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Mets Minor League Players of the Week: Week Twelve

What minor league players put up the best numbers this past week, June 28th to July 3rd?

New York Mets’ fans attend a free intra-squad game at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie, Florida
St. Lucie
Photo by Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday RM via Getty Images

Alex Ramirez

Week: 7 G, 25 AB, .364/.482/.636, 8 H, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 BB, 7 K, 3/4 SB (Single-A)

2022 Season: 67 G, 271 AB, .284/.360/.443, 77 H, 13 2B, 6 3B, 6 HR, 28 BB, 68 K, 17/26 SB (Single-A)

Ramirez got off to an extremely hot start to 2022, hitting .338/.390/.479 in 17 games in April and .302/.327/.462 in 25 games in May. He was not able to keep that torrid pace going, and came back to earth a bit in June, hitting .217/.356/.349 in 22 games. The outfielder hit groundballs at a higher rate than in April and May, resulting in an extremely depressed .267 BABIP pulling down his batting average. A silver lining, he maintained a high walk rate, drawing 16 unintentional walks, and put his speed to good use on the basepaths, stealing 12 bases in 15 attempts.

As highlighted by his low BABIP, it is imperative that Ramirez make better, harder contact in order to spray line drives around the field and utilize his speed and power. Major League Baseball itself defines “the sweet spot” as “a batted-ball event with a launch angle ranging from 8 to 32 degrees.” Of the 198 balls that he has put in play this season, 72 were hit within these parameters, 36.4%. While this puts him in very solid footing as compared to successful major leaguers- Gio Urshela and Ty France currently have a 36.5% SwSP%, while Seth Brown and Cal Raleigh have 36.3%- his average exit velocity this season has not been optimal. Averaging 86.67 MPH, this would tie him with Detroit infielder Jeimer Candelario, who is hitting .188/.246/.313 in 60 games. Ramirez has put 27 balls in play with exit velocities over 100 MPH, 7 of which have registered 105 MPH+, so he has the natural strength and ability. It is just a matter of recognizing pitches better and refining his swing paths.

The future is still very bright for the 19-year-old outfielder, and with a few tweaks and improvements, might be able to improve himself into a very special player.

Luis Moreno

Week: 1 G (1 GS), 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K (High-A)

Season: 14 G (7 GS), 61.2 IP, 55 H, 26 R, 22 ER (3.21 ERA), 27 BB, 62 K, .317 BABIP (Single-A/High-A)

Luis Moreno was signed by the Mets as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic in June 2019, at the very end of the 2018-2019 international free agent signing period. On the older side, he spent the 2019 season in the Dominican Summer League, where he posted a 4.43 ERA in 42.2 innings with both of the Mets’ DSL teams. The right-hander missed the 2020 season because of the cancellation of the season due to COVID-19, and when he reported to camp in 2021, he was a 22-year-old with very little experience under his belt.

The Mets assigned Moreno to the Low-A St. Lucie Mets in 2021 and used him as a swingman, starting games and pitching out of the bullpen. The right-hander predictably struggled, posting a 5.42 ERA over in 73.0 innings, with 70 hits allowed, 56 walks, and 64 strikeouts. He repeated the level at the start of the 2022 season, but this time had a lot more success. Putting his four-seam fastball in his pocket and swapping it out for his sinker, Moreno improved in virtually every way. In 40.1 innings with St. Lucie this season, he posted a 2.68 ERA, allowing 36 hits, walking 20, and striking out 37. He was promoted to High-A Brooklyn at the end of May and remains there.

Moreno has a solid pitching frame suitable for pitching, standing 6’ 2” and weighing 170 pounds. The right-hander throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a long action through the back, mixing in a high leg lift for deception.

Moreno is primarily a two-pitch pitcher, mainly relying on a sinker and curveball and occasionally mixing in a four-seam fastball and changeup. Prior to this season, he utilized his four-seam fastball just as much as his sinker, but he barely uses the pitch now and has had much more success without it. His sinker sits 90-96 MPH, generally sitting on the higher end of that velocity band, averaging 94 MPH.

His curveball sits 77-85, averaging 81 MPH. The pitch has a high spin rate, averaging 2998 RPM and sitting anywhere between 2644 and 3141, and features between 5-14 inches of horizontal movement and 40-59 inches of vertical drop. The right-hander struggles at times to throw the pitch for strikes and is most effective when batters are free swingers and think it is going to remain in the zone.

Players of the Week 2022

Week One (April 5-April 17): Francisco Alvarez/Jose Butto
Week Two (April 19-April 24): Daniel Palka/Keyshawn Askew
Week Three (April 26-May 1): Shervyen Newton/Alec Kisena
Week Four (May 3-May 8): Alex Ramirez/David Peterson
Week Five: (May 10-May 15): Brett Baty/Jose Chacin
Week Six: (May 17-May 22): Jaylen Palmer/Mike Vasil
Week Seven (May 24th-May 29th): Francisco Alvarez/Connor Grey
Week Eight (May 31-June 5th): Khalil Lee/Jose Butto
Week Nine (June 7-June 12): Stanley Consuegra/Nick Zwack
Week Ten (June 14-June 19): Daniel Palka/Alex Valverde
Week Eleven (June 21-June 26): Travis Blankenhorn/Dominic Hamel