At age 19 in 2018, Andres Gimenez made it to Double-A to finish the season, and then went out to Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League. In 2019 he spent all season at Double-A again and took another trip to the desert with Scottsdale where he shined, hitting .371 in 18 games.
Gimenez has made the New York Mets opening day roster and has every ability to hold down the shortstop position. His defensive skills and range are well above average, as he has a career .968 fielding percentage in the minors, with just 49 errors in 368 games, and 11 in 112 games last season.
At the plate, the left-handed hitter has and advanced approach and focuses more on contact than power. His best home run season was last season with just nine, and his career slugging is only .405, but he has nearly an 80-point jump between average and OBP, .278 to .356.
Amed Rosario gets the nod as the current shortstop for the Mets, and he very well may be the future there as well, but Gimenez gives the team good depth there, plus the defensive chops give him the ability to serve as the utility infielder and could be the primary backup at second, short, and third. Robinson Cano is currently the second baseman and signed through 2023, but the addition of the DH to the NL may be the future role for him in New York, allowing Gimenez to become the primary second baseman at some point this season and almost certainly next season.
Before I even got this posted Alex Reyes exhausted his rookie eligibility (needed a single out to do so and pitched an inning on Friday) so I updated my top 150 before it went live. Reyes was at 22 but is now removed making room for Ryan Weathers, giving the Padres two more than any other team with 12 players making the top 150. 15 players on the list open the season in the big leagues, with 14 of those in the top 80 and the Padres and Mariners both starting with two players in the big leagues.
Quick Report: Alonso was tied with Ibandel Isabel (power only prospect in the Reds system) for the most home runs in the minor leagues. If we are being honest, he never should have had the chance to tie Isabel, as he should have been in Queens, but the Mets kept him at AAA and will likely do so to start the year again this season. That is a discussion for another time and place, what is not up for discussion is whether or not Alonso has immense power, that is a definitive yes. He has as much raw power as anyone in baseball, regularly putting on impressive shows in BP. There is some swing and miss in his bat, but he also showed a better eye at the plate in 2018 so there is optimism the approach will allow him to tap into his power in game even more. He is an adequate first baseman at best defensively, but with the type of impact the bat can make, getting him to simply be average could make him a star player.
Quick Report: Gimenez is the polar opposite of Alonso, in that he is a small framed, contact first, defensive standout. He is a guy who has all the skills to stick at short, with good hands, quick feet, and plenty of arm to stay on the left side although Amed Rosario has him blocked so Gimenez has started seeing time at second. At the plate, he drifts out over his front foot quite a bit and takes a slap hitting approach quite often, allowing his plus speed take over. There are times he stays balanced better and has enough pop to put the ball into the gap for plenty of doubles and could flirt with double digit home runs as he fills out some.
Quick Report: The long and lanky teenage prospect turns 18 the day before minor league opening day, and there is a chance Mauricio is on a full season roster. He is a rare talent, showing surprising coordination for a player of his age and length, with good hands up the middle and plenty of arm, there is a real chance he stays at short even after he fills out. He never played in the Dominican Summer League, instead making his pro debut stateside at the age of 17, where he earned himself a promotion to the Appy league from complex ball at the end of the season. He has an advanced approach from both sides of the plate where he has a decent sized leg kick but gets the foot down early and is quick to get the bat to the zone. Mauricio is the type of guy who could hold down shortstop while hitting for both average and power, you know, the perfect kind of prospect.
Quick Report: A guy with immense raw power, Vientos profiles well as a corner bat. He played short and third in his pro debut but moved to third exclusively last season. There was some concern over his approach at the plate during the draft process which are quickly disappearing as he has taken to coaching really well since turning pro and now has an approach that have some suggesting the hit tool could be plus, not just the power. He will make his full season debut this spring and could quickly become a name that rockets up prospect lists come summer.
Quick Report: Seeing an OBP over .400 is always refreshing, especially when it is from a teenage prospect skipping over the GCL to make his stateside debut in the Appy league. Newton isn’t just a good eye at the plate, he has a good approach and a quick bat that will allow him to continue putting up a solid average to go with the OBP. The power could be projected as plus thanks to the leverage he creates in the swing and the fact he has not even begun to fill out his frame. Unlike Mauricio, Newton looks like a long and lean athlete, with his coordination in the field still catching up to the length of his body, but he has shown good instincts and hands at times. If he loses a step and has to move to third, he has more than enough arm and the future power will project well there.
Quick Report: It seems like just yesterday the Mets were the team with countless high upside arms in the system and very little in terms of position players on the horizon, now the top five are infielders and it isn’t until number six that an arm appears on their list. Unlike the prospects of Mets pitcher’s past, Peterson isn’t a heavy stuff, radar gun loving arm. Instead, he is a control first pitcher who uses his length to allow his fastball to play above the 88-91 it usually sits. He has a well above average slider and change to go with a curve that still needs refining. Just about all his pitchers sink, and beyond the typical sink you will get from the downhill plane of a 6’6” frame, as demonstrated by the fact he gave up just two home runs in 128 innings a season ago.
Quick Report: I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Mets challenge Woods Richardson this Spring and allow him to compete for a spot on a full season roster. His fastball has been inconsistent, sitting mid-90s and touching the upper 90s at times, while sitting high-80s to low-90s at others. He has a high 3/4 slot that allows him to get some downhill plane on the fastball, but it also allows him to really snap off the falling breaker that could turn into a plus pitch. He has flashed a quality change at times, although it is rather inconsistent. If the change comes along, he could become a mid-rotation arm, but the power in his delivery and potential to be just a two-pitch guy may mean he is destined to be a high leverage reliever.
Quick Report: Coming out of a low 3/4, bordering on side-arm slot with the fastball touching as high as 97 while really running arm side is always gonna be a tough pitcher to hit. Add to that a curve that is a viable plus pitch and a change that has flashed average to better and you have an impressive pitcher. Problem is, the Mets have rarely had him, as he missed parts of 2016 and 2017 due to injuries and all of 2018 to Tommy John. Add to that the fact he has trouble with his command, and you likely have yourself a potentially dominant reliever rather than an impact starter. 2019 will be big to see if Szapukci can come back healthy and show the improved feel for all three pitches he flashed before being shut down.
Quick Report: Kay may have a better chance to land in a rotation than the two pitchers ahead of him on this list, but the stuff has been too inconsistent after he was overworked at UConn, leading to TJ before throwing his first pro pitch. He has a fastball that would touch the high-90s but has regularly topped out in the mid-90s since returning. He came out of college with one of the better changeups in college baseball, but that has taken a big step back to merely average while the curve has surpassed it as his best secondary offering. If the change returns, he could be a quality number three starter, but if it never quite comes back to its previous form, he is more of a swing man/spot starter.
Quick Report: Likely out all season due to, you guessed it, Tommy John surgery, Kilome would be higher but he is still a stuff over pitchability guy who will turn 25 next season. His fastball can sit in the mid-90s that is heavy and has a curve that can absolutely fall off the table. The change has shown signs of becoming an average pitch, although it is still up in the air if it becomes a reliable offering. If he can develop that change and he spots his pitches just a bit better, he possesses the stuff to become a number two starter, but there is also a chance the Mets roll him out as a reliever in the big leagues depending on where they are in the rebuild when he is back and healthy.