Omar De Los Santos
Week: 6 G, 22 AB, .409/.480/.773, 9 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 2 BB, 3 K, 3/5 SB (Single-A)
2022 Season: 111 G, 431 AB, .272/.339/.459, 117 H, 23 2B, 5 3B, 16 HR, 35 BB, 151 K, 70/85 SB, .380 BABIP (Single-A)
Omar De Los Santos was signed by the Mets in early February 2019, late in the 2019-2020 international signing period, an 18-year-old turning 19 during the season. He played in the Dominican Summer League that year, appearing for both Mets DSL teams and hitting a combined .274/.359/.416 with 4 home runs, 13 stolen bases, and 22 walks to 42 strikeouts. He missed the 2020 season due to the cancellation of the season due to COVID-19, but returned in 2021, assigned to the FCL Mets. He appeared in seven games with them, logging at least one hit in every single one, and was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets for the remainder of the season. De Los Santos did not enjoy the same success in the 38 games he played with them, hitting .241/.292/.331 in 38 games, but his first season stateside was a solid one, as he combined to hit .273/.318/.416 in 47 games with 3 home runs, 14 stolen bases, and 8 walks to 53 strikeouts. The Mets assigned the 22-year-old to St. Lucie for a second consecutive season, and the outfielder had much more success this time around, though his season may be ending prematurely, as he seemingly hurt his hand sliding into second base in the bottom of the first inning on Sunday’s 8-3 win over the Jupiter Hammerheads.
De Los Santos stands square at the plate, holding his hands high. While he has been getting on base at an great rate this season, his hit tool is below average and not expected to hold up particularly well at higher levels of the minor league ladder. His swing is long-levered and whippy, quick through the zone without much control. He has 151 strikeouts through 111 games with St. Lucie, a 31.6% strikeout rate that is fourth highest in the system behind Carlos Dominguez (167), Shervyen Newton (160), and Luke Ritter (152). His swing generates some power, he has 16 home runs on the season and he’s averaged an 85 MPH exit velocity in 256 recorded batted ball events, with 56 registering 100 MPH or higher and 5 even registering 110 MPH or higher, but at the higher levels, it really is unlikely to work.
De Los Santos’ carrying tool is his speed, evidenced by his 70 stolen bases this season, not only the most in the Florida State League, but tied for the most in all of minor league baseball along with Milwaukee Brewers farmhand Esteury Ruiz. De Los Santos has above-average, borderline plus speed, giving him the ability to steal plenty of bases, stretch singles, and take extra bases.
Week: 1 G (0 GS), 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K (High-A)
Season: 24 G (23 GS), 112.0 IP, 79 H, 46 R, 43 ER (3.46 ERA), 55 BB, 137 K, .282 BABIP (Low-A/High-A)
A few days after Week Eleven, when Hamel was pitcher of the week for the first time, the right-hander was promoted from Single-A St. Lucie to High-A Brooklyn. With the exception of a bump in the road at the end of August- one that he has recovered from nicely, given his last start, Hamel has been extremely effective in Brooklyn. In 48.2 total innings, Hamel has a 2.96 ERA with the Cyclones, having allowed 31 hits, walked 24, and struck out 66.
Hamel’s continued development will be important to a system that is virtually devoid of legitimate pitching prospects in the upper levels of the minors. Years of utilizing a draft strategy to maximize the returns from the first few rounds at the expense of the rest and being very liberal with trading away players have really hamstringed the organization in this regard. Jose Butto is virtually the only (with Josh Walker’s status currently up in the air due to injuries) prospect in the upper levels of the Mets’ minor league system- and as documented, he is a highly flawed pitcher.
Along with Hamel, teammates Junior Santos, Luis Moreno, Garrison Bryant, Mike Vasil, and Keyshawn Askew will be the next cohort of pitchers who will be presumably in the upper minors in 2023 and beyond. All have had varying degrees of success in St. Lucie and Brooklyn this season, but will be tested at Double-A. Hamel included, none feature any one particularly above-average pitch at this point that they will be able to lean on. Assuming natural attrition takes place due to that fact, it is imperative for one of these pitchers to take the next important step forward in order to develop into the next generation of pitchers to have use to the Mets.