strike zone. Complementing his fastball is a curveball and changeup, the former of which is his best offering at present. Sitting in the high-70s-to-low-70s with sharp 11-5 break, Allan’s curveball was one of the best in the entire 2019 MLB Draft class. He has an excellent feel for it and is able to command it, peppering it in the strike zone and burying it to get batters fishing. Like his fastball, the pitch is an above-average offering at the present, with the potential to improve. His changeup lags behind his other pitches in its development, but it shows considerable promise. Sitting 85-87 MPH, when the pitch is working, it features arm-side tumble and fade; when it is not, it stays firm and loses its vertical drop. The pitch currently is fringe-average, but has the potential to be an average or better pitch in the future.
Name: Ronny Mauricio
Weight: 165 lbs.
Acquired: IFA, July 2, 2017 (San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic)
Considered one of the top rookies available during the 2017-2018 international signing period, the Mets and Dominican shortstop Ronny Mauricio agreed to a $2.1 million signing bonus for inking a deal with the organization, breaking the club record previously held by fellow Dominican shortstop Amed Rosario. The talented youngster made his professional debut in 2018, suiting up for the GCL Mets and getting into 49 games down in Florida, hitting .279/.307/.421. The 17-year-old was promoted to the Kingsport Mets to end the season and got into 8 games for them, hitting .233/.286/.333. The Mets were aggressive with Mauricio in 2019, promoting him to Columbia for the season. Though he clearly tired as the season went on, the shortstop held his own, hitting .268/.307/.357 in 116 games, .290/.333/.394 in 59 games in the first half and .244/.280/.320 in 56 games in the second half. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, he did not get to play in 2020, but he was invited to the Coney Island alternate site and the fall instructional league, where he impressed many in the organization.
The switch-hitting Mauricio oozes potential, from his physical presence to his baseball tools. The 18-year-old is 6’3”, 165 lbs. with a leggy, athletic frame, suggesting that he will grow and add muscle in the years to come. Standing slightly open, holding his hands high, Mauricio has a quick, whippy, level stroke from both sides of the plate, possessing above-average bat speed. As is the case with young switch hitters, his platoon splits reversed themselves; in 2018, he hit for a better average and more power as a left-hander batter, and in 2019, he hit for a better average and for more power as a right-handed batter. The potential for both his ability to hit for average and to hit for power are high, though obviously a lot of it- especially the ability to hit for power- is projection at this point. Should both develop, Mauricio has the potential to be a white whale- a player who hits for a high average and power while playing an excellent shortstop.
On the field, he reads the ball well off the bat and shows good reaction times and instincts. He has soft hands, has a quick transfer, and possesses a plus arm. His footspeed is below average, but his range does not suffer much because of his quick reactions and instincts. There is concern that he might put on too much muscle as his body matures, forcing him off shortstop, but as long as he remains athletic and agile, he should be able to stick at short.