clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Top 25 Mets Prospects for 2024: Other Players of Note

Twenty-five prospects not enough for you? There are plenty of other interesting players in the system.

Amazin Avenue Prospect List

In addition to the 25 prospects that our minor league crew designated as the most impactful in the system, there are a number of other players in the Mets’ minor leagues that deserve a mention. With any luck, a few of these will turn into productive Mets in just a few years.

Bohan Adderley, INF/OF

Nassau native Bohan Adderley signed with the Mets on the first day of the 2024-2025 international signing period, the first player the organization added from the Bahamas since infielder Warren Saunders, who was signed in August 2018. The organization was only made aware of him recently, and within a span of a few months, the athletic 17-year-old had his name expedited from local evaluators to the organizational regional cross-checker to the Vice President of International Scouting.

At the plate, Adderley stands slightly open with his hands high and swings with a moderate leg kick. The 6’3” Bahamian weighs 190-pounds but doesn’t look it, as his frame is still lanky and slim, suggesting future growth and muscle mass. One of the better players available in the 2024-2025 international rookie class from the Bahamas, Adderley has a fluid right-handed stroke, showing barrel control and the ability to make loud contact. Additionally, he has above-average, arguably plus speed, as evidence by running the 60-yard dash in 6.5 seconds.

Adderley also has a strong arm, and while pitching in exhibition games across the Bahamas could throw a fastball that sat in the low-80s and hit the mid-80s. Additionally, though he is unlikely to pitch as a professional, he also thew a mid-to-high-70s curveball and a high-70s-to-low-80s slider. His strong arm, along with his speed and athleticism, profiles excellently in right field, with the potential for center field depending on his ability to get a better feel for the ball off the bat and the best routes to take him to the ball.

Eris Albino, RHP

Eris Albino was signed by the Mets in mid-February 2022 out of Yaguate, a municipality located roughly 30 miles from San Cristóbal that is also the birthplace of pitchers Michael Pineda, Jose Ramirez, Arodys Vizcaíno, and Jeurys Familia. Already 18, the right-hander was not considered a premium prospect. He was assigned to the Dominican Summer League, where he was rostered on both Mets DSL squads. In 26.2 innings in 14 total games, he posted a 6.41 ERA, allowing 9 hits, walking 34, and striking out 25. He did not pitch in 2023 due to an injury that kept him off the mound for the entire season.

Albino throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a long action through the back, though sometimes his slot raises to virtually overhand. The slot inconsistency, along with follow through inconsistencies, resulted in major release point variations, negatively impacting his command. The right-hander struggled to throw strikes in 2022, overthrowing and releasing the ball early, evidenced by a 11.5 BB/9 and 13.5 BB% walk rate.

Despite that, batters had a hard time squaring up on Albino. His fastball reportedly touched 99 MPH prior to his injury, though the pitch generally sat in the mid-90s. Albino had trouble maintaining that velocity, and it generally slipped in to the low-to-mid-90s by the end of innings, but at 6’6”, 230-pounds, the right-hander should eventually be able to maintain the higher end of his velocity band longer. Albino also threw a two-seam variant that features arm-side life and was also developing slider with slight break.

Matthew Allan, RHP

After helping lead Seminole High School to its first state championship since, Matthew Allan entered the draft ranked among the best prep pitchers in this year’s class. While not a complete unknown coming into the 2019 season, Matthew Allan wasn’t exactly at the top of the draft boards. Thanks to a strong showcase on the summer circuit in 2018 and then an excellent spring- which included a perfect game- Allan rocketed up the draft boards. While his talent on the mound was undeniable, a strong commitment to the University of Florida and other concerns scared teams away from drafting him in the early rounds of the 2019 MLB Draft. After Allan ended up going unselected on the first night of the 2019 MLB Draft, Marc Tramuta and Tommy Tanous had a long night ahead of them, making phone calls and carefully planning how they would navigate day two of the draft. When the it came the Mets’ turn to select when the second day of the draft began, they selected Allan with their third-round pick, the 89th selection overall. The Mets drafted inexpensive college seniors for the rest of day two in order to save money in their bonus pool, and the two sides eventually agreed to a $2.5 million signing bonus, well above the MLB-assigned slot value of $667,900.

The right-hander was assigned to the GCL Mets to start his professional career. There, he posted a 1.08 ERA in 8.1 innings, allowing 5 hits, walking 4, and striking out 11. Shortly after the GCL season came to a premature close due to the threat of Hurricane Dorian, the Mets promoted Allan to the Brooklyn Cyclones, to get him some more work and to help bolster the Cyclones’ pitching staff as they sought to secure a playoff spot. Allan debuted for the Cyclones against the Staten Island Yankees in their last series of the season, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk over two innings, striking out three. The Cyclones clinched a postseason berth a few days later, and Allan played an important role in their playoff run, throwing five perfect innings with two strikeouts in two multi-inning relief appearances, including the winner-take-all championship series game three.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, he did not get to play in 2020, but he was invited to the Coney Island alternate site and the fall instructional league, where he impressed many in the organization. Allan was due to return to Brooklyn in 2021, now the Mets’ High-A affiliate, but missed the entire season after it was announced in early May that he had partially tore his ulnar collateral ligament and needed Tommy John surgery. Just prior to the start of the 2022 season, Allan underwent ulnar transposition surgery, a common follow-up operation for those who have Tommy John. With a recovery of time between 3 to 6 before he would be able to return to baseball activities, the chance remained for Allan to pitch in 2022, but he did not, getting as far as throwing on flat ground by the time the season ended. In January, the right-hander underwent UCL revision surgery, in effect a second Tommy John, ending any chance of him pitching in 2023.

Throwing from a three-quarters arm slot with a high leg kick, Allan has fluid, effortless mechanics and a strong, durable frame, which should allow him the ability to soak up innings in the future. At 6’3”, 225-pounds, he is mostly filled in, but there may still be a bit of room left in his frame to add muscle. He periodically has control problems related to his arm action in the back, but Allan is otherwise mechanically sound.

Before his Tommy John surgery and subsequent UCL revision surgery, Allan’s fastball lived in the mid-90s, sitting 94-95 with the ability to top out a few miles per hour high, at 97 MPH. Combined with the arm-side run it had, the pitch was above-average, with the ability to improve. Once the 22-year-old right-hander returns from his rehab, how effective this pitch is will depend on how much velocity he is able to throw it for and whether or not he will continue to be able to ramp it up and occasionally hit the upper-90s with it. Allan was able to command it well also, spotting it to all four quadrants of the strike zone.

Complementing his fastball was a curveball and changeup, the former of which is his best offering at present. Sitting in the high-70s-to-low-70s with sharp 11-5 break, Allan’s curveball was one of the best in the entire 2019 MLB Draft class. He had an excellent feel for it and is able to command it, peppering it in the strike zone and burying it to get batters fishing. Like his fastball, the pitch was an above-average offering at the present, with the potential to improve. A pitcher’s ability to spin a breaking ball generally returns slower than his other pitches after undergoing Tommy John surgery, so how effective his curve is when he returns to the mound and additional refinements to it will be key to his development. Rounding out his arsenal, his changeup lagged behind his other pitches in its effectiveness, but it showed considerable promise. Sitting 85-87 MPH, when the pitch was working, it featured arm-side tumble and fade; when it was not, it was firm and lost most of its vertical drop but still maintained an effective velocity differential.

Jostyn Almonte, OF

Signed out of the Dominican Republic during the 2019-2020 international free agent signing period for $80,000, Jostyn Almonte was raw as a ballplayer but had a handful of loud tools. Making his professional debut in 2021, assigned to the DSL Mets, Almonte hit .164/.247/.206 in 25 games with 3 doubles, 4 stolen bases in 6 attempts, and 5 walks to 21 strikeouts. He remained in the Dominican Summer League in 2022, now 19-years-old and appeared in 38 games for both Mets DSL squadrons, hitting .263/.436/.347 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 7 stolen bases in 11 attempts, and 24 walks to 34 strikeouts. The Mets kept him in the DSL in 2023, and he appeared in 45 games for the DSL Mets Blue, hitting .311/.443/.507 with 9 doubles, 1 triple, 6 home runs, 14 stolen bases in 18 attempts, and 29 walks to 42 strikeouts.

Standing 5’11” and weighing 195 pounds, Almonte is built like a linebacker, with powerful legs and thick, broad shoulders. At the plate, he stands slightly open, holding his hands high, wrapping the bat behind his head, and swinging with a slight toe tap timing mechanism. Almonte stung the ball in 2023, averaging a 93.7 MPH exit velocity on publicly available batted ball events, but how much of that was due to mechanical adjustments he made with his swing and how much of that was due to his advanced age in the DSL remains to be seen. He hit fewer balls on the ground as compared to years past, and did indeed blister many groundball past fielders, but going forward, against better competition, fewer of those balls will get by fielders for hits.

Almonte is athletic and possesses above-average speed, which helps him on the basepaths and in the outfield. His speed gives him plenty of range, allowing him to play center field, but he is better suited for right field, as his arm is above-average and less pressure will be put on his reaction times, instincts, and outfield routes.

Ryan Ammons, LHP

Ryan Ammons lettered in baseball four times and in basketball twice while attending Wren High School in South Carolina. He excelled in baseball, and decided to pursue it in college, committing to the alma mater of both of his parents, Clemson University. Despite being a follow by scouts and evaluators, he went undrafted in the 2019 MLB Draft.

The southpaw was perfect in 2020. In his and only appearance of the year on February 29, he faced a single batter and recorded an out, giving him a 0.00 ERA in 0.1 innings on the season, as the NCAA suspended all baseball activity a few days later on March 12. He returned to the Tigers in 2021, his redshirt freshman season and appeared in 8 games, posting a 4.50 ERA in 4.0 innings, allowing 4 hits, walking 6, and striking out 9. That summer, he played for the Strasburg Express of the Valley League, a wood bat summer collegiate league in the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia. The Express won the 2021 VBL Championship and Ammons contributed to their success by posting a 0.96 ERA in 18.2 innings thrown over 12 games, allowing 8 hits, walking 7, and striking out 32.

The southpaw returned to Clemson in 2022, his redshirt sophomore season, and was used in higher leverage situations by head coach Monte Lee, saving 8 games. Ammons appeared in 25 games total and posted a 4.61 ERA in 27.1 innings, allowing 20 hits, walking 14, and striking out 40. In 2023, the southpaw was named team co-captain along with infielder Riley Bertram and Blake Wright and reliever Jackson Lindley. He was named the Tigers’ Friday starter by new head coach Erik Bakich, but the transition from reliever to starting pitcher only lasted two games, as Ammons strained his forearm and missed roughly a month-and-a-half, from the end of February to the middle of April. When he returned to the mound, he was inserted back into the bullpen, where he saved 5 games. In 20.0 innings, he posted a 4.05 ERA over 13 games, allowing 17 hits, walking 8, and striking out 26.

Following the conclusion of the collegiate season, Ammons was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 10th round of the 2023 MLB Draft. The 22-year-old signed for $50,000, saving the Red Sox roughly $115,000 as the MLB-recommended slot value for the 298th player selected was $167,900. The left-hander was assigned to the FCL Red Sox but did not suit up for them at any point, as he was placed on the Injured List for the entire season. That winter, following the 2023 Rule 5 Draft, the Mets traded right-handed pitcher recently selected draftee Justin Slaten and cash considerations to the Red Sox in exchange for Ammons.

The southpaw throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a long arm action through the back. There is some effort in his delivery as he coils up and uncorks towards the plate. While his delivery has a negative impact on his command, he did not walk an excessive number of batters while pitching at Clemson; the additional bat missing ability the deception in his delivery gives his pitches is well worth a grade or so less of command. The left-hander has always worked better glove-side and has had trouble throwing to both sides of the plate.

Ammons primarily is a fastball-slider pitcher, occasionally mixing in a split-changeup. His fastball sits in the low-90s and tops out at 94 MPH. Because drops-and-drives off the mound with a low release point, the pitch is thrown with a high vertical approach angle, making it difficult to get on top of. His slider sits in the high-70s-to-low-80s, 78-81 MPH, and features big, sweepy break across the zone. His changeup sits in the low-to-mid-80s and features sharp drop. Though he uses the slider more and has more confidence in it, his changeup may have more potential if he is able to refine the pitch further.

Eli Ankeney, LHP

The Freshman Athlete of the Year in 2016 in his first year playing at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Arizona, Eli Ankeney was a four-year letter winner who helped lead the Desert Vista Thunder to the playoffs in 2019, his senior year. Over the course of his four years there, the left-hander posted a 3.85 ERA in 123.2 innings, allowing 136 hits, walking 58, and striking out 152. In 2018, his junior season, the southpaw posted a 3.60 ERA in 48.2 innings with 52 hits allowed, 25 walks, and 63 strikeouts, and in 2019, his senior year, he posted a 3.87 ERA in 50.2 innings with 55 hits allowed, 22 walks, and 69 strikeouts. In addition to his ability on the mound, Ankeney hit .346/.442/.602 in 156 at-bats. His grandfather, Gary Fite, played baseball and basketball at Loyola Marymount University, but in the end, Ankeney decided to stay more local, attending Grand Canyon University.

The southpaw did not play in 2020, his freshman year, because of an injury, but regardless, healthy or injured, it really would not have mattered much as the NCAA cancelled the season early due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He only appeared in a single game in 2021, throwing a perfect inning with one strikeout, but was able to pitch some supplementary innings with the Bend Elks of the West Coast League that summer. He returned to the Antelopes in 2022 and appeared in 29 games out of the bullpen and posted a 2.68 ERA in 40.1 innings, allowing 28 hits, walking 13, and striking out 61. After the season ended, he pitched a few more supplemental innings for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the MLB Draft League before being drafted by the Mets in the Drafted by the New York Mets in the 20th round of the 2022 MLB Draft.

The left-hander pitched limited innings with the FCL Mets that summer, his professional career starting in earnest in 2023. He was assigned to the St. Lucie Mets and pitched there for roughly two months before being promoted to the Brooklyn Cyclones. With St. Lucie, Ankeney did not allow a single earned run in 9.0 innings over 6 games, scattering a pair of hits, walking two, and striking out 14. With the Brooklyn Cyclones, he posted a 3.94 ERA in 32.0 innings over 21 games, allowing 26 hits, walking 22, and striking out 37. The southpaw was extremely impressive with the Cyclones for most of the summer, running into a wall over the final month of the season or so; in his first 22 games, Ankeney allowed 5 earned runs over 23.2 innings and in his last five, he allowed 9 earned runs in 8.1 innings.

Ankeney throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a long action through the back and a bit of crossfire at times. His arm slot creates good downhill angle and gives his pitches some additional arm-side run. His fastball sits in the high-80s-to-low-90s, averaging 92 MPH. He complements it with a split-finger changeup and a slider. His split-change sits in the low-to-mid-80s, averaging 83 MPH. His slider sits in the high-70s-to-low-80s, averaging 80 MPH. Since going pro, the southpaw has had trouble commanding and controlling his pitches.

Donovan Antonia, C

Willemstad, Curacao native Donovan Antonia signed with the Cincinnati Reds as an international rookie on August 13, 2019, his birthday and the day he turned 16, making him officially eligible to sign. He received a $200,000 and was expected to play in the Dominican Summer League in 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic cancelled the season, so he had to wait until 2021 to make his professional debut. The Reds pushed the 17-year-old, sending him stateside to the Arizona Complex League. He appeared in 33 games for them and hit .155/.268/.255 with 4 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home run, 4 stolen bases in 5 attempts, and 14 walks to 52 strikeouts. Young for the level to begin with, Cincinnati had Antonia repeat the level in 2022, and the right-hander responded, hitting .261/.377/.489 in 29 games with 8 doubles, 4 home runs, 3 stolen bases in 5 attempts, and 14 walks to 20 strikeouts, his season ending early in mid-August for undisclosed reasons.

The Reds had the Curacaoan begin the 2023 season in the Arizona Complex League but he demonstrated that his 2022 season was no fluke by going 11-26 in his first 9 games with 4 extra base hits and 5 walks to just 4 strikeouts, leading to a promotion to the Single-A Daytona Tortugas. The 19-year-old appeared in 24 games with the Tortugas from the beginning of July on and hit .213/.339/.319 with 2 doubles, 1 home run, 1 stolen base, and 7 walks to 14 strikeouts. Following the conclusion of the season, during the 2023 winter meetings, he was selected by the Mets in the minor league portion of the 2023 Rule 5 Draft.

The 5’8”, 180-pound Antonia stands extremely open at the plate, holding his hands high over his head and angling his bat head at 2:00. He closes up and swings with a toe tap timing mechanism without much of a load or weight transfer. He can put a jolt into the ball when hit squarely, and the 20-year-old has progressively improved his ability to make solid contact, lift, and drive the ball, although he struggled adapting when promoted to Low-A this past season.

Although signed as a catcher by the Reds and currently listed as a catcher by the Mets, Donovan Antonia has never actually played a single game at the position. The Reds had him playing the infield during the Dominican Instructional League when he first signed with them and he has appeared in games at first base, second base, and all three outfield positions. Antonia is athletic and well proportioned, possessing average speed and an above-average arm.

Juan Arnaud, RHP

Juan Arnaud was signed on January 15, the first day of the 2021 international signing period, out of Cotui, a city in the Dominican Republic that also produced such major leaguers as Duaner Sanchez, Teoscar Hernandez, and Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jose Capellan. Set to begin his professional career later that summer, Arnaud missed the entire season due to an injury. He was finally able to get back on the field in June 2022 and spent the summer pitching for both Mets Dominican Summer League squadrons. In 30.2 innings with the DSL Mets 1 and DSL Mets 2 combined, the right-hander posted a 5.87 ERA with 33 hits allowed, 30 walks, and 34 strikeouts. In 2023, he was sent stateside, assigned to the FCL Mets. The 20-year-old appeared in 15 games for them and posted a 4.71 ERA in 21.0 innings, allowing 12 hits, walking 18, and striking out 22.

The right-hander throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a long arm action through the back. His fastball sits in the high-80s-to-low-90s, generally 88-91, occasionally touching 92, 93 MPH. He complement it with a mid-70s curveball that has solid 12-6 shape, and possibly a mid-70s changeup as well. When Arnaud was signed, he had the reputation as being a strike thrower, but he struggled hitting the zone in his first year on the mound against professional hitters with professional umpiring crews. Arnaud works very quickly and has some jerkiness in his delivery; slowing down and smoothing out his mechanics would certainly help his command.

Enderson Asencio, OF

Enderson Asencio was born on 3/17/2006 in Moca, a city in northern Dominican Republic known as “the village of heroes” due to the many men and women from the city who played a role in opposing dictators Ulises Heureaux and Rafael Trujillo. He signed with the Mets on January 15, 2023, with the two sides agreeing to a $75,000 signing bonus. The Mets assigned him to the Dominican Summer League, where he played 50 games for the DSL Mets Orange. The 17-year-old hit .210/.343/.347 with 11 doubles, 4 home runs, 2 stolen bases in 3 attempts, and drew 26 walks to 55 strikeouts.

Asencio is a big kid, standing 6’4” and weighing 195-pounds. He has a big swing, hinting at future above-average in-game power but swing that comes at the expense of his ability to make contact, and it prompts a large number of swings and misses. In 2023, he registered numerous exit velocities over 95 MPH and even a handful of 100 MPH exit velocities, but his launch angles were all over the place.

Despite his size, Asencio runs well. The majority of his innings came in left field in 2023, but he also played considerable time in right field and a bit at first base. While he undoubtedly will fill in and get a little slower as he ages, it is unlikely that he be forced out of the outfield completely. With his above-average arm, he should profile in right field for years to come.

Javier Atencio, LHP

Javier Atencio was signed by the Mets on July 2, 2018, the first day of the 2018-2019 international signing period, out of Ocumare del Tuy, Venezuela for a $75,000 signing bonus. He made his professional debut the following summer, assigned to the DSL Mets. The 17-year-old appeared in 12 games for them and posted a 4.75 ERA, allowing 42 hits, walking 16, and striking out 25. After missing the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Atencio remained in the Dominican Summer League in 2021 due to many of the travel restrictions in place at the time. He appeared in 15 games for the DSL Mets and posted a 2.44 ERA in 48.0 innings, allowing 28 hits, walking 19, and striking out 76.

The Mets brought him stateside in 2022, assigning him to the St. Lucie Mets after impressing in extended spring training, a somewhat aggressive assignment for a 20-year-old whose only professional experience was in the DSL. Atencio more than held his own, posting a 2.27 ERA in 39.2 innings sandwiched between an injury that cost him a few weeks at the end of July and beginning of August, allowing 30 hits, walking 23, and striking out 48. The southpaw remained in St. Lucie for the 2023 season, but he struggled in his sophomore season there, getting sent back down to the FCL Mets for about a month in an attempt to get his season back on track. All in all, Atencio posted a 10.40 ERA in 40.2 innings before his season ended prematurely in August due to an undisclosed injury. He allowed 58 total hits, walked 33, struck out 37, and allowed at least one earned run in every single one of his 13 appearances.

The southpaw throws from a slingy high-three-quarters arm slot with a long arm action through the back. He hides the ball well with a big leg kick and incorporates an exaggerated glove tap mid-windup to further deceive hitters. He has simple, repeatable mechanics, though he sometimes rushes in the stretch. He works better throwing north-south than east-west, as he is still learning to command his secondary pitches.

Atencio primarily relies on a four-seam fastball with some natural sinking action. It averaged 91 MPH in 2023, sitting in the high-80s-to-low-90s. He pairs his fastball with a curveball and a changeup, both effective pitches in inducing groundballs. His curve sits in the mid-to-high-70s, averaging 77 MPH with big sweepy break. His changeup sits in the mid-70s-to-mid-80s, averaging 83 MPH. Atencio throws two versions of it, a split-change and a more traditional changeup, his split-change generally sitting at the higher velocity bend and showing higher spin rates approaching 2600 RPM, while his more traditional change sits at the lower end of his velocity band, showing spin rates that dip as low as 1100 RPM. The left-hander relies primarily on his fastball-changeup combo, sometimes throwing his changeup just as much as his fastball. He uses his curveball enough for it to be a bone fide part of his arsenal, but at times, he literally only throws it once or twice an outing.

Jesus Baez, INF

Sixteen-year-old Jesus Baez was signed out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on January 15, 2022, the first day of the 2022 international signing period, signing for $275,000. He turned 17 a few weeks later and was assigned to the Dominican Summer League a few months later. Suiting up for both of the Mets’ DSL squads, the infielder appeared in 54 games over the summer, hitting .242/.341/.403 with 9 doubles, 7 home runs, 8 stolen bases in 14 attempts, and 26 walks to 46 strikeouts. He gained a large amount of helium that winter, leading to his being ranked 20 on the Amazin’ Avenue Top 25 Mets Prospects for 2023 list, but he unfortunately did not really live up to expectations. Sent stateside to the FCL Mets, Baez hit .210/.306/.333 with 9 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs, 5 stolen bases in 7 attempts, and drew 19 walks to 28 strikeouts.

Jesus Baez doesn’t look like the kind of player who has massive raw power, but his big right-handed swing gets the most of his 5’10”, 180-pound frame. He stands slightly open at the plate, holding his hands high and wrapping his bat behind his head. Using a big leg kick, he has a big swing that has registered exit velocities over 100 MPH. The bat speed seems average at best and the swing is long, and he has had trouble catching up with mid-90s velocity, but he can punish pitches that he is able to make good contact on. He is very aggressive at the plate, and improving his approach would go a long way to making better contact on more hittable pitches.

Defensively, Baez’s arm is well above-average, borderline plus. It gives him the ability to play shortstop despite possessing only average range for a middle infielder and so-so defensive actions and instincts. Should he eventually be moved off of shortstop, his arm would fit at third base. He added weight and size as the 2023 season went on, but it did not impact his ability to play the position.

Brett Banks, RHP

A North Carolina native, Brett Banks grew up in Garner, attending Garner High School, where he lettered three years and hit a cumulative .245/.317/.333 with 10 doubles, 1 home run, 1 stolen base, and 13 walks to 42 strikeouts. He was a bit more proficient on the mound, posting a 5.08 ERA in 104.2 innings, allowing 111 hits, walking 81, and striking out 118. The right-hander had a fastball that touched the low-90s and developing breaking balls, but still needed a lot more work to become a viable professional, so he went undrafted after graduating. He attended Wake Tech in 2020, a community college in Raleigh, North Carolina, but did not pitch due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He transferred to Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, North Carolina in 2021 and got on the mound finally as a collegiate athlete, appearing in 8 games and posting a 0.50 ERA in 18.0 innings with 6 hits allowed, 6 walks, and 18 strikeouts. He went undrafted in the 2021 MLB Draft and pitched for the Johnson City Doughboys that summer in the newly-reformed Appalachian League, posting a 3.71 ERA in 17.0 innings over 8 games, with 15 hits allowed, 13 walks, and 19 strikeouts.

The right-hander transferred to UNC Wilmington for 2022, his red-shirt sophomore season. Banks struggled, appearing in 11 games and posting a 7.63 ERA in 30.2 innings, allowing 37 hits, walking 24, and striking out 35. Head Coach Randy Hood and Pitching Coach Kelly Secrest gave the right-hander some role clarity in 2023, using him only out of the bullpen in late innings, and Banks flourished. Appearing in 30 games, taking over the role of closer later in the season, he posted a 4.23 ERA in 38.1 innings, allowing 31 hits, walking 21, and striking out 44.

Prior to the draft, Banks entered the transfer portal and committed to North Carolina State University, with the intention of transferring there if he was not selected as a high-round draft pick in the 2023 MLB Draft. He was selected by the Mets in the 11th round of the draft and agreed to a $200,000 signing bonus, $50,000 over the post-tenth-round maximum in which the Mets would have to dip into the bonus pool. He was assigned to the FCL Mets and appeared in three games in August, giving up an earned run in 2.1 innings, walking two and striking out three while not allowing a hit.

Banks throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a whippy arm. His fastball is an above-average pitch both by pure velocity and advanced pitch metrics. It sits in the mid-90s, topping out at 98 MPH, and features a high spin rate, giving the pitch as much as 20 inches of induced vertical break. He complements it with a low-to-mid-80s slider that features short, sharp break and in the future may be able to develop a bona fide cutter out of the pitch as well. The right-hander has had command problems throughout his high school and college career but is able to keep the ball close enough near the zone to entice batters.

Anthony Baptist, OF

A native of Barahona, Dominican Republic, a coastal city on the island’s southwestern that was also the birthplace of former professionals Julio Lugo, Ruddy Lugo, and Edinson Volquez, the Mets officially signed outfielder Anthony Baptist on January 15, 2023, the first day of the 2023 international free agent signing period. Signed for a $1.1 million signing bonus, representing roughly 20% of their $5.2 million budget. He was assigned to the Dominican Summer League for the 2023 season and appeared in 32 games for the DSL Mets Orange. The 17-year-old hit .276/.427/.476 with 3 doubles, 6 triples, 2 home runs, 12 stolen bases in 18 attempts, and drew 25 walks to 29 strikeouts.

The left-hander stands open at the plate, holding his hands high and wrapping his bat behind his head. He swings with a slight toe tap mechanism, but will almost certainly have his swing reworked as he spends more time within the organization, as his swing is virtually all upper body, barely utilizing his lower half. His small frame limits his physical power projection, but his contact-over-power profile allows him to make the most of his carrying tool, his speed- the infielder has been clocked multiple times at 6.1 seconds in the 60-yard dash, meaning he has plus-plus speed. His offensive game is centered around spraying line drives around the field, putting the ball in play, and wreaking havoc on the base path. It is imperative for him to lift the ball more in the future. He only had a handful of launch angles above 10 degrees in the entire 2023 season, as his 61.6% ground ball rate attests to.

Defensively, Baptist profiles well in center field thanks to the range he has afforded by his foot speed. At this stage in his professional development, he needs to improve his read of the ball off the bat and his routes, refinements that come with repetition and experience. He has an above-average arm, so in the unlikely situation that he just does not take to center or loses the necessary speed and range to remain there, right field remains a potential future home. While Baptist has plenty of room to add muscle mass to his frame, as he is listed at 5’11”, 155-pounds, it is unlikely that he grows to the point where he is forced off of the position as his frame is slim and lithe.

Jack Beck, RHP

The son of Lynn Beck, a standout receiver at Oklahoma State, Jace Beck did not inherit his father’s football skills, but he did inherit his genetics and propensity for athletics. After first learning to pitch in the seventh grade, Jace continued playing through high school, excelling on the diamond instead of the gridiron. He was particularly impressive in his junior year, when he went 9-2 for the Tuttle Tigers, posting a 1.47 ERA in 70 innings with 20 walks and 90 strikeouts. In the middle of his senior year, he moved, and transferred schools, going from Tuttle High School to their rival, Blanchard High School. Though he wore a different uniform, going from the Tuttle Tigers to the Blanchard Lions, Beck continued to be dominant on the mound. The entire team was, in fact, going 39-0 for the year. Beck himself went a perfect 13-0, posting a 0.99 ERA in 70.2 innings, striking out 134. The Mets selected the right-hander in the 22nd round of the 2019 MLB Draft, the 658th player selected overall. He forwent his commitment to Cowley County Community College and signed with the Mets for a $125,000 bonus. The 19-year-old appeared in 6 games in 2019, posting a 3.38 ERA in 8.0 innings for the GCL Mets, allowing 7 hits, walking 1, and striking out 10.

After missing the 2020 season, he returned to the St. Lucie complex, now the FCL Mets. Appearing in 10 games and starting 6, he posted a 6.65 ERA in 21.2 innings, allowing 18 hits, walking 19, and striking out 31. He earned a promotion to the St. Lucie Mets at the end of the year, pitching exactly one inning for them, and then pitched the majority of the 2022 season with them. Appearing in 17 games in 2022, the right-hander posted a 2.37 ERA in 19.0 innings, with 11 hits allowed, 17 walks, and 22 strikeouts. In 2023, the 23-year-old was promoted to High-A Brooklyn and pitched there for the entire year. Appearing in 26 games, he posted a 3.73 ERA in 31.1 innings, allowing 25 hits, walking 30, and striking out 57.

Beck is filled-in and physically mature. At 6’9”, Jace Beck is extremely tall, even for a professional athlete. Being tall comes with certain advantages and disadvantages as a pitcher, and the right-hander exhibits both. He pushes off the mound well and has great extension due to his long wingspan, but often has trouble commanding his pitches, even though he generally groups his release points together fairly well.

The big right-hander throws from a high three-quarters arm slot with a long arm action though the back incorporating a wrist wrap. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, averaging 93 MPH and topping out at 97 MPH. The pitch has an average spin rate and has a bit of sink to it. Earlier in his career, the pitch induced more ground balls, but in 2023, that rate precipitously dropped.

Back when Beck was a prep pitcher, he almost exclusively relied on his fastball to dominate his competition and as such, his curveball and changeup were even further behind in their development than other high school pitchers on draft day and remain very rough offerings. Given that the majority of his outings as a professional have been single-inning relief appearances, the amount of breaking balls thrown in many of his outings can literally be counted on one hand. In his arsenal are changeups, sliders, cutters, and curveballs, all of varying degrees of development and effectiveness. To date, his slider has been his most effective breaking ball, eliciting more swings-and-misses and resulting in fewer balls put in play with hard contact. Sitting in the low-80s, averaging 83 MPH, the pitch does not have much bite to it and has curveball characteristics.

Gage Bihm, LHP

Southpaw Gage Bihm is a Louisiana native, born in Opelousas, one of the oldest cities in the state. He attended Opelousas Catholic High School and went on to attend Hinds Community College after graduating in 2020. In his freshman year, Bihm appeared in 10 games for the Hinds Bulldogs, starting 4, and posted a 6.28 ERA in 14.1 innings, allowing 10 hits, walking 17, and striking out 19. That summer, he played for the Baton Rouge Rougarou in the Texas Collegiate League and posted a 6.00 ERA in 23.0 innings over 15 games, with 23 hits allowed, 24 walks, and 30 strikeouts. He returned to Hinds for his sophomore season and had a similar season, albeit with a heavier workload. Bihm appeared in 14 games, starting 6, and posted a 6.35 ERA in 45.1 innings, allowing 44 hits, walking 45, and striking out 56. He returned to Baton Rouge for a second summer and appeared in 5 games, starting 4, posting a 5.40 ERA in 18.1 innings, with 7 hits allowed, 21 walks, and 14 strikeouts.

Eligible to be selected in the 2022 MLB Draft as a sophomore from a junior college, Bihm was not selected by a Major League Baseball club. The left-hander transferred to LSU-Shreveport, where he finally seemed to put everything together. He appeared in 25 games for the Pilots and posted a 1.80 ERA in 40.0 innings, allowing 18 hits, walking 19, and striking out 59. He once again went undrafted after the season ended and was planning on transferring to the University of Oklahoma but only hours after receiving the scholarship offer, received a professional contract from the Mets, who had watched his professional workouts after the college season ended and liked what they saw. The southpaw weighed the pros and cons of both offers and decided to sign with the Mets in July. He did not suit up for them over the course of the rest of the summer.

The 6’4”, 215-pound left-hander throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and he complements the pitch with a high spin rate curveball. The southpaw has consistently had problems with his control and command but was able to improve in 2023 on the strength of better coaching.

Kellum Clark, OF

Kellum Clark’s father played baseball at Belhaven University, private Division III evangelical Christian university in Jackson, Mississippi, and the apple did not fall far from the tree, as Kellum grew up playing as well. He initially attended high school at Jackson Academy, a private school in Jackson, Mississippi, but transferred to Brandon High School in his native Brandon, Mississippi as an upperclassman. Considered a big-time follow by scouts and evaluators thanks to a strong arm and a loud bat, Clark had a strong commitment to Mississippi State University, a school that his grandfather, two aunts, and an uncle attended, and went undrafted in the 2020 MLB Draft, going on to attend college instead.

An older freshman, turning 20 during the year, Clark had a solid season, appearing in 33 games and starting 26 in the outfield and at first base. He hit .237/.355/.495 with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs, 1 stolen base, and 14 walks to 29 strikeouts. He played for the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod Baseball League that summer and played in 21 games for them, hitting .191/.320/.238 with 3 doubles, 3 stolen bases, and 8 walks to 26 strikeouts. He returned to the Bulldogs for the 2022 season and appeared in 55 games, starting 52 as the team’s primary right fielder. Clark was one of the better hitters on the team, hitting .257/.369/.556 with 12 doubles, 1 triple, 14 home runs, 2 stolen bases, and 26 walks to 47 strikeouts. He returned to Wareham that summer for a second stint in the Cape and hit an improved .264/.393/.333 with 5 doubles, 2 stolen bases, and 10 walks to 20 strikeouts. The 22-year-old had a career year this past spring, appearing in 52 games for MSU and hitting .300/.395/.546 with 11 doubles, 1 triple, 11 home runs, 6 stolen bases, and 28 walks to 49 strikeouts.

The Mets selected Clark with their last selection in the 2023 MLB Draft, the 606th player selected in the draft overall out of 614 total. The two sides agreed to a $150,000 signing bonus, the highest allowable by Major League Baseball for players selected after the 10th round before the monetary value would count against the team’s slot bonus pool. He was assigned to the FCL Mets at the end of July and played in 11 games with them before being promoted to the St. Lucie Mets in late August, where he played in 11 more games before the season ended. All in all, with the FCL Mets and St. Lucie Mets, Clark hit a combined .262/.425/.369 with 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 3 stolen bases in as many attempts, and 18 walks to 21 strikeouts.

A left-handed batter, Clark stands square at the plate, holding his hands high and his bat angled at 10:30. He swings with a slight leg lift and has a long-levered swing that produces easy power to all fields, regularly recording exit velocities in the 90s and occasionally reaching triple digits as well while playing college baseball. So far in his young professional career, the outfielder has had scattershot measured exit velocities and results. Averaging an 82.7 MPH exit velocity in all batted ball events while playing with St. Lucie, he has almost as many balls put in play with exit velocities less than 70 MPH as he does with balls put in play with exit velocities over 95 MPH. While the left-hander has a solid understanding of the strike zone and works counts, he struggled against elevated fastballs and spin with MSU and so far as a professional has struggled against breaking balls, going after them with an above-average likelihood to swing and miss.

In the outfield, his defense is limited to a corner spot, with enough arm strength to play right field. A fringe-average runner currently, he does not have explosive speed, but shows solid range in for a corner once he gets going. Clark also has experience playing first base, where he has demonstrated good footwork, soft hands, and the ability to pick balls in the dirt.

Nolan Clenney, RHP

Born in Northville, Michigan, Nolan Clenney attended Detroit Catholic Central High School in nearby Novi, where he established himself as one of the best players on the Shamrocks and an intriguing follow for scouts and evaluators in Michigan. The right-hander graduated undrafted in 2014 and attended Brunswick Community College in Supply, North Carolina, a small unincorporated community on the state’s southern Atlantic coastline. Clenney excelled as a hitter and a pitcher with the Dolphins, posting a cumulative 2.53 ERA in 81.2 innings with 62 hits allowed, 31 walks, and 88 strikeouts along with a cumulative .396/.439/.538 batting line in 73 games with 4 home runs, 3 stolen bases, and 19 walks to 18 strikeouts. After his sophomore season, he transferred to North Carolina State, redshirting in his first year there. In 2018, Clenney led the Wolfpack with 33 appearances out of the bullpen and posted a 3.43 ERA in 44.2 innings, allowing 32 hits, walking 26, and striking out 54. In 2019, his redshirt senior season, the 23-year-old was limited to just 14 games and posted a 2.25 ERA in 12.0 innings with 9 hits allowed, 9 walks, and 13 strikeouts.

His limited time on the mound combined with his advanced age led the right-hander to go undrafted in the 2019 MLB Draft. Rather than give up on baseball, Clenney signed with the Utica Unicorns of the United Shore Professional Baseball League, an independent league in the Detroit metropolitan area. He pitched with them for two years- the USPBL played in the summer of 2020- and compiled a cumulative 3.01 ERA in 68.2 innings with 55 hits allowed, 21 walks, and 76 strikeouts, helping lead the Unicorns to back-to-back championships. In 2021, the 25-year-old signed with the Gary SouthShore RailCats of the American Association. Pitching mainly out of their bullpen, he posted a 0.89 ERA in 20.1 innings over 11 games, allowing 12 hits, walking 3, and striking out 26. At the beginning of May 2021, Clenney agreed, in principle, to a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers but the deal fell through, leading the Mets to sign the right-hander roughly a month later, at the end of June.

The Mets assigned Clenney to St. Lucie for the majority of 2021, receiving a late-season promotion to Brooklyn in September. All in all, in his first professional season, the right-hander posted a 3.90 ERA in 27.2 innings over 17 relief appearances, allowing 25 hits, walking 7, and striking out 37. He remained in Brooklyn to start 2022 and remained there for the entire year, posting a 4.92 ERA in 67.2 innings over 33 appearances with 60 hits allowed, 22 walks allowed, and 87 strikeouts. Clenney initially started the 2023 season with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but was promoted to the Syracuse Mets after a few games, and then sent back down to Binghamton after a few games with them. This occurred multiple times over the course of the season, and though he spent the majority of the year with Binghamton, he also threw considerable innings with Syracuse as well. With the Rumble Ponies, the right-hander posted a 5.36 ERA in 40.1 innings, allowing 48 hits, walking 18, and striking out 44, and with the Syracuse Mets, he posted a 6.08 ERA in 23.2 innings, allowing 21 hits, walking 11, and striking out 37. After the season ended, the Mets sent Clenney to the Arizona Fall League, and the reliever posted solid numbers. Appearing in 9 games, he had a 1.00 ERA in 9.0 innings, allowing 7 hits, walking 4, and striking out 15.

The 6’2”, 215-pound right-hander throws from a low-three-quarters arm slot with a long arm action through the back. He gets good extension off of the mound and folds his top half over well, lowering his release point and giving him a flatter vertical approach angle. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s and features spin rates that flash above-average. The pitch has good sink and arm side run, resulting in good groundball rates and a large number of weak infield flyballs. He complements the pitch with a slider that sits in the low-to-mid-80s and the occasional low-to-mid-80s changeup. His slider is his main strikeout pitch, featuring tight, gyroscopic 12-6 break, while his changeup has natural tumble and fade, eliciting swings-and-misses as well as strikeouts.

Robert Colina, RHP

Robert Colina was born in Punto Fijo, the largest city in the Venezuelan state of Falcón. Inspired by hometown heroes Freddy Galvis and Robinson Chirinos, he sought to become a professional ballplayer himself. While in school, his parents and coaches discovered that he had an incredible arm, and Colina he began training with a variety of people, eventually enrolling at Future Stars Baseball Academy in Barquisimito. He eventually signed with the Mets on July 2, 2017, agreeing to a $85,000 signing bonus.

The right-hander was assigned to the Dominican Summer League and posted a 2.94 ERA in 49.0 innings, allowing 42 hit, walking 12, and striking out 49. He began the 2019 season in the DSL but was promoted to the GCL Mets in late June after just four starts. Pitching as both a starter and reliever, Colina posted a 3.57 ERA in 40.1 innings, allowing 42 hits, walking 13, and striking out 35. He was sent stateside in 2021, starting the year with the FCL Mets, but was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets in mid-August and finished out the season with them. In the complex, the right-hander posted a 2.70 ERA in 23.1 innings with 21 hits allowed, 6 walks, and 32 strikeouts, while he posted a 3.18 ERA in 28.1 innings with 27 hits allowed, 12 walks, and 27 strikeouts, giving him a combined 2.96 ERA in 51.2 innings with 48 hits allowed, 18 walks, and 59 strikeouts. The 21-year-old spent the season with St. Lucie and the FCL Mets once again in 2022, though this time in reverse order, as he struggled and was demoted midway through the season. In St. Lucie, he posted a 7.99 ERA in 32.2 innings, allowing 42 hits, walking 17, and striking out 41, while he posted a 1.59 ERA in 17.0 innings with 11 hits allowed, 3 walks, and 22 strikeouts in the complex, giving him a combined 5.80 ERA in 49.2 innings on the year with 53 hits allowed, 17 walks, and 63 strikeouts.

Colina started the 2023 season out with the St. Lucie Mets and pitched one game there before being promoted to Binghamton, where he also pitched exactly one game. The right-hander spent the majority of the season with the Brooklyn Cyclones, an injury in September ended his season prematurely. All in all, Colina was excellent, appearing in 19 games and starting 8. He posted a 3.84 ERA in 61.0 innings, allowing 62 hits, walking 16, and striking out 75.

The right-hander throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a long action through the back. His mechanics are sound and do not show red flags in relation to either injury or control. Listed at 5’11”, Colina is short for a pitcher, and his 175-pound frame is already well filled in and proportionate, making additional growth at this point unlikely.

Colina’s fastball averages 92 MPH, ranging from 89 to 93 MPH. The pitch averages a slightly above average spin rate and displays positive spin axis traits but the pitch does not register many swings and misses, with batters able to square up on it. Instead, his curveball is his main strikeout pitch, an offering that logged more whiffs over his career than his fastball. The pitch sits between 75 and 80 MPH and features a bit of horizontal movement and a ton of vertical drop. While he is mainly a two-pitch, fastball-curveball pitcher, he occasionally mixes in a cutter and changeup.

Jeffrey Colon, RHP

Jeffrey Colon was born in Las Matas de Farfan, Dominican Republic, a town not far from the Haitian border that was the birthplace of numerous current and former major leaguers, including Jean Segura, Juan Encarnación, Roberto Novoa, Odalis Perez, Ramón Santiago, and Valerio De Los Santos. Colon was signed by the Mets on June 2, 2018, at the very end of the 2018-2019 international signing period and spent the entire season in the Dominican Summer League. The 18-year-old appeared in 15 games and pitched a total of 34.0 innings, posting a 4.24 ERA with 30 hits allowed, 16 walks, and 33 strikeouts. He was sent stateside in 2019, pitching for the GCL Mets, and had a similar season in the complex; appearing in 19 games, he posted a 4.94 ERA in 27.1 innings pitched, allowing 28 hits, walking 17, and striking out 22.

After missing 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Colon split the year with the FCL Mets and the St. Lucie Mets, pitching 18.2 innings for both teams to varying results. With the FCL Mets, he appeared in 9 games and posted a 1.93 ERA, allowing 14 hits, walking 3, and striking out 27. With the St. Lucie Mets, he appeared in 14 games and posted a 6.27 ERA, allowing 28 hits, walking 11, and striking out 17. He began the 2022 season with St. Lucie and had a much better go at it this season. The 22-year-old appeared in 13 games and posted a 3.23 ERA in 47.1 innings, allowing 41 hits, walking 11, and striking out 57. He was promoted to High-A Brooklyn in mid-August and was extremely effective in the 6 outings he had in Coney Island. Throwing 25.1 innings, the right-hander posted a 1.07 ERA with 13 hits allowed, 7 walks, and 27 strikeouts. All in all, at both levels combined, Colon posted a 2.48 ERA in 72.2 innings, allowing 54 hits, walking 18, and striking out 84. He spent the entire 2023 season with the Brooklyn Cyclones, missing roughly all of July and August due to an injury. The 23-year-old had a fairly erratic season, posting a 5.72 ERA in 61.1 innings, allowing 75 hits, walking 22, and striking out 54.

The right-hander throws from a low-three-quarters arm slot, with a long arm action through the back and minimal unnecessary movement. Colon is mainly a fastball/changeup pitcher. He pitches backwards, using his changeup roughly 50% of the time, and complementing it with his fastball.

Colon’s fastball sits in the high-80s-to-low-90s and has slight armside run to go along with some natural sink. The right-hander maintained a 52.0% groundball rate in 2023 and a strong 61.5% groundball rate in 2022 on the strength of the sink of his fastball and the weak contact from his changeup. He throws two different versions of his changeup. One is thrown a bit harder, hovering around 90 MPH, and features more horizontal movement than vertical drop, and the other is thrown a bit slower, sitting in the mid-80s, and features more vertical drop than horizontal movement.

Joshua Cornielly, RHP

Signed on the first day of the 2018-2019 international free agent signing period out of Caracas, Venezuela’s Elite Baseball Academy, Joshua Corneilly made his professional debut that summer, assigned to the Dominican Summer League. The 17-year-old right-hander posted a 3.25 ERA in 27.2 innings, allowing 35 hits, walking 8, and striking out 27. He began the 2019 season with the DSL Mets, posting a 6.10 ERA in three starts, but was promoted to the GSL Mets and sent stateside in late June. Pitching as a swingman there, he posted a 4.54 ERA in 35.2 innings, allowing 43 hits, walking 8, and striking out 40.

He missed all of 2020 due to the coronavirus and then missed all of 2021 thanks to a shoulder surgery in the spring and then difficulties securing a visa. He finally got back on the mound in 2022, assigned to the St. Lucie Mets. Appearing in 31 games, the 21-year-old posted a 5.21 ERA in 46.2 innings, with 48 hits allowed, 25 walks, and 53 strikeouts. In 2023, he spent the entire season with the Brooklyn Cyclones and posted a 3.71 ERA in 51.0 innings, allowing 48 hits, walking 17, and striking out 58.

The bespectacled right-hander throws from a three-quarters arm slot, dropping down low with a long arm action in the back. His delivery is simple, repeatable, and mechanically sound, leading to no red flags regarding injury or control problems. The right-hander does not have a particularly flashy arsenal, but is a cerebral pitcher and is able to maximize his repertoire based on what is working best for him on any given night and how batters are reacting.

Earlier in his career, his fastball sits in the low-90s, topping out a little higher and occasionally dipping into the high-80s. His main secondary pitch is a low-80s changeup, which features roughly a 10 MPH differential from his fastball with tumble and fade. While the pitch did not elicit many more swings and misses as compared to his fastball, the pitch does induce weak contact. In addition, he throws a curveball that sits in the mid-to-high-70s and a slider that sits around 80 MPH.

Carlos Cortes, OF

Carlos Cortes had a long track record of hitting in high school, both on the showcase circuit and for Lake Howell High School in Winter Park, Florida, and having done their due diligence on the youngster, the Mets drafted him with their 20th round selection in the 2016 MLB Draft. Having already committed to South Carolina University, Cortes elected to attend college instead of turning pro. In 50 games as a freshman, Cortes hit .286/.368/.565 with 12 home run, 5 stolen bases in 7 attempts, and 22 walks to 27 strikeouts. He played in the Cape Cod Collegiate League that summer and returned to South Carolina to hit .265/.385/.500 in his second year, slugging 15 home runs, stealing 8 bases in 9 attempts, and walking 43 times to 32 strikeouts. The Mets remained interested in the draft-eligible sophomore and picked him once again, this time selecting him in the 3rd round of the 2018 MLB Draft. This time around, he signed with the club, agreeing to a $1,000,038 signing bonus, roughly $300,000 over the MLB-recommended slot value. He made his professional debut with the Brooklyn Cyclones and posted a .264/.338/.382 batting line in 47 games, hitting 4 homers, walking 17 times and striking out 34. He was promoted to St. Lucie in 2019 and hit .255/.336/.397 in 127 games, hitting 11 homers, stealing 6 bases in 11 attempts, and walking 52 times to 77 strikeouts.

Like everybody else, he missed the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic but was able to get into some competitive baseball action late in the year in the Australian Baseball League. Appearing in 14 games for the Sydney Blue Sox, a team particularly hurt by COVID protocols, Cortes hit .392/.429/.706. Returning to the U.S. and playing for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Cortes was able to keep the momentum going early in the 2021 season but the gains faded as the year progressed. In the first two months of the season, he hit .287/.353/.551 with 9 home runs and 20 walks to 45 strikeouts, but in the last two months, he hit .236/.314/.423 with 5 home runs and a 14:37 walk:strikeout ratio, good for a .257/.332/.487 batting line in 79 games with 14 home runs, 35 walks, and 85 strikeouts. His struggles continued into 2022, as the 25-year-old hit a combined .223/.295/.369 with 12 home runs, 42 walks, and 124 strikeouts in 123 games with Binghamton and Syracuse. His 2023 season was only a slight improvement, as he hit .241/.355/.428 with 15 home runs in the highly offensively charged environment of Syracuse.

Cortes stands open at the plate an uppercutty swing, a stark difference from his earlier high school and collegiate days, when his bat path was much more level. His swing mechanics are fluid and Cortes swings at most pitches with intent. As such, there is some swing and miss in it, particularly against breaking balls out of the strike zone and versus left-handers. Pitches that he is able to make solid contact with jump off the bat despite his small stature; his load, coil, bat speed, barrel accuracy, and swing plane all magnify the power that you might expect from a guy that stands just 5’7”. He displays above-average raw power, but stagnation in his hit tool has limited his accessible raw during in-game situations.

Defensively, Cortes does not have a true home. The 25-year-old is able to do a lot of things and play multiple positions, but he does not stand out at any. Naturally a left-hander, Cortes taught himself to throw with his right hand and is fully ambidextrous. When he is playing in the infield, he throws right-handed. When he plays the outfield, he throws left-handed. Because his arm strength is fringy from both sides and because he is a slightly below-average runner, he profiles better in the infield, at second base. Being an outfielder makes him a bit more valuable as a player, and as such, the Mets have primarily used him in the outfield since 2021.

Candido Cuevas, RHP

Barahona native Candido Cuevas was signed by the Mets on August 26, 2021, a late international signing. He was assigned to the Dominican Summer League in 2022 and appeared in 14 games, starting 7. In those 35.1 innings, he posted a 5.09 ERA, allowing 36 hits, walking 21, and striking out 42. Mets scouts and evaluators were high on Cuevas and he was sent stateside at the end of the season, appearing in three games for the FCL Mets. After once again impressing Mets brass during extended spring training, he began the 2023 season with the St. Lucie Mets in late May. The 19-year-old right-hander had a so-so showing for himself in the Florida State League, working around a pair of Injured List stints in late-June and another in mid-August that eventually ended his season completely. Appearing in 9 games, starting 5, Cuevas posted a 4.56 ERA in 23.2 innings, allowing 18 hits, walking 17, and striking out 33.

The right-hander was mainly two-pitch pitcher in 2023, throwing a fastball and curveball. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, averaging 94 MPH. With above-average spin rates for a fastball, ranging 2350-2525 RPM and averaging 2450 RPM, the pitch generates a high number of swings-and-misses, and also elicits a lot of weak contact and groundballs, with a 54.1 groundball/put-in-play rate. His curveball sits in the low-80s with big 12-6 break and also induces lot of swings-and-misses and groundballs.

Yohairo Cuevas, OF/1B

The son of Dominican immigrants who came to the United States, Yohairo Cuevas grew up in Manhattan and the Bronx, attending All Hallows High School, a Catholic school in the South Bronx literally a few blocks from Yankee Stadium on East 164th street. Baseball came easy to him, as it is in his blood; his uncle, Juan Samuel, was a three-time all-star who played for the Mets in 1989 when he was acquired in the Lenny Dykstra trade. He moved to the Dominican Republic in order to expedite his ability to go pro and was signed by the Mets for $500,000 on January 15, 2021, the first day of the 2021 international signing period; he had an agreement with them and would have signed in July 2020 if the COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t necessitated the cancellation of the season and the delay of the international signing period.

Cuevas did not live up to expectations in his first season as a professional, assigned to the Dominican Summer League. Appearing in 41 games for the DSL Mets 1, the 17-year-old left-hander hit .155/.331/.214 with 0 home runs, 5 stolen bases in as many attempts, and 23 walks to 41 strikeouts. His 2022 season was a big improvement, as he hit .277/.374/.398 in 51 games for the DSL Mets with 2 home runs, 7 stolen bases in 10 attempts, and 27 walks to 43 strikeouts. He came stateside in 2023, initially assigned to the FCL Mets and then promoted to the St. Lucie Mets in late-July. In the Florida Complex League, the 19-year-old hit .310/.444/.578 in 23 games with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 4 home runs, 7 stolen bases in 8 attempts, and 18 walks to 21 strikeouts. In the Florida State League, Cuevas hit .215/.308/.354 in 23 games with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs, 6 stolen bases in 7 attempts, and 9 walks to 24 strikeouts. All in all, the teenager hit a cumulative .260/.376/.460 in 46 total games, with 6 doubles, 3 triples, 6 home runs, 13 stolen bases in 15 attempts, and 27 walks to 45 strikeouts.

The 6’3”, 170-pound Cuevas is athletic and well-proportioned. At the plate, he stands slightly open, holding his hands high, swinging with a slight load and leg kick. His swing can get a bit long, resulting in strikeouts or weak contact resulting in ground balls, but when he makes solid contact, he can really put a jolt in the ball thanks to his natural strength and slightly above-average bat speed. During his time with St. Lucie in 2023, he averaged a 90.3 exit velocity on all recorded batted ball events, with multiple 100 MPH+ readings and a high-water mark of 107.6 MPH, a 436-foot home run off of Blue Jays organizational reliever Leam Mendez.

Unlike his uncle, who literally coined the phrase, “You don’t walk off the island. You hit,” Cuevas has shown a solid eye at the plate, though this may be due to his background playing little league and travel ball in the U.S. as opposed to the sandlots of Quisqueya. He has also shown himself to be a solid base runner, stealing bases with an 87% success rate in 2023 and 83% for his career.

Defensively, Cuevas is athletic, has above-average speed, and an above-average arm capable of reaching the mid-80s, making him an excellent fit in either center or right field. An outfielder by trade, Cuevas has experience playing first base in addition to playing in the outfield. Despite being listed as an outfielder by the Mets, he actually has more innings played at first base than he does in the outfield.

Felipe De La Cruz, LHP

Born in Yamasa, a rural agricultural community in eastern Dominican Republic, southpaw Felipe De La Cruz was signed by the Mets on March 17, 2021, a few months before his 20th birthday. The left-hander was assigned to the Dominican Summer League and appeared in 14 games for the DSL Mets, starting 12 of them. He had a solid debut season, posting a 3.13 ERA in 46.0 innings with 38 hits allowed, 16 walks, and 46 strikeouts. The Mets sent him stateside in 2022, pitching with the FCL Mets for the majority of the season and receiving a cup-of-coffee with the St. Lucie Mets in September. In the Florida Complex League, De La Cruz posted a 4.83 ERA in 31.2 innings, allowing 32 hits, walking 16, and striking out 44. In his two games with St. Lucie, the southpaw did not allow a run in 4.0 innings, allowing a pair of hits, walking none, and striking out 9.

The 22-year-old began the 2023 season with St. Lucie and pitched there until the end of August, when he was promoted to the Brooklyn Cyclones. He appeared in 21 games for the St. Lucie Mets, starting 19, and posted a 4.68 ERA in 90.1 innings, allowing 92 hits, walking 41, and striking out 114. In his three starts with the Cyclones, he posted a 2.65 ERA in 17.0 innings, allowing 11 hits, walking 5, and striking out 17. With both teams combined, he posted a 4.36 ERA in 107.1 innings in 2023, allowing 103 hits, walking 46, and striking out 131, the fifth-most of any pitcher in the Mets minor league system.

De La Cruz throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a slingy arm action. Standing an even 6’, the left-hander weighs 160-pounds but is unlikely to add much more weight, as he is well-proportioned and athletic. He works better to his glove side against right-handed hitters and left-handed hitters alike, generally missing with almost everything to his arm side.

His fastball, a sinker, is well above-average for a left-handed pitcher, sitting in the mid-90s, ranging 92-96 MPH in 2023, averaging 94 MPH. The pitch features average spin rates for a fastball and occasionally flashes above-average spin rates, resulting in the large number of swings-and-misses that De La Cruz gets with the pitch and a high groundball rate. The southpaw complements his fastball with a slider and an occasional changeup. His slider sits in the low-to-mid-80s and features two-plane, slightly gyroscopic 12-6 movement. De La Cruz’ changeup sits in the mid-to-high-80s and generates a lot of weak contact and fly balls in addition to swings-and-misses.

Francis de Leon, OF

Signed by the Mets on January 15, 2021, the start of the 2021-2022 international signing period out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, outfielder Francis de Leon was assigned to the DSL Mets later that year, beginning his professional career in the Dominican Summer League. The 17-year-old played all three outfield positions, mainly playing right field, and hit .214/.395/.369 in 35 games with 3 home runs, 6 steals in 9 attempts, and 18 walks to 39 strikeouts. He was sent stateside in 2022 and assigned to the FCL Mets, with his playing time slowly tapering off as the year went on. He appeared in 18 games in total, hitting .109/.222/.109 with 0 home runs, 3 stolen bases in 4 attempts, and 4 walks to 23 strikeouts while mainly playing left field. In 2023, he remained in the FCL and appeared in 15 games, hitting .174/.345/.174 with 0 home runs, 7 stolen bases in 8 attempts, and 5 walks to 7 strikeouts.

Listed at 5’11”, 160-lbs, de Leon still has plenty of room to grow and add muscle but is already very physically mature for his age. The outfielder stands extremely open at the plate, holding his hands high and wrapping his bat behind his head. He swings without much of a load, using a moderate leg kick, whipping the bat through the zone and generating above-average raw power. His swing is still a bit raw, and his hit tool will need to improve in order to manifest his power in-game.

Defensively, de Leon has speed, range, and an above-average arm, giving him the ability to play anywhere in the outfield presently. He has a chance to stay in center field in the long term future if he does not slow down and refines his read off the ball and his outfield routes. With his arm, he profiles well in right field.

Omar De Los Santos, OF

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 ended prematurely, as he hurt his hand sliding into second base in a game in early September. On the whole, the outfielder hit .272/.339/.459 with 16 home runs, a league-leading 70 stolen bases in 85 attempts, and 35 walks to 151 strikeouts. The Mets promoted the outfield to the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2023, but he regressed. Appearing in 98 total games for them, he hit .207/.261/.310 with 7 home runs, 37 stolen bases in 50 attempts, and a staggering 20 walks to 144 strikeouts.

De Los Santos stands square at the plate, holding his hands high. While he got on base at a strong rate in 2022, his hit tool is below average and is 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. His 31.6% strikeout rate in 2022 was one of the highest in the entire system that year as was his 36% strikeout rate in 2023. The swing does generate some power, 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 in 2022 and his 37 in 2023. His total in 2022 was not only the most in the Florida State League on the year, but second to only Milwaukee Brewers farmhand Esteury Ruiz for the most in all of minor league baseball. De Los Santos has above-average, borderline plus speed, giving him the ability to steal plenty of bases, stretch singles, take extra bases, and cover plenty of ground in the outfield.

Branny De Oleo, INF

Santo Domingo native Branny De Oleo signed with the Mets for just $10,000 in January 2023. Assigned to the Dominican Summer League, the 18-year-old had an extremely successful debut season. Appearing in 46 games for the DSL Mets Blue, the right-hander hit .313/.403/.476 with 12 doubles, 3 triples, 3 home runs, 6 stolen bases in 7 attempts, and 14 walks to 18 strikeouts.

De Oleo is listed at 6’1”, 160-pounds, giving him plenty of room to grow and fill in. At the plate, the wiry infielder stands slightly open, wrapping his bat behind his head at 2:00 and swinging with a slight leg kick. He currently has below-average raw and in-game power but is still extremely projectable in that regard. He is an aggressive hitter and is able to make contact with most pitches thrown in the strike zone but his approach has also led to unnecessary strikeouts or poor contact with too many pitches outside of the zone.

Defensively, De Oleo has the quick-twitch muscle necessary to play middle infield. At present, he is a reliable shortstop who is better at second base currently due to still-developing actions and arm strength.

Joel Diaz, RHP

Signed by the Mets on January 15, 2021, the first day of the 2021-2022 international free agent signing period, right-hander Joel Diaz had a phenomenal debut season. Assigned to Dominican Summer League, the 17-year-old posted a 0.54 ERA in 50.1 innings, allowing 29 hits, walking 9, and striking out 63. Since 2010, only Sixto Sanchez has posted a lower qualified ERA in his age-17 season, posting a 0.50 ERA in 54.0 innings with the GCL Phillies in 2016.

The young hurler gained a massive amount of helium that winter as a result, and the Mets seemed to have a second promising international free agent hurler in their ranks, with Robert Dominguez having impressed scouts and evaluators when he was signed roughly a year before. Diaz came stateside in 2022 and was assigned to the St. Lucie Mets in late May. Much like Dominguez’ results did not match the hype prior to his Tommy John surgery, the 18-year-old Diaz did not really have the best results in St. Lucie, posting a 5.86 ERA in 55.1 inning, allowing 62 hits, walking 25, and striking out 51.

Based on his stuff and results, Amazin’ Avenue ranked Diaz the Mets’ 15 top prospect going into the 2023 season. The right-hander unfortunately did not pitch in 2023, undergoing Tommy John surgery just prior to the start of the season.

Diaz throws from a three-quarters arm slot, short-arming the ball and really folding over and dropping when pushing off the mound, giving him a lower release point. He stands an even 6’ tall and weighs 210 pounds, giving him a solid frame for starting at the present with his thick trunk suggesting the possibility of further growth and/or more muscle mass in the future. The right-hander throws four pitches: a four-seam fastball, sinker, curveball, and changeup.

Prior to his Tommy John surgery, his fastball ranged between 92-95 MPH, averaging 94 MPH in 2022. Though the 2200 RPM it averaged was not particularly high, the pitch had some ride up in the zone thanks to its flatter vertical approach angle, and batters had trouble squaring up on it. His sinker showed a bit more variance in its velocity, sitting 89-96 MPH and also averaging 94 MPH. The pitch averaged slightly above-average spin rates for a sinker and featured slightly above-average vertical and horizontal break as compared to the average MLB sinker in 2022.

His curveball ranged between 75-81 MPH, averaging 79 MPH. The pitch featured 11-5 shape and flashed above-average potential. His changeup sat in the mid-80s, averaging 86 MPH. The pitch featured a low spin rate, giving it good fade and tumble. In the DSL, he tended to rely on his fastball and changeup until the second time through the order, but with St. Lucie in 2022, his curveball was his primary secondary pitch, only throwing a handful of changeups per game. At times, he has struggled with his curveball command, and throwing it more frequently with St. Lucie, his walk rate ballooned as a result.

Robert Dominguez, RHP

Born on November 30, 2001, Robert Dominguez was eligible to sign as an international free agent over the 2018-2019 international free agent signing period but flew under the radar and went unsigned as his stuff generally did not draw much attention from scouts and evaluators. The additional year of growth and development did wonders for the right-hander, as he grew, added more muscle to his frame, and added a few more miles per hour to his fastball. He received a handful of offers throughout the rest of the signing period, primarily in the low-five-figures territory, but turned them all down. Training in the Dominican Republic in the summer of 2019, he made mechanical changes to his delivery that unlocked some additional velocity in his. By the end of the summer, he had transformed his 93 MPH fastball into a pitch that flirted with triple digits.

Impressed by the velocity, the Mets signed him shortly thereafter, making the right-hander a $95,000 offer in November 2019, just a few days before his 17th birthday. Dominguez would have started his professional career in the Dominican Summer League in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season delayed his debut. Instead, he was forced to wait until 2021, when the team assigned him to the FCL Mets, an aggressive assignment to be sure. Managing his workload extremely carefully, the right-hander appeared in 10 games and pitched a total of 12.0 innings, posting an 8.25 ERA with 15 hits allowed, 9 walks, and 10 strikeouts. The right-hander had Tommy John surgery just prior to the start of the 2022 season and as such missed the entire year. He began throwing in 2023, but ended up missing the entire 2023 season as well.

At 6’5”, 195-pounds, Dominguez has an ideal frame for pitching. The Venezuelan right-hander throws from a three-quarter arm slot, with a moderate leg lift and a long arm action through the back. He stays on top of the ball well and leverages his height well, throwing with downward plane. Prior to his surgery, his fastball sat in the low-to-mid-90s, with the right-hander reportedly possessing the ability to ramp the pitch up to 99 MPH. Complementing his impressive fastball was a slider and a developing changeup. The slider, which had been categorized as a curveball as an amateur, flashed being an average or better pitch thanks to its late break. The changeup, as is the case with most young pitches, lagged well behind the rest of his arsenal and was still far from being an effective pitch during in-game situations but shows promise because of its movement and velocity differential. He struggled throwing all three in 2021, but as a young player with very few innings under his belt, most scouts and evaluators believe his command will improve as he gains more professional experience.

A.J. Ewing, INF

A multi-sport athlete who also played football at Springboro High School, AJ Ewing really stood out on the diamond. In 2022, he earned All-Southwestern Ohio Conference honors with a .386 batting average and 4 home runs, and this past spring, he was named Great Western Ohio Conference Player of the Year after winning the triple crown, hitting .464 with 4 home runs and 37 RBI. He made the All-Conference First Team each year from 2021-2023 and was named to the Ohio Division I Second Team this past season.

Ewing had a commitment to the University of Alabama but was drafted by the Mets in the free agent compensation round, the 134th overall pick gained when Jacob deGrom signed with the Texas Rangers. The two sides agreed to a $675,000 signing bonus, roughly $200,000 above the MLB-assigned slot value of $483,000. The shortstop was assigned to the FCL Mets and appeared in 7 games, hitting .286/.524/.357 in 14 at-bats with 1 double, 1 stolen base in as many attempts, and 5 walks to 6 strikeouts.

Ewing stands square at the plate, holding his hands high and wrapping his bat behind his head at 9:30. He swings with a slight leg kick and has a long, whippy stroke. He has the raw bat speed to catch up to pitches down in the zone but still needs to shorten his swing to deal with pitches up in the zone. At 6’, 175-pounds, Ewing has room to continue growing and adding muscle mass, but he still is capable of making surprisingly loud contact. When he makes square up on the ball, he is capable of posting exit velocities over 100 MPH, though he posted more high-80s and low-90s exit velocities in exhibitions and tournaments in his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons than he did 100s. He does most of his damage to his pull side and has been pull-happy in general over the course of his high school career.

Ewing has above-average speed and is a strong defender as a result. A middle infielder, he currently profiles better at second base than at shortstop as his arm is only average and would be stretched at short. That is not to say that he can’t play the position in the near long term, as he as quick-twitch athletic, showing good reaction times and plenty of range but his arm might be stretched as plays get more and more advanced at higher levels of the minor leagues.

Willy Fanas, OF

Initially connected to the Los Angeles Angels, their unofficial agreement with Dominican outfielder Willy Fanas fell apart and the 17-year-old went unsigned during the 2020-2021 international signing period. The outfielder filed a lawsuit in Dominican courts seeking $17 million in damages for the broken verbal agreement for $1.8 million made years earlier, when he was 14. In the meantime, he kept in baseball shape and showcased for teams for the upcoming signing period. The Mets stepped in, offered terms to Fanas that he and his family found acceptable, and ended up signing him for $1.5 million when the next signing period began on January 15, 2022. He made his professional debut with the DSL Mets later in the year and the 18-year-old outfielder hit .257/.330/.297 in 32 games with 2 doubles, 1 triple, 10 stolen bases in 13 attempts, and 11 walks to 24 strikeouts. Fanas was ranked 22 on Amazin’ Avenue’s Top 25 Mets Prospects list for 2023 based on his performance and promise. He was sent stateside in 2023 and appeared in 39 games for the FCL Mets, hitting .248/.316/.423 with 9 doubles, 3 triples, 3 home runs, 4 stolen bases in 5 attempts, and drawing 14 walks to 43 walks.

Fanas has a well-proportioned 6’2”, 190-pound frame that suggests future growth. He stands square at the plate, holding his hands high and swinging with a high leg kick. A switch-hitter, Fanas logged more at-bats as a left-handed hitter than a right-handed hitter but had better results as a right-hander than a left-hander this past season. His swing is short but packs a surprising punch; he shows good batting practice power and should be able to manifest it in-game in the years to come. His eye is advanced for his age and level and he has a good sense of the strike zone, keeping his strikeouts down.

His carrying tool at this point is his speed. He is an above-average runner, allowing him to stretch singles into doubles, take extra bases on the base paths, and steal bases. His speed also helps him in the outfield, giving him enough range to play center field. He might slow down as he ages and puts on more muscle mass, but should he ever need to be moved off of the position, he has an above-average arm that fits in right field.

Keiver Garcia, INF

Caracas native Keiver Garcia was signed by the Mets on January 15, 2023 for just $10,000. With a birthday of August 6, 2006, he was young for the class, the 2023 season being his age 16 year. He was assigned to the Dominican Summer League and played with both the DSL Mets Orange and the DSL Mets Blue. He appeared in 33 games in total and hit .219/.390/.271 with 5 doubles, 9 stolen bases in 12 attempts, and an even 23 walks to 23 strikeouts.

Garcia is currently undersized even for a middle infielder, standing 5’10” and weighing 145-pounds, but he is still very young. He stands square at the plate, holding his hands low and resting his bat on his shoulder. He uses a slight leg kick and has a very level, planar swing from both sides of the plate. Despite his current diminutive size and weight, Garcia can hit the ball hard- he recorded multiple 100 MPH exit velocities in 2023 and even a handful of 105+ MPH readings- but he hits the ball on the ground too often. The preponderance of his 2023 batted ball events have launch angles less than 10 degrees or well into the negatives, and as a result, he had a 47.3% ground ball percentage. A switch hitter, Garcia hit .205/.380/.269 as a right-handed batter against lefties and .278/.435/.278 as a left-hander against right-handed pitchers.

An above-average, borderline plus runner, Garcia played second base, third base, and shortstop in 2023, but has a good chance to stick at short in the long term thanks to his exceptional range.

Saul Garcia, RHP

A native of Naguanagua, a city in the valley of the Cabriales River at the base of Cerro El Café and the El Trigal Mountains in central Venezuela, Saul Garcia was born on June 11, 2023. On June 12, 2021, well into the 2021-2022 international signing period, the Mets signed a contract with the 18-year-old right-hander. He was assigned to the Dominican Summer League and made 5 appearances for the DSL Mets 1, posting a 7.50 ERA in 6.0 innings, allowing 4 hits, walking 4, and striking out 11. He was promoted and sent stateside to the FCL Mets in 2022, where he posted a 4.94 ERA in 31.0 innings over 14 games, with 30 hits allowed, 23 walks, and 46 strikeouts.

In 2023, he began the season with the St. Lucie Mets and pitched with them until late August, when he was promoted to the Brooklyn Cyclones. Garcia appeared in 22 games for St. Lucie, starting 8 games as an opener, and posted a 5.35 ERA in 67.1 innings, allowing 49 hits, walking 48, and striking out 96. He appeared in 3 games for Brooklyn serving in the same capacity and posted a 3.46 ERA in 13.0 innings, allowing 12 hits, walking 4, and striking out 10. Altogether, the right-hander posted a 5.04 ERA in 80.1 innings in 2023, allowing 61 hits, walking 52, and striking out 106. His strikeout total was third-most in the Mets minor league system among players who threw less than 100 innings, trailing Douglas Orellana’s 112 strikeouts in 89.1 innings and Christian Scott’s 107 strikeouts in 87.2 innings.

Garcia throws from a low-three-quarters arm slot with a long arm action through the back. He is primarily a sinker-slider pitcher, occasionally mixing in a changeup. He leans on his fastball heavily, throwing it almost 70% of the time, mixing in his slider for the other 30% and his changeup a negligible amount in 2023.

His sinker averaged 93 MPH in 2023, sitting 90-95 MPH. The pitch has a bit of arm-side movement and sink, and thanks to his steep vertical approach angle, the pitch induces groundballs at roughly a 2:1 ratio to flyballs. Batters hit just .213 against it, with a .309 slugging percentage. His slider sits in the high-70s-to-low-80s, ranging 79-83 in 2023, averaging exactly 80 MPH. The pitch has a relatively low spin rate, averaging 2350 RPM, giving it sweepy break. It generates a high number of swings-and-misses, and batters hit just .147 against it, with a .191 slugging percentage. He occasionally threw a mid-80s changeup, but the pitch was firm and below in-game standards. Besides working over this off-season to refine his mechanics to increase his fastball velocity and improve his command, the right-hander has also been working on his changeup to turn it into a more usable pitch.

Jordan Geber, RHP

A native of Severn, Maryland, Jordan Geber attended Archbishop Spalding High School, where he lettered four seasons as a pitcher and a third baseman and was also a competitive swimmer. He graduated in 2017, attending Mount St. Mary’s University, a private Roman Catholic university in Emmitsburg, Maryland. As a freshman, he posted a 5.17 ERA in 38.1 innings, allowing 32 hits, walking 27, and striking out 35. In his sophomore year, he posted a 7.17 ERA in 59.0 innings, allowing 77 hits, walking 30, and striking out 59. His 2020 junior season was cut short due to the cancellation of the season due to COVID-19, and the right-hander went undrafted in the pandemic-shortened 2020 MLB Draft. Geber returned to the Mountaineers in 2021 and he posted a 3.88 ERA in 60.1 innings, allowing 47 hits, walking 26, and striking out 68. He went undrafted in the 2021 MLB Draft and transferred to Virginia Tech as a graduate transfer student. He appeared in 16 games for the Hokies, pitching as a starter and a reliever, and posted a 5.40 ERA in 35.0 innings, allowing 39 hits, walking 9, and striking out 40, his time and impact on the mound diminished thanks to a bad car accident that left him concussed and suffering for a long time. For a third consecutive season, though eligible, Geber went undrafted.

He joined the MLB Draft League and pitched for the Frederick Keys and appeared in four games for them, starting three. In 16.1 innings, the right-hander posted a 4.96 ERA, allowing 14 hits, walking 5, and striking out 16. The Mets signed Geber in early August and assigned him to St. Lucie Mets, where he made six appearances. He was promoted to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in mid-September and made one appearance with them, posting a combined 5.59 ERA in 29.0 innings, allowing 35 hits, 12 walks, and 28 strikeouts.

The Mets assigned him to Brooklyn to begin the 2023 season and things went off the rails for the 23-year-old fairly quickly. In just his second start of the year, he allowed 10 earned runs in 5.2 against the Winston-Salem Dash, and was placed on the Injured List at the beginning of May due to a torn oblique. He missed roughly three months, returning to Brooklyn in early August after rehab assignments with the FCL Mets and St. Lucie Mets. After a pair of lackluster starts, he was promoted to Double-A Binghamton, where he ended his season on a high note, improbably throwing 18 scoreless innings over his last three starts with the Rumble Ponies. All in all, he posted a 4.59 ERA in 33.1 innings with the Cyclones, allowing 30 hits, walking 9, and striking out 33, and a 0.00 ERA in 18.0 innings with the Rumble Ponies, allowing 14 hits, walking 0, and striking out 11. Following the conclusion of the season, the Mets sent the right-hander to the Arizona Fall League, the only starter in the organization who went. Making 5 starts, Geber posted a 6.00 ERA in 18.0 innings, allowing 22 hits, walking 3, and striking out 15.

The 6’3”, 205-pound right-hander throws from a three-quarters arm slot. Earlier in 2023 he short armed the ball but worked with coaches in the Arizona Fall League to make mechanical improvements such as staying back, finishing pitches out in front, getting more extension in his arms and stride, and staying consistent in his follow through.

Geber throws a four-seam fastball and a two-seam fastball, both sitting in the same high-80s-to-low-90s velocity band. His four-seam fastball is generally used higher in the zone, as it has slightly above-average spin and carry, while his two-seam fastball is used down in the zone, as it has a very low spin rate and has sink. He complements his fastball with a low-to-mid-80s gyroscopic slider and a high-80s cutter.

Paul Gervase, RHP

As a freshman at Harnett Central High School in Angier, North Carolina, Paul Gervase already stood an impressive 5’10”. By the time he graduated in 2018, he grew almost another foot and stood an imposing 6’7”. While he did play basketball, it was only recreationally with friends and in gym class; his heart was on the baseball diamond. Despite his size and desire, Gervase wasn’t a particularly great player for most of his career with the Trojans. His fastball topped out in the low-80s, he was often timid and afraid to go after hitters, and because he was not getting the results that wanted, he was beginning to doubt himself and his future. Challenged by Lance Honeycutt, his coach, Gervase began working with Brandon Young, a Raleigh-based physical therapist specializing in pitching biomechanics prior to the start of his senior season. Young changed his mechanics, and the results were immediate. Now throwing in the mid-to-high-80s, the big right-hander had a career year, posting a 2.39 ERA as a senior. Still, his future as a ballplayer seemed bleak, as he had no college offers. Towards the end of the season, Honeycutt got a visit from Jordan Stampler, the head baseball coach of Pfeiffer University, a small D3 university in Misenheimer, North Carolina. Stampler was looking for pitchers to play for Pfeiffer in 2019 and Honeycutt recommended Gervase, who signed a letter of intent and attended the school after graduating.

The right-hander spent one year at Pfeiffer, and it wasn’t particularly impressive. Making 3 starts and appearing in 9 games in total, Gervase posted a 4.19 ERA in 19.1 innings, allowing hits, walking 15, and striking out 17. The season reignited his passion, however, and he transferred to Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina for the 2020 season. In 2021, he transferred to and played for Pitt Community College in Winterville, North Carolina. Following the conclusion of the season, he played for the Bristol State Liners- formerly the Bristol Pirates- of the newly reorganized Appalachian League and posted a 3.63 ERA in 17.1 innings, allowing 8 hits, walking 13, and striking out 30.

Improbably, during his time at Pfeiffer and Wake Tech and Pitt, Gervase kept growing, and with the additional growth, his fastball continued improving. With solid numbers and a fastball that was now touching the high-90s, he entered the NCAA transfer portal and transferred to LSU for the 2022 season. Appearing in 29 games and serving as the Tigers’ closer, the redshirt junior posted a 1.85 ERA in 39.0 innings with 22 hits allowed, 15 walks, and 52 strikeouts. After the conclusion of the season, he appeared in Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod League and posted a 1.59 ERA in 11.1 innings, allowing 5 hits, walking 9, and striking out 15.

The Mets drafted the right-hander in the 12 round of the 2022 MLB Draft and signed him to a $170,000 contract, over the post-tenth-round maximum and forcing the team to dip into their bonus pool slightly, signaling that the team had high hopes for the big man. He appeared in 1 game for the FCL Mets and 7 for the St. Lucie Mets and combined to post a 5.56 ERA in 11.1 innings with 11 hits allowed, 7 walks, and 16 strikeouts. In 2023, he began the season with the Brooklyn Cyclones, but was promoted to the Binghamton Mets late in the year after having a solid run of success. With the Cyclones, he appeared in 31 games and posted a 1.72 ERA in 47.0 innings, with 24 hits allowed, 38 walks, and 76 strikeouts. With Binghamton, he appeared in 7 games and posted a 3.60 ERA in 10.0 innings, with 5 hits allowed, 4 walks, and 20 strikeouts. At both levels, he had a 2.68 ERA in 57.0 innings on the year, with 29 hits allowed, 42 walks, and 96 strikeouts.

The 6’10”, 230-pound Gervase is an imposing presence on the mound. The right-hander throws from a low-three-quarters, almost sidearm, arm slot. Combined with his high leg lift, size, and extension, and his pitches can be difficult for batters to pick up on. His size sometimes makes it difficult for him to keep his body in sync, leading to command issues.

His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, and coupled with its above-average spin rates and extension off the mound, the ball jumps on hitters quickly. He complements the pitch with a full assortment of pitches. He throws a distinct slider and curveball, but both pitches have similar characteristics and bleed into each other. His slider has a bit more velocity, sitting in the low-80s, and a little less movement while his curveball sits in the high-70s and has more horizontal and vertical break. His changeup sits in the low-80s and tunnels well with his fastball, but his command of the pitch is poor and needs to be improved before it can be incorporated into his repertoire as a more reliable offering.

Mateo Gil, INF

The son of Benji Gil, who played for the Texas Rangers and Anaheim Angels in the mid-90s to mid-00s, Mateo Gil is a California native who grew up in Texas following his father’s retirement from professional baseball at the major league level. A divisive prospect during his time playing at Timber Creek High School in Fort Worth, Texas, the St. Louis Cardinals took a shot on the prep infielder, drafting him in the third-round of the 2018 MLB Draft and buying him out of his commitment to Texas Christian University by signing him to a $900,000 deal, almost double the MLB-assigned slot value for the 95th overall selection of $587,600. Their faith in his baseball tools paid off, as Gil hit .252/.340/.316 with 1 home run, 2 stolen bases, and 20 walks to 51 strikeouts with the GCL Cardinals that summer, and then hit .270/.324/.431 with 7 home runs, 1 stolen base, and 17 walks to 56 strikeouts with the Johnson City Cardinals in the Appalachian League.

Just prior to the 2021 season, the Colorado Rockies traded Nolan Arenado to the Cardinals and Gil was included in the package that St. Louis sent to the Rockies. Assigned to the Fresno Grizzlies, the Rockies’ Low-A affiliate, he appeared in 94 games and hit .249/.294/.396 with 9 home runs, 8 stolen bases, and 21 walks to 99 strikeouts. A strong follow-up season to a weak full-season debut would have done much to improve his stock, but his 2022 was marred by injuries. An undisclosed injury delayed his season debut, and in literally the very first play of his first game back, a second injury cost him much of the season. His injured hamstring limited him to just 48 games with the Spokane Indians, the Rockies’ High-A affiliate in the Northwest League, and 10 more rehab games with their Arizona Complex League affiliate. The infielder hit .247/.305/.408 in 174 at-bats with Spokane, hitting 6 home runs, stealing 0 bases in 2 attempts, and drawing 15 walks to 48 strikeouts. The 21-year-old would have likely returned to Spokane in 2022, but the Mets selected him in the minor league phase of the 2022 Rule 5 Draft. He began the 2023 season with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies but was sent to Brooklyn after roughly a month. He spent the better part of the summer at Coney Island before returning to Binghamton in late July and even getting into a handful of games with the Syracuse Mets in late August. At all three levels combined, Gil hit .217/.287/.390 with 12 home runs, 5 stolen bases, and 36 walks to 105 strikeouts. In 62 games with Brooklyn, he hit .208/.282/.443 with 10 home runs, 3 stolen bases, and 20 walks to 56 strikeouts, and in 43 games with Binghamton, he hit .248/.313/.349 with 2 home runs, 2 stolen bases, and 15 walks to 44 strikeouts.

Listed at 6’1”, 180-pounds, Gil is probably closer to 200 as his upper body has filled in a great deal since first being drafted. He stands square at the plate, holding his hands high and wrapping his bat behind his head. His swings uses a small leg kick and is almost all upper body. His plate discipline is not the best, leading to a lot of poor contact and strikeouts, but he has the ability to put a charge in balls that he hits squarely with his whippy stroke.

A shortstop for much of his earlier career, Gil has played more at the hot corner than he as at the keystone since returning to the field in the post-pandemic shutdown era. With a strong arm, good range, good footwork around the bag, and good reaction times, he still has the ability to play shortstop but with his thick upper body in short spurts but is probably better suited at third in the long-term.

Franklin Gomez, LHP

Southpaw Franklin Gomez was signed by the Mets on January 15, 2022, the first day of the international rookie signing period. A native of Maracay, Venezuela, the 16 year-old was assigned to the Dominican Summer League, appearing in games for both Mets DSL squads. In 13 games combined, he posted a 3.67 ERA in 34.1 innings, allowing 33 hits, walking 21, and striking out 42. He remained in the Dominican Summer League to start the 2023 season, but outside of pair of blips, the left-hander was virtually unhittable. Appearing in 11 games and starting 9 for the DSL Mets Blue, Gomez posted a 2.45 ERA in 44.0 innings, allowing 4 hits, walking 15, and striking out 61. He hit his stride in mid-July, throwing 28.0 innings through the middle of August with 3 total earned runs allowed, scattering 17 hits, walking 4, and striking out 35. On August 15, he was sent stateside and promoted to the FCL Mets. He made one appearance with them, allowing one earned run over four innings of relief, allowing 1 hit, walking 1, and striking out 7. In early September, he was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets, and in doing so became the first Mets minor league pitcher since former Mets rising-star Luis Silva to begin the season in the DSL and finish on a full-season team; in Silva’s case, he began the 2016 with the DSL Mets 1 and eventually made a single start for the Low-A Columbia Fireflies that September. Gomez made a single appearance with St. Lucie, allowing 2 earned runs in 2.2 innings of relief, scattering 2 hits, walking 1, and striking out 3. All in all, the southpaw posted a combined 2.66 ERA in 50.2 innings over 13 games, allowing 37 hits, walking 17, and striking out 71. He was named the Mets DSL Pitcher of the Year for his excellence.

Gomez is listed at 6’0, 145-pounds, but has put on additional weight since being signed, as one would expect a teenager to do. He is thick in his lower half, but proportionate, suggesting further growth and maturation in the future. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a long arm action through the back.

Gomez throws a two-seam fastball and complements it with a slider and a changeup. His fastball sits in the high-80s-to-low-90s and features a low spin rate. Combined with his steep vertical approach angle, the pitch has a lot of sink and is mostly responsible for the high groundball rate that the left-hander posted. His slider sits in the high-70s and has sweepy, two-plane break. His changeup sits in the low-80s and features more vertical drop than horizontal movement, also contributing to his high groundball rate.

Raimon Gomez, RHP

Nineteen-year-old Raimon Gomez was signed by the Mets out of Barcelona, Venezuela in mid-August, 2021. He was assigned to the Dominican Summer League and was able to play professionally in late August and September, posting a 2.19 ERA in 12.1 innings over 9 games, allowing 10 hits, walking 6, and striking out 14. The Mets brought the right-hander stateside in 2022 and assigned him to the St. Lucie Mets, where he remained rostered for the entire season. Gomez appeared in 24 games and posted a 3.78 ERA in 47.2 innings, allowing 43 hits, walking 20, and striking out 54. The right-hander was promoted to Brooklyn to begin the 2023 season, but only appeared in three games before being put on the injured list. Gomez never returned, as he underwent Tommy John surgery shortly thereafter.

The right-hander throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a long action through the back. His loose, quick arm was capable of throwing extremely hard prior to his injury. His four-seam fastball sat 90-100 MPH, averaging 97 MPH. The pitch possessed well above-average spin rates for a four-seam fastball, averaging 2475 RPM and has resulted in a 28.5% Called Strike + Wiff Rate in 2022. He complemented it with a slider that sat 81-91 MPH, averaging 87 MPH. The pitch was almost cutter-like, with not a great deal of break but a great deal of velocity. He also threw a changeup but rarely used the pitch, throwing only a handful the entire season and going months between pocketing the pitch and using it during in-game situations. Gomez was able to throw his fastball for strikes but needed to work on better commanding his breaking balls.

Vladi Miguel Guerrero, OF/1B

The son of Hall of Gamer Vladimir Guerrero, half-brother of Toronto Blue Jays star slugger Vladimir Jr. and Texas Rangers prospect Pablo, and cousin of former Mets minor leaguers Gregory and Jose Guerrero, Vladi Miguel Guerrero signed an official $117,000 deal with the Mets on January 15, 2024, the first day of the 2024-2025 international rookie class.

Unlike his father or brothers, Vladi Miguel is a left-handed hitter. At the plate, he swings with a slight toe tap and has a smooth, short swing that has easy light tower power. Possessing above-average raw power, his quick bat can absolutely turn on pitches thrown inside with controlled violence, but he is far from a one-dimensional hitter and also shows a very advanced sense of the strike zone, honed by years of training with his brothers and uncle, Wilton Guerrero.

Vladi Miguel is a bit stocky, like his older Vlad Jr. but is a little more athletic. Scouts and evaluators have shown some concern regarding his defensive home, some thinking he will be able to play a passable outfield with others thinking he will be limited to first base as he adds additional muscle mass.

Daiverson Gutierrez, C

The Mets made Venezuelan catcher Daiverson Gutierrez their main priority once the 2023 international free agent signing period started and officially signed the backstop for $1.9 million dollars, roughly a third of their $5.2 million dollar budget. The last time the Mets made a Venezuelan catcher their top signing priority was in 2018, when the team signed Fransisco Alvarez to a $2.9 million signing bonus. Gutierrez was assigned to the Dominican Summer League for the 2023 season and appeared in 50 games combined with the DSL Mets Blue and the DSL Mets Orange, hitting a cumulative .186/.321/.244 with 4 doubles, 2 home runs, 2 stolen bases in as many attempts, and 22 walks to 36 strikeouts.

At the plate, Gutierrez currently stands slightly open, holding his hands high and his bat wrapped behind his head. He generally swings with a toe tap that occasionally morphs into a slight leg kick. Gutierrez inside-outs the ball and goes to the opposite field a lot, though this may not be design as more often than not he has his front foot down early, does not have much of a stride if any, and shifts his back foot during his swing. Scouts and evaluators believe he has above-average future power that will come with some mechanical adjustments; he averaged an 86 MPH exit velocity in 2023 based on publicly available batted ball data, with multiple 100+ MPH readings, including a high of 109.7 MPH. He comes to the plate looking to do damage but has a strong understanding of the strike zone for a young player and generally does not expand it, knowing when to swing and when to lay off.

Listed at 6’2”, 205-pounds, the stocky Gutierrez put on some weight between when the Mets first began scouting him and reached an informal verbal agreement and when they were legally allowed to have him put his name on the dotted line on January 15, 2023, but the additional weight shouldn’t impact his ability behind the plate, as it is far from excessive. The Mets are high on his defensive ability, praising him on his above-average arm strength, leadership, camaraderie, and work ethic.

Noah Hall, RHP

A graduate of Providence High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he posted a 1.66 ERA with 103 strikeouts in his senior year, Noah Hall went undrafted after graduating in 2019, attending Appalachian State College in Boone, North Carolina. He pitched for the Mountaineers for two seasons, 2020 and 2021, posting a 1.80 ERA in 20.0 innings in his freshman year, allowing 13 hits, walking 10, and striking out 21, and then posted a 3.99 ERA in 49.2 innings in his sophomore year, allowing 39 hits, walking 23, and striking out 52. He played baseball in the Cape Cod Baseball League that summer, suiting up for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks and appeared in two games, allowing four runs, three earned. He did not return to Appalachian State for his junior year, instead transferring to the University of South Carolina.

He struggled a bit, facing SEC hitters for the first time while also adjusting to being utilized as a starting pitcher, posting a 4.34 ERA in 76.2 innings, allowing 75 hits, walking 31, and striking out 78. His performance got him noticed, and the Milwaukee Brewers drafted him in the 20th round of the 2022 MLB Draft, the fifth last player selected in the draft. Hall did not sign with the Brewers, opting to return to the Gamecocks for his senior season.

The right-hander got off to a strong start to the 2023 season, winning SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week and SEC Pitcher of the Week Awards in February and March, but a back injury caused his season to come to a sudden halt in late March. All in all, Hall posted a 3.29 ERA in 41.0 innings over 7 starts with 38 hits allowed, 9 walks, and 43 strikeouts. He was drafted by the Mets in the 7th round of the 2023 MLB Draft and received a $176,250 signing bonus, below the MLB-assigned slot value of $235,000. Hall ended up not playing professionally for the entire year.

The 6’, 195-pound right-hander has unique pitching mechanics, sweeping his lead foot across the pitching rubber before starting into his wind-up. He does not do this when runners are on base, and his delivery is otherwise mundane, throwing from a high-three-quarters arm slot. His fastball sits in the mid-to-low-90s, topping out at 96 MPH. It is otherwise an average pitch except for the fact that his changeup plays off of the pitch. Hall’s changeup is an above-average offering, arguably one of the better individual changeups in the 2023 MLB Draft class, generating a 55% whiff rate this past spring. It is a weapon against left-handers and right-handers, possessing a high spin rate that causes it to dive arm-side and drop off of the table. Rounding out his arsenal is a mid-80s slider that does showing some promise thanks to its tight spin and high spin rate, but Hall primarily lives off of his fastball-changeup combination.

Dakota Hawkins, RHP

Dakota Hawkins attended William F. West High School, a public high school in Chehalis, Washington. As a junior, he posted a 1.87 ERA in 30 innings with 41 strikeouts, and in his senior season, he posted a 0.95 ERA in 22.0 innings with 31 strikeouts. He graduated in 2018 and attended Lower Columbia Community College, a junior college in Longview, Washington. He made 10 appearances in his freshman year in 2019, posting a 4.57 ERA in 21.2 innings with 24 hits, 8 walks, and 32 strikeouts. His sophomore season was abbreviated in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The right-hander pitched just 7.1 innings over 2 starts, allowing 4 hits, walking 0, and striking out 13. Despite the shortened season, an offer came from the University of Washington to play baseball there, and Hawkins transferred for the 2021 season.

The right-handers’ first season with the Cougars was one to forget. Used as a starter, reliever, and long-reliever, Hawkins posted a 5.82 ERA in 51.0 innings, allowing 66 hits, walking 13, and striking out 40. In 2022, hamstring and groin injuries limited to just 20.2 innings over 10 appearances, and he ended up posting a 4.35 ERA with 16 hits allowed, 4 walks, and 25 strikeouts. The right-hander came into his senior season expecting to have a marginal role on the team but was surprised by being given the Friday night starter role. He made 14 starts and posted a 4.32 ERA in 73.0 innings, allowing 82 strikeouts, walking 27, and striking out 92. It was his best season by far, and the 23-year-old ended up having the fourth most strikeouts in the PAC-12. All in all, Hawkins posted a cumulative 4.85 ERA in 144.2 total innings with the Cougars, allowing 164 hits, walking 44, and striking out 157.

Hawkins expected to be selected in the 2023 MLB Draft sometime during day two or day three, but his name was never called. Following the draft, he was signed by the Mets after the draft as an unsigned free agent, accepting a low six-figure signing bonus from the Mets that blew the six or seven offers he had from other MLB teams out of the water. The offer the Mets extended was almost retracted, as a clerical error increased the bonus the Mets were willing to offer by a factor of ten and that their offer would be five figures instead. After Hawkins indicated that he would be talking to other teams, the Mets contacted him again and decided they would honor the original six-figure offer. Hawkins played the rest of the summer for the FCL Mets and the St. Lucie Mets and appeared in 5 total games, not allowing a single earned run over 8.0 innings with 2 hits allowed, 2 walks, and 8 strikeouts.

The right-hander throws from a three-quarters arm slot. His mechanics have some effort to them, but Hawkins has never had command or control problems throughout his career as a collegiate pitcher. His fastball has below-average velocity for a right-hander, sitting in the high-80s-to-low-90s, averaging 91 MPH, but the pitch has excellent rising action thanks to an above-average spin rate. He complements the pitch with a slider, a curveball, and a changeup, the former being his go-to secondary pitch. His slider has gyroscopic action with little horizontal break and sits in the high-70s-to-low-80s. His curveball sits in the low-to-mid-70s and has similar 12-6 shape. His changeup is still a firm work-in-progress, and is right now thrown more as a get-me-over offering.

Josh Hejka, RHP

Josh Hejka attended Divine Child High School in Dearborn, Michigan. While there, he helped lead the team to a district championship in his sophomore year, the conference semifinals in his junior year, and the finals in his senior year, winning All-City, All-District, All-Region, All-Academic and All-State honors in the latter two. After graduating, he enrolled at Johns Hopkins University, studying computer science. In 2016, his first year as a Johns Hopkins Blue Jay, he appeared in a team-high 21 games, posting a 4.09 ERA in 22.0 innings, allowing 25 hits, walking 6, and striking out 22. He was even more successful in his sophomore year, posting a 2.04 ERA in 35.1 innings, allowing 30 hits, walking 8, and striking out 29. In 2018, he posted a 2.53 ERA in 32.0 innings, allowing 32 hits, walking 9, and striking out 27. He went undrafted in the 2018 MLB Draft and returned to Johns Hopkin in 2019 to finish up his degree. Setting the Johns Hopkins University record with 25 appearances, Hejka helped lead the Blue Jays to the Div III College World Series, posting a 2.91 ERA in 77.1 innings, allowing 75 hits, walking 8, and striking out 60. All in all, he posted a 2.81 ERA, the sixth lowest in program history. In addition, he set the school record with 15 saves.

He went undrafted for a second time in 2019 but was signed as a minor league free agent by the Mets in late June, making him the first Johns Hopkins player to sign with a major league team since Andrew Pevsner, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 16th round of the 2010 MLB Draft and spent two years in their system. Initially assigned to the Kingsport Mets, he spent about equal time with them and the Brooklyn Cyclones in two stints apiece, posting a 0.00 ERA in 8.1 innings in the Appalachian League and a 2.25 ERA in 12.0 innings in the New York-Penn League.

Hejka returned to the mound in 2021 following the cancellation of the season due to COVID-19. He played for three teams, the Brooklyn Cyclones, Binghamton Rumble Ponies and Syracuse Mets and posted a cumulative 3.65 ERA in 61.2 innings- the majority of them coming in Brooklyn- with 70 hits allowed, 13 walks, and 47 strikeouts. He split the 2022 season with those three same teams- this time the majority of his innings were accrued with the Rumble Ponies- and posted a 4.70 ERA in 53.2 innings, allowing 61 hits, walking 22, and striking out 55. In early February 2023, Hejka announced that he underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire season as a result.

Hejka works fast and has experience pitching in high leverage situations. Because of how he was used at Johns Hopkins, he is durable and can pitch for multiple innings and in back-to-back nights. The right-hander is cognizant of his limits as a pitcher and has a high pitching IQ as a result. His lack of premium stuff has also prompted him to turn to analytics to improve the limited stuff that he does possess. Most notable about Hejka, and the primary reason for the success that he has had in his collegiate and professional career, are his pitching mechanics. He drops down as if he were a submarine pitcher, though his release point is much higher than submariners; from the angle his arm is to his body, he is throwing more sidearm than submarine. The unusual delivery and arm slot makes his pitchers harder for batters to pick up on and recognize.

Prior to his Tommy John surgery, his fastball sat 84-86 MPH, topping out at 88 MPH. It featured a lot of arm side movement, and because of its high spin rate, had late downward action. He was able to command it to both sides of the plate. He paired his fastball with a slider and changeup, the latter of which was the better pitch. It sat 72-75 MPH and featured a lot of frisbee-like movement thanks to his arm slot. His changeup lagged behind his slider in its development because, being a reliever, it was never particularly necessary. It sat 75-78 MPH and featured late fade. He was able to consistently hit his spots with both pitches.

Yonatan Henriquez, INF

Yonatan Henriquez was signed by the Mets at the beginning of the 2022 international free agent signing period out of Puerto Plata, the third-largest city in the Dominican Republic. The 17-year-old made his professional debut with the DSL Mets 1 later in the year and hit .247/.390/.344 in 31 games, hitting 3 doubles, 2 home runs, stealing 5 bases in 11 attempts, and drawing 18 walks to 27 strikeouts. He came stateside in 2023 and appeared in 43 games for the FCL Mets, hitting .221/.353/.300 with 8 doubles, 1 home run, 7 stolen bases in 13 attempts, and drawing 29 walks to 34 strikeouts.

At the plate, Henriquez has an open stance, holding his hands high and resting his bat on his shoulders until his load. He swings with an exaggerated leg kick and has shown the ability to drive the ball in both batting practice and during in-game situations. A switch-hitter, Henriquez generally has performed better as a left-hand batter facing right-handers than as a right-hand batter facing left-handers. He has consistently hit for more power as a right-handed batter but makes more contact and draws more walks as a left-handed batter.

Henriquez has logged innings at second base, third base, shortstop, and right field over the course of his career. It is too early in his career to say with any certainty where his defensive home will be, but he played the bulk of his time in the infield, with the majority of his playing time at third base and about half that at second.

Wyatt Hudepohl, RHP

The nephew of Joe Hudepohl, who swam at Stanford and won three Olympic medals, including gold during the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics, Wyatt Hudepohl was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and attended St. Xavier High School, where he played football, basketball, and baseball. A 2020 graduate, Hudepohl made the varsity team three years, striking out 61 batters in 63.1 innings thanks to a fastball that sat in the low-to-mid-90s. He went undrafted in the 2020 MLB Draft and honored his commitment to the University of Kentucky.

The right-hander appeared in 16 games for the Wildcats in his freshman year, posting a 5.23 ERA in 20.2 innings with 23 hits, 17 walks, and 21 strikeouts. He returned to Kentucky in 2022 and had a similar season, posting a 7.48 ERA in 27.2 innings with 30 hits allowed, 20 walks, and 31 strikeouts. That summer, he played for the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod Baseball League, Hudepohl posted a 6.11 in 17.2 innings, allowing 21 hits, walking 11, and striking out 11. That summer, he entered the transfer portal and transferred to the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Given the opportunity to start, the right-hander started 17 games for the 49ers, posting a 4.27 ERA in 105.1 innings with 94 hits allowed, 27 walks, and 129 strikeouts, setting the program record for most strikeouts in a single game by recording 17 against Old Dominion in March. Hudepohl was drafted by the Mets in the 4th round of the 2023 MLB Draft and signed for $500,000, a bit under the MLB-assigned slot value of $536,500 for the 123rd overall selection. The right-hander did not appear in a professional game with the Mets over the course of the season.

The 6’4”, 220-pound Wyatt Hudepohl throws from a three-quarters arm slot, folding his top half over to lower his release point. His delivery incorporates a leg lift and slight rock back, potentially making the right-hander susceptible to his mechanics coming out of sync. Earlier in his career, he struggled with his command, but had no problems while at UNC. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, topping out in the mid-90s. The pitch is not an elite bat misser, and Hudepohl can be home run prone, as he tends to crowd the zone with his fastball. He complements the pitch with a low-80s power curve that has emerged as his go-to strikeout pitch. In 2023, his curveball had a 39.1% chase rate and a 47.9% whiff rate, and utterly befuddled Conference USA batters with its sharp 12-6 dive. Rounding out his arsenal is an upper-80s splitter and an upper-80s cutter, but neither are as effective as the curve as they are both recent additions to his arsenal. If the right-hander can continue developing them, he has the chance to start as he is tall, strong, well-proportioned and should be a durable innings-eater, but if they do not, his fastball/curveball combination would be effective out of the bullpen.

Daviel Hurtado, LHP

A native of Havana, Cuba, Daviel Hurtado has been involved in baseball in the city for years, playing on the U-12 and U-15 Cuban National Baseball Teams. The left-hander left from Cuba along with his parents and took up residency in the Dominican Republic in 2022. Eligible to sign during the 2022 international signing period, he elected to wait until the 2023 international signing period in order to better shop his talents to other teams and maximize his contract. He came to an informal agreement with the Mets in the summer of 2022 and then on January 15, 2023, the first day of the 2023 international free agent signing period, the two sides came to official terms, agreeing to a $640,000 bonus. He was assigned to the Dominican Summer League for the 2023 season, but did not actually pitch, as Tommy John surgery kept him off the mound all season.

The 6’1, 175-pound southpaw is well proportioned and still fairly lean, suggesting additional growth in the future is a possibility. He throws from a high-three-quarter arm slot with a long arm action through the back. Prior to his injury, his whippy arm was capable of throwing fastballs that reportedly topped out at 97 MPH, with the pitch generally sitting in the low-to-mid-90s. He complemented the pitch with a curveball that sat in the mid-70s and a changeup that sat in the low-80s. Both were effective against right-handers and left-handed batters alike.

Jeremiah Jackson, OF

A highly regarded prep prospect from Alabama, the Los Angeles Angels drafted Jeremiah Jackson in the second round of the 2018 MLB Draft out of St. Luke’s Episcopal High School in Mobile. They bought the infielder out of his commitment to Mississippi State University with a $1,194,000 signing bonus, a large payday for a high schooler but an underslot deal in actuality, as the MLB-assigned slot value for the 57th overall pick was $1,196,500. His professional debut later that year was solid, but he had an exceptional 2019, hitting .266/.333/.606 in 65 games for the Orem Owlz and setting a Pioneer League record with 23 home runs. He missed all of 2020 due to the cancellation of the minor league season due to COVID-19, and then was limited to just 45 games with the Inland Empire 66ers in 2021 due to a quad strain; it is worth noting that Jackson did well with the 66ers, hitting .264/.352/.527 in those 45 games with 14 doubles, 3 triples, 8 home runs, 11 stolen bases in 14 attempts, and 24 walks to 65 strikeouts.

Despite missing so much time, the Angels aggressively promoted him from Low-A Inland Empire to Double-A Rocket City for the 2022 season. Jackson struggled, hitting .215/.308/.404 with 16 doubles, 14 home runs, 7 stolen bases in 11 attempts, and 38 walks to 77 strikeouts. The 23-year-old began the 2023 season with Rocket City for a second year, and in 82 games was only marginally better, hitting .248/.321/.447 with 15 doubles, 1 triple, 15 home runs, 21 stolen bases in 28 attempts, and 33 walks to 94 strikeouts. At the trade deadline, the Angels sought to bolster their bullpen and send Jackson to the Mets in exchange for big league reliever Dominic Leone. Assigned to Double-A Binghamton, the 23-year-old finished the 2023 season appearing in 37 games for the Rumble Ponies and hit .264/.344/.457 with 4 doubles, 7 home runs, 6 stolen bases in 8 attempts, and 15 walks to 50 strikeouts.

Jackson is listed at 6’, 165-pounds, but he appears to be bigger and heavier than that. He stands slightly closed at the plate, holding his hands high and resting the bat on his shoulder, angling the bat head down at 4:00. He swings with a slight toe tap, raising his bat while loading slightly, generating power from the loft in his swing and the torque created from the coil in his upper and lower halves. Most of his power is to his pull side, and pitches down and in in particular, allowing him to get full extension of his bat. Jackson generally struggles against pitches outside of his wheelhouse, as his plate coverage is very limited otherwise. While he can punish mistakes, he struggles against breaking balls, expanding the zone, swinging-and-missing, and making weak contact, and generally waits for fastballs that he thinks he can drive for extra bases.

Defensively, Jackson has experience playing multiple positions. In the infield, he has shown quick reactions, above-average range, and an above-average arm, making him a fit for second base, third base, and shortstop. Since 2022, he has played limited time in the outfield. Conceptually, his athleticism, range, and arm should allow him to play any of the three outfield positions to varying degrees, but Jackson needs to improve his read of the ball off the bat and his routes to the ball, and until he does that and gets more time in the outfield under his belt, his utility there is limited.

Justin Jarvis, RHP

Justin Jarvis was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 5th round of the 2018 MLB Draft out of Lake Norman High School in Mooresville, North Carolina. He was considered a high profile prep pitcher and one of the best from North Carolina, but Milwaukee was able to get him to forgo his commitment to UNC-Wilmington and get him to sign because he wanted to go pro. The two sides agreed to a $327,100, exactly the MLB-assigned slot value, and he finished out the 2018 season with the AZL Brewers, Milwaukee’s Arizona League squad. Jarvis professional career began in earnest in 2019, when he spent the entire season with the Low-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and the right-hander firmly put himself on the map, posting a 3.50 ERA in 74.2 innings with 52 hits allowed, 36 walks, and 52 strikeouts.

After missing 2020 due to the cancellation of the season, Jarvis returned to the Timber Rattlers in 2021, the team now the Brewers’ High-A affiliate. The right-hander missed a month of an already abbreviated season due to an injury, and Jarvis ended up posting a 5.40 ERA in 63.1 innings over 17 starts, with 63 hits allowed, 35 walks, and 62 strikeouts. The Brewers had him repeat the level in 2022 and he spent the majority of the season with the Timber Rattlers. The 22-year-old pitched better in his second full season with High-A Wisconsin, posting a 4.02 ERA in 121.0 innings over 24 starts, with 105 hits allowed, 51 walks, and 134 strikeouts. He was promoted to the Double-A Biloxi Shuckers in late August and finished out the rest of the season with them, posting a 2.70 ERA in 20.0 innings over 4 starts, with 15 hits allowed, 15 walks, and 16 strikeouts.

Jarvis began the 2023 season with the Shuckers and had the best run of his professional career, posting a 3.33 ERA in 75.2 innings over 14 starts with 69 hits allowed, 26 walks, and 91 strikeouts. At the end of June, he was promoted to Milwaukee’s Triple-A team, the Nashville Sounds. He made three appearances with them and struggled, allowing 14 earned runs in 11.2 innings, giving up 17 hits, walking 12, and striking out 11. On July 31, the Brewers traded Jarvis to the Mets in exchange for a package of utilityman Mark Canha and cash. The right-hander was assigned to the Syracuse Mets and played out the rest of the 2023 season with them, posting an 8.04 ERA in 31.1 innings over 9 starts with 43 hits allowed, 22 walks, and 36 strikeouts. All in all, while the stark difference in his performance in Double-A as compared to Triple-A can be attributed to the high offensive environment of the Pacific Coast League and the International League, the “enhanced grip” ball Major League Baseball was using in the Southern League artificially improving Jarvis’ pitches, and as such, his walk and strikeout rates, also needs to be considered.

The 6’2”, 185-pound right-hander throws from high three-quarters arm slot with a long action through the back. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, sitting 90-94 MPH and averaging 92 MPH. The pitch generally records average spin rates for a fastball, but thanks to its axis, the spin is mostly backspin, giving it ride in the zone. He complements the pitch with a gyroscopic slider that sits around 80 MPH, a curveball that sits in the mid-to-high-70s, and a low-80s splitter. All three project as fringe-average offerings, with his slider flashing average-to-above-average with its late slice through the zone.

Jarvis prefers throwing to his glove side, throwing right-handed batters down and away and left-handed batters down and in. While he gets his fair share of strikeouts, he has had problems with home runs in the past, his 19 homers allowed tied for most in the Midwest League in 2022 and in 2023 he again allowed 20 between the three leagues he pitched in. All in all, Jarvis has a deep enough arsenal and can command all of his pitches well enough to start, as his whole is greater than the sum of his individual parts.

Bryce Jenkins, RHP

Right-handed pitcher Bryce Jenkins attended Hardin Valley High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he was considered a follow by area scouts and evaluators as a two-way player. A better hitter with impressive but raw pitching abilities at that point in time, Jenkins hit a cumulative .325/.439/.450 in his two varsity seasons, helping lead the Hawks to back-to-back Class AAA playoff appearances in 2018 and 2019. He was uncommitted to a specific college following the conclusion of the season and went undrafted after graduating, so he attended Cleveland State Community College, a junior college in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Jenkins appeared in 15 games and started 5 games in his freshman year in 2020 but was unable to play the entire season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, Jenkins had a solid season in that context, hitting .250/.429/.438 with a double, a triple, 2 stolen bases in 3 attempts, and 4 walks to 6 strikeouts while posting a 4.87 ERA in 20.1 innings, allowing 23 hits, walking 17, and striking out 24. He had a similar season in 2021, this time over a full season, hitting .271/.380/.529 in 36 games with 4 doubles, 6 home runs, 10 stolen bases in as many attempts, and 12 walks to 36 strikeouts while appearing in 9 games, making 8 starts, and posting a 5.82 ERA in 38.2 innings, allowing 35 hits, walking 29, and striking out 54.

He went undrafted after the season and transferred to the University of Tennessee, literal minutes from his home. Head Coach Tony Vitello used the right-hander exclusively as a pitcher this past season and he posted a 5.51 ERA in 16.1 innings over 18 games, allowing 13 hits, walking 7, and striking out 24. Prior to being drafted, he pitched for the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League, appearing in 4 games and posting a perfect 0.00 ERA in 5.2 innings, allowing 1 hit, walking 1, and striking out 5. On Day 3 of the 2023 MLB Draft, the Mets selected Jenkens in the seventeenth round, the 516th overall pick, with the two sides agreed to a $180,000 signing bonus- meaning $30,000 counted against the Mets’ bonus pool. The 22-year-old appeared in 5 games in total, two with the FCL Mets and three with the St. Lucie Mets, and allowed a combined 4 earned runs in 4.0 innings pitched, with 6 hits allowed, 4 walks, and 4 strikeouts.

The right-hander is on the smaller side, standing 5’11”, 175-pounds, but generates velocity effortlessly, throwing from a three-quarters arm slot with a loose, easy arm. His fastball, a sinker, sits in the low-90s, topping out at 95 MPH. The pitch shows average spin rates for a sinker, but his variation has slightly less sink and arm-side movement than most, but the pitch makes up for it by generating more whiffs than the average sinker, resulting in strikeouts or poor contact groundballs. He mainly complements the pitch primarily with a low-to-mid-80s slider. Earlier in his career, when he was a starting pitcher at Cleveland State Community College, he also incorporated a high-70s-to-low-80s curveball and a low-80s changeup, but has pocketed both pitches for the most part since moving to the Vols bullpen and then going pro.

Rowdey Jordan, OF

Raised in Auburn, Alabama, Rowdey Jordan lettered four times at the city’s eponymously named high school, three times in baseball and once in football. In his four seasons with the Tigers, he hit a cumulative .409/.504/.705 in 117 games, slugging 21 home runs and stealing 46 games. His senior season was prticularly good- he hit .406/.562/.745 with 8 home runs and 25 stolen bases- and that led to him being recruited by various baseball schools, but in the end, he passed them up to attend Mississippi State University.

He played for the Terre Haute Rex in the Prospect League that summer and then hit the ground running at MSU, hitting .321/.390/.518 in 57 games with the Bulldogs, earning Freshman All-American honors and being named to the NCAA Tallahassee Regional All-Tournament Team. He played supplementary summer baseball between his freshman and sophomore years once again, playing for the Victoria HarbourCats of the West Coast League, and once again had an excellent season upon returning to Mississippi State. In 2019, he hit .290/.370/.420 in 67 games, getting named MVP of the NCAA Starkville Regional after going 7-13 with five RBI. He played for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks in the Cape Cod League following the 2019 season, but had trouble in the competitive wood bat league, hitting .128/.233/.154 in 28 games. Jordan seemed on his way to putting those struggles behind him in 2020, but COVID-19 put a stop to that after 16 games. After going undrafted in the 2020 MLB Draft, Jordan returned to MSU, where he was the table setter for the eventual 2021 NCAA College World Series Champions. Appearing in 68 games, he hit .323/.417/.546 with a career high 10 home runs, leading the SEC with 22 doubles. For his four-year career at Mississippi State, Jordan hit a cumulative .311/.393/.481 in 208 games with 23 home runs, 25 bases in 29 attempts, 90 walks, and 140 strikeouts, ending his Bulldog career as one of the top hitters in program history.

The Mets selected Jordan with their 11th in 2021 MLB Draft a few weeks later, signing him to a $125,000 bonus. He appeared in 30 games for the St. Lucie Mets that summer and hit .229/.333/.294 with 1 home run, 2 stolen bases in 5 attempts, and 18 walks to 28 strikeouts. He began the 2022 season with the Brooklyn Cyclones and hit .262/.368/.381 in 67 games with them, slugging 2 home runs, stealing 12 bases in 16 attempts, and drawing 40 walks to 59 strikeouts. He was promoted to Binghamton in August and finished the season there, hitting .208/.298/.321 with 2 homers, 2 stolen bases, and 12 walks to 33 strikeouts, giving him a cumulative .246/.347/.363 batting line on the season with 4 home runs, 14 stolen bases in 20 attempts, and 52 walks to 92 strikeouts. He spent the entire 2023 season with the Rumble Ponies and appeared in 119 games, hitting .230/.344/.389 with 23 doubles, 3 triples, 13 home runs, 30 stolen bases, and 65 walks to 116 strikeouts. After the season, he was sent to the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .255/.367/.373 in 15 games with the Glendale Desert Dogs, swatting 6 doubles, stealing 1 base, and walking 9 times to 19 strikeouts.

The switch-hitting Jordan is not exactly what scouts and evaluators would call toolsy from an offensive standpoint, but his combination of tools and athleticism are greater than the sum of their individual parts. At 5’10”, 185-pounds, he does not currently possess much raw power and is unlikely to bulk up to the point where he does. Swinging with a slight leg kick and a very linear bat path, Jordan shows average or slightly better bat speed from both sides of the plate but does not project to have a difference making bat because of the lack of power. He is an efficient base stealer and knows how to run the bases, but his speed is average or slightly above average at best.

At the plate, what makes Jordan an efficient hitter is his ability to grind out at bats, fight off tough pitches, put himself in favorable counts, and wear down pitches until he is able to get pitches he can drive into gaps. He is able to handle velocity well, swinging-and-missing and striking out at below-average rates against fastballs, but struggles a bit more with movement.

Defensively, Jordan is a solid outfielder thanks to his quick-twitch athleticism and should be able to stick in center field for the foreseeable future. He is rangy and is able to cover a lot of ground. He reads the ball well off the bat and takes efficient routes. His arm is about average for the position and is quick and accurate to the infield.

Simon Juan, OF

Dominican outfielder Simon Juan was made an offer by the Mets that the 16-year-old that he and his family found acceptable, and Juan signed with the Mets for $1.9 million on January 15, 2022. He made his professional debut with the DSL Mets later in the year and hit .219/.310/.323 in 53 games with 9 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs, 16 stolen bases in 17 attempts, and 20 walks to 54 strikeouts. He was ranked 24 on Amazin’ Avenue’s Top 25 Mets Prospects for 2023 that winter, and then was sent stateside for the 2023 season. Appearing in 40 games for the FCL Mets, the 17-year-old hit .220/.293/.303 with 5 doubles, 2 home runs, 1 stolen base in 3 attempts, and drew 12 walks to 39 strikeouts.

Juan stands square at the plate, holding his hands high and wrapping his bat behind his head. At times, he swings with a toe tap/slight leg kick while at other times, he swings with a much more exaggerated leg kick, but regardless of his load, he has a long-levered right-handed swing that will make him susceptible to strikeouts but allows him to tap into his natural strength. He has logged multiple hits with registered exit velocities near or exceeding 100 MPH. At 6’2”, 195-pounds, Juan is thick around the torso unlikely to add too much more muscle mass.

Juan already shows the ability to integrate his above-average speed into his offensive game, stretching hits, taking extra bases on the basepaths, and stealing bases, and should be able to integrate into his defensive ability as well. He has enough range to play center field in the present, and if he slows down as he ages, he has an above-average arm that fits in right field.

Daniel Juarez, LHP

A native of Güigüe, Venezuela, left-hander Daniel Juarez was officially signed by the Mets on January 30, 2019, late in the 2018-2019 international free agent signing window. The 18-year-old was assigned to the Dominican Summer League that summer and posted a 3.74 ERA in 33.2 innings over 16 appearances, with 31 hits allowed, 17 walks, and 53 strikeouts. After missing the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Mets sent him stateside, assigning him to the FCL Mets. He appeared in another 16 games for them, posting a 2.76 ERA in 29.1 innings with 11 hits allowed, 18 walks, and 44 strikeouts, earning himself a promotion to the St. Lucie Mets at the end of the season, where he made a single appearance. He began the 2022 season there and appeared in 26 games for the St. Lucie Mets, posting a 2.31 ERA in 39.0 innings with 21 hits allowed, 21 walks, and 56 strikeouts. Juarez earned himself a promotion to the Brooklyn Cyclones at the end of the season and appeared in 5 games for them, giving up a single unearned run in 4.1 innings with 4 hits allowed, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts.

The left-hander remained in Brooklyn to start the 2023 season and was almost unhittable. Appearing in 12 games, he did not allow a single earned run in 15.2 innings, scattering 5 hits, walking 6, and striking out 24. He was promoted to Double-A Binghamton in late May and pitched with the Rumble Ponies for the rest of the season. Appearing in 21 games, Juarez posted a 3.27 ERA in 41.1 innings, with 30 hits allowed, 12 walks, and 37 strikeouts.

Listed at 5’11”, 155-pounds, Juarez has certainly put on some weight but he is still well-proportioned for his frame. The southpaw throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a long arm action through the back. He gets good extension off the mound and his slingy arm has a lower approach angle as a result. The left-hander struggles with his release point, resulting in poor control. Additionally, he has in the past telegraphed his pitches, with his fastballs having distinctively higher release points than his secondary pitches.

Juarez’ fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, a slight boost in 2023 raising the velocity band he lives in and his average fastball speed up a few miles per hour from the 91 MPH it averaged last season. With well-above-average spin rates and his vertical approach angle, his fastball has sneaky giddyap resulting in high swing-and-miss and strikeout rates, making it his most effective pitch.

In addition to his fastball, Juarez also throws a slider and changeup, but both are fringe-average offerings at this point in time. The exact percentages vary from outing to outing, but the southpaw utilizes his fastball roughly 75% of the time and his secondary pitches 25% of the time, with the exact ratio of sliders to changeups used differing per game depending on his feel for either pitch.

His slider sits in the high-70s-to-low-80s, 77-81 MPH, averaging 79 MPH. The pitch has a low spin rate for a slider, giving it gyroscopic movement with vertical drop but very little horizontal movement. His changeup sits in the high-70s-to-low-80s, 79-82 MPH, averaging 81 MPH. The pitch has been especially effective against fellow left-handers.

Edward Lantigua, OF

Born on November 3, 2006 in Moca, a city in northern Dominican Republic home to fellow Mets minor leaguer Enderson Asencio, Edward Lantigua was considered one of the better players available in the 2024-2025 international rookie player class. The Mets formally signed the outfielder on January 15, 2024, the first day of the signing period, giving him a $950,000 signing bonus, the second-highest that they gave any one player that year.

The 6’3”, 170-pound outfielder is extremely skinny and leggy, and will undoubtedly put on some weight and fill in as he ages. The right-hander stands open at the plate, holding his hands high and angling his bat head at 1:00. He swings with a big leg kick without much of a weight transfer or load, hovering his lead foot until planting it. His swing is a bit long-levered but has shown no issues against his peers in live pitching exercises. It produces easy power, and with a good approach and strong bat to ball skills, Lantigua has the chance to develop into a multi-dimensional hitter with power to all fields.

In the outfield, scouts and evaluators project Lantigua to have the ability to stay in center field thanks to his above-average speed. With his long legs and high waist, Lantigua has a body type that is unlikely to lose speed athleticism as he adds muscle mass, but if he ever does and is unable to stay in center, his strong, above-average arm allows him to play right field as well.

Wilfredo Lara, INF/OF

Signed on June 14, 2021, a few months into the 2021 international rookie signing period, the Mets wasted no time getting 17-year-old Wilfredo Lara into organized games, assigning him to the Dominican Summer League. He appeared in 31 games total and hit .208/.309/.354 in 96 at-bats, with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs, 3 stolen bases in 5 attempts, and 10 walks to 26 strikeouts. He was sent stateside in 2022, assigned to the FCL Mets. Appearing in 42 games, the right-hander hit .235/.338/.353 with 7 doubles, 3 triples, 1 home run, 8 stolen bases in 11 attempts, and 17 walks to 34 strikeouts. Promoted to St. Lucie in 2023, the 19-year-old Lara had a breakout campaign, hitting .264/.362/.452 in 99 games with 18 doubles, 3 triples, 14 home runs, 17 stolen bases in 23 attempts, and 50 walks to 89 strikeouts. His 14 home runs were fifth-most in the Florida State League in 2023 and tied for second-most for a teenager. His 14 home runs were also second-most in the Mets minor league system among teenagers, behind only Jeffry Rosa’s 15 long balls in the Dominican Summer League.

At the plate, Lara stands slightly closed off, holding his hands high and wrapping his bat behind his head at 1:00. He swings with a toe tap timing mechanism and very little load and weight transfer. His long-levered swing is capable of really punishing the ball, as evidenced by his high slugging percentage and home run total. In 2023, he averaged an 86.9 MPH exit velocity in 235 recorded batted ball events, with 36 100 MPH+ readings and 115 90+ MPH readings. While the power numbers are tantalizing, he has shown swing-and-miss problems with secondary pitches. He jumps on fastballs and does plenty of damage against them, hitting .352 against them with a .637 slugging percentage, but against breaking balls hit .200 with a .263 slugging percentage and against off-speed pitches hit .088 with a .147 slugging percentage. The 19-year-old generally goes up to the plate hunting fastballs to pull and lift but struggles against everything else. When he gets on base, he is speedy and a heads up runner.

A true utility man, Lara spent time playing first base, second base, third base, and all three outfield positions in 2023 and even expressed a willingness to catch or even pitch if the opportunity arose. With his speed, athleticism, and arm, center field would be Lara’s best defensive home, with right field and third base being the best secondary options if he loses that athleticism and speed.

Christopher Larez, INF

A native of Porlamar, a major port city on Veneuela’s Margarita Island with roots dating back to Christopher Columbus and other Spanish conquistadors during the of the age of exploration, Christopher Larez was considered one of the more polished and advanced players from the Caribbean available in the 2023 international free agent class. On January 15, the team made their unofficial agreement with the teen legally binding and signed him for $1.5 million, just slightly over a quarter of their $5.2 million dollar budget. The Mets assigned the 17-year-old to the Dominican Summer League, where he appeared in 24 games and hit .274/.351/.405 with 8 doubles, 1 home run, 9 stolen bases in 12 attempts, and drew 10 walks to 29 strikeouts. On August 21, well after July 10, the last game he appeared in during the 2023 season, it was announced that he had been suspended for 56 games after testing positive for Boldenone, a performance enhancing drug.

At the plate, Larez holds his hands high, swinging with a slight leg lift. His smooth, level stroke sprays line drives around the field in both batting practice and against live pitching. He currently has a contact-over-power profile, showing warning track power to his pull side, but additional power should come as he ages, matures, fills in, and optimizes his swing mechanics.

Defensively, Larez has an above-average arm, excellent range, and good instincts, giving him the main tools necessary to play shortstop. If his 6’1”, 190-pound frame fills in and he loses the quick-twitch muscle needed for the position, he has the arm to play third base and the instincts and experience to remain in the middle of the infield at second base. Center or right field would also be a possibility, depending on his footspeed.

Justin Lawson, RHP

After graduating from Winnfield Senior High School in his native Winnfield, Louisiana right-hander Justin Lawson attended Bossier Parish Community College, a junior college in Bossier City, Louisiana. His first season with the Cavaliers was uneventful, as the COVID-19 pandemic limited his time on the mound. The right-hander appeared in 5 games and logged 20.1 innings, posting a 3.54 ERA with 7 hits allowed, 14 walks, and 26 strikeouts. Appearing in 11 games in 2021, Lawson posted a 7.98 ERA in 44.0 innings, allowing 41 hits, walking 35, and striking out 70.

After the 2021 season, the right-hander went undrafted and transferred to North Carolina State University, where he made 19 appearances, including two starts, with the Pack. Throwing 37.2 innings, Lawson posted a 3.82 ERA, allowing 37 hits, walking 18, and striking out 41. He once again went undrafted, this time in the 2022 MLB Draft, and returned to NC State. Serving as closer, the 22-year-old was an integral part of the Wolfpack. Appearing in 27 games, Lawson pitched 52.1 innings, posting a 3.27 ERA with 57 hits allowed, 17 walks, and a career-high 67 strikeouts. The Mets selected the right-hander in the fifteenth round of the 2023 MLB Draft, the 456th player selected overall. He signed for a $150,000 signing bonus but ended up not pitching professionally in 2023.

Lawson throws from a low-three-quarter arm slot with simple, repeatable mechanics. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, and he complements it primarily with a sharp, late-biting slider that sits in the low-to-mid-80s.

Jimmy Loper, RHP

Jimmy Kali’i Loper was born in Honolulu, but the family relocated to the American mainland, with Jimmy attending Hickory High School in Chesapeake, Virginia. A member of the swim team in addition to the baseball team, Loper lettered all four years he attended Hickory, earning all-conference honors multiple times. A follow for scouts and evaluators, the right-hander went undrafted in the 2018 MLB Draft and honored his commitment to Duke University.

Loper did not play for the Blue Devils in his freshman season but was able to throw a handful of competitive innings, playing for the North Adams SteepleCats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League. Returning to Duke in 2020, his sophomore year, he once again was not able to pitch all that much, this time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He got into a total of 8 games, posting a 2.16 ERA in 8.1 innings, allowing 3 hits, walking 3, and striking out 11.

The right-hander finally was able to play a full season in 2021, appearing in 25 games out of the Duke bullpen, posting a 3.00 ERA in 45.0 innings, allowing 46 hits, walking 12, and striking out 43. Loper went undrafted in the 2021 MLB Draft and returned to Duke for his senior season. Head coach Chris Pollard appointed Loper the Blue Devil’s closer- he was a late innings, high-leverage reliever in 2021- and the right-hander posted a 4.44 ERA in 48.2 innings over 24 games, allowing 45 hits, walking 17, and striking out 64.

With their 16th round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the 479th pick overall, the Mets selected Loper. After signing, the right-hander did not suit up for the Mets in 2022. He was assigned to the St. Lucie Mets for the entirety of the 2023 season and appeared in 24 games for them, notching 4 saves. He posted a 3.86 ERA In 44.1 innings, allowing 40 hits, walking 19, and striking out 55.

The 6’4”, 215-pound right-hander has a solid pitching frame. He throws from three-quarters arm slot with a long action through the back. He relies on a three-pitch mix, throwing a four-seam fastball, slider, and curveball. He relies on the fastball a little more than half of the time, mixing in his slider and curveball about equally.

Loper’s fastball sits in the low-90s, ranging 90-93 MPH. The pitch has a high spin rate, averaging 2425 RPM in 2023, resulting in a high number of swings-and-misses and strikeouts. Opposing batters only hit .200 against it, with a paltry .232 slugging percentage. His slider sits in the low-80s, averaging 83 MPH, with gyroscopic break with little horizontal movement and a lot of drop. His curveball has 12-6 bend and sits in the high-70s. Neither pitch generates a great deal of swings-and-misses, with both generating weak contact and groundballs. Loper throws strikes and challenges hitters.

Nick Lorusso, INF

A Monroe, Connecticut native, Nick Lorusso attended Masuk High School in Monroe, where he played baseball, basketball, and football. He lettered only once in the latter two sports while lettering three times in baseball, wearing the captain ‘C’ in two of those seasons. Lorusso won numerous awards and was named to all kinds of honorary teams over the course of his high school career but went undrafted upon graduating. He honored his commitment to Villanova University and immediately had an impact for the Wildcats, becoming the school’s first player in 25 years to be named Big East Freshman of the Year. The infielder hit .302/.409/.425 with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 4 home runs, 2 stolen bases in as many attempts, and drew 28 walks to 31 strikeouts while simultaneously posting a 6.05 ERA in 41.2 innings on the mound with 59 hits allowed, 15 walks, and 32 strikeouts. His sophomore year, 2020, was a lost season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Lorusso hurt himself even before the year was cancelled, and as a result, he only appeared in 10 games at the plate and 3 appearances on the mound.

In 2021, Lorusso had the opportunity to build on his 2019 Freshman of the Year campaign, fully healthy and COVID-19 no longer a threat, and the right-hander delivered. Playing in all 29 games the Wildcats played, he hit .306/.380/.370 with 4 doubles, 1 home run, 1 stolen base in as many attempts, and 16 walks to 25 strikeouts. After going undrafted, the infielder entered the transfer portal hoping to find a program that could get him drafted by an MLB club. His Villanova career concluded, he hit a cumulative .294/.392/.392 in 88 games with 14 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs, 3 stolen bases in as many attempts, and 52 walks to 62 strikeouts.

Lorusso transferred to the University of Maryland for the 2022 season, a fourth-year junior, and ended up having a critical role on a team that scored the second-most runs in college baseball in 2022. Appearing in 62 games, the 21-year-old hit .322/.409/.562 with 17 doubles, 15 home runs, 0 stolen bases, and 37 walks to 55 strikeouts, setting career highs in virtually every offensive category. The third baseman also contributed on the mound when called upon once again, posting a 6.52 ERA in 9.2 innings, allowing 11 hits, walking 4, and striking out 8. He played for the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod Baseball League that summer, and then returned to Maryland. Showing that he was far from a one-hit wonder, Lorusso had an equally impressive 2023 season, his fifth-year senior season. Appearing in 61 games for the Terrapins, he hit .379/.446/.765 with 20 doubles, 2 triples, 26 home runs, 3 stolen bases in as many attempts, 34 walks, and 46 strikeouts. His 105 RBI led the NCAA, in just two seasons, he became the Maryland RBI career leader, driving in 175, and his 31-game hitting streak between February 18 and April 14 shattered the previous record of 19, set by Garry Maddox in 1996.

The Mets drafted Lorusso with their 9th round pick in the 2023 MLB Draft and signed him for $50,000, below the MLB-assigned slot value of $175,100 for the 276th overall pick. The Mets sent him to St. Lucie, and he remained there for the entire 2023 season. Lorusso appeared in 26 games and hit .169 /.250/.270 with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 2 stolen bases in 3 attempts, and 9 walks to 27 strikeouts.

The 6’2”, 215-pound 22-year-old has unconventional mechanics at the plate, standing closed off and slightly crouched, with his hands held high and his bat angled at 1:30. He swings with a slight toe tap and very little load and weight transfer. His bat path has natural loft, and Lorusso is capable of absolutely destroying pitches he gets full extension on and makes solid contact with, blasting extra base hits to all fields. He averaged a 91 MPH exit velocity this past season in all recorded batted ball events with the St. Lucie Mets, with multiple 100+ MPH readings and a high of 104.3 MPH. Never having displayed this much power prior to transferring to Maryland and then turning pro, Lorusso credits minor alterations to his swing mechanics and better advanced scouting and preparation against pitchers.

Defensively, Lorusso has spent most of his time at third base, with a sprinkling of first base work. A former pitcher whose arm can reach 90 MPH, he has the arm strength and accuracy to man the hot corner, and currently has the athleticism to play there, but may eventually be forced off the position as he ages and slows down.

William Lugo, INF

Having added $1 million in international bonus pool money when Jeurys Familia was traded to the Oakland Athletics on July 21, 2018, the Mets were able to continue spending on highly touted international free agents after spending nearly 80% of their original budget on the first day of the 2018-2019 signing period. Using $475,000 of that million, the Mets were able to sign Dominican third baseman William Lugo in late August 2018. He skipped over the Dominican Summer League completely and made his professional debut stateside, getting assigned to the GCL Mets in 2019. The 17-year-old appeared in 43 games and hit .158/.280/.219 in 43 games, hitting one home run, stealing one base, walking 21 times and striking out 46 times.

After missing the 2020 season because of the coronavirus, Lugo was once again rostered at the lowest level of the domestic minor leagues, assigned to the FCL Mets. He spent the entire season there, appearing in 46 games and hitting .218/.328/.372 with 6 home runs, 5 stolen bases in 6 attempts, and 23 walks to 52 strikeouts. Lugo was assigned to the St. Lucie to start the 2022 season and spent the majority of the year there, getting promoted to Brooklyn in mid-August and finishing his season there. One year younger than the average player in the Florida State League and two-and-a-half than the average South Atlantic League hitter, Lugo hit .261/.347/.427 with 10 home runs, 37 walks, and 90 strikeouts in 84 games with St. Lucie and .267/.347/.448 with 4 home runs, 13 walks, and 27 strikeouts in 28 games in Brooklyn. The infielder was named the Mets’ 25th top prospect coming into the 2023 season on the strength of his breakout campaign, but he was unable to duplicate those numbers during the season. Assigned to the Brooklyn Cyclones for the entire year, the 21-year-old Lugo hit .237/.316/.385 in 106 games, with 18 doubles, 3 triples, 11 home runs, 7 stolen bases in 11 attempts, and 40 walks to 92 strikeouts.

The 6’3”, 215-pound Lugo is solidly built, thick and muscular from top to bottom. He stands tall at the plate with his hands held high, swinging with a big leg kick. He swings with confidence and authority, putting a jolt into the ball when he connects. As an amateur, he showed above-average raw power with the potential to have it manifest itself in-game, and at times, he has been able to do so. In 2022, with the St. Lucie Mets, he averaged a 93.4 MPH exit velocity on all hits, and registered multiple 100+ MPH readings. Eager to show off his power, Lugo often seems a bit overaggressive at the plate, but does not strike out at an alarmingly high rate. He has a fair eye at the plate and is able to recognize spin and lay off of borderline pitches that he has not already committed to, walking enough to mitigate the strikeouts.

Defensively, Lugo played all over the diamond, spending time at first, third and shortstop as well as serving as designated hitter. He is surprisingly agile and deceptively quick for a person his height and height thanks to a high level of athleticism. In the short term, that athleticism will allow him to continue playing on the left side of the infield, but his long-term future will likely be a less premium defensive position as he begins to slow down as he matures further.

Wilmer Lugo, LHP

Coro, Venezuela native Wilmer Lugo was signed by the Mets on January 15, 2023, the first day of the international free agent signing period. The two sides agreed to a $100,000 signing bonus. The left-hander was assigned to the Dominican Summer League for the 2023 season, but did not actually pitch, as Tommy John surgery kept him off the mound all season.

The 6’1, 190-pound southpaw is well proportioned and has a lanky, athletic build that suggests additional growth in the future. The left-hander throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot, folding his top half over to lower his point. His fastball sat in the low-90 prior to his injury, topping out as high as 93 MPH, with a spin rate between 2000 and 2200 RPM, giving it sink. He complemented it with a sweepy slider that sits in the mid-to-high-70s and features a spin rate around 2500 RPM. He often telegraphed his pitches, folding his top half deeper and lowering arm-slot when throwing his slider.

Landon Marceaux, RHP

Louisiana native Landon Marceaux attended Destrehan High School in St. Charles Parish. His career as a high school pitcher was storied, to say the least. Over the course of his career there, the right-hander posted an 18-3 record, with a 1.17 ERA in 168.1 innings, with 31 walks allowed and 239 strikeouts. He set the school’s single-season ERA record in 2016, his sophomore year, with a 0.64 ERA, and in his all-important senior season posted a posted 1.26 ERA in 49.2 innings with 4 walks and 76 strikeouts. In addition to being named to numerous honorary teams, Marceaux was considered one of advanced right-handed prep pitchers available in the 2018 MLB Draft and was heavily scouted by professional teams. His fringy fastball and lack of remaining projection kept him from being called on day one and day two, but on day three, the Yankees selected him with their 38th round pick, the 1117th player selected overall. Ultimately, the Yankees were unable to put together a signing bonus large enough to break his commitment to Louisiana State University, and so the right-hander ended up not signing and attending college in 2019.

Marceaux had some growing pains in his freshman year, and was also bothered by arm soreness, and while his first year at LSU didn’t blow anybody away, it was still extremely respectable. Appearing in 15 games and starting 14 of them, the right-hander posted a 4.66 ERA in 58.0 innings, allowing 68 hits, walking 20, and striking out 43. Things got off to a much better start in 2020, but his season came to an abrupt halt when the NCAA cancelled the rest of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All in all, Marceaux started 4 games and posted a 2.70 ERA in 23.1 innings, allowing 19 hits, walking 7, and striking out 22.

The LSU offense was terrific in 2021, with four everyday players posting OPS’ over .900 and two above 1.000, but their pitching staff was not able to say the same. Landon Marceaux was the glue that held the Tigers’ rotation together. While the other starters had a collective ERA over 4.00, Marceaux posted a 2.54 ERA in 102.2 innings, allowing 92 hits, walking 26, and striking out 116. While he did fade a bit down the stretch, his ERA was still 5th best in the SEC and his strikeout total was 7th. For his efforts, the Los Angeles Angels drafted him with their 3rd round pick, immediately in front of the Mets, who selected Dominic Hamel with theirs. The Angels and Marceaux agreed to a $765,300, slightly below the MLB-recommended slot value of $767,800, and the right-hander went pro, appearing in a pair of games for the Arizona Complex League Angels, Los Angeles’ rookie-level affiliate.

The right-hander’s career began in earnest in 2022. The Angels assigned Marceaux to the Tri-City Dust Devils, their High-A affiliate, to begin the season and he spent the majority of the year there, getting promoted to the Double-A Rocket City Trash Pandas but only pitching 5.2 total innings there due to oblique and back injuries. His season began slowly, but by the start of the summer, Marceaux got his sea legs under him and began exceeding expectations. A two-time Northwest League Pitcher of the Week in June and July and the Northwest Pitcher of the Month in July, he posted a 2.65 ERA in 85.0 innings over 16 starts, allowing 64 hits, walking 14, and striking out 69. From the end of May until the end of July, when he was promoted to Rocket City and subsequently had his season come to an end, he posted a 1.64 ERA in 66.0 innings over 10 starts, with 43 hits allowed, 6 walks, and 54 strikeouts.

Marceaux began 2023 with the Trash Pandas and once again struggled out of the gate. In 12 starts until late June, he posted a 4.88 ERA in 59.0 innings, allowing 72 hits, walking 19, and striking out 45. On June 24, 2023, the Mets traded infielder Eduardo Escobar to the Angels and received Crow, fellow right-handed pitcher and Trash Panda teammate Landon Marceaux, and cash. Assigned to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, the right-hander made a single start before being put on the Developmental List and then sent down to the St. Lucie Mets. He made three starts with them before then being placed on the Injured List due to an undisclosed injury, causing his season come to an end.

Landon Marceaux stands an even 6’ and weighs and even 200-pounds. He throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with simple, low-effort, repeatable mechanics. Indeed, Marceaux greatest strength as a pitcher is his control and command. The right-hander had a cumulative 2.6 BB/9 rate over the course of his three years at LSU, a 1.5 BB/9 rate in 85.0 High-A innings, and a 3.0 BB/09 rate in 66.2 Double-A innings. His impeccable control and command allow his other pitches to play up, as he can tunnel his pitches well and keep hitters off balance by hitting his target in all four quadrants of the zone, above it, below it, and outside of it.

The right-hander was considered an extremely advanced pitcher out of high school but had limited projectability, and Marceaux more or less is the same pitcher who he was then, albeit with a bit more physicality. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, generally 90-92, topping out at 94 MPH. The pitch is far from overpowering but has some late sinking and running life to it thanks to his arm slot and the downward plane he throws from. Marceaux can also cut his fastball and occasionally throws more cut fastballs than four-seam or two-seam.

He complements his fastball with a curveball, slider, and changeup, but none are consistent swing-and-miss pitches. His curveball and slider are both fringe-average pitches, the curveball sitting in the high-70s with soft downward break and high slider sitting in the low-80s with sharper, later slice. His low-80s changeup is not as consistently effective as his other secondary pitches but it has improved since going professional, and its late drop has helped maintain his overall repertoire a high groundball rate for a non-groundball specialist.

Aaron Martinez, RHP

The Mets signed Aaron Martinez on January 15, 2021, the first day of the new international signing period, out of Coro, Venezuela, the second-oldest city of Venezuela and home of former White Sox and Tigers all-star Magglio Ordonez. The 17-year-old was assigned to the Dominican Summer League and spent time on both Mets teams, making 8 starts in total and posting a combined 2.45 ERA in 18.1 innings with 15 hits allowed, 12 walks, and 11 strikeouts. Martinez was set to make his stateside debut in 2022, but an injury kept him off the field for the entire season as well as all of 2023.

Martinez has a lanky 6’1”, 185-pound frame that will almost certainly grow and put on muscle. The right-hander throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a very long arm actions through the back. His arm is a bit whippy and he often overthrows, leading to control issues. His fastball sat in the low-90s prior to his injury, generally sitting 91-92, but regularly reached the mid-90s, hitting 94 MPH. Marinez is good at keeping on top of the ball and throwing it downhill, giving the pitch sink. The rest of his arsenal is very raw at this point, and he complemented the pitch with a slurvy breaking ball that needs to be refined with better shape into either a more traditional curveball or slider to be effective.

Brandon McIlwain, OF

Brandon McIlwain was a two-sport standout at Council Rock North High, a high school in Newtown, Pennsylvania. On the baseball diamond and on the gridiron, he blended a premium combination of speed and power, winning awards and getting named to honorary teams in both sports. In baseball, he excelled as a hitter and as a pitcher and in football, he was dominant as a quarterback and defensive back. McIlwain went undrafted in the 2015 MLB Draft and honored his commitment to the University of South Carolina, the same school his father attended. Unlike most dual sport high school athletes, he continued playing both, making the Gamecock’s baseball and football teams, though he focused more on the latter than the former. Appearing in multiple games for South Carolina as their quarterback in 2016, he only appeared in eight games with the baseball team, going 1-10. He announced his intention to transfer from the University of South Carolina to Cal State in 2017 and was granted redshirt status but was barred from participating in any games for the season due to NCAA rules. He returned to the gridiron in 2018 but did not play baseball, getting back to the diamond in 2019. He appeared in 20 games as Cal’s primary center fielder but broke his foot in late April, ending his season prematurely. Despite hitting .258/.309/.435, the Miami Marlins drafted McIlwain in the 26th round of the 2019 MLB Draft. He elected not to sign with them and instead returned to Cal State, where he would focus only on baseball.

The outfielder appeared in 16 games before the NCAA shut down all athletic programs due to COVID-19, hitting .200/.333/.273. After going undrafted in the 2020 MLB Draft, the two-sport athlete signed with the Mets. The 23-year-old was assigned to the St. Lucie Mets in 2021 and appeared in 74 games for them, hitting .255/.362/.398 with 7 home runs, 8 stolen bases in 11 attempts, and 36 walks to 89 strikeouts. He began the 2022 season with the Brooklyn Cyclones and was easily the best player on the team while he was there, hitting .298/.389/.472 in 48 games with 3 home runs, 12 stolen bases in 17 attempts, and drawing 14 walks to 45 strikeouts. He was promoted to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in late June and appeared in 50 games for them, hitting .219/.307/.323 with 4 home runs, 3 steals in 5 attempts, and 20 walks to 64 strikeouts, giving him a cumulative .255/.345/.391 line on the year with 7 home runs, 15 stolen bases, and 34 walks to 109 strikeouts. He began the 2023 season in Binghamton and appeared in 85 games until the beginning of August, when he was promoted to Syracuse for the remainder of the year. With Binghamton, he hit .260/.342/.394 with 19 doubles, 1 triple, 7 home runs, 9 stolen bases, and 27 walks to 73 strikeouts. With Syracuse, he hit .219/.382/.391 in 43 games with 11 doubles, 5 home runs, 11 stolen bases, and 34 walks to 46 strikeouts. In 2023 as a whole, he hit .247/.356/.393 in 128 games, with 30 doubles, 1 triple, 12 home runs, 20 stolen bases, and 61 walks to 119 strikeouts.

At the plate, McIlwain stands open, holding his hands high and swinging with a toe tap mechanism. He has a balanced right-handed swing that shows a great deal of power, logging 100 MPH+ exit velocities in 2021, 2022, and 2023, and averaging an 86.8 MPH exit velocity in Syracuse. Given his background and the lack of playing time he has accumulated, McIlwain is still raw as a baseball player relative to his age and level and shows in his plate discipline. While he did not strike out at a catastrophic rate, he had a high likelihood to swing-and-miss against fastballs and a high likelihood to swing-and-miss against everything else. He did most of his damage in 2023 against fastballs, hitting .263 on them while in Syracuse with a .424 slugging percentage and 88.1 MPH exit velocity, as opposed to hitting .194 with a .250 slugging percentage and 83.2 MPH exit velocity against breaking balls and .233 average with a .558 slugging percentage and 84.6 MPH exit velocity against off-speed pitches.

McIlwain is a tremendous athlete, and that helps him in the outfield. He is a plus runner, which allows him to handle center field, and the potential exists for him to develop into an above-average center fielder as he learns to read the ball off of the bat better and refine his routes to the ball. His speed is also an asset on the basepaths, stealing bases and taking extra bases. His arm is above-average and would fit in any of the three outfield positions.

Trey McLoughlin, RHP

Born in Shelton, Connecticut, Trey McLoughlin attended the eponymously named high school in his hometown. Ater graduating, he attended Fairfield University about a half-hour down I-95. In his freshman season, the right-hander posted a 5.60 ERA in 45.0 innings, allowing 53 hits, walking 22, and striking out 22. He supplemented his time on the mound after the season ended by playing with the Danbury Westerners of the New England Collegiate League that summer, and then returned to Fairfield in 2019 for his sophomore season. He showed only marginal improvements in some areas but showed great growth in others, posting a 5.59 ERA in 75.2 innings, allowing 80 hits, walking 27, and striking out 82, earning him Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Tournament Team honors.

He returned to the New England Collegiate League in the summer of 2019 once again, playing this time for the Mystic Schooners instead of the Danbury Westerners and the 20-year-old ended up an all-star, one of the best pitchers in the league with a top-five ERA and strikeout total. He returned to the Stags now firmly entrenched as their number one starter but had little time to showcase the steps forward that he took that summer as a pitcher, as COVID-19 limited his time on the mound in 2020 to just 15.2 innings over 3 starts and a bout of shoulder bursitis that took over a month to finally clear up limited his time on the mound in 2021 to just 23.2 innings over 5 starts. His return to Faifield in May came at a fortuitous time for the Stags, as he was able to pitch a strong game against Canisius College right before the NCAA Championship Tournament, and then against Arizona State in what would be his final game with the team.

All in all, over the course of his four-year career at Fairfield, McLoughlin posted a cumulative 5.40 ERA in 160.0 innings, allowing 170 hits, walking 63, and striking out 163; his 9.1 K/9 rate a program record. A week after Fairfield was bumped out of the tournament, he began playing for Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod League, making a pair of starts prior to the 2021 MLB Draft in an attempt to create some positive buzz around himself following a senior season that saw him pitch minimal innings. The Mets selected the senior right-hander in the 16th round of the 2021 MLB Draft, the 472nd player selected overall, and signed him for $30,000. He made his professional debut with the FCL Mets but was promoted to St. Lucie after just one game, where he posted a 6.41 ERA in 19.2 innings over 6 appearances, with 20 hits allowed, 7 walks, and 18 strikeouts.

McLoughlin remained with St. Lucie to begin the 2022 season and he posted a 3.26 ERA in 38.2 innings over 22 games with 32 hits allowed, 8 walks, and 46 strikeouts. At the end of August, he was promoted to the Brooklyn Cyclones and made 4 appearances with them, posting a 5.11 ERA in 12.1 innings with 11 hits allowed, 5 walks, and 14 strikeouts. All in all, the 23-year-old posted a 3.71 ERA in 51.0 innings over 26 appearances in 2022, allowing 43 hits, walking 13, and striking out 60. In 2023, McLoughlin started the year with Brooklyn, appearing in 4 games with them in April before being promoted to Binghamton for the rest of the season. With the Cyclones, he posted a 1.65 ERA in 16.1 innings over 10 appearances, with 13 hits allowed, 6 walks, and 26 strikeouts. With the Rumble Ponies, the right-hander appeared in 25 games and posted a 3.31 ERA in 35.1 innings with 30 hits allowed, 10 walks, and 38 strikeouts. After the season ended, he went to the Arizona Fall League, where he appeared in 9 games for the Glendale Desert Dogs and did not allow a single earned runs in 8.2 innings, with 4 hits, 4 walks, and 8 strikeouts.

McLoughlin has a solid pitching frame, standing 6’2” and weighing 210-pounds. He throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot and features simple mechanics that include a high leg lift and a long arm action through the back. While he is not all arm strength, there is some effort in his delivery. His command of his pitches earlier in his career was below-average, but he made strides in that regard following his successful summer in Mystic and now features above-average control and command.

The right-hander relies on a fastball, slider, and split-changeup. His fastball sits in the low-90s and features a low spin rate, giving it some natural sink but not enough to net strong ground ball rates- McLoughlin is more of a fly ball pitcher in fact. He complements it with a low-to-mid-80s gyroscopic slider and a mid-80s split-change.

Leandy Mella, INF

Leandy Mella was born on February 4, 2007 in La Vega, a city in central Dominican Republic. Considered a premium talent available in the 2024-2025 international rookie class, the Mets officially signed the infielder for $500,000 on January 15, 2024, tied for the third-most the organization gave out during the signing period.

The 5’10”, 170-pound switch hitter has sneaky power, and is considered a sleeper prospect by some scouts and evaluators for exactly this reason. Defensively, he is considered a solid defender up the middle by scouts and evaluators. He shows soft hands, good footwork, and dexterity along with an arm that is getting better in terms of strength and accuracy.

Ernesto Mercedes, RHP

Ernesto Mercedes signed with the Mets on January 15, 2022 out of Pimentel, a city of roughly 36,000 in the Dominican Republic’s Duarte province. The right-hander was assigned to the Dominican Summer League for the 2022 season and had a very respectable professional debut. In 36.1 innings over 14 games, Mercedes posted a 3.72 ERA, allowing 27 hits, walking 29, and striking out 41. The organization sent him stateside for the 2023 season, assigning him to the FCL Mets when their season began in June. Appearing in 9 games and starting 5, the right-hander posted a 3.00 ERA in 24.0 innings, allowing 20 hits, walking 15, and striking out 27. At the end of August, he was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets and made three starts in the Florida State League before the season ended. Mercedes gave up four total earned runs over 9.1 innings, allowing 8 hits, walking 9, and striking out 13. At both levels combined, the 19-year-old posted a 3.24 ERA in 33.1 innings, allowing 28 hits, walking 24, and striking out 40.

The right-hander throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a long action through the back. He drops his top half and drives off the mound and really gets on top of the ball well with a whippy, slingy arm. He uses a three-pitch mix, throwing his fastball slightly more than half of the time, his slider a bit less, and his still-developing splitter occasionally.

His fastball sits in the high-80s-to-low-90s, ranging 89-94 MPH and averaging 91 MPH. The pitch has some natural tail and arm-side action but generally has been easy for batters to square up on, as it does not possess above-average velocity, spin, or movement.

His gyro slider sits in the low-to-mid-80s, ranging 80-85 MPH, averaging 83 MPH. The pitch is Mercedes’ main swing-and-miss offering against right-handed pitchers. His splitter sits in the mid-80s, averaging 83 MPH. The pitch is mainly against left-handers and is his main swing-and-miss offering against them. Mercedes’ command and control are still spotty in his young career, but the right-hander generally has had an easier time throwing his slider and splitter for strikes and has struggled to keep his fastball in the strike zone.

Brian Metoyer, RHP

A native of Natchitoches, Louisiana, Brian Metoyer attended Natchitoches Central High School, where he was named to the All-District team as both a utility player and a pitcher. Upon graduation, he attended Louisiana State University of Eunice. In 2016, his first year there, he posted a 9.00 ERA in 13.0 innings, allowing 23 hits, walking 10, and striking out 13. Returning in 2017, posted an improved 4.30 ERA in 23.0 innings for the Bengals, allowing 19 hits, walking 13, and striking out 27. After two years there, he transferred to Louisiana State University of Alexandria. He appeared in 15 games for the Chiefs and posted a 5.60 ERA in 27.1 innings, allowing 24 hits, walking 31, and striking out 35.

The 21-year-old right-hander was drafted at the conclusion of the season, making the second player in history from LSU-Alexandria to be selected by a major league club, joining Ronnie Robbins, but he had to wait quite a while to hear his name called. The Mets selected him in the 40th round of the 2018 MLB Draft, the 1190th player selected out of 1214 players in all. He agreed to a $40,000 signing bonus with the Mets, making him the very last 40 round player to be selected by the organization, as their 2019 40th round pick, Camden Lovrich, did not sign and the draft was shortened to fewer than 40 rounds in 2020. He made his professional debut with the GCL Mets but was promoted to the Kingsport Mets after a single appearance there, posting a cumulative 5.11 ERA in 12.1 innings in the Gulf Coast League and Appalachian League with 12 hits allowed, 10 walks, and 11 strikeouts. He spent the entire 2019 season with the Brooklyn Cyclones, posting a 5.65 ERA in 28.2 innings for the eventual NYPL 2019 champions, allowing 15 hits, walking 22, and striking out 40.

Returning to the field in 2021 after missing the 2020 season due to COVID-19, the 24-year-old reliever had the most success he has had in his career, particularly in the later summer months, opening the eyes of many who had either never seen him or had been unimpressed by lackluster performance. In 33.0 innings with the High-A Brooklyn Cyclones, Metoyer posted a 2.18 ERA, allowing 14 hits, walking 16, and striking out 46. He earned a promotion to Binghamton at the end of the season, as an outbreak of COVID-19 left the team needing additional players on their roster and appeared in two games out of the bullpen for them, allowing a run in two hits over three innings, walking three and striking out six. He remained in Binghamton for the 2022 season, but unfortunately for the right-hander, his 2022 season consisted of just 7.1 ineffective innings over the course of just 6 games thanks to an injury that put him on the shelf in early May. He ended up needing Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2023 as well.

Tall and lanky, Metoyer throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a long action through the back. The Natchitoches native is mainly a two-pitch pitcher, using a fastball that he can cut and sink and a curveball. The pitch sat in the low-90s prior to his Tommy John, averaging 92 MPH, dipping a little lower when he sinks it and a little higher when he cuts it. All three distinct variations of his fastball generally got hit hard, but he maintained an astounding 65% ground ball rate in 2021 and allowed just one home run, making a strong defense behind the right-hander important for his future success. As impressive as that number is, it pales in comparison to another, pertaining to his curveball, which sat in the high-70s-to-80 MPH and featured anywhere between 50-60 inches of vertical break and 12-16 inches of horizontal movement. During the 2021 Arizona Fall League, the pitch averaged 3205 RPM and maxed out at 3492 RPM, giving the pitch massive drop. Unfortunately, Metoyer generally struggled commanding it. The movement on his pitches allowed him to miss bats, but until he learns to command them better, it will also be an Achilles heel.

Adolfo Miranda, OF

Born October 4, 2006 in Havana, Cuba, 16-year-old Miranda was cleared by Major League Baseball and declared eligible to signed by a professional team in mid-April 2023. On January 15, 2024, the first day of the 2024 international free agent signing period, the Mets signed Miranda, giving the Cuban outfielder a $10,000 signing bonus.

Listed at 6’2”, 175-pounds when he left Cuba, Miranda is a physical, well-proportioned athlete. At the plate, the right-hander stands slightly open, holding his hands high, angling his bat at 2:00. He swings with a toe-tap timing mechanism without much of a load or weight transfer. He has a smooth, short-levered swing that is quick to the ball. In the outfield, Miranda has a quick, explosive first step. He takes long strides across the outfield grass with his long legs and covers plenty of ground.

Nick Morabito, OF

Nick Morabito comes from a baseball family. His father, Brian Morabito, played baseball for James Madison University when he attended the school in the late-80s and early-90s and his uncle, John, played baseball at Wake Forest University and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 1987, spending a year in their minor league system. Brothers Nick and John instilled in their children a love of baseball.

Nick took to the sport like a fish to water, playing little league in his native McLean and eventually going off to Washington D.C., attending high school at Gonzaga College High School, a private Catholic college-prep school. Morabito was not highly scouted as recently as his junior year but shot up draft boards this spring after having a monster senior year for the Eagles, helping lead them to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and D.C. State Athletic Association titles. Winning Washington D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year honors, he hit .545 with 10 doubles, 6 triples, 12 home runs, 52 stolen bases.

The Mets selected Morabito with their second round pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, the 75th player selected overall. He had a commitment to Virginia Tech but forwent it after the Mets offered him a cool million dollars, roughly $125,000 over the MLB-recommended slot value of $873,300. He was assigned the GCL Mets and appeared in 6 games, hitting .091/.167/.136 with 0 home runs, 1 stolen base, and 2 walks to 14 strikeouts. He returned to the FCL Mets when their 2023 season began and hit .324/.437/.432 in 30 games with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home run, 11 steals, and 20 walks to 22 strikeouts. The 20-year-old was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets in August and finished the season with them, hitting .286/.403/.378 in 27 games with 4 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 10 stolen bases, and 14 walks to 27 strikeouts. All in all, he hit .306/.421/.407 in 57 games combines, with 9 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs, 21 stolen bases in 25 attempts, and 34 walks to 49 strikeouts.

The 5’11”, 185-pound Morabito is built like a football player, solid and thick yet athletic. He stands square at the plate with a wide base, low hands, and a high back elbow. His right-handed swing has short levers and is direct to the ball, short and compact with very little wasted movement. While his physical projection may be limited due to his size and the relative lack of projection it has based on how filled in he is currently, he possesses above-average speed, allowing him to leg out extra base hits and cause havoc on the basepaths.

So far in his young career, Morabito has struggled against fastballs. During his time with St. Lucie in 2023, he had a 30% whiff/swing rate. Against non-fastballs, the right-hander had much more success striking out much less, drawing more walks, and putting more balls into play. He went to the opposite field almost as much as he pulled the ball; key to unlocking the most from his average raw power will be turning on pitches more and pulling the ball in the air.

An infielder and center fielder, there are questions as to where Morabito’s ultimate defensive home will be. His arm strength is below-average-to-fringe-average, but his quickness gives him excellent range, in both the infield and the outfield. The Mets drafted Morabito as an outfielder, making center field his most likely defensive home for the time being.

Luis Moreno, RHP

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 remained there for the rest of the season, posting a 2.92 ERA in 77.0 innings with 61 hits allowed, 23 walks, and 70 strikeouts. All in all, the right-hander posted a 2.84 ERA in 117.1 innings, allowing 97 hits, walking 43, and striking out 107. In 2023, Moreno spent the majority of the season with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, getting promoted to Syracuse to make a single start in July. Excluding his 3.1 Triple-A innings, the right-hander posted a 4.98 ERA in 119.1 innings with 118 hits allowed, 59 walks, and 117 strikeouts.

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. 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.

In 2021, he utilized his four-seam fastball just as much as his sinker, and struggled. Starting in 2022, he pocketed the four-seam fastball in favor of his sinker and has had much more success. 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, occasionally touching 3000 RPM. The sink on his fastball and weak contact on his curveball have resulted in Moreno maintaining a high groundball rate. In 2021, he posted a 50.5% groundball rate in the Low-A Southwest; in 2022, he posted a 61.1% groundball rate in the Florida State League and a 55.2% groundball rate in the South Atlantic League; in 2023, he posted a 49.4% groundball rate in the Eastern League.

Kade Morris, RHP

Kade Morris was born in Turlock, California and attended Pitman High School in his hometown, where he lettered three years in baseball. He batted a cumulative .222 average while posting a career 4.18 ERA in 57.0 innings. He went undrafted in the 2020 MLB Draft and went on to attend the University of Nevada, where he walked on to the baseball team as a relief pitcher. Morris appeared in 18 games for the Wolf Pack in his freshman year, posting a 7.71 ERA in 25.2 innings, allowing 34 hits, walking 13, and striking out 15. In his sophomore year in 2022, he appeared in 18 games, making 4 starts, and posted a 4.32 ERA in 66.2 innings, allowing 68 hits, walking 22, and striking out 53. That summer, he pitched for the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League and was extremely successful, making four starts and posting a 1.08 ERA in 16.2 innings with 11 hits allowed, 6 walks, and 9 strikeouts.

He thought about transferring from Nevada for his junior season, entering the transfer portal and committing to Texas Christian University where former Nevada head coach TJ Bruce had been hired, but ultimately did not, returning to Nevada for his junior season. Morris transitioned from the bullpen to the Wolf Pack rotation as their Friday night starter and started 14 games and logged a career-high 81.1 innings to modest success, posting a 5.42 ERA with 96 hits allowed, 27 walks, and 85 strikeouts.

The Mets had a second selection in the third round of the 2023 MLB Draft as compensation for failing to sign Brandon Sproat in 2022, their third round selection that year, and used it to select Kade Morris. The right-hander signed for $666,500, the MLB-recommended slot value, and split the rest of the summer with the FCL Mets and the St. Lucie Mets, making two starts and pitching 3.1 innings total. The 21-year-old gave up one earned run on two hits and two walks, with three strikeouts.

Morris throws from a low-three-quarters arm slot and has a simple, repeatable delivery that utilizes a leg lift. The right-hander has a deep arsenal, anchored by a fastball that sits in the low-to-mid-90s, averaging 93 MPH. He throws the pitch as a four-seam fastball and as a two-seam fastball, but both pitches blend into each other, as they both sit in the same velocity band, have the same spin rates, and both have slight run and sink. Morris has had issues in the past with his fastball flattening out in the zone, sapping its effectiveness.

He complements his fastball with a low-to-mid-80s slider, a mid-70s curveball, and a high-70s-to-low-80s changeup. His breaking stuff has all been very inconsistent over the course of his collegiate career, with some scouts and evaluators preferring his slider and some preferring his changeup; his curveball is virtually universally agreed to be a change-of-pace offering. None of his secondary pitches have elite swing-and-miss, but the right-hander is effective with them by changing eye levels, mixing his wide arsenal, and getting batters to get themselves out or make weak contact.

Diego Mosquera, INF

A native of Valencia, Venezuela, home of numerous former and current major league players, including former Mets Wilmer Flores and Roger Cedeno, Diego Mosquera was signed by the Mets on January 15, 2021, the first day of the 2021 international signing period, for $400,000. He was assigned to the Dominican Summer League Mets and had an excellent first season as a professional, appearing in 32 games and hitting .326/.431/.402 with 0 home runs, 3 stolen bases in 6 attempts, and 14 walks to 15 strikeouts. The 18-year-old was set to make his stateside debut in 2022, but a shoulder injury and labrum surgery kept him off the field all season. Mosquera made his Florida Complex League debut in June 2023 instead and appeared in 31 games, hitting .272/.331/.307 with 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 stolen base in 4 attempts, and 9 walks to 15 strikeouts. In August, he was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets and finished the rest of the season with them, hitting .229/.354/.284 in 28 games with 4 doubles, 1 triple, and 17 walks to 31 strikeouts.

The right-hander stands slightly open at the plate, holding his hands high and wrapping his bat behind his head. He swings with a light leg kick or toe tapping mechanism, and has a level, contact-oriented swing that has surprising pop. Listed as 5’11”, 155-pounds, Mosquera has put on additional weight and muscle since signing and has likely grown a bit as well, but he still has below-average in-game power. During his time with St. Lucie, he averaged an 82.7 MPH exit velocity on all batted ball events, with a high of 103.5 MPH. He hits too many balls on the ground, posting a 52.0% ground ball rate in 2021 and a 60.2% ground ball rate in 2023. While he has logged his fair share of hits from stinging ground balls hard past fielders, or legging out singles, it is not a sustainable approach in the long term. Mosquera will need to work on adding more loft to his swing and lifting the ball more to turn many of those ground balls into line drives. The right-hander has an advanced sense of the strike and works the count, fouls off pitches, and draws walks.

Defensively, Mosquera has all the tools to be a plus defensive shortstop, and some scouts and evaluators already consider him the best defensive shortstop in the Mets’ minor league system. His arm is only average at the position, but quick instincts, range, and soft hands cover up that minor deficiency. Should he slow down and lose some of that quick-twitch swiftness and be moved from shortstop on a permanent basis, he would be an above-average second baseman with those same tools and skills.

Dedniel Nunez, RHP

Puerto Plata native Dedniel Nunez’s baseball career thus far has been very atypical as compared to the journey that most international players go through. Signed in October 2016 at the age of 20, he made his professional debut with the GCL Mets in 2017, skipping the Dominican Summer League completely. In his first taste of professional ball, Nunez posted a 5.24 ERA in 44.2 innings with 51 hits allowed, 16 walks, and 46 strikeouts. He was promoted to Kingsport in 2018, where he posted an improved 3.79 ERA in 40.1 innings, allowing 38 hits, walking 16, and striking out 36. He skipped over Brooklyn and was assigned to the Columbia Fireflies to start the 2019 season. He posted a 4.03 ERA in 22.1 innings there and after just four starts was sent up to St. Lucie. He posted a 4.53 ERA in 57.2 innings before having his season end early due to a shoulder injury in mid-July, allowing 59 hits, walking 20, and striking out 61. All in all, he posted a cumulative 4.39 ERA in 80.0 innings, allowing 73 hits, walking 23, and striking out 94.

The right-hander missed the 2020 season due to COVID-19, and for a time, it looked like he might never pitch in a Mets uniform again. In the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, the San Francisco Giants selected the hurler and seemed poised to not only stick on their major league roster but excel as he impressed in spring training. Unfortunately for Nunez, he injured his elbow and was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. The right-hander remained with the Giants for the rest of the season but was removed from their 40-man roster in the 2022 off-season, prompting his return to the Mets.

Nunez made his return to the mound at the end of May for the St. Lucie Mets, and after three appearances was promoted to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, where he remained for the rest of the season. Now exclusively a late-inning reliever, the 26-year-old posted a 3.49 ERA in 28.1 innings over 23 appearances allowing 36 hits, walking 13, and striking out 43.

The right-hander spent the 2023 season bouncing up and down between the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and the Syracuse Mets. He began the year with Binghamton and was promoted to Syracuse at the end of April. After pitching there for roughly two months, he was sent back down to Binghamton at the end of June. He spent the entire month of July with the Rumble Ponies before being promoted back to Syracuse at the beginning of August, where he finished out the season. Appearing in 11 games for Binghamton, Nunez posted a 2.65 ERA in 17.0 innings, with 14 hits allowed, 3 walks, and 22 strikeouts. In Syracuse, he posted a 6.75 ERA in 40.0 innings, allowing 50 hits, walking 29, and striking out 48. For the entirety of the 2023 season, the right-hander posted a 5.53 ERA in 57.0 innings, allowing 64 hits, walking 32, and striking out 70.

Nuñez throws from a low-three-quarters arm slot with a whippy arm action. The right-hander is aggressive and goes after hitters but sometimes has trouble commanding his pitches because of their natural movement. A three-pitch pitcher, Nunez utilizes a fastball-slider-changeup mix, generally using his fastball 60% of the time and his slider 30% of the time, with his changeup periodically mixed in. The changeup is used primarily against left-handed batters and is hardly used against right-handers.

As a starter earlier in his career, his fastball generally sat in the low-90s, topping out around 94, 95 MPH. As a reliever, post-Tommy John surgery, his fastball sits in the mid-to-high-90s, averaging 96 MPH and occasionally hitting as high as 100 MPH in 2023. Both before and after the surgery, the spin rate on the pitch has been elite, adding to its swing-and-miss potential.

His slider is his go-to secondary pitch. The pitch has short, late gyroscopic break, sitting 86 MPH. It generates a high number of swings-and-misses and also generates a high number of groundballs, with a 51.3 whiff/swing rate and a 71.0 flyball/put-in-play rate in 2023. It is his main strikeout pitch against right-handers, generally throwing it down and away to just clip the zone or to get them to go fishing. His change is still fairly firm, averaging 90 MPH in 2023. It has some natural arm-side fade and sink, but it doesn’t elicit many swings-and-misses, generating groundballs more than anything.

Douglas Orellana, RHP

Nineteen-year-old Douglas Orellana was signed by the Mets as an international free agent out of Caracas, Venezuela on July 13, 2021. He was assigned to the DSL Mets and spent the remainder of the 2021 season in the Dominican Summer League, playing for both Mets DSL teams. In total, he posted an 8.05 ERA in 19.0 innings over 17 games with 22 hits allowed, 20 walks, 14 strikeouts, 6 hit batsmen, and 4 wild pitches. In early June, when the 2022 Florida Complex League season began, he was officially sent stateside and assigned to the FCL Mets. Used as starter and multi-inning reliever, the right-hander posted a 3.96 ERA in 36.1 innings for them, allowing 22 hits, walking 21, and striking out 55. He was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets at the end of August and appeared in 3 games for them, posting a 6.00 ERA in 6.0 innings, allowing 6 hits, walking 7, and striking out 8. He remained in St. Lucie for the entire 2023 season, appearing in 23 games and starting 18 of them. The 21-year-old posted a 4.53 ERA in 89.1 innings, allowing 74 hits, walking 50, and striking out 112.

The right-hander throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot, short arming the ball. Earlier in his career, he had a long action through the back, but the organization had him change his mechanics during extended spring training prior to the start of the 2022 season. There is some violence in his delivery, with a head jerk and an exaggerated follow through as he falls off the mound, and this has almost certainly had a negative impact on his control. In 2022, he had a 6.0 BB/9 rate, walking 28 batters in 42.1 innings, and in 2023, he walked 50 in 89.1 innings, a 5.0 BB/9 rate. Additionally, all of Orellana’s pitches have a lot of spin and movement to them, making them difficult to command.

His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, ranging 91-95 MPH, averaging 93 MPH. The pitch has slightly above-average spin rates for a four-seam fastball, averaging 2375 RPM in 2023 and averaged a 25% whiff rate, much improved from 2022, when he struggled to get swings-and-misses with the pitch. He has complements his fastball with a slider, cutter, and curveball. Generally speaking, Orellana mainly relies on the fastball and slider, intermittently mixing in his curveball and his cutter; earlier in the 2023 season, he seemed to lean more on the curveball, and then by midseason he was favoring the cutter as his third pitch.

His slider, which was primarily developed and refined over the winter of 2022, has blossomed into his go-to strikeout pitch. The pitch sits in the low-to-mid-80s, averaging 84 MPH, with sharp, two-plane, gyro movement. Averaging 2560 RPM, the pitch averaged a 42% whiff rate last season, in some games registering a 100% swing-and-miss rate on sliders batters attacked. His cutter, which was also developed and refined over the winter of 2022, has also averaged an extremely high whiff rate in 2023, 54%. Ranging between 86-89 MPH and averaging 88 MPH, the pitch has late cutting action.

His curveball, sits in the mid-to-high-70s, averaging about 77 MPH last season. It has big 12-6 shape, though it gets looser and gets slurvier sometimes. The pitch does not get a lot of strikeouts, but it does get a fair number of groundballs from batters swinging over it. When Orellana has a good feel for his curveball, the pitch generates a lot of groundballs and weak contact, but when he leaves it too high in the zone, it gives up a lot of hard contact.

Eric Orze, RHP

After graduating from Glenbard North High School in Carol Stream, Illinois, Eric Orze attended Northwest Florida State College, a community college in Niceville, Florida, for two seasons, and then transferred to the University of New Orleans in 2018. His time on the mound in his first year there was brief, as pain in his abdomen eventually made pitching, and even mundane tasks almost impossible; a visit to the doctor revealed that he had testicular cancer. He underwent surgery to remove the tumor and the initial prognosis was good, but he returned to the hospital a few days later as fluid had built up in his lungs, making it hard to breathe. The process to drain the fluid was a simple one, but while he was in their care, doctors made another grim discovery: a mole on his back was diagnosed as melanoma. The surgery to remove the skin cancer was successful, and Orze was pronounced cancer-free once more, but the sickness and the surgeries had taken their toll on his body and the right-hander sat out the entire 2019 season recovering. He finally returned to the baseball diamond on opening night 2020, but fate once again kept him off the diamond, as the NCAA ended the 2020 early due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All in all, the right-hander posted a 4.79 ERA in 123.1 innings, most of them as a starter, with Northwest Florida State College and a 4.97 ERA in 35.2 innings, most of them as a reliever, with the University of New Orleans.

The Mets selected Orze with their final pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, signing him for $20,000, well below the MLB assigned slot value of $357,100. Because the Minor League season had been cancelled due to COVID-19 as well, the right-hander would need to wait until 2021 to make his professional debut. Initially assigned to the High-A Brooklyn Cyclones, the right-hander’s surface numbers were only pedestrian, but his peripherals looked good. He was promoted to Double-A Binghamton in July and excelled there, posting a 2.60 ERA in the month he pitched there, with 12 hits allowed, 1 walk and 25 strikeouts over17.1 innings. The Mets promoted him to Triple-A Syracuse in mid-August and finished out the season there, posting a 2.19 ERA in 12.1 innings with 7 hits allowed, 7 walks, and 16 strikeouts. All in all, the right-hander finished his first professional season with a 3.08 ERA in 49.2 innings thrown over 34 appearances with 38 hits allowed, 14 walks, and 67 strikeouts. Based on his numbers and stuff, Amazin’ Avenue ranked the right-hander the Mets’ 13th top prospect going into the 2022 season.

He experienced a sophomore slump in 2022, though perhaps injuries were in part to blame. Assigned to the Syracuse Mets, Orze posted a 5.13 ERA in 47.1 innings with a pair of 7-day injured list visits sandwiched in July and August, with 42 hits allowed, 14 walks, and 64 strikeouts. Of note, he was extremely home run prone in 2022, allowing 11. Based on this regression, Orze dropped to 23 on the 2023 Amazin’ Avenue Mets Top 25 Prospect list. The right-hander spent the entire season in Syracuse in 2023 and posted a 5.31 ERA in 61.0 innings over 39 appearances, allowing 52 hits, walking 41, and striking out 81.

Orze throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot, short-arming the ball while dropping his body as he drives off the mound, lowering his release point. His fastball generally sits in the low-to-mid-90s, averaging 94 MPH in 2023 and featuring heavy sink. Earlier in his career, it sat more in the high-80s-to-low-90s, but since returning to the mound after recovering from cancer, he was able to add additional velocity to the pitch through some mechanical tweaks and added muscle growth and it now firmly sits in his current velocity band.

He complements the fastball with a splitter and a slider, the former of which generally is graded as an above-average-to-plus pitch. Sitting in the mid-to-high-80s, it features between 1200 and 1300 RPM of spin, giving it massive fall off the table and generating a ton of swings-and-misses. His slider, which is generally graded as fringe-average-to-average pitch, sits in the mid-80s and features late, two-plane movement. The right-hander leans very heavily on his splitter, throwing it roughly 40% of the time in 2023, as opposed to his fastball, which he used 35% of the time and his slider, which he used 25% of the time. Because hitters put his fastball in play more, hit it for higher batting averages, and hit it for more power, relying on his splitter over his fastball is in his best interest.

Jaylen Palmer, OF

Canarsie native Jaylen Palmer attended Holy Cross High School over in Flushing, about 15 minutes over from Citi Field. His first few years in high school were relatively unremarkable, but a massive growth spurt changed all of that. Between his sophomore and junior years, he developed from a scrawny 5’5”, 150-pound undersized middle infielder into a 6’3”, 195-pound athlete. That year, he hit .308/.439/.371 in 28 games for the Holy Cross Knights, putting himself on the map and gaining the attention of major league scouts. He was even better in his senior year, hitting .286/.511/.476 in 24 games.

With their twenty-second selection in the 2018 MLB Draft, the Mets selected Palmer, signing him for $200,000. The 17-year-old was assigned to the GCL Mets for the remainder of the 2018 season and hit .310/.394/.414 in 25 games, slugging a single home run and stealing five bases. He was promoted to the Kingsport Mets for the 2019 season, and as the fourth-youngest hitters in the Appalachian League hit .260/.344/.413 in 62 games, launching seven homers, stealing one base, and walking 31 times to 108 strikeouts. Based on his performance there, the Amazin Avenue’ minor league team collectively ranked Palmer the Mets’ 16th top prospect for the 2020 season and the Mets’ 8th top prospect for the 2021 season.

After missing the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Palmer returned to the field in 2021 for the St. Lucie Mets. Appearing in 66 games, the 20-year-old hit .276/.378/.386 with 2 home runs, 23 stolen bases in 28 attempts, and 39 walks to 81 strikeouts. In August, he was promoted to the Brooklyn Cyclones, his hometown team, where he spent the remainder of the season. In 39 games in Coney Island, Palmer hit .189/.314/.336 with 4 home runs, 7 stolen bases in 8 attempts, and 25 walks to 65 strikeouts. All in all, the 20-year-old hit .244/.354/.368 in 105 games over the course of the season, with 6 home runs, 30 stolen bases in 36 attempts, and 64 walks to 146 strikeouts. He spent the entire 2022 season with Brooklyn and regressed, hitting .184/.318/.324 in 105 games with 9 home runs, 22 stolen bases in 25 attempts, and 50 walks to 147 strikeouts.

He began the 2023 season with them and spent the preponderance of the year in Coney Island, hitting .167/.290/.268 in 59 games with 4 home runs, 19 stolen bases, and 32 walks to 92 strikeouts. He was promoted to Double-A Binghamton in late June and spent roughly two months there, hitting .143/.260/.222 in 42 games with 3 home runs, 8 stolen bases, and 17 walks to 62 strikeouts. He was promoted to Triple-A Syracuse at the end of August and finished out the year playing 21 games with them and hitting .250/.380/.594 with 6 home runs, 3 stolen bases, and 13 walks to 29 strikeouts. All in all, at all three levels, Palmer hit .173/.296/.307 in 122 games with 13 home runs, 30 stolen bases in 38 attempts, and 62 walks to 183 strikeouts.

At the plate, Palmer holds his hands high, swinging with a big leg kick. He has a long, smooth swing with natural upward loft that flows when his upper and lower halves are in sync, but often lunges and finds himself in front of the ball, sapping his power and causing him to either swing over pitches completely or turn them over weakly into the ground. When he hits the ball square, he can really put a jolt into the ball, as he has registered exit velocities around 110 MPH in the past, but Palmer struggles hitting the ball. His pitch recognition is fair, but his swing is so long levered that he simply is unable to adjust once he commits to balls with spin and movement, resulting in swings-and-misses or balls that are hit with weak contact. The flaw is troubling, as Palmer has plenty of attractive secondary baseball tools. The tall, leggy Palmer is an average-to-above-average runner and has learned to turn that into a weapon on the basepaths. He shows good instincts out of the box and hustles on the basepaths, allowing him to take the extra base. Defensively, Palmer’s speed has allowed him to transition from the infield to the outfield. Drafted as an infielder, he began his career primarily playing third base and shortstop but now plays center field adroitly. His natural athleticism and speed allow him to play center, and as he becomes more comfortable in the outfield, he will learn to see the ball off the bat better and learn better routes to the ball, rather than relying on his speed and afterburners to close in on the ball late. His arm is average-to-above-average and would fit anywhere in the outfield.

Hunter Parsons, RHP

The two-way ace of Parkside High School in Salisbury, Maryland, Hunter Parsons had an impressive senior year, batting over .300 and dominating on the mound. After earning All-State honors and being named the Bayside South Pitcher of the Year, he was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 2015 MLB Draft with their 40th round pick, the 1204th player selected overall. Rather than sign with the Twins, Parsons elected to honor his commitment to the University of Maryland, becoming a Terrapin instead.

He played for the Baltimore Redbirds of the Cap Ripkin League and was named Pitcher of the Year just prior to his freshman year starting, and when it finally did, he took that success with him to Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium. Starting five games and pitching out of the bullpen for ten, the right-hander posted a 3.50 ERA in 36.0 innings, allowing 27 hits, walking 13, and striking out 28. Unfortunately, his sophomore season would not go as smoothly. In four starts and eight relief appearances, Parsons posted a 12.05 ERA in 2017, allowing 41 hits, walking 8, and striking out 24 in 21.2 innings. He went off and played for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod League, hoping to find himself, but things didn’t go much better there, as he posted a 6.75 ERA in 14.2 innings split over thirteen relief appearances. Things went much better for Parsons in 2018, and the right-hander emerged as the Maryland’s top starting pitcher. In 89.0 innings, he posted a 3.44 ERA, allowing 73 hits, walking 27, and striking out 62. He went undrafted in 2018 and returned to Maryland for his senior season, posting a 3.45 ERA in 104.0 innings, allowing 88 hits, walking 32, and striking out 78.

The Mets selected the right-hander in the 19th round of the 2019 MLB Draft, the 568th player selected overall, and signed him for $25,000. The 22-year-old was assigned to the Brooklyn Cyclones and appeared in 11 games for the eventual 2019 New York-Penn League champions, posting a 2.89 ERA in 18.2 innings with 18 hits allowed, 9 walks, and 21 strikeouts. He did not play in 2020 owing to the COVID-19 shutdown and returned to the field in 2021 a member of the St. Lucie Mets bullpen. He appeared in 4 games and was promoted to the Cyclones- now the Mets’ High-A affiliate- where he remained for the entirety of the season. All in all, Parsons posted a 4.01 ERA in 49.1 innings over 28 games, with 37 hits allowed, 27 walks, and 66 strikeouts. He began 2022 with the Cyclones and remained there for roughly the first two months of the season, posting a 1.83 ERA in 19.2 innings, allowing 14 hits, walking 4, and striking out 25. He was promoted to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in early June and pitched for them until the season ended, posting a 5.31 ERA in 39.0 innings with 36 hits allowed, 26 hits, and 42 strikeouts. All in all, the 25-year-old posted a combined 4.14 ERA in 58.2 innings over 36 games with 50 hits allowed, 30 walks, and 67 strikeouts. His 2023 season played out similarly, as he began the season with Binghamton and spent considerable time pitching for the Syracuse Mets as well. At both Double-A and Triple-A combined, the right-hander posted a cumulative 4.82 ERA in 56.0 innings over 37 appearances, allowing 49 hits, walking 27, and striking out 66.

Parsons’ 6’2”, 215-pound frame is well-proportioned and athletic. He throws from three-quarters arm slot, with a long in the back. He uses his trunk well, pushing off the mound and generating his power with his lower half. There is effort in his arm, whipping it forward, occasionally throwing with crossfire. He hides the ball well during his windup with a high leg lift and by tucking his body in.

The right-hander mainly relies on a fastball that sits in the low-to-mid-90s, averaging 94 MPH. The pitch generates a large amount of swings-and-misses due to its natural sink and arm-side run. Parsons is able to command the pitch and can move it around the strike zone, throwing it upstairs with more of a four-seam fastball grip and low in the zone as a more traditional sinker.

He complements it with a mid-80s slider and a high-70s-to-low-80s changeup. The slider has slight break, while his changeup has a lot of late fade and tumble. In college, his changeup was his better secondary offering, but since going pro, his slider has been more effective against better competition. Midway through the 2023 season, Parsons also added a cutter to his repertoire.

Karell Paz, 1B/OF

Karell Paz was born in the central Cuban city of Ciego de Avila, the capital of the eponymous province, a land of milky lakes, turquoise beaches, and pineapples whose wafting scents hitchhike on Caribbean breezes and hint at future gustatory bliss. Paz- which ironically means ‘peace’, as the city itself gained importance during the Cuban Ten Years’ War, when the Spanish built a line of colonial ditch-work defenses through the city to defend against insurrectionists- grew up watching Los Tigres de Ciego de Avila, the city’s team in La Serie Nacional de Béisbol. Manager Roger Machado and his players had some success in the 2010s, winning three championships in the 51s (2011–2012), 54th (2014–2015), and 55th (2015–2016) competitions and making the finals in the one more, but Paz was never part of that, as he was too young to play. The young man would end up never playing for his hometown team, as he left Cuba in April 2017.

The 18-year-old ended up traveling through multiple countries over the course of the next few months. He began his journey in Guyana, then passed though Brazil, Uruguay, and Panama before crossing the Caribbean once again to Haiti, and finally from there, the Dominican Republic. To add injury to insult, the process for Paz to be declared a free agent came to a screeching halt in early 2020, as COVID-19 swept across the world.

Paz officially signed with the Mets in May 2022 and was assigned to the Dominican Summer League Mets. The 22-year-old appeared in 15 games for the DSL Mets 2 and hit .342/.420/.512 with 0 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home run, 3 steals in 7 attempts, and drew 3 walks to 7 strikeouts. He was sent stateside to the FCL Mets in early July, and through 16 games with them is hitting .314/.397/.647 with 4 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs, 2 steals in 3 attempts, and has 5 walks to 10 strikeouts. He was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets in early August and played in exactly one game with them, going hitting a bases-clearing RBI triple in a pinch hitting appearance before receiving a 60-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Stanozol, a performance-enhancing substance. His suspension ended at the end of May and he appeared in 61 games for St. Lucie in 2023, hitting .261/.371/.388 with 10 doubles, 1 triple, 4 home runs, 10 stolen bases, and 24 walks to 50 strikeouts.

Paz, a switch hitter, stands square at the plate with his hands high and his bat wrapped behind his head. He swings with a toe tap and/or slight leg lift as a timing mechanism from both sides of the plate. In 2023, he had trouble with fastballs, owing to a fairly aggressive approach and a 27% swing-and-miss rate, but handled breaking balls well, rarely expanding the zone and swinging-and-missing at a league average rate. Ironically, he did most of his damage on fastballs, with an average exit velocity of 87 MPH and 20-degree launch angle on pitches thrown 90 MPH or higher , as opposed to pitches thrown slower than 90 MPH, where he averaged an 82 MPH exit velocity with a 10-degree launch angle.

He has played all over the field in his brief professional career, logging innings in center field, right field, left field, third base, and first base. He has logged the majority of his innings in right field and first base, his above-average arm profiling well in the outfield.

Alan Perdomo, RHP

Right-hander Alan Perdomo was signed by the Colorado Rockies on December 7, 2017, well into the 2017-2018 international signing period due to his extremely young age. The 16-year-old Santo Domingo native made his professional debut in 2018 and appeared in 12 games for the DSL Rockies, posting a 6.99 ERA in 28.1 innings, allowing 39 hits, walking 13, and striking out 27. He remained in the Dominican Summer League for the 2019 season and showed improvements, posting a 2.95 ERA in 58.0 innings over 12 starts, allowing 56 hits, walking 11, and striking out 44.

The right-hander missed the 2020 season because the baseball season was cancelled, but somewhat puzzlingly, when he returned to the mound in 2021, he was assigned to the Dominican Summer League for a third season. Perdomo appeared in 11 games, starting 6 of them, and posted a 3.78 ERA in 33.1 innings, allowing 33 hits, walking 6, and striking out 33. When the 2022 season began 20-year-old began the year in the Dominican Summer League for a fourth season. A player playing in the Dominican Summer League for three seasons is rare, but a player spending four seasons in the league is virtually unheard of, a situation that generally only arises when there is a contractual agreement in place, or a special dispensation is issued by Major League Baseball. Whatever the case was, Perdomo appeared in 18 games for both DSL Rockies teams, all out of the bullpen, and posted a 5.25 ERA in 24.0 innings, allowing 27 hits, walking 5, and striking out 18.

In 2023, the right-hander finally escaped the Dominican Summer League and was brought stateside. He was assigned to the Rockies’ Arizona Complex League team and appeared in 24 games out of their bullpen, saving 4. Perdomo posted a 5.71 ERA in 34.2 innings there, allowing 33 hits, walking 8, and striking out 35. Following the conclusion of the season, during the 2023 winter meetings, he was selected by the Mets in the minor league portion of the 2023 Rule 5 Draft.

Listed at 6’4”, 150-pounds, Perdomo may have filled in a bit but he is still tall and lanky. He throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a long arm action through the back. The right-hander has an exaggerated follow through reminiscent of fellow countryman and pitching idol, Yordano Ventura. The right-hander has a big-time fastball, sitting in the mid-90s and touching as high as 99 MPH.

Jose Peroza, INF

Signed out of Carlos Guillen’s academy in Venezuela on July 2, 2016, the Mets signed Jose Peroza for $280,000, impressed by the projection the 16-year-old showed. At 6’1”, 200 pounds, the youngster showed two above-average tools: raw power and arm strength. Given that much of his strength came simply from his upbringing on a farm rather than time in the weight room suggested to some evaluators that he could even increase his raw power with time in professional facilities. Peroza made his professional debut in 2017 in the Dominican Summer League, but appeared in a few games at the end of the year for the GCL Mets. He spent the entire 2018 season with them, hitting a paltry .184/.253/.241 in 24 games. He began the 2019 season in the GCL but was promoted to Brooklyn at the end of July after hitting .328/.389/.766 in 16 games. In 33 games in the dog days of summer for the eventual 2019 New York-Penn League champions, Peroza was not nearly as successful, hitting .225/.295/.369 in 33 games.

Peroza began the 2021 season with Low-A St. Lucie and hit .274/.404/.443 in 64 games, hitting 7 home runs, stealing 5 bases, and drawing 41 walks to 67 strikeouts. He was promoted to Brooklyn- now the Mets’ High-A affiliate- in early August and hit .218/.293/.384 in 38 games, almost a mirror image of his stats in Coney Island in 2019. The 22-year-old remained in Brooklyn for the entirety of the 2022 season, and was much more successful this time around, hitting .271/.356/.400 with 8 home runs, 4 stolen bases in 5 attempts, and walking 48 times to 110 strikeouts. The 23-year-old was assigned to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies to start the season began the season injured. After a rehab assignment, he joined the Rumble Ponies and appeared in 97 games for them, hitting .246/.337/.410 with 10 home runs, 4 stolen bases, and 42 walks to 124 strikeouts. At the end of the season, he was promoted to Triple-A Syracuse and appeared in 9 games for them, going 10-30 with 1 double, 1 triple, 1 home run, and drawing 6 walks to 8 strikeouts.

Peroza is extremely stocky, listed at 220-pounds but probably weighing more than that in actuality. He has a quiet set-up at the plate, with a wide base and his bat barred behind his head. He swings with a slight leg kick, with a bat path that contains a bit of loft. His bat speed is average at best but is able to muscle pitches that he is able to barrel squarely, especially to his pull side.

Defensively, Peroza has a strong arm and is currently capable of playing third base, but his body will likely be a high maintenance one as he ages, meaning that he may lose mobility and range around the hot corner, limiting him to first.

Vincent Perozo, C

Venezuelan catcher Vincent Perozo was signed on July 2, 2019, the first day of the 2019-2020 international free agent signing period. He missed 2020 due to the coronavirus cancelling the minor league season and finally made his professional debut in 2021, skipping over the Dominican Summer League completely and playing with the FCL Mets. He appeared in 18 games and hit .173/.349/.269 with 1 home run, 0 stolen bases in 2 attempts, and 10 walks to 21 strikeouts. All in all, he tread water, which is impressive enough for a teen without any organized professional experience, posting an 84 wRC+, but what makes it even more impressive is the fact that he was battling a shoulder injury and playing through the pain as not to delay his development as a professional even more.

In 2022, he began the season rostered to the St. Lucie Mets for about a week prior to the start of the Florida Complex League, going 1-17 with a triple, but was sent down when their season began. Now fully healthy and recovered from his shoulder issues, Perozo appeared in 36 games and hit .283/.387/.475 with 4 home runs, 1 stolen base in as many attempts, and 11 walks to 32 strikeouts. He was promoted back to the St. Lucie Mets at the end of August, going 3-14 with a double and a homer, giving him a .129/.200/.323 batting line in 9 games with St. Lucie with 1 home run, 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts. Perozo remained in St. Lucie for the 2023 season, spending the entire year there. He appeared in 88 games and hit .226/.322/.381 with 8 home runs, 1 stolen base in 2 attempts, and 32 walks to 103 strikeouts.

At the plate, the left-handed Perozo stands tall, holding his hands high. He has a smooth swing that has good timing and rhythm and hints at above-average future power when he is able to make solid contact. Nearly 50% of his recorded batted ball events in 2023 resulted in exit velocities over 90, and 30 of his 179 recorded batted ball events in 2023 resulted in exit velocities of 100 MPH or higher. Making solid contact has been an issue for Perozo, however, with his aggressive approach at the plate. While he has a solid eye and a good understanding of the strike zone, he is a very aggressive swinger, running a 33% whiff/swing rate against fastballs and 37% whiff/swing rate against secondary pitches. Additionally, this approach has led to a large amount of poor contact, with the backstop posting a whopping 29.0% infield fly ball rate in 2023.

Behind the plate, Perozo has the upside to stick at catcher. While he will never be a standout defensive catcher because his arm is only average at best, scouts and evaluators give him good grades for his mobility behind the plate, framing and receiving abilities, and his ability to work with his pitchers.

Christian Pregent, C

Syracuse native Christian Pregent began his high school career at Father Lopez High School in Daytona Beach but finished it at Atlantic High School in Port Orange, transferring for his senior year. He hit .342/.484/.466 as a junior and .417/.545/.716 as a senior, all while playing strong defense behind the plate. Considered a follow among Florida high school players, Pregent went undrafted after graduating in 2019 and honored his commitment to Stetson University.

The first freshman in Hatters history to earn the honor of being named captain, Pregent hit .196/.315/.304 in 14 games in the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season, with 2 doubles, 1 home run, and 8 walks to 9 strikeouts. He was marginally a better hitter in 2021, appearing in 41 games and hitting .222/.313/.340 with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs, 2 stolen bases, and 15 walks to 44 strikeouts. That summer, he played in a handful of games for the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod Baseball League but struggled with the bat, going 1-11 before returning to Stetson. Pregent continued marginally improving at the plate, hitting 209/.291/.388 in 44 games in 2022, hitting 8 doubles and 5 home runs, stealing 2 bases, and drawing 13 walks to 31 strikeouts. He went undrafted in the 2022 MLB Draft and returned to Stetson for his senior season. Appearing in 51 games, the 22-year-old established career highs in virtually every offensive category, hitting .315/.394/.567 with 9 doubles, 12 home runs, 1 stolen base, and 20 walks to 34 strikeouts. The Mets selected him in the 10th round of the 2023 MLB Draft and signed him for $50,000, well below the MLB-assigned slot value of $165,800. He was initially assigned to the St. Lucie Mets but was promoted to the Brooklyn Cyclones after just four games. He appeared in seven games with Brooklyn and hit a combined .147/.205/.265 with 1 double, 1 home run, and 3 walks to 19 strikeouts.

Pregent stands square at the plate, holding his hands high and his bat angled at 1:30. He swings with a slight leg kick, with a swing that has some natural loft. His lower half and upper half often get out of sync, causing him to swing and generate power with his torso instead of his trunk. The backstop is more known for his defensive profess than his hitting ability. He is an excellent defender behind the plate, possessing some of the best catcher defensive tools in the 2023 MLB Draft. He receives pitches well, is mobile behind the dish, frames pitches well, consistently records quick pop times, has a quick release, and a strong, accurate arm.

Jawilme Ramirez, RHP

Signed out of San Juan De La Maguana in the Dominican Republic on July 2, 2019, Jawilme Ramirez missed what would’ve been his first professional season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He suited up for the first time professionally a year later, assigned to the Dominican Summer League. The 19-year-old appeared in 14 games for the DSL Mets and posted a 2.14 ERA in 54.2 innings, allowing 22 hits, walking 20, and striking out 56.

He was brought stateside in 2022, pitching for the FCL Mets for the majority of the season and receiving a cup of coffee with the St. Lucie Mets are the end of the year. The right-hander was terrific, posting the lowest ERA of any qualified Mets starter pitching outside the Dominican Summer League complex. In 13 games with the FCL Mets and St. Lucie Mets, he posted a 0.78 ERA in 46.1 innings, allowing 29 hits, walking 10, and striking out 43. The 21-year-old remained in St. Lucie to begin the 2023 season and appeared in 18 games for them until the end of July, when he was promoted to the Brooklyn Cyclones, where he finished the season. With St. Lucie, Ramirez posted a 4.91 ERA in 77.0 innings, allowing 81 hits, walking 23, and striking out 61. With the Brooklyn Cyclones, he posted a 5.52 ERA in 29.1 innings, allowing 34 hits, walking 10, and striking out 15. Altogether, he posted a 5.08 ERA in 106.1 combined innings, allowing 115 hits, walking 33, and striking out 76.

Ramirez is a lanky 6’2”, 170-pounds and will likely fill in a bit more. He throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot, with a long, slingy arm action through the back. His fastball sits in high-80s-to-mid-90s, ranging 88-94 MPH and averaging 92 MPH. The pitch averaged 2150 RPM during his time in St. Lucie, making the pitch roughly average in terms of both velocity and spin. Despite an essentially average fastball velocity and fastball spin rate, Ramirez’s fastball really sneaks up on batters and has a higher perceived velocity thanks to his long stride and wingspan. He leans on the pitch heavily, throwing it roughly 65% of the time in 2023.

He complements his fastball with a changeup and slider. His changeup has generally been his go-to-strikeout pitch, netting the majority of his whiffs. The pitch sits in the mid-80s, ranging from 83-87 MPH. His slider sits in the low-to-mid-80s, ranging from 80-84 MPH. The pitch registers spin rates hovering around 2000 RPM and features gyroscopic break with not much horizontal movement and late vertical drop. Despite the changeup being a better pitch, he generally uses the slider more, reserving the changeup for left-handers or to notch strikeouts.

Wilkin Ramos, RHP

A native of Santo Domingo, Wilkin Ramos officially signed with the Oakland Athletics on July 25, 2017, shortly after the 2017-2018 international free agent signing period began. The $300,000 signing bonus that he received represented the most Oakland could offer a player, as a hard cap was instituted on all of their expenditures as a penalty due to their exceeding their bonus pool budget the year before. The 16-year-old did not pitch that season and began his professional career the following season, posting a 3.15 ERA in 40.0 innings with the DSL Athletics in 2018. That lone season would be the extent of his career with Oakland, as he was named the player to be named later in the trade Tanner Anderson trade between Oakland and Pittsburgh.

The Pirates sent the 18-year-old stateside for the 2019 season, assigning him to the GCL Pirates. He did not pitch much, with disabled list stints and creative roster management limiting his innings. All in all, he posted a 6.39 ERA in 12.2 innings over 4 starts, with 14 hits allowed, 10 walks, and 8 strikeouts. After missing the 2020 due to the cancellation of the season due to COVID-19, he returned to the Pirates’ complex team, now the Pirates Black in the Florida Complex League. The organization allowed him to start logging innings, and the right-hander posted a 3.69 ERA in 39.0 innings, allowing 45 hits, walking 17, and striking out 36. They promoted him to the Bradenton Marauders in 2022, their Low-A affiliate, and Ramos posted a 3.88 ERA in 51.0 innings, allowing 50 hits, 32 walks, and 58 strikeouts.

Following the conclusion of the season, the Mets claimed the 21-year-old in the minor league portion of the 2022 Rule 5 Draft. He began the season with the Brooklyn Cyclones and appeared in 21 games with them before being promoted to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in mid-July. In those 21 games, the right-hander posted a 2.97 ERA in 39.1 innings, allowing 25 hits, walking 23, and striking out 43. In the 12 games he appeared in with the Rumble Ponies from mid-July until the end of the season, he posted a 1.47 ERA in 18.1 innings, allowing 10 hits, walking 14, and striking out 24. All in all, Ramos posted a 2.50 ERA in 57.2 innings, allowing 35 hits, walking 37, and striking out 67.

Listed a 6’5”, 165-pounds, Ramos might not be that skinny today, but he is still notably thin and lanky. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a long arm action through the back, incorporating a high leg kick into his windup. He gets plenty of extension when he drops and drives off the mound and has loose and easy actions. The right-hander struggles throwing strikes, and times, as many as three-quarters of his pitches have been recorded as being thrown outside the strike zone.

Ramos primarily throws a sinker with average-to-above-average velocity, ranging 92-96 MPH and occasionally hitting the high-90s. The pitch is extremely heavy and induces plenty of groundballs, with the right-hander posting a 49.5% groundball rate in 2021 in the Florida Complex League and a 61.0% groundball rate in 2022 in the Florida State League, and a 66.3% groundball rate in the South Atlantic League and 56.8% in the Eastern League in 2023.

Ramos complements his fastball with a slider, which flashes sweeping two-plane movement when it’s at its best but can get slurvy. The pitch sits in the low-70s-to-low-80s, looser and slurvier at the lower end of its velocity band and tighter and sweepier at the high end of its velocity band. He relies heavily on his sinker, utilizing it about 75% of the time, his slider making up the remaining 25% of his pitches.

Heriberto Rincon, OF

Heriberto Rincon was born in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic on 2/16/2006. He signed with the Mets on January 15, 2023 for a $150,000 signing bonus. He was assigned to the Dominican Summer League and appeared in 48 games for the DSL Mets Orange, hitting .301/.398/.374 with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 17 stolen bases in 20 attempts, with 23 walks to 39 strikeouts.

Rincon stands square at the plate, holding his hands high and wrapping his bat behind his head. He swings with a leg kick and has a swing path that generally has slightly upward plane. The right-hander has strong wrists and shows good bat control, giving him more of a contact-over-power profile right now. He averaged an exit velocity in the mid-80s in 2023, with launch angles that generally were well-above or well-below the “sweet spot”. At 6’1”, 160-pounds, Rincon certainly has room to fill in and add power. He currently has above-average, borderline plus speed, which has allowed him to steal bases at an exceptional rate and be an effective base runner.

A former shortstop, Rincon converted to the outfield and is a strong center fielder. Thanks to his speed, he has plenty of range, and he has a strong arm to complement it.

Luke Ritter, INF

Luke Ritter was a multisport star at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Missouri. He lettered three times in football and twice in baseball. After graduating, he honored his commitment to Wichita State, and in his freshman year hit .272/.372/.373 in 43 games. He experienced something of a sophomore slump in 2017, hitting .223/.348/.349 in 55 games. He regrouped that summer, playing for the Santa Barbara Foresters of the California Collegiate League and hitting .353/.443/.500 in 37 games. Returning to Wichita State for the 2018 season, Ritter took his gains with him. He appeared in 55 games and hit a career-best .341/.420/.484, hitting six home runs and stealing six bases. His performance led to the Minnesota Twins drafting him with their 37th round pick, the 1114th overall pick, but the utilityman elected to return to Wichita for his senior season instead of signing with them. He earned All-Conference honors in 2019, hitting .336/.458/.555 in all 59 games the Shockers played. His nine home runs and twelve stolen bases were career bests.

With their seventh-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, the Mets selected Ritter. He agreed to a $10,000 bonus, saving the Mets roughly $205,000, as the slot value for the pick was $216,600. He made his professional debut with the Brooklyn Cyclones and was their iron man, leading the team with 68 games. He hit .245/.351/.371 in total, with his on-base percentage trailing Jose Mena by one-hundredth of a point for best among players who appeared in 30 or more games for Brooklyn. He returned to Brooklyn in 2021, now the Mets’ High-A affiliate and hit in .232/.311/.436 in 73 games with a career high 14 home runs, 3 stolen bases in 4 attempts, and 25 walks to a career-high 94 strikeouts.

He was promoted to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in 2022 and split the season playing with them and with the Syracuse Mets. Appearing in 100 games for Binghamton, he hit .215/.322/.386 with 13 home runs, 7 walks in 9 attempts, and 46 walks to 133 strikeouts. Appearing in 26 games for Syracuse, he hit .160 /.269/.266 with 2 home runs, 2 stolen bases in 4 attempts, and 13 walks to 32 strikeouts. All in all, the 25-year-old hit a combined .204/.311/.361 in 126 games with 15 home runs, 9 stolen bases in 13 attempts, and 59 walks to 165 strikeouts. The 26-year-old split the 2023 season with Binghamton and Syracuse once again and appeared in 107 games combined, his season ending prematurely in late August due to an oblique strain. With Binghamton, he appeared in 43 games and hit .240/.389/.569 with 14 home runs, 4 stolen bases, and 30 walks to 59 strikeouts. With Syracuse, he appeared in 64 games and hit .247/.360/.448 with 13 home runs, 1 stolen base, and 37 walks to 78 strikeouts. All in all, he hit a combined .244/.372/.496 with 27 home runs, 5 stolen bases, and 67 walks to 137 strikeouts, his home run total leading the Mets minor league system in 2023.

The Mets changed Ritters’ mechanics between 2019 and 2021, turning him from a light-hitting utility infielder with a little pop to his pull side who walked just as much as he struck out into a stomp-and-lift power hitting corner infielder with nearly a doubled strikeout rate. His mechanics have not changed much- he still stands square at the plate with a short swing and small stride- but he pulls the ball about 10% more and hit about 10% more fly balls since the 2019 season, resulting in more home runs. Ritter posted a 32.6% HR/FB rate in 2023 with Binghamton and a 25.5% HR/FB rate with Syracuse. He feasts on fastballs, especially fastballs up and in, but has struggled against most other secondary pitches.

While his speed as a whole is below-average, Ritter has good instincts on the base paths, allowing him to take extra bases on hits and to steal the occasional base. Over the course of his four years at Wichita State, he spent time at second base, third base, shortstop, and left field, and with the Mets, he has spent time at first base, second base, third base, and designated hitter. With fringe-average range and an average arm, Ritter profiles best at second or third base, and has the glove and burgeoning power to play first.

Yensi Rivas, INF

Santo Domingo native Yensi Rivas was considered one of the better talents available in the 2024-2025 international rookie class and received a $500,000 signing bonus from the Mets on January 15, tied for the third-highest that the organization gave during the signing period. The 17-year-old switch-hitting shortstop was considered one of the more polished players available in the class thanks to his polished hitting and defense, relative to his peers.

Rivas swings with a slight leg kick from both sides of the plate, his load and weight transfer a bit more magnified from the left-side. He makes a lot of contact and does not strike out much. He uses the entire field, spraying line drives and fly balls around with loud contact.

Defensively, Rivas is considered a strong defender up the middle by scouts and evaluators. He shows soft hands, good footwork, and dexterity along with an arm that is getting better in terms of strength and accuracy.

Luis Raul Rodriguez, LHP

Signed on July 2, 2019, the first day of the 2019-2020 international free agent signing period out of the Dominican Republic, the 16-year-old Luis Rodriguez did not pitch professionally that year, and the decision seemingly would turn out to be detrimental to his development as a baseball player, though nobody could have known at the time. Having not played professionally at all in 2019, he then missed the 2020 season due to the cancellation of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two years after he signed with the organization, Rodriguez finally suited up for the first time in August 2021, pitching for the FCL Mets. He appeared in 4 games and gave up one earned run in 5.1 innings, allowing 2 hits, walking 3, and striking out 11. Impressed, the Mets promoted the 18-year-old to St. Lucie at the end of August, and he gave up 6 earned runs in 7.0 innings, allowing 10 hits, walking 2, and striking out 5. In March, just prior to the start of the 2022 season, the southpaw underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the year. He returned to the mound in June 2023, appearing in 4 games for the FCL Mets. He was then promoted to the St. Lucie Mets, where he made two more appearances in late July before being put back on the Injured List for the remainder of the season due to forearm inflammation. All in all, he appeared in 6 games and posted a 4.22 ERA in 10.2 innings, allowing 9 hits, walking 7, and striking out 10.

Rodriguez throws from a low-three-quarters arm slot with a long arm action through the back. His slingy delivery and quick arm were capable of producing a fastball that consistently sat in the low-to-mid-90 and reportedly topped out as high as 97 MPH. In his limited innings in 2023, the pitch showed no rust, sitting 93-97 MPH, averaging 95 MPH. He pairs it with a low-80s slider that flashes above-average spin rates, giving it sweepy glove-side break and, a firm-but-developing changeup.

Orangel Rodriguez, C

Orangel Rodriguez was signed by the Mets on January 15, 2022, the first day of the 2022 international signing period, out of Valencia, Venezuela, the home of numerous former and current major league players, including former Mets Wilmer Flores and Roger Cedeno. The 17-year-old was assigned to the Dominican Summer League in 2022, playing for both DSL teams. He appeared in 13 games total and accrued 35 at-bats, hitting .286/.333/.457 with 2 home runs, 3 walks, and 7 strikeouts. He came stateside in 2023 and was assigned to the FCL Mets, where he appeared in 7 games total and went 1-15 with 0 walks and 6 strikeouts.

Rodriguez is listed at 6’2”, 180-pounds, and he looks every inch and every pound of it. He stands open at the plate with a wide base, wrapping his bat behind his head and swinging with an exaggerated leg kick. The left-handed hitter uses the entire field, pulling the ball and going to the opposite field at roughly the same rates, but he goes to the opposite field as much as he does because he is late on even pitches in the high-80s and low-90s. His hit tool is considered below-average, and while he may be able to get away with this in the DSL and FCL, fielders at higher levels will convert many of those balls put in play into outs. He does have batting practice power that should translate into in-game power, but without improvement to his hit tool, he will never be able to fully tap into it. Behind the plate, scouts consider Rodriguez a superior defender for someone his age, with advanced catch-and-throw abilities.

Yovanny Rodriguez, C

Yovanny Rodriguez was born on November 7, 2006 in Guarenas, a city in northern Venezuela that is also the hometown of Juan Rivera, Oswaldo Cabrera, and former catcher Henry Blanco. A well-regarded international prospect who was considered one of the best overall players available during the 2024-2025 signing period and the best catcher, the Mets signed officially him on January 15, 2024, giving him a $2,850,000 million signing bonus, the largest given in the 2024-2025 signing window and the fifth-highest in franchise history.

The 5’11”, 180-pound left-handed hitter will almost undoubtedly put on some additional weight and muscle mass as he ages and grows. At the plate, he stands tall, slightly open, and holds his hands high with his bat head angled at 10:00. He swings with a slight leg kick and has a loose, easy swing that has a lot of present power with the promise of more. He shows strong strike zone awareness for a 17-year-old, and during in-game situations, this will magnify his burgeoning power even more by allowing him to wait on pitches he can drive.

Behind the dish, Rodriguez draws rave reviews from scouts and evaluators. He is athletic and mobile behind the plate. He receives the ball well and has quick pop times and an arm that is plus in terms of its strength and accuracy. He frames the ball well. Additionally, Rodriguez is said to possess a high work ethic and high baseball IQ, making him easy to work with and a shrewd pitch caller and in-game tactician.

Jeffry Rosa, OF

Jeffry Rosa was signed by the Mets on January 15, 2022, out of Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic, and agreed to a $100,000 bonus with the club. The 17-year-old outfielder was assigned to the Dominican Summer League and appeared in 34 games for the DSL Mets 2, hitting .217/.315/.371 with 6 doubles, 3 home runs, 3 stolen bases in 4 attempts, and 7 walks to 47 strikeouts. He remained in the Dominican Republic and was assigned to the DSL Mets Orange for the 2023 season. Rosa was a Dominican Summer League All-Star and Mets DSL Complex Player of the Year, hitting .277/.400/.669 on the year with 13 doubles, 15 home runs, 1 stolen base in 2 attempts, and drawing 16 walks to 46 strikeouts. While he noticeably regressed in August, hitting .200/.294/.333 in his last 13 games with just 1 home run, he led the DSL Mets Orange in most offensive categories and led the entire Dominican Summer League in home runs and slugging percentage. The 18-year-old was one of 10 teenagers in all of Minor League Baseball in 2023 with 15 or more home runs.

Rosa stands square at the plate, holding his hands high, and swings with a slight leg kick. He is a well-proportioned, athletic 6’1”, 190-pounds and is likely to add some additional muscle mass to his frame in the future, likely increasing his already burgeoning power. Rosa had the highest exit velocities of all 2023 Dominican Summer League Mets players, with multiple 100 MPH+ readings and a handful of exit velocities over 110 MPH as well. While he struck out at a rate higher than you’d like to see a player repeating the level, facing the same embryonic pitching, he did make marked gains in both his strikeout and walk rates between 2022 and 2023.

Rosa plays all three outfield positions, spending the majority of his time in right field. In his young career, he has been an exceptionally surehanded fielder, making just a single error in 484.0 innings played in 2022 and 2023.

Dylan Ross, RHP

Dylan Ross comes from an athletic family. His grandfather, John Small, played football for the Atlanta Falcons from 1970-1972 and the Detroit Lions in 1973 and 1974. His uncle, Matt Childers, was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1997 and played professionally for roughly ten years in the minor leagues, major leagues, and Japan. His uncle, Jason Childers, played professionally for roughly ten years in the minor leagues, major leagues, and Mexico. An older cousin, Terry Childers, played for the University of Georgia in the early 1990s and played for the Capital City Bombers and Pittsfield Mets in 1993. Another cousin, Will Childers, is currently a teammate of his at Georgia, while his brother, Dalton, plays for the University of Tampa.

Dylan began his high school career at Statesboro High School in Statesboro, Georgia, but transferred to the Georgia Premier Academy for his junior and senior seasons. He posted a 4.52 ERA in 31 innings in his senior year, striking out 42, and went undrafted in the 2019 MLB. Prior to beginning his college career at Eastern Kentucky University, he appeared in two games for the Leesburgh Lightning of the Florida Collegiate Summer League. He barely pitched in his freshman year, as the NCAA cancelled the 2020 season in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic but was able to throw a handful of supplemental innings with the Seminole County Snappers that summer, another Florida Collegiate Summer League team. He transferred to Northwest Florida State College in 2021, a NJCAA school in Niceville, Florida, and served as their ace, posting a 3.88 ERA 60.1 innings with 55 hits allowed, 28 walks, and 77 strikeouts. He transferred once again for the 2022 season, this time to the University of Georgia. His season began favorably enough, as he allowed one run over five hits against the University of Albany in his first start, scattering 4 hits, walking 2, and striking out 6, but things took a decidedly worse turn in his second start, against Wofford University. After tossing just a single inning, he left the game with pain in his arm. The arm injury cost him the entire season, as he underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery; ironically, his cousin and teammate, Will, also missed the season due to an arm injury.

The Mets drafted Ross in the 13th round of the 2022 MLB Draft, the 389th player selected overall. He agreed to a $125,000 signing bonus and went pro but did not suit up with the Mets that season. The right-hander also missed all of 2023 as well.

The 6’5”, 250-pound Ross has a durable workhorse build. He throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with minimal effort. Prior to his injury, the right-hander had electric stuff, but struggled to command it. How impressive it looks once he returns to the mound remains to be seen, due to the unknown nature of his injury and what surgery he underwent.

His fastball sat in the mid-90s, topping out at 97, 98 MPH with arm-side life. He complemented it with a slider that sat in the mid-to-high-80s that tunneled with his fastball well. When he had a good feel for the pitch, it featured tight break, but when he didn’t, it lost much of its vertical break and was more of a flat cutter. He occasionally also mixed in a high-80s changeup, but the pitch was firm and only thrown sparingly.

Junior Santos, RHP

A native Santiago in the Dominican Republic, Junior Santos quickly stood out from his baseball contemporaries because of his size; when he turned sixteen, the young right-hander stood 6’6”, prompting the Mets to sign him for $275,000 on June 2, 2018, the very first day of the 2018-2019 international free agent signing period. The organization was aggressive with Santos, assigning him to the Dominican Summer League immediately instead of opting to wait to have him debut professionally the following season as is generally the case with most international rookies. He made 11 appearances for the DSL Mets that year, making ten starts and posting a 2.80 ERA in 45.0 innings, allowing 35 hits, walking 6, and striking out 36. Continuing to challenge Santos, who by this point had grown an additional two inches or so, the Mets sent him stateside at the end of the season. Appearing in three games for the GCL Mets, the 16-year-old pitched five innings in three outings, posting a perfect 0.00 ERA with 4 hits allowed, 0 walks, and 3 strikeouts.

The Mets left Santos on this extremely aggressive developmental track in 2019 and assigned him to the Kingsport Mets when their season began in late June, the youngest pitcher in the league. Starting fourteen games, the 17-year-old Santos threw 40.2 and posted a 5.90 ERA, allowing 46 hits, walking 25, and striking out 36. After missing the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Santos returned to the mound in 2021, where he was assigned to the St. Lucie Mets. The third-youngest player in the Low-A Southeast, the right-hander posted a 4.59 ERA in 96.0 innings, allowing 108 hits, walking 38, and striking out 79, not that far off from the league average 4.53 ERA with 10.1 hits per nine innings, 3.6 walks per nine innings, and 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings. He was promoted to Brooklyn for the 2022 season and posted a 4.47 ERA in 116.2 innings, allowing 126 hits, walking 44, and striking out 105, once again not that far off from the South Atlantic League pitching averages of a 4.48 ERA with 8.3 per nine innings, 4.1 walks per nine innings, and 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings. In 2023, Santos was promoted to Double-A Binghamton, where he posted a 5.94 ERA in 97.0 innings, allowing 119 hits, walking 41, and striking out 71. About midway through the season, he was moved to the bullpen, and his numbers as a reliever were much improved. In 22.2 innings over 13 games, he posted a 3.97 ERA with 22 hits allowed, 10 walks, and 18 strikeouts.

Santos throws from a slingy low- three-quarters arm slot, utilizing a short, simple, delivery. Santos is generally able maintain his balance and avoid herky-jerky movement during his leg lift and drive off of the mound, but sometimes has trouble maintain his arm slot, especially when throwing his secondary pitches as he has a tendency to guide them like many young pitchers do.

His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, generally sitting 93 MPH, down from earlier in his career when he was sitting in the mid-90s and touching the high-90s. His fastball has slight arm-side movement, but more importantly, he can sink it. The right-hander has become more confident with the pitch, and his ground ball rates have steadily increased and crept closer to bona fide sinkerball pitcher territory, from 29.4% with the Kingsport Mets in the Appalachian League in 2019 to 49.1% with the St. Lucie Mets in the Low-A Southeast in 2021 to 58.7% with the Brooklyn Cyclones in the South Atlantic League in 2022, to 46% in 2023 with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in 2023.

Complementing his fastball are a slider and a changeup. His slider sits between 77-86 MPH and features gyroscopic spin. The pitch induces the majority of Santos’ swings-and-misses, but he often has trouble commanding it. His changeup lags even further behind in its development than his slider, as highlighted by the high variance in its movement- the pitch generally had anywhere between 6-18 inches of horizontal movement and 20-30 inches of vertical drop- and velocity- ranging anywhere between 82-90 MPH. Like his slider, he still has trouble commanding it, but unlike the slider, the pitch did not induce as many swings-or-misses and batters make more hard contact off of it.

Dangelo Sarmiento, INF

The Mets signed Dangelo Sarmiento on January 15, 2022, the first day of the new international signing period for $700,000. A Velencia, Venezuela native, the 17-year-old was assigned to the Dominican Summer League for the 2022 season, playing for both Mets DSL teams. He appeared in 34 games combined and hit .295/.374/.393 in 112 at-bats with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 9 stolen bases in 13 attempts, and drawing 13 walks to 22 strikeouts. He was sent stateside for the 2023 season, assigned to the FCL Mets, and appeared in 14 total games with them, hit playing time tailing off after an extremely slow start. All in all, Sarmiento hit .139/.279/.139 with no extra base hits, no stolen bases, and 7 walks to 12 strikeouts.

The infielder stands slightly open at the plate, holding his hands high. He swings with a slight leg kick and a minimal load. His swing is fairly planar, resulting in more ground balls and pop ups than fly balls and line drives. For his career, Sarmiento has a 53.6% ground ball rate to a 27.8% fly ball rate and a 21.1% pop-up rate. Even when he makes solid contact, his exit velocities are sub-par. His mechanically sound swing and good sense of the strike zone are good foundations, but Sarmiento will need to develop more power to grow into a more complete hitter. A plus runner, Sarmiento is pest on the basepaths. He is proficient stealing bases, legs out hits, and stretches hits for extra bases.

Sarmiento’s defense is what made scouts and evaluators initially take notice of him. A quick-twitch athlete, Sarmiento plays the infield with pep and energy. He has good instincts, a quick first step, excellent range, soft hands, and a quick transfer. His arm is above-average could even become a plus tool as he ages, puts on a little more muscle and gets stronger. Many scouts and evaluators consider the shortstop to be one of the best defensive infielders in the entire Mets minor league system, if not the best.

JT Schwartz, OF/1B

A four-year letter winner in baseball and two-year letter winner in basketball at Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach, California, Jason Thomas Schwartz hit a cumulative .326/.455/.573 and was considered a high priority follow by scouts and evaluators. Had he signaled he might be willing to sign, he would have likely been drafted by a professional team, on the power of junior and senior seasons that saw him hit .459/.520/.729 and .326/.458/.697 respectively, but Schwartz had a strong commitment to the University of California, Los Angeles and was determined to attend, prompting him to go undrafted in the 2018 MLB Draft.

Schwartz redshirted in his first year at UCLA, unable to crack the Bruins roster, but made up for that by playing in the West Coast League prior to his freshman year and in the Northwoods League after it. He made the team in 2020 and was afforded playing time by coach John Savage, helping the team go 13-2 by hitting .328/.380/.391 while getting the bulk of the Bruins’ playing time at first base, but the coronavirus pandemic cut the season short. Schwartz returned in 2021 and played in 44 of UCLA’s 57 games, missing some time due to a shoulder injury. The injury did not have an impact on his production on the field, as the first baseman hit .396/.514/.628 with 8 home runs, 1 stolen base, and 37 walks to 28 strikeouts. He led the team in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, and his batting average led the Pac-12, the first time UCLA had a batting champion since 2001, when outfielder Brian Baron hit .443.

With their 4th round selection in the 2021 MLB Draft, the Mets selected Schwartz. He agreed to a $475,000 signing bonus, saving the Mets roughly $50,000, as the MLB-assigned slot value for the 111th overall pick in 2021 was $522,600. He made his professional debut with the St. Lucie Mets later that summer, but his career began in earnest in 2022. Assigned to the Brooklyn Cyclones, Schwartz appeared in 110 games, second most on the team, and hit .273/.356/.400 with 6 home runs, 3 stolen bases, and 46 walks to 89 strikeouts.

He was promoted to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies for the 2023 season and had a sluggish start to the year, hitting .240/.301/.375 through mid-May, when he was placed on the Injured List. After missing roughly two months, he began rehab assignments with the FCL and St. Lucie Mets in mid-July and then returned to Binghamton at the end of the month. Schwartz made up for lost time by turning into one of the hottest hitters in the Mets minor league system. He went 15-24 with 4 doubles in his first few games back and hit .327/.420/.462 in 43 games until the end of Binghamton’s season, with 11 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs, 3 stolen bases, and 22 walks to 28 strikeouts. All in all, the 23-year-old hit .302/.383/.437 in 66 games for the Rumble Ponies with 17 doubles, 2 triples, 4 home runs, 4 stolen bases, and 32 walks to 49 strikeouts. Following the end of the 2023 season, he was sent to the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .247/.325/.411 for the Glendale Desert Dogs with 6 doubles, 2 home runs, 1 stolen base, and 6 walks to 20 strikeouts.

The 6’4”, 215-pound Schwartz looks like a slugger but his in-game strategy is more oriented towards making contact and putting the ball in play. When he was drafted, the Mets had him make alterations to his swing mechanics to unlock some additional in-game power. Initially, he stood tall at the plate with a slightly open stance, leaning the barrel of the bat on his shoulder reminiscent of Braves first baseman Matt Olsen. The Mets had the first baseman alter his mechanics to have a larger load and quieter hands, in an attempt to make his bat quicker and his swing more compact and efficient. His left-handed stroke is direct to the ball, and while he has struggled against elite velocity as a professional, he still makes a great deal of contact with breaking balls. He uses the entire field, pulling the ball and going back up the middle bit more this season as opposed to going to the opposite field a bit less, but in his professional career, he has used all three almost equally.

Prior to the 2023 season, Schwartz was strictly a first baseman, hip and knee problems earlier in his life limiting him to the position. At first, he will make all of the routine plays and occasionally more, but still shows below-average mobility and his footwork around the bag and ability to pick the ball are still developing. In 2023, he began adding left field to his repertoire in order to get more playing time, but his actions and movements out there are wooden and taxed, with below-average range, a below-average arm, and very rudimentary reads off the bat and routes to the ball.

Hayden Senger, C

Hayden Senger was a standout athlete at Lakota East High School. In addition to lettering four times in baseball, he lettered three times in football. After graduating, he attended Miami University of Ohio, making the Redhawks’ baseball team as their starting catcher. In 2016, his first year there, he hit .269/.336/.431 with 5 home runs, 1 stolen base in 3 attempts, and 8 walks to 17 strikeouts. He played for the Lakeshore Chinooks in the Northwoods League that summer and then returned to Miami University of Ohio for his second season, where he suffered a sophomore slump. In 41 games, the backstop hit .172/.281/.242 with 2 home runs, 1 stolen base in as many attempts, and 13 walks to 30 strikeouts. He played for the Cincinnati Steam of the Greak Lakes Collegiate League that summer but bounced back this time after the season ended. In his junior year, he hit a career-best .344/.429/.511 in 48 games with 3 home runs, 8 stolen bases in 14 games, and an even 1:1 walk:strikeout ratio with 19 walks and 19 strikeouts apiece. With their 24-round selection in the 2018 MLB Draft, the Mets selected Senger, signing him to a $125,000 bonus, the highest allowable sum a post-tenth round draftee can receive without the sum being counted against a team’s draft bonus pool.

The Mets assigned the catcher to the Kingsport Mets following his addition to the organization and he spent roughly a month there from mid-June to mid-July, going 14-35 in 10 games. He was promoted to Brooklyn following his brief stop in the Appalachian League and went 17-68 in 22 games there, giving him a .301/.411/.417 batting line on the season with 1 home run and 13 walks to 31 walk strikeouts in 32 games. The 22-year-old was promoted to the Low-A Columbia Fireflies for the 2019 season and he spent the entire season there, hitting .230/.324/.345 in 90 games, slugging 4 home runs, drawing 25 walks, and striking out 64 times. He would have likely been assigned to the High-A St. Lucie Mets in 2020, but the season never took place, as the COVID-19 pandemic prompted Minor League Baseball to cancel the season. When the 2021 season began, he was indeed assigned to the Mets’ High-A team, but this time he went back to Brooklyn, as Cyclones became the Mets’ High-A affiliate in the revamped Minor League system. He spent roughly a month there, going 13-43 in 11 games with 8 extra base hits, and was promoted to the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies for the remainder of the season. In 50 games with the Ponies, the 24-year-old Senger hit .254/.337/.387 with 3 home runs and 16 walks to 62 strikeouts. A total of 56 runners tried to steal on him and he threw out 18, a 32% success rate. On the strength of his offense and defense, the backstop was voted the 11th top prospect in the Mets minor league system by Amazin’ Avenue.

Senger began 2022 in Binghamton and spent the majority there, save a brief promotion to Syracuse in early June, and hit a combined .240/.309/.358 in 83 games, 77 with Binghamton and 6 with Syracuse. He hit 5 home runs, stole 3 bases, drew 21 walks to 106 strikeouts and threw out 20% of the 80 runners that tried to steal off of him. The 26-year-old spent the entirety of the 2023 season with Binghamton and hit .188/.307/.295 in 81 games with 11 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs, 3 steals, and 36 walks to 95 strikeouts. A total of 95 runners tried to steal against him and he threw out 29, a 31% success rate.

Senger stands tall and open at the plate, holding his hands high and wrapping his bat behind his head. He swings with a moderate leg kick and has a long-levered swing. He flashes average raw power in batting practice but has yet to really tap into that during in-game situations thanks to his swing and occasional difficulties staying balanced and keeping his lower and upper halves in sync. He uses the entire field, spraying groundballs and flyballs to all fields with almost equal percentages.

While his offense is still developing, Senger shines behind the plate. His arm is only average-to-above-average, but the catcher has a career 30% caught stealing rate thanks to above-average pop times, a quick transfer, and accuracy. He is a solid receiver, blocking and framing the ball well, though there is a noticeable difference between his ability to block and frame balls for right-handers and his ability to do the same for southpaws.

Daniel Silva, C

Daniel Silva was signed by the Mets at the beginning of the 2022 international free agent signing period out of Caracas, Venezuela, just a few days after his 17th birthday. He made his professional debut with the DSL Mets 1 later in the year, missing the first few months of the season due to an injury and went 3-12 in 7 games in August with no extra base hits and 3 walks to 5 strikeouts. He remained in the DSL for the 2023 and once again missed the better part of the season due to injury. He appeared in 4 games in August for the DSL Mets Blue and went 4-14 with 1 home run and 3 walks to 2 strikeouts.

Silva is solidly built, standing 6’2” and weighing 200 pounds. A switch-hitter, Silva stands slightly open at the plate, holding his hands high and wrapping his bat behind his head. He swings with a slight leg kick and has raw power relative to his age and level from both sides of the plate. Behind the dish, Silva stands out with above-average arm strength and should be able to stick as a catcher for years to come. Two consecutive years of limited playing time has almost certainly impacted his offensive and defensive abilities, as Silva will be developmentally behind his peers despite the promise his glove and bat showed when he was initially signed.

Ben Simon, RHP

Princeton native Benjamin Simon was the definition of student-athlete while attending Hightstown High School down in Mercer County. A four-year starter in both baseball and basketball who wore the captain’s ‘C’ for three years in baseball and two years in basketball, Simon struck out 93 batters in 97.2 innings over the course of his high school career, posting a 3.16 ERA in 37.3 innings with 34 strikeouts as a junior but missing his final season in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After graduating, he attended Elon University to study applied mathematics, pitching for the Phoenix as well. In 2021, his freshman year, the 19-year-old split his time in the starting rotation and the bullpen, posting an 8.44 ERA in 32.0 innings, allowing 42 hits, walking 17, and striking out 35. He was used exclusively out of the bullpen in 2022 and seemed to respond, posting a 3.48 ERA in 31.0 innings over 23 games, allowing 26 hits, walking 11, and striking out 36. He repeated that success in 2023, taking on the role of team closer, posting a 3.20 ERA in 25.1 innings over 21 appearances, allowing 27 hits, walking 8, and striking out 32.

Simon was drafted by the Mets- the team he grew up rooting for- in the 13th round of the 2023 MLB Draft. He signed for $150,000 and was assigned to the FCL Mets to begin his professional career. He appeared in two games with them before being promoted to the Single-A St. Lucie Mets. He appeared in four games for them, and in total, allowed 5 earned runs in 6.1 innings, allowing 9 hits, walking 2, and striking out 9.

Simon is small for a pitcher, standing 5’11” and weighing a shade under 200 pounds, but he brings the heat. His fastball sits in the mid-90s, and thanks to a high spin rate, the pitch has late tail. He can also sink the ball and cut the ball. He complements the pitch with a low-80s slider with tight two-plane movement and a low-80s changeup with sink and armside fade. The right-hander throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a loose, easy arm, with simple and repeatable mechanics.

Hale Sims, RHP

Hale Sims comes from an athletic family, and something of a baseball dynasty family. His grandfather, Phil Roof, nicknamed at the time “The Duke of Paducah”, played in the Major Leagues for 15 seasons, hitting a cumulative .215/.283/.319 with the Minnesota Twins, Oakland A’s, Milwaukee Brewers, California Angels, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, and Toronto Blue Jays between 1961 and 1977. His uncle, Gene Roof, played in the Major Leagues for 3 seasons, hitting .267/.362/.356 in 48 games with the St. Louis Cardinals and Montreal Expos between 1981 to 1983. One cousin, Eric Roof, was drafted by the Detroit Tigers and played in their minor league system from 2009-2011. Another cousin, Jonathan Roof, was drafted by the Texas Rangers and played in the minor leagues from 2010-2015. A third cousin, Shawn Roof, was also drafted by the Tigers and played in the minor leagues from 2007-2012.

Hale attended St. Mary High School in Paducah, Kentucky, where he earned three All-District honors and made a state tournament appearance. After graduating in 2018, he attended John A. Logan Community College in Carterville, Illinois. He made 7 appearances in his freshman year and posted a 6.35 ERA in 11.1 innings, allowing 13 hits, walking 12, and striking out 13. In his sophomore year, he posted a 6.23 ERA in 4.1 innings over 5 appearances, allowing 4 hits, walking 3, and striking out 8. The big right-hander transferred to UNC Charlotte following the COVID-19 pandemic and pitched there in 2021, 2022, and 2023. He posted a cumulative 5.07 ERA in 103.0 innings over 17 starts and 35 relief appearances, allowing 92 hits, walking 58, and striking out 114. His best season came in 2023, his senior year, when he posted a 4.15 ERA in 39.0 innings over 22 games with 33 hits allowed, 19 walks, and 40 strikeouts.

The 6’4”, 290-pound right-hander throws from a three-quarters arm slot, pushing off the mound well and having no overt red flags in his mechanics. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, topping out at 96 MPH, with an above-average spin rate. He complements it with a sweepy low-80s slider and a mid-to-high-80s changeup with a bit of sink and arm-side fade.

D’Andre Smith, INF

A native of Diamond Bar, California, D’Andre Smith attended San Dimas High School. Between 2017 and 2020, the four years he attended, the San Dimas Saints went 77-17 overall and 30-2 in Valle Vista League games, claiming league championships in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and Smith was a major reason why. A versatile player able to man positions all over the field but mainly played shortstop, he hit a cumulative .362 with 29 doubles, 4 triples, and 2 home runs over the course of his career there. He went undrafted in the COVID-shortened 2020 MLB Draft and honored his commitment to the UNC.

Smith only appeared in 13 games for the Trojans in 2021 due to a back injury, but he made the most of the time he did get on the field, hitting .342/.471/.366 with 0 home runs, 5 stolen bases in as many attempts, and 10 walks to 4 strikeouts. That summer, he played for the Burlington Sock Puppets- formerly, the Burlington Royals- in the newly reorganized Appalachian League and hit .294/.383/.412 in 14 games with 1 home run, 5 stolen bases in 6 attempts, and 6 walks to 19 strikeouts. The shortstop returned to UNC fully healthy and appeared in 52 games for the Trojans, hitting .286/.380/.471 with 8 home runs, 4 stolen bases in 8 attempts, and 24 walks to 44 strikeouts.

A draft-eligible sophomore, the right-hander entered the NCAA transfer portal at the conclusion of the 2022 season following the termination of USC head coach Jason Gill, but the move would prove moot as the Mets selected him in the 5th round of the 2022 MLB Draft. Smith signed for $379,100, the MLB-recommended slot value, and was assigned to the FCL Mets for a pair of games but was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets to finish off the season, where he hit .256/.327/.512 in 13 games with 2 home runs, 1 stolen base in 2 attempts, and 3 walks to 13 strikeouts.

The 22-year-old began the 2023 season with the Brooklyn Cyclones, but the year was marred by injuries, as he missed the start of spring training with a back injury, got hit by a pitch and broke his scapula during spring training, causing him to miss the first two months of the season, and then missed two more weeks in the beginning of July after straining his hamstring. All in all, Smith appeared in 64 games for the Cyclones and hit .237/.321/.353 with 15 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs, 8 stolen bases, and 21 walks to 76 strikeouts. After the season ended, he was sent to the Arizona Fall League, where he appeared in 15 games for the Glenville Desert Dogs and hit .235/.291/.353 with 3 doubles, 1 home run, 1 stolen base, and 3 walks to 13 strikeouts.

At the plate, D’Andre Smith stands slightly open with a wide base, holding his hands high and wrapping the bat behind his head. He swings with a slight leg kick or toe tap mechanism and has sneaky pop for a 5’9”, 180-pound middle infielder, particularly to his pull side, when his upper half and lower half stay in sync. On the basepaths, Smith is far from a burner on the basepaths, possessing fringe-average-to-average speed, but he makes the most of it.

Defensively, Smith should be able to handle shortstop in the near future but may be better suited at second base as a professional in the long term future. He plays the position aggressively with a high amount of energy, but many scouts and evaluators believe that he has peaked defensively in the present as a result and will not be able to handle the position as he ages. While he shows enough range for short, his grapeshot arm is not the most accurate, his actions are a little stiff, and he is prone to making errors due to his high-energy style of play. These faults are not from a low baseball IQ, but rather, from his desire to leave everything on the field and do everything in his power to help his team win.

Christopher Suero, C

Born on January 27, 2024, Christopher Suero was raised in the Dominican Republic, he and his family eventually coming to immigrate to the United States. Settling down in the Bronx, Suero attended All Hallows High School, an all-boys Catholic high school in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. A member of the Gaels baseball team, Suero, reclassified and became eligible to sign as an undrafted international free agent, agreeing to terms with the Mets on March 8, 2022, just ahead of what would’ve been his high school graduation a few months later.

He made his professional debut that summer, assigned to the DSL Mets. Appearing in 38 games, he hit .204/.386/.306 with 7 doubles, 1 home run, 4 stolen bases, and 25 walks to 29 strikeouts. In 2023, the 19-year-old was assigned to the FCL Mets and appeared in 22 games for them, hitting .281/.422/.469 with 1 double, 1 triple, 3 home runs, 3 stolen bases, and 14 walks to 18 strikeouts.

The 5’10”, 205-pound right-hander holds his hands high at the plate, swinging with a moderate leg kick. His bat is short through the strike zone, and he has posted registered exit velocities in the low-90s. His approach at the plate is very pull heavy, generally pulling flyballs for gap doubles.

Suero played the outfield as a high schooler, occasionally pitched, and just dabbled with catching. In his limited innings behind the dish so far as a professional, he has experienced growing pains in certain areas and has demonstrated competency in others. In 388.0 total innings behind the plate, he has committed 9 errors and allowed 17 passed balls. Of the 112 runners who have tried to steal against him, he has thrown out 36, a 32% caught stealing rate, which is about average.

Joe Suozzi, OF/1B

Born in Glen Cove, where his father was elected mayor, Joe Suozzi attended Chaminade High School in Mineola, a private Catholic high school that his father also attended. He started his prep career bright, being named Chaminade’s Most Valuable Player in his freshman year, but injuries in his sophomore and junior years reduced him to an afterthought. Cut from the team, he fought his way back into relevancy in his senior year, and while he did not necessarily stand out necessarily, he was named the Most Improved Player.

After graduating in 2016, he attended Boston College, where he was interested in trying out for their baseball team. Despite Boston College being his father’s alma mater and being from a well-connected family, Suozzi was not gifted a spot on the Eagles. After his tryout, Boston College coach Mike Gambino informed the youngster that there was no room on the Boston College baseball team. Understandably disappointed but unperturbed, Suozzi spent the year getting in better shape and improving his baseball skills. His gambit worked, as he made the team in his sophomore year. While he made the team, he did not have a particularly important role on it, appearing in 25 games and hitting .250/.316/.368. He worked hard to improve and expand his role on the team and was rewarded by Coach Gambino by having his playing time virtually double in his junior year. Appearing in 48 games, Suozzi hit .282/.363/.423. While scouts had begun to take notice, he went undrafted in the 2019 MLB Draft, prompting him to return to Boston College for his senior year. Named team captain in 2020, he hit .414/.471/.638 in 15 games before the NCAA shut down all sporting activities due to COVID-19.

With the 2020 MLB Draft severely shortened, he went undrafted in the draft but was signed by the Mets shortly thereafter- the same team that he grew up rooting for. For what it’s worth, the Wilpon family and their affiliates are closely connected- the Wilpons donated to Tom Suozzi’s 2016 campaign for the United States House of Representatives and Saul Katz lives in a 12-acre mansion in Glen Cove, where Ralph Suozzi, Joe’s first cousin once removed, is mayor.

The 23-year-old began his professional career with the St. Lucie Mets in 2021 and he hit the ground running. In 30 games, Suozzi hit .292/.372/.381 with 2 home runs, 13 stolen bases in as many attempts, and 10 walks to 33 strikeouts. He was promoted to Brooklyn in mid-July and finished the season there but really crashed back down to earth. In 23 games with the Cyclones, he hit .175/.266/.351 with 1 home run, 1 stolen base, and 5 walks to 27 strikeouts. He remained with the Cyclones for the entirety of the 2022 season and did not improve much, hitting .221/.325/.390 in 75 games with 8 home runs, 8 stolen bases in 12 attempts, and 24 walks to 86 strikeouts.

The 25-year-old started the 2023 in Brooklyn and had a solid stretch from the beginning of the season until the end of May, hitting .283/.339/.343 in 29 games with 6 doubles. He was promoted to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and played there until the end of August, missing roughly a month due to an injury. At the beginning of August, he was promoted to the Syracuse Mets and ended the season there. Appearing in 30 games for Binghamton, Suozzi hit .248/.353/.386 with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs, 1 stolen base, and 14 walks to 39 strikeouts. Appearing in 39 games for the Syracuse Mets, he hit .270/.370/.397 with 2 doubles, 1 triple, 4 home runs, 3 stolen bases, and 15 walks to 33 strikeouts.

At the plate, Suozzi stands tall and slightly open, holding his hands high and wrapping his bat slightly behind his head, swinging with a slight leg kick. His swing is long and stiff, a product of below-average bat speed, but the athletic, 6’2”, 200-pound outfielder shows solidly average raw power during batting practice and has the ability to run into pitches in-games. He does not have a quick first step out of the box and is a fringe-average runner out of the gate, but once he picks up steam, he is a solidly average runner, taking extra bases when the situation presents itself. In the field, Suozzi can play all three outfield positions but is a below-average defender in left, right, and center. With more reps, he may improve, but he is unlikely to ever stand out. Suozzi true strength are the bonds he has forged with his coaches and teammates thanks to his strong work ethic and drive to succeed. The outfielder is well-respected by his peers and is considered a leader both on the field and in the locker room.

Dylan Tebrake, RHP

A native of Cold Spring, Minnesota, Dylan Tebrake attended Rocori High School, a school in Cold Spring named after the three local towns it served: Rockville, Cold Spring, and Richmond. He was a three-year letterwinner during his time there and attended Creighton University after going undrafted in the 2018 MLB Draft. In his first season there, Tebrake posted a 3.90 ERA in 30.0 innings, allowing 26 hits, walking 6, and striking out 16. That summer, he pitched for the Madison Mallards of the Northwoods League, posting a 8.79 ERA in 14.1 innings with 24 hits allowed, 7 walks, and 8 strikeouts. The right-hander returned to Creighton for his sophomore year and was named the Bluejays’ fright night starter by coach Ed Servais. The move paid off, as Tebrake was excellent in the limited innings he threw prior to the NCAA cancelling the rest of the season due to COVID-19. In 26.1 innings, the right-hander made 5 starts and posted a 2.05 ERA with 18 hits allowed, 5 walks, and 24 strikeouts.

When the 2021 season finally began, Tebrake picked up right where he left off. The right-hander posted a 2.72 ERA in 72.2 innings, allowing 59 hits, walking 24, and striking out 75. He was named to the All-Big East First-Team and was named Big East Pitcher of the Year. He played for the Frederick Keys of the newly formed MLB Draft League that summer and posted a 0.82 ERA in 11.0 innings, allowing 5 hits, walking 5, and striking out 12. Despite the excellent numbers with Creighton and with the Keys that season, he went undrafted in the 2021 MLB Draft, and returned to school for his senior season. The reigning Big East Pitcher of the Year didn’t miss a beat, posting a 2.71 ERA in 93.0 innings, allowing 73 hits, walking 33, and striking out 115. The right-hander won his second-consecutive Big East Pitcher of the Year honors, the first pitcher since Aaron Heilman in 2000 and 2001 to win the award in back-to-back years and the first since Chris Lambert in 2002 and 2004 to be given the honors twice.

In June, the 23-year-old announced that he had entered the NCAA transfer portal and was transferring to LSU as a graduate student. The Mets selected the right-hander with their 8th round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft and signed him to a $136,430 bonus, a few thousand less than the MLB assigned slot value of $181,800.

Tebrake did not pitch much after going pro, appearing for two games with the FCL Mets and two with the St. Lucie Mets, combining to pitch 4.2 scoreless innings, allowing 5 hits, walking none, and striking out 8. He began the 2023 season but had a season marred by injuries. The right-hander was placed on the Injured List twice, once in early April and once in early August. All in all, he appeared in 18 total games, 14 for the Brooklyn Cyclones and 4 with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. With Brooklyn, he posted a 2.08 ERA in 26.0 innings, making one start, with 15 hits allowed, 10 walks, and 40 strikeouts. With the Rumble Ponies, he posted a 5.40 ERA in 5.0 innings, allowing 5 hits, walking 5, and striking out 7.

The 6’3”, 225-pound right-hander has a solid frame for pitching and has already demonstrated he can log innings, pitching roughly 85 and 95 in 2021 and 2022, but was converted to relief in 2023 following his return from the Injured List. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot and is able to command all of his pitches well. None of Tebrake’s pitches are much better than average on the scouting scale, but he has a high pitching IQ and is able to maximize his stuff by being more than just the sum of his individual parts.

His four-seam fastball sits in the low-90s, touching as high as 96 MPH. The pitch has a high spin rate, averaging 2493 RPM and maxing out as high as 2600 RPM, giving it rising life. His two-seam fastball has a similar velocity and spin rate, though it has heavy downward angle. He complements his fastballs with a slider, a curveball, and changeup. His slider is the best of his secondary pitches, sitting in the low-80s and flashing average, eliciting the majority of his swings and misses. The pitch is sometimes thrown hard enough to be considered a cutter, sitting just shy of 90 MPH with a slider-ish 2700 RPM spin rate. His curveball, generally considered a below-average pitch, sits in the mid-70s and features lollypop break. Tebrake also occasionally uses a mid-80s changeup, but the pitch is considered below-average.

Rylan Thomas, OF

A four-year letter-winner who played baseball at Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, California, Rhylan Thomas earned All-Marmonte League honors as a sophomore, junior and senior and All-County honors as a senior. Considered a follow by scouts and evaluators, he ended up not being drafted in the 2019 MLB Draft and honored his commitment to the University of Southern California.

His 2020 freshman season was abbreviated due to the cancellation of the season due to COVID-19, but in the limited time that he was able to play, he impressed, hitting .356/.412/.422 in 15 games with 0 home runs, 2 stolen bases in 3 attempts, and 4 walks to 5 strikeouts. He returned to USC the next year as a redshirt freshman appeared in 49 games for the Trojans, hitting .296/.343/.398 with 2 home runs, 9 stolen bases in 14 attempts, and 13 walks to 14 strikeouts. That summer, he had a strong showing at the Cape Cod League. Appearing in 12 games for the Orleans Firebirds, he hit .408/.442/.469 with 0 home runs, 3 stolen bases in 6 attempts, and 3 walks to 4 strikeouts. In 2022, he appeared in 53 games as a redshirt sophomore, and the 22-year old hit .363/.422/.444 in 53 games with 2 home runs, 8 stolen bases in 12 attempts, and 19 walks to 17 strikeouts. All in all, in 117 games with the Trojans, Thomas hit a cumulative .335/.389/.423 with 20 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs, 19 walks in 29 attempts, and an even 36 walks to 36 strikeouts.

Thomas was selected by the Mets in the 11th round of the 2022 MLB Draft and signed for $180,000, $30,000 over the post-tenth-round maximum, forcing the team to dip into their bonus pool slightly. He began his professional career with the FCL Mets and spent roughly a month with them before being promoted to the St. Lucie Mets in late August and finishing his first professional season with them. All in all, he appeared in 16 games and hit a combined .208/.333/.229 with 0 home runs, 2 stolen bases in 3 attempts, and 8 walks to 5 strikeouts.

He returned to St. Lucie in 2023 and played with them from the beginning of April until the end of June, hitting .303/.370/.434 in 36 games with 9 doubles, a triple, a homer, 2 stolen bases, and 14 walks to 13 strikeouts, a 119 wRC+. He was then promoted to High-A Brooklyn and got into 39 games with them from late June until late August where he hit .341/.432/.429 with 5 doubles, 2 homers, 3 stolen bases, and 19 walks to 10 strikeouts, a 143 wRC+. He was then promoted to Binghamton and finished the season with them, hitting .353/.431/.392 in 16 games with 2 doubles, 2 stolen bases, and 7 walks to 5 strikeouts, a 136 wRC+. All in all, he hit .328/.407/.425 in 91 games with all three teams with 16 doubles, 2 triples, 3 homers, 7 stolen bases in 18 attempts, and 40 walks to 28 strikeouts, leading the entire minor league system in batting average in 2023.

Thomas stands square at the plate, holding his hands high. He swings with a slight leg kick and has impressive bat-to-ball skills and an advanced understanding of the strike zone; in two seasons as a professional, he has 33 total strikeouts in 107 games, and has a 48:33 walk:strikeout ratio. He is a contact-oriented hitter, slashing line drives and ground balls back up the middle and to the opposite field. Were he to adopt a more pull-heavy approach at the plate, Thomas would likely add a bit more power to his game, but as a whole, he does not have much raw power in his 5’10”, 170-pound frame and is better suited as a gap hitter.

At USC, Thomas was the Trojans’ primary centerfielder, but as a professional, he has seen more time in left field. An average runner, he is not a burner, but once he gets going can cover enough ground with his long, smooth gait to patrol center in the near term future.

Zach Thornton, LHP

Zach Thornton comes from a family of athletes. His father, Paul, ran track at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. from 1989 to 1993, where he won a conference champion in the 1,000-meter run in 1993. His mother, Julie, participated in track and field, cross country and soccer at Lewis & Clark College and St. Olaf College from 1988 to 1992, where she was an All-American in heptathlon in 1991 and 1992 and later inducted into the school’s athletics hall of fame. His grandfather ran track at the University of Kansas in the 1960s. Zach attended Lawrence Free State High School in Lawrence, Kansas, going undrafted after graduating in 2020. He went on to attend Barton Community College, a junior college in Great Bend, Kansas, a few hours away from Lawrence. He joined the Great Bend baseball team and appeared in 14 games for the Cougars, starting 13 of them. In 60.2 innings, he posted a 4.01 ERA, allowing 58 hits, walking 21, and striking out 79. In his sophomore year, he appeared in 15 games, starting all 15, and posted a 2.63 ERA in 78.2 innings, allowing 60 hits, 26 walks, and 91 strikeouts.

The attention that he got from his success at Barton along with the scouts who saw him that summer pitching supplementary work with the Elizabethton River Riders in the revamped Appalachian League and for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the inaugural MLB Draft League raised his stock a great deal and prompted the left-hander to transfer to Grand Canyon University. A mainstay in their weekend rotation this past season, Thornton posted a 3.87 ERA in 88.1 innings with the Antelopes, allowing 99 hits, walking 18, and striking out 91 in his first taste of NCAA Division I baseball. After the season ended, the 21-year-old once again pitched some supplementary innings, this time with the West Virginia Black Bears of the MLB Draft League. In the 2023 MLB Draft, the Mets selected the southpaw with their 5th round pick, the 159th player selected overall. He signed for $350,000, just a bit below the MLB-assigned slot value of $378,000, but did not suit up professionally for the Mets.

The 6’3”, 170-pound left-hander throws from a high-three-quarter arm slot and has plenty of deception in his delivery with a funky, up-tempo delivery that incorporates an extremely long arm action through the back and a slingy, crossfire release. Despite all of the movement in his delivery, Thornton has excellent command.

His fastball hovers around 90 MPH, topping out slightly higher. While the velocity on the pitch is not particularly breathtaking, his delivery gives the pitch deception, and it has recorded spin rates between 2200 RPM and 2400 RPM, giving it 16.1 inches of induced vertical break, resulting in high whiff rates.

Similarly, none of his secondary pitches jump off the page at you, but he has a full repertoire of pitches, understands when to use them, and can command each and every one of them. While none of his individual pitches grade as much more than average, he does not hurt himself by getting into unfavorable counts and keeps the pressure on hitters.

His slider sits in the low-80s and has two-plane break, with 2400-2500 RPM of spin, resulting in 3.9 inches of induced vertical break and 7.3 inches of horizontal break. His curveball sits in the mid-70s, a big 11-5 breaker. His changeup sits in the low-80s with sudden tumble thanks to its 1700 RPM of spin, giving it 10.8 inches of induced vertical break and 14.5 inches of horizontal movement. He also has begun using a cutter, which sits in the mid-to-high-80s and features 6.4 inches of induced vertical break and 3.3 inches of horizontal break thanks to its 2400 RPM spin rate. Some consider his slider his best secondary pitch, while others consider his changeup his best secondary pitch, with the caveat that he does not throw it enough.

Junior Tilien, INF

Signed during the 2019-2020 international free agent signing period, 17-year-old Junior Tilien impressed when working out in the Dominican Prospect League in front of scouts and eventually signed for $185,000, a bit less than scouts and evaluators first believed he would. He continued impressing after signing, showing a better hit tool than first believed, and the Mets were aggressive in his first professional assignment, which came in 2021 because of the cancellation of the 2020 season due to coronavirus. Tilien was assigned to the FCL Mets in his first professional season and struggled, hitting .165/.223/.233 in 32 games with 0 home runs, 0 stolen bases, and 6 walks to 24 strikeouts. Tilien impressed Mets evaluators in spring training and the team opted to assign him to St. Lucie in early May. Initially, the 19-year-old infielder was extremely impressive, hitting .260/.317/.466 with 7 home runs, 2 stolen bases, and 11 walks to 29 strikeouts in the first half, but slowed down in the second half, hitting .245/.311/.370 with 5 home runs, 1 stolen base, and 19 walks to 53 strikeouts. All in all, his season was slightly above-average, as he hit a cumulative .248/.312/.406 in 84 games with 12 home runs, 3 stolen bases, and 30 walks to 81 strikeouts.

He started the 2023 season back with St. Lucie and once again got off to a solid start, having a fairly strong April, but tailed off. He appeared in 57 games for the St. Lucie Mets and hit .251/.339/.417 with 6 home runs and 27 walks to 42 strikeouts. In mid-June, he was promoted to the Brooklyn Cyclones and remained there until mid-August, when he was placed on the Injured List and never returned to the field. Appearing in 33 games for the Cyclones, he hit .228/.299/.386 with 3 home runs, 1 stolen base, and 10 walks to 28 strikeouts. All in all, the 20-year-old hit a combined .243/.325/.406 with 9 home runs, 1 stolen base, and 37 walks to 70 strikeouts.

Tilien stands square at the plate, holding his hands high, swinging with a slight leg kick. His bat speed is only average, but the right-hander has excellent wrist strength and hand-eye coordination, allowing him to make good contact and put the ball in play even when taking bad swings or finding himself fooled and off-balance. Tilien is still tall and lanky and should continue adding muscle mass, and with it, more power.

The Mets were higher on Tilien’s defensive ability more so than other amateur and professional scouts and evaluators, signing him as a shortstop and keeping him up the middle. The organization believes that he will be able to stay at the position in the long term due to his average speed and above-average arm, giving him the necessary range and arm to play short. Other external sources believed that he will be forced to move to third base or even the outfield as his body as his body matures and he loses explosive, quick-twitch muscle speed, but he has yet to show the need. The infielder played more third base than he ever had in 2023, but still got into most of his games as a shortstop.

Jonah Tong, RHP

A native of Markham, Ontario, Canada, Jonah Reid Tin Chee Matthew Tong grew up in a family of athletes. His father, Alex, played hockey and volleyball in high school. His mother, Karen, played softball, field hockey, and volleyball. Jonah has two sisters, and both are athletes as well, with older sister Morgan competing in gymnastics for Central Michigan University and younger sister Montana playing softball and baseball. In 2021, the right-hander pitched at Bill Crothers Secondary School in Markham, and then transferred to the Georgia Premier Academy for his senior season in 2022. He also pitched for the Frederick Keys of the MLB Draft League in 2022, making four appearances and three starts. He posted a 10.80 ERA in 11.2 innings, allowing 14 hits, walking 10, and striking out 14.

Tong had a commitment to North Dakota State University but ended up signing with the Mets after they drafted him in the seventh round of the 2022 MLB Draft and offered him a $225,800 signing bonus, exactly slot value. He did not pitch in 2022 and his 2023 season got off to a late start when the Mets initially held him out from organized games. Assigned to the FCL Mets, the 20-year-old finally made his first start of the season on June 30 and made 7 appearances with the FCL Mets, pitching about once a week. He threw a total of 12.2 innings, his earlier appearances more abbreviated and his later appearances multi-inning outings, and allowed 9 earned runs, giving up 9 hits, walking 13, and striking out 25. He was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets at the end of August and made three appearances with them, allowing 5 earned runs in 8.1 innings, allowing 8 hits, walking 9, and striking out 13. All in all, in his first year as a professional, Tong posted a 6.00 ERA in 21.0 innings over 10 games, allowing 17 hits, walking 22, and striking out 38.

The 6’1”, 180-pound right-hander throws from a high-three-quarters, almost over-the-top arm slot with a long action through the back, dropping and driving off the mound with a large stride and throwing with some effort, giving his pitches good extension but seemingly negatively impacting his command and control. His mechanics are reminiscent of Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum, which makes sense given Tong’s age and Canadian citizenship.

His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, averaging 92 MPH in 2023 and topping out as high as 95 MPH. The pitch demonstrated slightly above-average spin rates for a fastball, mainly backspin, giving it some rising action, although generally speaking, it was a fairly straight pitch. He complements his fastball with a curveball, slider, and changeup. His curveball is his best secondary offering, a pitch that sits in the mid-to-high-70s and has big 12-6 drop thanks to slightly above-average spin rates that flashed well above-average during his time in the MLB Draft League in 2022. Tong telegraphs the ball, throwing it a higher arm slot than normal in order to get on top of it and give it better 12-6 drop, and as a result, that may be why he did get as many swings-and-misses with it despite the depth of its break. His slider sits in the mid-80s-to-low-90s and is still developing its identity. Tong needs to tighten the pitch up, as it gets slurvy and bleeds into his curveball and sometimes gets overthrown and comes across more like a cutter. His changeup, which sits in the low-80s, also lags far behind his curveball, but the pitch flashes potential. While he did not use it much in 2023, he used it in 2022 during his time in the MLB Draft League and the pitch induced high number of swings-and-misses not against not just fellow high school competitors, but against older, college-aged hitters.

Austin Troesser, RHP

A native of Loose Creek, Missouri, Austin Troesser attended Fatima High School in Westphalia, Missouri, who he helped lead to the Missouri Class 3 State Championship in 2019 by throwing an 11-strikeout complete game. The right-hander went undrafted after graduating in 2020 and attended the University of Missouri, where he walked onto the baseball team. In his freshman year, he appeared in two games in total, giving up 7 earned runs in 2.1 innings total, allowing 5 hits, walking 2, and striking out 1. That summer, he pitched for the Greeneville Flyboys in the newly reorganized Appalachian League. He appeared in 11 games that summer and posted a 2.78 ERA in 22.2 innings, allowing 16 hits, walking 7, and striking out 39.

He returned to Mizzou in 2022 and appeared in 13 games, throwing 29.2 innings in total. He enjoyed a breakout season, leading the team with a 3.64 ERA, allowing 25 hits, walking 17, and striking out 22. He was unable to keep that momentum going this past spring, posting a 4.73 ERA in 45.2 innings in 22 games, allowing 38 hits, walking 17, and striking out 53. Following the conclusion of the season, he entered the transfer portal after Tigers head coach Steve Bieser was fired at the conclusion of the season. The Mets selected Troesser with their second selection in the free agent compensation round, the 135th overall pick granted to them for the loss of Chris Bassitt to the Toronto Blue Jays. He signed for $350,000, below the MLB-assigned slot value of $478,200, and appeared in one game for the FCL Mets, throwing a perfect inning.

The right-hander is tall and lanky, standing 6’3” and weighing 190-pounds. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot, folding his top half over to lower his release point. There is effort in his delivery, negatively impacting his command, but he gets every possible mile per hour out of his arm as possible. He has a big-time fastball, sitting in the mid-90s and topping out at 98 MPH with 20.8 inches of induced vertical break and a power curve.

John Valle, RHP

Tampa is a hotbed of baseball activity, with multiple professionals, All-Stars, and even Hall of Famers growing up and playing as teenagers in the area. John Valle, a Cuban immigrant who came to the United States in 2021, attended Thomas Jefferson High School, whose alumni include six major leaguers- Al Pardo, Lenny Faedo, Fred Rath, Jimmy Herget, Tino Martinez, and Fred McGriff. Pitching for the Dragons in 2023, the right-hander posted a 1.37 ERA in 13 appearances over 46.0 innings, allowing 30 hits, walking 23, striking out 44, hitting a single batter, and notching a single save. He was scheduled to pitch for the Frederick Keys of the MLB Draft League but ended up not going through with it as he underwent Tommy John surgery.

Valle was selected by the Mets in the fourteenth round of the 2023 MLB Draft, the 426th player selected overall. He did not have a college commitment and agreed to terms with the Mets, signing a contract with bonus worth $150,000.

The 6’4”, 195-pound right-hander has a thick, durable frame well suited for pitching. He throws from a low-three-quarters arm slot with simple, repeatable mechanics. His fastball sat in the low-90s, topping out at 94 MPH, prior to his Tommy John surgery. The pitch had a bit of arm-side movement and had recorded spin rates hovering around 2500 RPM in exhibition games. He complemented it with a mid-to-high-70s curveball with 11-5 break. Like his fastball, the pitch has also recorded strong spin rates in exhibition tournament games.

Jordany Ventura, RHP

Jordany Ventura was signed out of the Dominican Republic on July 25, 2018 for $20,000 and made his professional debut a few weeks later, getting assigned to the DSL Mets. The 17-year-old appeared in just three games that year, and his professional career began in earnest in 2019. He began the season on the DSL squad, but for a second season, his time there was extremely limited, as he made just four starts before being promoted to the GSL Mets. He spent the majority of the summer at the complex and posted a 4.36 ERA in 33.0 innings, allowing 27 hits, walking 8, and striking out 34. At the end of August, he was promoted to the Kingsport Mets in order to fortify their rotation and appeared in two games with them, giving up one earned run in 8 innings while allowing 3 hits, walking 6, and striking out 9.

Ventura missed the entire 2020 season when the year was cancelled due to COVID-19, and then missed the 2021 season due to Tommy John surgery. He returned to the mound in June 2022, but unfortunately only lasted a month before being put on the injured list once again and missing the rest of the season, this time with a pectoral strain. In total, he made four abbreviated starts, throwing no more than 2.1 innings in each, one for the FCL Mets and three for the St. Lucie Mets. He posted a cumulative 4.15 ERA in 8.2 innings, allowing 4 earned runs on 7 hits, 2 walks, and 13 strikeouts. The 22-year-old remained in St. Lucie to start the 2023 season but was promoted to the Brooklyn in mid-July and finished his year there. In 15 games with St. Lucie, he posted a 5.67 ERA in 54.0 innings with 47 hits allowed, 50 walks, and 60 strikeouts. In 10 games with Brooklyn, he posted a 3.86 ERA in 49.0 innings with 32 hits allowed, 33 walks, and 46 strikeouts. All in all, he posted a 5.42 ERA in 103.0 innings, allowing 79 hits, walking 83, and striking out 106.

Ventura throws from a high three-quarters arm slot with a simple, repeatable motion, and prior to the 2023 season, showed average-to-above-average command and control of his pitches. His 2023 season was a disaster in that regard, with the right-hander walking more batters than he allowed hits.

His fastball was down as compared to 2022, sitting in the low-90s, occasionally backing up into the high-80s, and barely exceeding 95 MPH only a handful of times. Despite pitching at a lower velocity band, the pitch still averaged above-average spin rates for a fastball, ranging between 2280 to 2625 RPM. The pitch generally was very hittable, and the right-hander’s high number of walks in 2023 may have been related to losing his confidence in it and not feeling able to rely on it in the zone.

Complementing his fastball in 2023 was a changeup and a curveball. Prior to his Tommy John surgery, his curveball looked like the better of the two, but since returning, his changeup appears more refined. His changeup sits in the low-to-mid-80s and its low spin rate and axis give it a lot of tumble and fade. His curveball sits in the high-70s-to-low-80s and has 11-5 bend. The curve occasionally gets too slurvy and loses shape, coming out of his hand more like a sweeping slider.

Zebulon Vermillion, RHP

Born in Vali, Colorado, Zebulon Vermillion and his family left the Centennial State moved to St. Joseph, Missouri when he was young, and it was there that he met Jake Randa, son of Royals third basemen Joe Randa. The two became friends and played on regional little league and travel ball teams for years. At the Randa’s suggestion, the Vermillion’s moved to Prairie Village, Kansas, where Zeb enrolled at Shawnee Mission East High School. A standout for head coach Jerrod Ryherd, Vermillion lettered three times and posted an impressive 1.41 ERA in 34.2 innings pitched in his senior year while hitting .375/.436/.562. Considered one of the best pitchers in Kansas thanks to his solid fastball and size, Vermillion ended up going undrafted after he graduated and honored his commitment to the University of Arkansas.

In 2018, his freshman season, the right-hander was used out of the bullpen sparingly, making 7 total appearances and posting a 4.82 ERA in 9.1 innings with 12 hits allowed, 0 walks, and 11 strikeouts. He pitched for the Sanford River Cats of the Florida Collegiate Summer League and then returned to Arkansas for his sophomore year, posting a 3.63 ERA in 22.1 innings, allowing 21 hits, walking 9, and striking out 21. That summer, he played for the Orleans Firebirds in the Cape Cod League, posting a 5.23 ERA in 10.1 innings over 9 games with 13 hits allowed, 8 walks, and 4 strikeouts. The 2020 season would have been Vermillion’s junior season, but the NCAA cancelled the season in mid-March; for what it’s worth, the 21-year-old did not allow a run in the 7.1 innings he pitched, having allowed 4 hits, walked 0, and struck out 12. He returned to Arkansas in 2021 as a redshirt junior and posted a 4.69 ERA in 40.1 innings split over 6 starts and 9 relief appearances. He allowed 41 hits, walked 15, and struck out 28. Vermillion returned to Arkansas this past season, his redshirt senior season, and posted a 2.39 ERA in 26.1 innings, all out of the bullpen, having allowed 22 hits, walked 10, and struck out 27.

The Mets drafted the right-hander in the 10th round of the 2022 MLB Draft and signed him for $20,000, well below the MLB-assigned slot value of $152,400. He was assigned to the FCL Mets and appeared in a single game for the rest of the summer, throwing a single scoreless inning on August 23rd against the FCL Marlins. Following his professional debut, the 23-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery, which caused him to miss all of the 2023 season.

Vermillion is a big, physical right-hander, standing 6’5” and weighing 250-pounds. Between when he first enrolled at Arkansas and the present, he put on roughly 60 pounds of weight, which he carries well. Though a starter for only a fraction of the time he pitched for the Razorbacks, his build should help him eat innings should he be used as a starting pitcher in the future. It also has allowed him to maintain his stuff further into games and at higher pitch counts, though the right-hander rarely threw more than a single inning at a time for the majority of his collegiate career. Vermillion throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot, and while his delivery generally is a bit stiff and mechanical, he rarely had trouble maintaining his release point and commanding his pitches.

Prior to his surgery, his fastball sat in the low-to-mid-90s, topping out at 93, 94 MPH. He was able to command the pitch to all four quadrants of the strike zone but worked to his glove side and the top half especially well; Vermillion was primarily a fly ball pitcher who gets hitters to get under the ball. He complemented his fastball with a mid-80s slider that sat between 81-86 MPH and featured quick two-plane bite and occasionally threw a get-me-over mid-70s curveball. As a reliever, he mainly stuck with his fastball-slider combination. If used for roles in which he will be throwing more than an inning or two at a time, he will need to refine the curve, but if he stays in a one-inning relief role going forward, his 1-2 punch is enough to get batters out.

Kevin Villavicencio, INF

Like many Mexican ballplayers, Santa Rosalia native Kevin Villavicencio signed his right to a local professional team at an extremely early age, signing with the Diablos Rojos del Mexico of Liga Mexicana de Beisbol at the age of 13. On January 15, 2021, the first day of the 2021 international free agent signing period, the Red Devils sold his rights to the Mets, and Villavicencio joined the organization.

The 17-year-old was assigned to the Dominican Summer League in his first season with the Mets and appeared in 45 games, hitting .303/.373/.414 with 1 home run, 14 stolen bases in 17 attempts, and 15 walks to 17 strikeouts. He was given an aggressive assignment and began the 2022 season with the St. Lucie Mets, playing with them from late April until early June, when the Florida Complex League season began. Villavicencio understandably struggled with St. Lucie, hitting .235/.244/.353 with 1 home run, 0 stolen bases in 2 attempts, and 1 walk to 25 strikeouts. He performed much better with the FCL Mets, hitting .241/.359/.312 with 1 home run, 7 stolen bases in 11 attempts, and 20 walks to 30 strikeouts. He was promoted back to St. Lucie after the FCL season ended and performed solidly, going 2-7 in 4 games with 1 stolen base, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout. The Mets promoted Villavicencio to the St. Lucie Mets for the 2023 season and he spent the entire year with them save a pair of games at the end of the year that he played in Binghamton, for roster needs. He appeared in 102 games with the St. Lucie Mets and hit .240/.295/.306 with 11 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs, 23 stolen bases, and 24 walks to 67 strikeouts.

Villavicencio stands crouched at the plate, in a wide, open stance, holding his hands high and wrapping his bat behind his head. He swings with a toe tap timing mechanism. Because of his size and stance, the infielder swings with a downward bat path.

In 254 batted ball events during the 2023 season, he averaged a 7 degree launch angle, with an 83.9 MPH average exit velocity. While he did produce a handful of 100+ MPH exit velocities, and the preponderance of all measured exit velocities were above 80 MPH, almost a third of all batted ball events led to exit velocities under 80 MPH. While Villavicencio is still developing as a hitter and has a limited upside, he has a high floor as a player thanks to his defense. A middle infielder, he has plenty of range, a smooth glove, and soft hands.

Josh Walker, LHP

A native of Otisville, a small village upstate about an hour from the New York/New Jersey border, Josh Walker grew up a Yankees fan, going as far to wear #21 in honor of Paul O’Neill when he played at Minisink Valley High School. In an odd twist of fate, the assistant principal of Minisink Valley High School when Walker attended- and still is to this day- was Dave Telgheder, who was drafted by the Mets in the 31st round of the 1989 MLB Draft and spent a few years pitching for them and the Oakland Athletics before retiring and getting into education.

Walker graduated in 2013 and initially attended the University of South Florida. He struggled in his time there, posting a 13.50 ERA in seven relief appearances, allowing 14 hits, walking 3, and striking out 3. He redshirted his sophomore season because of an injury, and, after being convinced by a friend, transferred to the University of New Haven to begin fresh. Getting back on the mound in 2016, he appeared in 7 games for the Charges, making six relief appearances and one start. In those 13.2 innings, he posted a 5.93 ERA, allowing 13 hits, walking 12, and striking out 8. He was much more successful in 2017, appearing in 20 games for New Haven, all out of the bullpen. In 30.0 innings, he posted a 2.40 ERA, allowing 25 hits, walking 10, and striking out 32. That June, the Mets selected the 22-year-old left-hander in the 37th round of the 2017 MLB Draft, making him the first player since Chris DeMorais in 2014 to be drafted out of that school.

The Mets assigned Walker to their Gulf Coast League team to finish out the season and then promoted him to Kingsport for the 2018 season. After a handful of games in the Appalachian League, he was promoted to Brooklyn, where he finished out the year. At both levels combined, he posted a 3.27 ERA in 41.1 innings pitched, those innings split almost evenly as a starter and reliever. He was set to be promoted to the St. Lucie Mets to start the 2019 season, but in April 2019, he was involved in a car accident that cost him most of the season. Less than a mile from the stadium in St. Lucie, a car made an illegal turn and smashed into Walker’s car. His left side- his pitching side- took the brunt of the hit, and while he did not break anything, tests revealed that a nerve in his arm was damaged, causing pain in his forearm and necessitating surgery to alleviate. He only appeared in only two games late that summer, and then stayed in Florida over that winter to continue rehabbing. The decision may have saved his baseball career, as he was in camp in March 2020 when COVID-19 eventually shut down all baseball activities. His dedication and commitment to his profession and Mets coaches and executives seeing that may be what allowed Walker to survive the mass minor league cuts in the wake of the pandemic.

The left-hander began the 2021 season with the Brooklyn Cyclones, but after four strong starts, was promoted to Binghamton, where he continued to succeed, highlighted by throwing 2/3 of a combined no-hitter on June 22. In late July, after posting a 2.64 ERA in 44.1 innings with the Rumble Ponies, Walker was promoted to the Syracuse Mets, where he posted a 5.19 ERA in 50.1 innings. At all three levels, High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A combined, Walker posted a cumulative 3.73 ERA in 115.2 innings, allowing 89 hits, walking 29, and striking out 98. Injuries sustained prior to the start of the 2022 season kept Walker off the field for most of the season. He finally was back on the mound in the end of July, rehabbing with the FCL Mets and St. Lucie Mets before being activated and sent to Syracuse. He was used sparingly, all in relief, and posted a 6.91 ERA in 14.1 innings, allowing 18 hits, walking 7, and striking out 23.

The left-hander began the 2023 season with the Syracuse Mets and was having a solid season over the first month of the year or so, posting a 0.68 ERA in 13.1 innings over 9 appearances, with 6 hits allowed, 6 walks, and 18 strikeouts. On May 16, the Mets selected his contract and he appeared in his first major league game, throwing a scoreless inning against the Tampa Bay Rays with two strikeouts. He was optioned down to Triple-A Syracuse after, and appeared in a few more games for them before getting called up to Queens once again. He was sent down and called up a handful more times over the course of the season, but his 2023 came to an end in mid-August when he was placed on the Injured List with a right oblique strain. All in all, he posted a 1.84 ERA in 29.1 innings over 21 appearances with Syracuse, allowing 19 hits, walking 13, and striking out 40. At the major league level, the 28-year-old posted an 8.10 ERA in 10.0 innings over 14 games, allowing 12 hits, walking 6, and striking out 12.

The tall 6’6”, 225-pound left-hander throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a long arm action through the back. His long limbs add some deception to his pitches, and his slingy delivery helps add some additional movement to them. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, generally settling in around 94 MPH and can touch a bit higher when it is aired out.

He complements the pitch with a slider and a changeup. His slider, which lives in the high-70s-to-low-80s, roughly 77-83 MPH, has sweepy bend that gets a lot of swings and misses, especially against left-handed hitters. When it is on the slower end of its velocity band, its break sometimes becomes soft and loopy, making it more hittable. His changeup, which sits in the low-to-mid-80s, has good fade, especially down in the zone. It is not a swing-and-miss pitch necessarily, eliciting poor contact and setting up his fastball and slider. Walker is most effective working north-to-south, getting hitters to strike out on his fastball above the zone or one of his secondary pitches below it. None of Walker’s pitches grade out as being more than average, but his total package is augmented by his excellent control and his deceptive mechanics.

Jack Wenninger, RHP

Jack Wenninger’s grandfather, Robert Eckl Sr., and his uncle, Robert Eckl Jr., both played baseball at the University of Wisconsin, but he elected not to follow in their steps, committing to Murray State University after graduating from Cary-Grove Community High School in 2020. He appeared in 16 games for the Racers, posting a 5.26 ERA in 51.1 innings with 46 hits allowed, 27 walks, and 42 strikeouts. While his numbers on the surface were only pedestrian, Wenninger underwent a lot of growth between his senior year of high school and the end of his freshman year, adding some muscle mass, about 5 MPH to his fastball, and tightening up his secondary pitches. This led him to transfer to the University of Illinois.

In his first year with the Fighting Illini, the right-hander appeared in 15 games, posting a 5.71 ERA in 34.2 innings, allowing 30 hits, walking 21, and striking out 30. That summer, he pitched for the Wausau Woodchucks of the Northwoods League, posting a 2.54 ERA in 46.0 innings, allowing 37 hits, walking 21, and striking out 42. He returned to Illinois for the 2023 season and was a mainstay in their weekend rotation. The right-hander appeared in 15 games, starting 14 of them, and posted a 4.59 ERA in 80.1 innings, allowing 69 hits, walking 28, and striking out 76. Following the conclusion of the season, he pitched some supplementary innings with the Williamsport Crosscutters of the MLB Draft League.

The Mets drafted Wenninger in the 6th round of the 2023 MLB Draft, the 186th player selected overall. He received a $225,000 signing bonus, below the MLB-assigned slot value of $299,800, and appeared in a combined 2 games with the FCL Mets and the St. Lucie Mets. The right-hander allowed 2 earned runs in 2.1 innings, giving up 1 hit, walking 2, and striking out 4.

The 6’4”, 215-pound Wenninger has a high-waisted frame, suggesting the potential of additional growth. The right-hander throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a simple delivery that utilizes a leg kick and a long arm action through the back. He gets good extension off the mound and keeps his upper and lower halves in sync. His arm is clean, loose, and repeatable, allowing him to consistently throw strikes.

His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, topping out at 96 MPH. On average, his fastball had 18 inches of induced vertical break and 13.5 inches of horizontal movement in 2023. His command of the pitch wavers during longer outings, as does its velocity, often dropping down into the low-90s after a few innings of work. His go-to off-speed offering is a changeup, which sits in the mid-80s and has been measured with 3.90 inches of induced vertical break and 7.21 inches of horizontal movement. The pitch tunnels well with his fastball and he uses it against left-handed batters and right-handed batters, its fade getting swings-and-misses against both. He rounds out his repertoire with a high-70s curveball and a low-80s slider but does not throw either pitch much, combining to throw his fastball-changeup combination almost 90% of the time. Both curveball and slider are get-me-over offerings, but his slider has enough depth to potentially become a fringe average offering with more usage and development.

Joseph Yabbour, RHP

Born on July 9, 2023, in La Guaira, a large port city in Venezuela, Joseph Yabbour is cousins with Ronald and Luisangel Acuna, as their respective mothers, Leonorita and Leonelis Blanco, are twin sisters. After training with Carlos Guillen at his baseball academy, the right-hander was signed by the Minnesota Twins on July 2, 2019, the first day of the 2019-2020 international signing period. A 6’, 175-pound 16-year-old with a fastball that sat in the low-90s, the Twins liked Yabbour’s repertoire and its potential for growth as well as his potential for actual physical growth as well.

The right-hander did not suit up professionally in 2019. He then missed the entire 2020 season due to the minor league season being cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. He missed the entire 2021 due to undisclosed reasons, and in June 2022 was finally released by the Twins having never actually suited up with them to throw a single pitch in an official professional game. In November 2022, the Seattle Mariners signed the 19-year-old to a minor league contact. He was assigned to the Dominican Summer League and appeared in 12 games out of the DSL Mariners bullpen, posting a 3.60 ERA in 20.0 innings with 13 hits allowed, 11 walks, and 28 strikeouts. After becoming a free agent at the conclusion of the season, Yabbour signed a minor league contract with the Mets.

Yabbour throws from a three-quarters arm slot, short arming the ball with a whippy arm. His fastball comfortably lives in the mid-90s, topping out at 97 MPH. He complements the pitch with a slider and a changeup. Going back to his days as a 16-year-old amateur, the right-hander has always had control and command issues and while he has been slightly better in that regard since receiving professional coaching, he still is an erratic strike thrower and lacks consistency.

Wyatt Young, INF

Wyatt Hee-Wah Asami Young attended Mid-Pacific Institute is a private, college prep school in Honolulu just south of the Koʻolau Range. He supplemented his baseball playing time by playing on a handful of travel ball teams and eventually began getting noticed by college recruiters. After graduating, he ended up choosing to attend Pepperdine University in Malibu, California due to the campus’ small, inclusive size and the city’s similarities to his native Oahu.

Young had an excellent collegiate debut in 2019, earning All- West Coast Conference and being named to the All-West Coast Conference Freshman team by hitting .315/.351/.366 in 49 games with 2 home runs, 5 stolen bases, and 10 walks to 38 strikeouts. Following the conclusion of the season, he played for Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod League and had a lot of success in the wood bat league, hitting .338/.416/.446 in 39 games. He appeared in 15 games in the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season, hitting .299/.373/.299, and then appeared in all 45 games the Waves played in 2021, hitting .332/.405/.442 with 3 home runs, 6 stolen bases, and 22 walks to 23 strikeouts.

He was selected by the Mets in the 15th round of the 2021 MLB Draft and signed for $125,000. He was assigned to the FCL Mets for the remainder of the summer and hit an impressive .370/.426/.478 in 26 games for them with 0 home runs, 4 stolen bases in 6 attempts, and 9 walks to 21 strikeouts. Young began the 2022 season with the Brooklyn Cyclones, but was promoted to the Triple-A Syracuse Mets after less than a week, owing to an organizational need. He spent roughly a month there and performed better than anyone could have expected, hitting .352/.446/.437 in 19 games with 1 home run, 2 stolen bases in as many attempts, and 11 walks to 13 strikeouts. He was sent down to Binghamton in mid-May and remained there for the rest of the season, hitting 257/.353/.380 in 98 games with 6 home runs, 5 stolen bases in 7 attempts, and 56 walks to 89 strikeouts. All in all, he appeared in 122 games for all three teams and hit a combined .270/.369/.383 with 7 home runs, 7 stolen bases in 10 attempts, and70 walks to 104 strikeouts. In 2023, he split the season at Triple-A and Double-A, appearing in 42 games for the Syracuse Mets and 90 with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. At both levels combined, he hit .220/.313/.287 in 132 games with 5 home runs, 16 stolen bases, and 68 walks to 115 strikeouts.

Wyatt is a on the short side, standing 5’6”, weighs 185-pounds, and is unlikely to add much mass in the future. As a result, Young has well below-average in-game power. His game is entirely centered around making contact and putting the ball in play, utilizing a short, left-handed stroke. Most of his hits have been and will continue to be singles, but he does show gap doubles power and can occasionally turn on an inside pitch for a home run. His lack of in-game power will limit his upside, but has enough of an eye at the plate and speed to give him a usable floor. Scouts and evaluators are split about his ability with the glove. Because of his limited range and below-average arm, some see a below-average defender limited to just second base. Because of his strong middle infield instincts and positioning from coaches, some see him as a passable, average defender at second who can fill in at shortstop in a pinch.

Julio Zayas, C

Signed on January 15, 2023 out of Pimentel, a city of roughly 36,000 in the Dominican Republic’s Duarte province, Julio Zayas made his professional debut when the Dominican Summer League season began in June and had an excellent inaugural season. The 17-year-old appeared in 49 games for the DSL Mets Orange and hit .307/.368/.517 with 14 doubles, 1 triple, 7 home runs, 1 stolen base in 2 attempts, and 15 walks to 26 strikeouts, getting named as Dominican Summer League All-Star in the process.

Zayas is still young and raw as a ballplayer, but he shows plenty of potential with the bat. He currently stands square at the plate with his hands held high and his bat wrapped behind his head almost parallel to the ground. He times his swing with anywhere from a toe tap to a slight leg kick, and has a fluid, balanced swing that is direct to the ball. When he makes hard contact, he can really put a jolt in the ball, as evidenced by the multiple 100 MPH+ exit velocities he registered during the 2023 season, with an average of almost 90 MPH according to available data.

The 17-year-old played all over the field in 2023, appearing at 24 games as catcher, 10 games at third base, 5 at first base, and 9 as the designated hitter. Optimally, Zayas continues to grow and thrive as a catcher. He allowed over 80% of runners to successfully steal on him and had 8 errors and 8 passed balls in 181.1 innings. He had similar struggles at third base, committing 7 errors in 84.2 innings. Given that he is 5’11”, 190-pounds and not exactly the most agile athlete, catcher or third base are the two best case scenarios for him, with the other alternative being first base.

Calvin Ziegler, RHP

A native of Heidelberg, Ontario, Canada, a town of just 500, Calvin Zigler was forced to relocate to central Florida in order to keep his baseball dream alive due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, as the border between the U.S. and Canada closed for a time, making it difficult for scouts and evaluators to see the right-hander pitch. A senior at St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary School in Kitchener, he transferred to the TNXL Academy in Ocoee, Florida in January 2021, where he finished out the 2021 baseball season. With their second-round selection in the 2021 MLB Draft, the 46th player selected overall, the Mets selected Ziegler, signing him for $910,000 a few days later, roughly $700,000 below the MLB-assigned slot value.

The right-hander did not pitch in 2021, instead suiting up professionally for the first time in 2022. After impressing in spring training, the Mets assigned to the St. Lucie Mets, one of the youngest players in the league. He started the season off blazing hot, posting a 3.10 ERA in 29.0 innings with 11 hits, 18 strikeouts, and 48 strikeouts in his first 11 starts, but was put on the injured list in late May due to biceps tendinitis. He was activated in early June and made three more starts before being shut down once again, this time until August. He was noticeably worse, posting a 7.15 ERA in 11.1 innings with 11 hits, 14 walks, and 13 strikeouts. All in all, the 19-year-old started 16 games and posted a 4.44 ERA in 46.2 innings, allowing 26 hits, walking 5, and striking out 70. Based on his pedigree and performance, the right-hander was named the Mets 11th top prospect by Amazin’ Avenue.

Just prior to the start of the 2023 season, it was announced that Ziegler had undergone surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow. At some point during the recovery process, he also tore his right quad, pushing his recovery timeline further back. While the right-hander was not expected to pitch at all in 2023 as a result, he did make a surprise return to the mound, pitching an inning for the St. Lucie Mets against the Daytona Tortugas on September 9, striking out the side in a scoreless inning.

The right-hander throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a long arm action through the back. His mechanics are loose, easy, and fluid and he repeats them well. There is probably not much projection left in Ziegler’s 6’0’, 205-pound frame, as he is already well built and solidly proportioned. The young right-hander goes after hitters and attacks them but has trouble locating fastball and secondaries and will need to work on refining his command to be more efficient. While the Mets wanted to limit the amount of innings Ziegler threw in 2022 in the first place, the right-hander was simply inefficient in many outings to shoulder many innings to begin with.

Ziegler’s fastball ranged 91-95 MPH in 2022, averaging 93 MPH. In his one inning in 2023, it averaged 95 MPH, ranging 93-96 MPH. In 2022, the pitch had relatively average spin rates, and in 2023, it recorded slightly above-average spin rates. Regardless, Ziegler’s fastball is still effective due to its flatter approach angle and the extension he gets from how deep he able to push off the mound from.

Complementing his fastball, Ziegler also throws a curveball and a split-finger changeup. His curveball sat 80-83 MPH in 2022, averaging 82 MPH. In his one inning of work in 2023, it sat 81-85, averaging 83 MPH. The pitch has big 12-6 drop and generates a lot of fly balls. In 2022, the pitch averaged 2170 RPM, but his 10 curveballs thrown in 2023 averaged almost 350 RPM higher, at 2510 RPM. The pitch had the highest whiff rate of his offerings in 2022 and has above-average potential in general, but his command of the pitch needs to improve- he regularly threw the pitch way outside of the strike zone. Ziegler needs to get its release point to more closely mirror that of his fastball and changeup, because it is well above that of the others, telegraphing what is coming to batters. His changeup sits in the mid-80s, sitting 83-86 MPH and averaging 84 MPH in 2022. As is typical of prep pitchers entering the pros, Ziegler did not use it much in high school and actually modified it when going professional, working with minor league instructors to develop a new grip. Although it shows promise, Ziegler will have to focus on developing the pitch into a more viable offering. He maintains his arm speed when throwing it well and the pitch has sudden fade and tumble in the zone but is still very inconsistent.

Jake Zitella, INF

Since his early teen years, teammates, opponents, coaches, scouts, and evaluators all over the suburbs of Chicago had nothing but superlatives to say about Jake Zitella, a West Chicago native. A back injury this in late 2022 nearly derailed what most expected to be a special season, but Zitella worked through it, returning to the basics and making sure to be grateful for his physical gifts that most could only ever dream of possessing. As a result, the third baseman did not miss a step, hitting .484/.570/.945 with the Saints in his final year at St Charles East High School, whacking 13 doubles and launching 9 home runs. He was chosen as the DuKane Conference’s Player of the Year for his efforts.

The Mets selected the 18-year-old infielder in the sixteenth round of the 2023 MLB Draft, the 486th player selected overall. He had a commitment to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign but indicated that he was intending on forgoing it and turning pro, and sure enough, he agreed to terms with the Mets, signing for $200,000, $50,000 of which counted against the Mets’ bonus pool. He was assigned to the FCL Mets for the remainder of the summer and appeared in six games total, going 3-18 with a double, three walks, and four strikeouts.

Zitella stands square at the plate, holding his hands high and wrapping his bat behind his head at 1:30. He swings with a slight leg lift and has a loose, quick bat. The 5’11”, 195-pound infielder has recorded exit velocities reaching as high as 103 MPH in recorded batted ball events in amateur tournaments prior to being drafted, averaging 96.2 MPH. Since first starting high school, Zitella has averaged 92.4 MPH, with the highest gains coming in his junior and senior seasons. The max distance that he logged hits also has increased over the years as his launch angle has optimized, logging an average launch angle of 25 and 23.2 degrees in 2020 and 2021 as opposed to more efficient 19.2 and 20.1 degree averages in 2022 and 2023. Zitella still has room to grow as a hitter, using his hips more efficiently and strengthening his wrists to allow him to adjust his barrel path to adjust to better breaking balls and get under the ball less.

On the infield dirt, Zitella projects to stay on the left side of the infield in the long term. He shows quick reaction times, moves well laterally, has a smooth glove and soft hands, and has a strong and accurate arm, clocked on throws across the diamond as high as 91 MPH. His biggest defensive weaknesses are his transfer and throw times, which should improve with professional coaching. He has plenty of room to grow and fill in, standing 5’11”, 195-pounds, but his body is proportionate and as such, Zitella is unlikely to put on so much weight and muscle that he is no longer athletic enough and rangy enough to man the hot corner.