Tom Brennan: Mets Minors Hitters of Note; Pitchers Not Kept by the Mets (2024)

Sometimes you miss things since so much goes on down under in the Mets minors ecosystem.

So I scoured thru.Let me list several. Stats through Saturday, June 29.

Before I start, though, Syracuse has been crushing it, winning like mad, but mostly due to veterans and aging minor leaguers. OK….

1) One 5’7” AAA player deserves all playing time over another 5’7” player.

No, this does not involve the 5’7” LA Acuna. He has had a great June, and no doubt the FO is well aware. Play LA daily.

It involves letting Carlos Cortes play all the time, and Yolmer Sanchez sitting more.

Cortes, hurt early, and again in June, is now 27.

He can play 2nd, but not well. He is an ambidextrous OF and switch hitter.

He is .287/.375/.526 with 24 RBIs in 97 ABs. Solid.

But he missed the first 4 weeks and then hit .210 in 56 ABs thru May. Washed up, right? No.

In 11 games in June, Cortes is hitting .390/.432/.756. SIZZLE!

Play him every day. Give him every single Sanchez AB.

Sanchez is a career .243 MLB hitter in about 2,500 PAs. Decent past.

Problem is, his hitting has completely regressed.

Age-related regression is tough, as Joe Biden is discovering.

Through June 29, the 32 year old regresser Sanchez is hitting .220 in June, but that low number is by far his best month, and he is hitting just .180 in 172 AAA at bats.

Let Rhylan Thomas play every single daggum day too.

To his discredit, his lack of power caused him to not move his ranking in Anthony DeMayo’s recent update up from # 30. He has to address that.

The difference, to climb, will be more robust AAA hitting from Thomas, and more power. His recent 5 homer-in-eleven-game stretch shows he understands that.

He's hitting .248 in his first 33 AAA games, but I believe his AAA adjustment period is over and he will rake .300 the rest of the way,

Luke Ritter leads the Mets minors with 17 HRs, and 44 HRs in his 628 at bats in 2023 and 2024. Impressive, when you think about it. No one else is close.

Drew Gilbert? Stuck on 25 at bats. Supposedly a mid-July returnee from his “mild” early April hamstring pull. We’ll see.

In AA:

Ryan Clifford continues to not hit for average. He is just 20 for 114 in AA, but 9 of the 20 hits are homers.

In the hellhole for lefty hitters in Brooklyn, he hit just one homer in over 100 ABs.

A crazy high 62 BBs in 68 games this year has his OBP of .382 nearly twice his .194 season average. But if I want walkers, I’ll pick one up in a nursing home.

Clifford feels more and more like Kirk Nieuwenhuis to me. He needs a higher than Kirk ceiling….so I think his solution is to swing much more.

In watching the Houston Astros game Saturday, announcers noted that the Astros are very low in walks AND in Ks. They swing a lot. They win a lot.

Clifford has 85 Ks in 68 at bats, or 1.25 per game. Forget the walks, cut that K rate in half, hit tons of rockets. You came from the Astros organization, copy their philosophy .

Ks?

Rhylan Thomas in AA in 2023 and 2024 had 147 at bats, and fanned just 18 times. By comparison, Jaylen Palmer and Nolan McLean have a combined 158 AA at bats this year, with 83 Ks. Two extremely extreme extremes.

JT Schwartz - the knock on the 6’4” first baseman has always been a lack of game power. He has hit .307 with a .423 OBP in May and June. Nice.

But, for the season, he has been up 229 times, with just 13 extra base hits, including just 3 HRs and 20 RBIs. Not nice.

Just 13 HRs in 1,080 PAs as a pro. JT must discover the Fountain of Power.

Matt Rudick - has not regained his excellent early 2023 form. Hitting just .225 and turns 26 on July 2. The ship may be sailing.

Kevin Parada - just 22 still, for another month, anyway, we need to remind ourselves. But he is hitting .211 and striking out too much.

KP has come off the IL, and is 9 for 27 with 10 Ks and no walks over his last several games. Thrown out just 12 of 55 runners. If all goes well from here, at least until mid 2025 for him in the minors, maybe 2026. Maybe not at all? He certainly seems like a disappointing # 11 overall pick in 2022, unless and until he proves otherwise.

Jett Williamsgot grounded in April by his wrist injury that required surgery, and may return in August. Sad indeed. Get well, and playing, soon.

In High A:

Nick is the name…

Nick Morabito is hitting a mighty fine .332 between Lucie and Brooklyn. He's been on a tear all season. Gets on base a whole lot. Has stolen 34 of 42. Just 15 XBH in 298 PAs, and I expect a big uptick in power in 2025. I’d get him to Binghamton by August 1.

Nick Lorusso RAKES in Brooklyn (.357/.437/.684) but just .194/.315/.343 on the road. Wow. Now THAT is a surprise. 9th round 1B in 2023 is hitting well in his first full year.

Jesus Baez is 19 until next spring training, and was just promoted to Brooklyn with some impressive overall 2924 numbers….hitting .264/.334/.451 with 11 homers! 9 of 10 steals.

I have not focused on him much, but the 5’10” Baez has bumped up to # 21 Mets prospect in Joe DeMayo’s recent top 30. I watched some clips of 4 of the homers. None were fence scrapers. His strikeout rate is good, too.

No one else in Cycloneville currently excites me as hitters. Sorry, fellas.

ST LUCIE? THE COMPLEX?

Boston Baro (.266) is also 19 and has Lucie’snumbers very comparable to the aforementioned Jesus Baez. Watch this Baro guy. He’s rising. 2023 8th rounder with high potential.

Another 19 year old Lucite, 4th round comp pick in 2023 AJ Ewing has a .372 OBP, Ks a bit high, but 7 HRs and a .464 slug. 2B and OF, another one to watch.

Colin Houck, # 32 overall, got off to an awful start this year with the Lucies. Would he get better? Yes.

He was hitting .153 in mid-May.

But his average has climbed 60 points since. His power began to show up too. He needed an adjustment period, he’s adjusted now, expect good things. He is DeMayo’s # 7, and yes, he is 19, too.

Ronald Hernandez, the comparatively old man to the preceding 4, since he is now 20, is hitting .290/.385/.387 in 60 games. His 2nd of 3 HRs this year was a bomb so there is power there.

Marco Vargas (DeMayo # 11) is highly ranked, hasn’t played much this year due to injuries.

Jeremy Rodriguez has slowed a bit in the Complex League but having a good season and is only just about to turn 18.

Daiverson Gutierrez just got promoted to the Complex league.

Last year’s bomber in the DSL, 15-HR Jeffry Rosa, is hitting a scant .143 for St Lucie, and just .103 in June (7 for 68). Skipping him over the Complex League seems to have been a real mistake. Why not give him a breather by demoting him to the Complex League? (They did so, as it turns out, on Monday - smart move).

And, of course, another bad hammy injury besides Gilbert’s has kept Jacob Reimer from playing so far this year. Bummer for Reimer.

That’s my look-see.

Lots of other guys, but none of the unmentioned hitters have done enough in my mind to be worth mentioning. They are non-prospects until they prove otherwise with their lumber.

Baty I don’t include here. He is not any longer a prospect, just a major leaguer temporarily recycled to AAA.

Oh, and Ronny Mauricio is hitless in 2024. Also quite sad.

METS REPORT CARD ON PITCHERS NOT RETAINED IS PAINFUL

The Mets’ report card,in terms of retaining the right pitchers?

Not good.

Guys they’ve let go over the last few years have done this in 2024:

Zack Wheeler 9-4, 2.73

Marcus Stroman 7-3, 3.29

Chris Bassitt 7-6, 3.24

Seth Lugo 11-2, 2.17

That adds up to 34-15, 2.80. Ouch.

Tyrone Walker has had injuries and is 3-3 this year, but he was 15-6 with the Phillies last year. So he is 18-9, post-Mets.

Carlos Carrasco?

Not doing well, but he was washed up last year, and the low budget Indians wanted him back.

Had the Mets brought him back after his horrible 2023, we all would have been upset, as the Cookie is well past his expiration date.

Jake?

He was smartly not retained, given his “Jakey-Breaky” injury risk profile.

Oh, I almost forgot, they let Scherzer and Verlander go in mid-2023.

Both scuffling a bit this year, but faced one another in the World Series as ex-Mets on their new teams last year.

Lastly, Paul Sewald was 1-14 as a Met due to bad offensive support and bad coaching that led to too many bad outings.

He was hurt early this year due to a leg injury, but in under 20 innings, the D Back has a 0.54 ERA this year, and 11 saves. The Mets don't need anything like that, right? Good as is in the pen.

He is 18-9, with 76 saves, and 271 Ks in 206 IP as an ex-Met.

Ouch!

Tom Brennan: Mets Minors Hitters of Note; Pitchers Not Kept by the Mets (2024)
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