The season is roughly 1/3 over and the big club is absolutely killing it.
But we’re Mets fans. We worry. We worry about yesterday, we worry about today and if those are going well we scour the sky for dark clouds in the future.
So how does the future look? Heading into the 2022 season our farm system was considered strong at the top but not very deep. How are those top guys doing? Here’s a look at the hitters at roughly the 1/3 mark.
After an abysmal slump Francisco Alvarez is back and striking fear into the hearts of AA pitching. I still argue we shouldn’t even talk about seeing him in Queens until late 2023 at the earliest for a simple reason: A historical look at the five best catchers of the past 50 years show most guys didn’t debut until later and all started slowly. They didn’t become offensive studs until extended periods of acclimation even after older debuts.
Can Brett Baty start translating his massive raw power into games? He needs to. Cutting his k-rate from 31.5% would sure help but his 11.5% bb-rate suggests his approach is sound. Fangraphs updated take includes: That Baty is capable of taking the ball the other way is not a bad thing, and his strength and feel for contact are both solid enough to project him as an everyday player even if he hits like this forever. We just think he'll need to turn on and roast more inner-half pitches to be the star-level player we over-projected him as during the summer, which probably requires a swing change to occur. He may not be the fast-tracker he appeared a year ago.
I’m old enough to have once had the chorus of Iggy Pop’s Wild One as my answering machine message. Yes you used to need a separate machine to get phone messages and there was no such thing as text messages!!! The horror!! I hereby dub Ronny Mauricio the Wild One. His HR/PA rate is sandwiched right between Mark Vientos and Alvarez. His k-rate is better than both and Baty! But his walk rate is microscopic and reports are that he has nothing resembling an approach to lean on. He's certainly got thunder in the bat but will he drown in a flood of bad swing decisions? The ceiling is intoxicating... we're talking an incoherent full-on Iggy smack buzz here. He’s a year younger than Baty/Vientos but is there a path to reach half his ceiling? What happens first: Baty finding his HR swing or Mauricio finding a way to not swing at everything he sees?
My sentimental favorite is Mark Vientos who has managed to overcome an abysmal .161 April with a single HR to rake at .328 in May with 6 long balls. He’s now hitting 13% above league average and if he maintains his HR pace the only thing between him coming to Queens this year is his 31% k-rate. Remember he’s 1 month younger than Baty. If only someone could buy him a glove …
Since his return to AAA Khalil Lee has been absolutely crushing it to the tune of 333/.429/.607 with a 30.4% k-rate. Hope summers eternal?
After a raging hot .338 April Alex Ramirez posted a .302 May and is scuffling to a .167 in June. That’s okay – baseball is a game of failure. Learning how to overcome struggles is a skill he’ll have to learn at some point. An exciting guy to watch.
Fangraphs still has yet to post prospect reports for about six clubs - the Mets are among those six. I’m hopeful their analysis will account for the first 1/3 of the season which should give us a better look at how they view the development of our depth pieces. I’ll certainly post an alert in the daily minor league thread when they do.