Five Mets prospects feature in Keith Law’s Top 100

Keith Law is more about the future of the Mets than others.

On Monday, Keith Law released his updated ranking of the top 100 prospects on Athleticism. Here’s what he had to say about the New York Mets players who made his roster.

8. Francisco Alvarez, C

Previous ranking: 19
Comments:Álvarez was so good at Low-A St. Lucie to start the year that the Mets propelled him to High A after just 15 games, even though he was only 19. He then hit .247/.351/.538 as the youngest regular anywhere in High A last year, making him one of the most productive hitters at that level, with strikeout batting just around the middle. Álvarez’s swing is easy and fast – his hand acceleration is great and he’s very balanced as soon as he starts moving his hands through contact. And he’s a receiver with a positive arm and at least adequate/marginal reception already, but enough agility to improve there with more reps. He already has 20-plus homer power, with 30-plus in his short-term outlook, and he’ll hit for higher averages once he’s no longer the youngest player at his level. The only advantage Álvarez has is that he has a more mature body than some of the other catch prospects his age around the game, so he might not have much more power, but the answer is he has more gaming power. already, and if that’s all there ever is, so what? He could be as mobile as a statue and still be an above-average regular for a catcher with – dare I say it – a Mike Piazza-like advantage if his bat continues to improve.

40. Ronny Mauricio, SS

Previous ranking: 32
Comments:Mauricio signed with the Mets for $2.1 million in 2017 and had a fairly quiet low-A debut in 2019, hitting .268 / .307 / .357 with just four homers. He came back from the pandemic stronger, and it showed in his production, as he hit 20 home runs in 453 plate appearances last year, mostly in High A. And I think that’s just the beginning of its power potential. A true switch hitter, Mauricio has loose, fast wrists and generates surprising power from his nervous frame due to his batting speed and the strength he already has in his forearms. I don’t think he’s going to stay at shortstop; on the one hand, his defense there is too erratic, and on the other hand, he has plenty of room to add muscle and has already grown quite a bit in size and weight since signing. He reminds me a lot of a young Alfonso Soriano, who was never that big but hit over 30 homers seven times in the majors and 412 in his career, and quit shortstop even though he was still an above average runner. The Mets would likely be thrilled with that result.

41. Brett Baty, 3B

Previous ranking: “Just Missed”
Comments:Baty was a controversial first-round pick from a data standpoint, as he was 19½ on draft day, unusually old for a high school hitter. He could hit hard, though, and had tremendous power from his 6-3 frame, so the Mets took him with the 12th pick. Baty crashed in High A last year at 21 and continued to hit Double A and Arizona Fall League (where everyone hit, though – you actually hit .285 last year), with less power than expected but high rates of walking and contact. He grounded the ball too many times last year, but it’s one of the easiest flaws for player development teams to fix. And Baty hits the ball hard enough that once the Mets get him to lift the ball a little more often, he’ll end up with 25-plus home runs; Vlad Guerrero Jr. also had a habit of hitting the ball on the ground too often. Baty has worked hard to maintain his fitness, losing some weight since high school when it looked like he would end up getting too big to play anywhere but first. At this point, it’s no worse than even money that he’ll stay third for the foreseeable future unless he’s just pushed back by a defender more down the line. He has the basic ingredients for an impact bat that hits average, gets on base and has double and home run power, and any worries about his age are over.

71. Marc Vientos, 3B

Previous rankings: Unclassified
Comments:Vientos returns to the top 100 after a two-year absence following a breakout year in Double A, hitting .281/.346/.580 for Binghamton before hitting three home runs in 11 games to end the year in Triple A. more than you’d like, 29% of the time, but his court recognition and awareness of the strike zone are better than his strikeout and walk rates would imply, as the Mets worked to make him more selective in area and focuses on terrain where it can do the most damage. His exit speeds have always been among the best in the Mets system, and he projects to be a 30-35 homer guy in the next few years. Even though he’s transformed his body since becoming an amateur, he can’t stay at third base, and first base would put a big dent in his prospect value, so the Mets started trying him out a bit in left field; early returns weren’t great, but if he can be a 45 defender there, his bat will carry him. If he manages to hold on to third, he could be a four-win player.

100. Alex Ramirez, DE

Previous ranking: Unclassified
Comments:Ramirez signed for $2.05 million in July 2019 and made his professional debut in 2021 as one of only two 18-year-old players in the Low-A Southeast League. He was slightly overrun at the plate, but showed incredible defensive skills in center field with great reads and increased speed, and posted what should be 60 or even 70 horsepower when filling out. He’s 6-3 and still close to the 168 pounds he weighed when he was first signed, although he’s likely to put on 25-30 pounds of muscle as he fills out. It will come down to controlling the strike zone, as with so many young hitters; if he shows he can do it enough to rise to power, he’ll be a plus-plus defender in center field who hits 25 to 30 homers a year.

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