Released: October 30
Eighteen-year-old Dyron Campos was signed out of Ocumare del Tuy, “the San Diego” of Venezuela. A low-level international rookie, he was signed on January 30, 2019, near the end of the 2019-2020 international signing period. He made his professional debut with the DSL Mets that year and had a solid season, hitting .293/.361/.387 in 69 games with 14 doubles, 4 triples, 1 home run, 13 stolen bases in 28 attempts, and 25 walks to 41 strikeouts. After missing the 2020 season, he returned to the DSL, but had a sophomore season slump, hitting .233/.314/.330 in 37 games with 4 doubles, 2 home runs, 2 stolen bases in 6 attempts, and 11 walks to 22 strikeouts. Campos began the 2022 season in the Dominican Summer League, his third season there, but his stick found fire and he was promoted to the FCL Mets after hitting .296/.352/.514 in 41 games with the DSL Mets 1. He was nowhere near as successful with them, going 5-37, and that may have been a precursor of what was to come. In 2023, he was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets to start the season and was promoted and demoted a handful of times due to his performance. All in all, the 22-year-old appeared in 52 games with St. Lucie, 7 with the FCL Mets, and 1 with the Brooklyn Cyclones, hitting a cumulative .181/.251/.313 with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 5 home runs, 8 stolen bases in 9 attempts, and 10 walks to 56 strikeouts.
Many foreign players peak in the Dominican Summer League for a variety of reasons, and Dyron Campos seemingly is one of them. In 147 games with the DSL Mets, he hit .283/.350/.413, compared to the .182/.244/.327 he hit in 52 games with the St. Lucie Mets and .158/.262/.281 in 18 games with the FCL Mets.
Released: October 30
Carlos Dominguez was signed by the Mets out of San Pedro De Macoris in the Dominican Republic on June 15, 2018, the very last day of the 2018-2019 international signing period. On the older side, the 19-year-old was assigned to the Mets’ Dominican Summer League teams, hitting a combined .266/.383/.464 in 59 games with both teams, hitting 6 home runs, stealing 15 bases in 21 attempts, and drawing 18 walks to 63 strikeouts. He likely would have been sent stateside to the GCL Mets in 2020 given his advanced age and the success he had in the DSL, but the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the cancellation of the season.
In 2021, Dominguez returned to a very different minor league structure and was indeed sent stateside, but to the FCL Mets instead of the GCL Mets, as the Florida Complex League replaced the newly defunct Gulf Coast League. Appearing in 46 games, the 21-year-old outfielder hit .262/.348/.531 with 10 home runs, 7 stolen bases in 10 attempts, and 9 walks to 57 strikeouts. His 10 homers led not only the team, but the entire Florida Complex League as well. He led the league in home runs for a second consecutive year in 2022, when he spent the entire season with the St. Lucie Mets. Appearing in 111 games, he hit .233/.324/.426 with 20 home runs, 22 stolen bases in 34 attempts, and 37 walks to 173 strikeouts. The outfielder led the Florida State League in strikeouts as well. Dominguez began the 2023 season with St. Lucie once again but missed a lot of time due to injuries at the end of April and at the end of May. He ended up playing 42 games with St. Lucie and then was promoted to Brooklyn for three games at the end of the season. He hit .211/.306/.374 in 42 games with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 5 home runs, 1 stolen base in as many attempts, and 16 walks to 57 strikeouts.
Dominguez had plenty of tools that are attractive to baseball clubs- he had plenty of raw power, was a surprisingly decent base stealer, and had an above-average arm. At the end of the day, his struggles with strikeouts at such a low level may have been writing on the wall, and his 2023 injuries may have been the final nail in that coffin.
Released: May 7
Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 3rd round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of Flint Hill School in Oakton, Virginia, Khalil Lee was traded to the Mets on February 10, 2021 in a complicated three-team trade between the Royals, the Boston Red Sox, and the Mets. The Boston Red Sox sent Andrew Benintendi and cash to the Kansas City Royals. The New York Mets sent a player to be named later- who turned out to be Freddy Valdez- and Josh Winckowski to the Boston Red Sox. The Kansas City Royals sent players to be named later- who turned out to be Luis De La Rosa and Grant Gambrell- and Franchy Cordero to the Boston Red Sox.
Lee impressed scouts and evaluators during his time at the Kansas City Royals alternate site at T-Bones Stadium in 2020, making swing changes that they believed would allow him to realize his full potential. He had a so-so showing for himself in 2019, hitting .264/.363/.372 with 8 home runs, 53 stolen bases in 65 attempts, and 65 walks to 154 strikeouts in 129 games with the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Natural, with scouts and evaluators convinced that some tweaks to his swing would allow him to shorten his swing and allow him to manifest his raw power into in-game situations by making better contact on a consistent basis.
He failed to impress early in his Mets tenure. He went 0-16 in spring training and after getting called up from Syracuse to Queens due to the Mets’ dire injury situation early in the season, went 1-18 in 11 games. He did not receive another call-up in 2021, but he certainly deserved another look, as he turned his season around after returning to Triple-A. In 96 games for the Syracuse Mets following his demotion on June 1, Lee hit .275/.449/.511 with 14 home runs, 7 stolen bases in 15 attempts, and 66 walks to 109 strikeouts. On the season as a whole, he hit .274/.451/.500 in 102 games in Triple-A, slugging 14 homers, stealing 8 bases in 18 attempts, and walking 71 times to 115 strikeouts.
Lee began the 2022 season with Syracuse and once again he had an extremely sluggish start to the year. After his struggles continued into early May, the outfielder was demoted to Low-A St. Lucie, team officials disappointed with his performance and behavior. He spent roughly two weeks there and was marginally better before being recalled to Syracuse, hitting .241/.371/.414 in 8 games with 4 extra base hits, 1 stolen base, and 3 walks to 11 strikeouts, but the improved numbers were hardly impressive. Outside of a brief call-up to the majors in early June, the outfielder remained in Syracuse for the remainder of the year and struggled. He appeared in exactly 100 games for the Syracuse Mets and hit .211/.326/.366 with 10 home runs, 14 stolen bases in 17 attempts, and 47 walks to 139 strikeouts.
Just prior to the start of Spring Training 2023, it was reported that the outfielder was being sued by a former girlfriend regarding physical and emotional abuse that took place in early May, and that an arrest warrant had been put out for him in October 2022 by the Syracuse Police Department regarding the violent episode. A few days later, he was designated for assignment after the Mets the acquisition of bigoted right-handed pitcher Sam Coonrod, who was claimed on waivers. Lee cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A Syracuse. Once again, he started off the season ice cold, hitting .185/.299/.323 with 1 home run, 2 stolen bases in as many attempts, and 10 walks to 17 strikeouts, and was released by the Mets on May 7th.
On June 1, 2023, Lee signed with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League. The 25-year-old appeared in 89 games for them and hit .277/.401/.482 with 15 home runs, 13 stolen bases in 18 attempts, and 55 walks to 81 strikeouts. The outcome of the lawsuit against him is still pending.
Released: June 25
Blaine McIntosh was a standout athlete at Sycamore High School in Pleasant View, Tennessee, following in the footsteps of his father, Freddie McIntosh, who was a celebrated local athlete in the late-70s, playing basketball for Jo Byrnes High School in Cedar Hills, Tennessee. Blaine helped lead the Sycamore War Eagles to a District 9-AA/Region 5-AA title in 2018, his junior year, hitting .310. After the season wound ended, he verbally committed to Vanderbilt University, becoming the first baseball player in school history to commit to an SEC school. The following season, he was drafted by the Mets in the
The Mets selected McIntosh in the 13th round of the 2019 MLB Draft and roughly a month later, signed him to a $125,000 bonus, a surprising development as he had a commitment to Vanderbilt. The 18-year-old appeared in 24 games for the GCL Mets that summer and hit .228/.311/.228 in 24 games, hitting 0 home runs, stealing 5 bases in 8 attempts, and drawing 11 walks to 22 strikeouts. After missing the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, McIntosh got back on the field in 2021 with the FCL Mets, the team’s newly rechristened Rookie-level affiliate. He had another below-average season, hitting .121/.310/.212 in 17 games with 0 home runs, 1 stolen base in as many attempts, and 9 walks to 19 strikeouts. The 21-year-old began the 2022 season at the complex for a third season in a row and was marginally better, hitting .231/.385/.385 in 33 games with 3 home runs, 7 stolen bases in 12 attempts, and 21 walks to 26 strikeouts. He was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets at the end of the year and appeared in 9 games for them in the month of August before having his season end prematurely due to injury, going 9-30 with 0 home runs, 1 stolen base in 3 attempts, and 5 walks to 15 strikeouts.’
He began the 2023 season with St. Lucie and appeared in 40 games, hitting .152/.276/.200 with 0 home runs, 2 stolen bases in 6 attempts and 17 walks to 42 strikeouts. Roughly two weeks after his 22nd birthday, in late June, he was released. He signed with the West Virginia Black Bears of the MLB Draft League on July 7 and played for them over the summer. The outfielder appeared in 31 game and hit .227/.418/.364 with 1 home run, 6 stolen bases in 9 attempts, and 19 walks to 14 strikeouts.
McIntosh never panned out for the Mets, and his career path thus far highlights the difficult choices prep players have to make after being drafted. How might McIntosh’s career path been different if he went to Vanderbilt?
Released: October 17
The Mets signed Gerald Mejia on February 13, 2020, just prior to the worldwide COVID-19 breakout. The outfielder from San Pedro de Macoris- a city better known for shortstops- would have began his professional career that year in the Dominican Summer League, but the pandemic postponed his debut for a year. Mejia appeared in 33 games for the DSL Mets in 2021 and hit .238/.313/.386 with 2 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs, 6 stolen bases in 8 attempts, and 12 walks to 45 strikeouts. The 19-year-old remained in the DSL to start the 2022 season but injured himself after 11 games. He missed most of 2023 as well, appearing in 2 games for the FCL Mets in July.
A low-level international signing, we can only hope that the signing bonus that Mejia was able to provide him and his family some degree of additional financial security.
Released: July 31
Tanner Lomax Murphy was drafted by the Mets in the 18th round of the 2019 MLB Draft out of the University of North Florida. The outfielder had an exceptional three years there, hitting .337/.378/.446 in 34 games in his freshman year, .326/.418/.534 in 56 games in his sophomore year, and.288/.368/.447 in 57 games in his junior year, with 17 total home runs, 27 stolen bases in 30 attempts, and 80 walks to 259 strikeouts.
The outfielder was assigned to the Kingsport Mets, where he hit .202/.310/.351 in 40 games with 5 home runs, 2 stolen bases in 3 attempts, and 18 walks to 57 strikeouts. He would miss all of 2020 due to the cancellation of the minor league season and then missed large chunks of the 2021, 2022, and 2023 seasons due to injuries. Murphy appeared in 48 games in 2021, playing for the FCL Mets, St. Lucie Mets, and Brooklyn Cyclones and hit a combined .189/.304/.322 with 3 home runs, 9 stolen bases in 10 attempts, and 20 walks to 62 strikeouts. In 2022, he appeared in 64 games for the St. Lucie Mets and Brooklyn Cyclones and hit .236/.335/.385 with 5 home runs, 7 stolen bases in 8 attempts, and 23 walks to 64 strikeouts. In 2023, he appeared in 51 games for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and Syracuse Mets and hit a combined .203/.294/.295 with 2 home runs, 9 stolen bases in as many attempts, and 19 walks to 76 strikeouts. Finally, on July 31, he was released.
Murphy was a player whose tools seemingly were better suited for college baseball than professional baseball. His swing worked with a metal bat against less advanced pitchers, but he struggled at the plate with a wood bat against pitchers with better command and wider repertoires. The many injuries that kept him off of the field did him no favors, either. Prior to the 2021 minor league realignment, perhaps Murphy could have been given some extra time to prove himself, but with a much more limited roster now, all of that time off the field and the developmental time he missed effectively ended his career.
Released: July 10
Drafted by the New York Mets in the 10th round of the 2019 MLB Amateur Draft from University of Illinois at Chicago, Scott Ota was a senior signing who agreed to terms with the Mets for just $1,000, allowing the organization to creatively distribute signing bonuses to draftees in order to be able to sign third-rounder Matthew Allan. Ota hit a cumulative .301/.374/.530 in 206 with the UIC Flames and was an intriguing senior signing due to his dependable glove at all three outfield positions and a bat with a bit of power potential in it. Indeed, after spending the summer with the Kingsport Mets and hitting .273/.356/.519 with 7 home runs and 21 walks to 38 strikeouts, some though Ota might be able to develop into a situational bench bat with a little pop.
After missing the 2020 season due to the cancellation of the season, Ota was assigned to the Brooklyn Cyclones to begin 2021. After just three games, his season ended prematurely due to fractured radial head in his elbow, a torn UCL, and surgeries needed to repair the damage. Ota began the 2022 season on the injured list and remained out of action until late June, when the Florida Complex League season began. He appeared in four games for the FCL Mets on rehab assignment before being shut down for the remainder of the season and put on the 60-day injured list in early August. Now 25, Ota began the 2023 season roughly a month after it began, assigned to the St. Lucie Mets. He was promoted to the Brooklyn Cyclones at the end of May after hitting .260/.337/.384 in 23 games but immediately hit the injured list. After missing roughly two weeks, he returned to the field, struggled with the Cyclones, was demoted back down to St. Lucie, and released in mid-July. After he was released, Ota signed with the Sioux City Explorers, a team in the American Association, at the end of July. He appeared in 38 games for them, getting 148 at-bats, and hit a healthy .311/.371/.520 with 7 home runs, 2 stolen bases in 5 attempts, and 15 walks to 16 strikeouts.
Released: August 29
Venezuelan-born outfielder Eduardo Salazar was signed by the Mets on July 2, 2017, with the two sides agreeing to a $125,000 bonus. He played on both Mets Dominican Summer League teams that summer, combining to hit .288/.358/.324 in 42 games with 17 walks and 37 strikeouts. The 18-year-old was sent stateside in 2019, appearing in 19 games for the GCL Mets before losing the rest of his season to injury. In 58 at-bats, the right-hander hit .241/.313/.310 with 3 walks and 14 strikeouts. After missing the 2020 season due to the cancellation of the season thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, Salazar returned to the field in July 2021, rostered on the FCL Mets. The 20-year-old appeared in 25 games over the summer and posted an impressive .308/.389/.436 batting line with 1 home run, 2 stolen bases in as many attempts, and 5 walks to 15 strikeouts. He began the 2022 season with the FCL Mets once more- his third consecutive season assigned to the team’s Rookie level affiliate- and spent 11 games there before being promoted to the St. Lucie Mets, hitting .270/.325/.405 with 1 home runs, 1 stolen base, and 3 walks to 6 strikeouts. He his promotion came in early July and he remained in St. Lucie until the end of the season, hitting .228/.290/.337 in 29 games with 2 home runs, 0 stolen bases in 1 attempt, and 5 walks to 29 strikeouts. He began the 2023 season with St. Lucie before being promoted to the Brooklyn Cyclones in late May and hit poorly for them. He was demoted back to St. Lucie at the end of June and released days later.
Salazar was an intriguing international signing but was never able to develop a hit tool; his planar swing seemed to always pass through the strike zone on a downward trajectory, resulting in groundball after groundball; Salazar had a 60.7% groundball rate for his career. A groundball rate like that? That ain’t gonna fly as a professional (literally).
Released: October 30
San Cristobal native Eric Santana was signed by the Mets for $350,000 out of the MC Academy in the Dominican Republic at the start of the 2019-2020 international free agent period. He would have likely made his professional debut in 2020 as a 17-year-old in the Dominican Summer League, but the season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He made his professional debut the following year, appearing in 24 games for the DSL Mets and hitting .172/.317/.328 with 2 home runs, 1 stolen base in 2 attempts, and 14 walks to 29 strikeouts. The Mets promoted the 19-year-old and sent him stateside in 2022, rostering him with the FCL Mets. Santana appeared in 31 games and hit .151/.284/.233 with 2 home runs, 3 stolen bases in as many attempts, and 16 walks to 41 strikeouts. In 2023, he only appeared in 4 games with the FCL Mets, a clear precursor to his release in October.
Santana was always considered a hit-over-power profile, but he did not hit for average either. His defense was generally considered fine, and he had the ability to play center field. Having just turned 21-years-old in early November, the outfielder is still very young, and may be attractive to a team that thinks their particular player development program might be able to improve Santana’s bat.