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Getting to know Luisangel Acuña

A top-50 prospect joins the Mets’ system in the Max Scherzer deal.

Midland RockHounds v Frisco Roughriders Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

After a brief moment of drama—what else is new?—the Mets have completed their trade of Max Scherzer to the Rangers. In return for Scherzer—who will have his remaining 2023 salary covered as well as roughly half of his 2024 salary—the Mets are receiving Luisangel Acuña, the Rangers’ #2 prospect per Baseball America.

The younger brother of Ronald, Acuña is an impressive prospect in his own right. He lacks a high-end power projection and has a sub-optimal approach, but has good bat-to-ball skills, excellent speed, adequate thump (think ~15-20 HR / year), and a defensive projection that should allow him to stick at shortstop or be a plus defender at second. To wit, he’s been an above average hitter in Double-A this year at 21. Baseball America ranked him 87th on their midseason list, while Baseball Prospectus has him at 59 and Prospects Live ranked him at bit lower at 140th.

The Mets’ acquisition of Marco Vargas earlier this week in the David Robertson led to some debate about who was the Mets’ top prospect between him and Jett Williams. Acuña short circuits that, immediately jumping to the top spot in the system. There’s a real chance he’s pushing for the major league second base job by the middle of next year, something the Mets may sorely need given Jeff McNeil’s down year. It’s a fantastic return for Scherzer, an expensive veteran who has taken a significant step back at 38, and we should be able to look forward to some Acuña vs. Acuña in Flushing / Atlanta in the relatively near future.