2018: Jarred Kelenic
Jarred Kelenic was drafted by the Mets in the first round of the 2018 draft. He has been absolutely raking in the minors ever since and is currently the 23rd best prospect in baseball. He is mature beyond his years: he just turned 20 and is wreaking havoc.
Not only does he have a great bat and is a productive power hitter, but Kelenic is also a very smart and speedy base runner. He is also an above-average defensive outfielder.
Because he has developed so quickly, I can see Kelenic making his MLB debut as early as 2021. Unfortunately, the Mets included Kelenic in a trade package to the Seattle Mariners this past offseason in exchange for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz.
Here’s to hoping the Mets don’t regret making this trade (even though some fans already do). Nevertheless, Kelenic is worth keeping an eye on and should be very exciting to watch once he makes it to the majors.
Honorable Mention: Simeon Woods-Richardson
Simeon Woods-Richardson was drafted by the Mets in the second round. It might still be too early to say that he was a great pick because he is so young (18 years old), but he has shown nothing but promise since he began pitching in the minors. He has an excellent curveball and changeup, and it seems that his velocity is only going up.
Like Kelenic, the Mets parted ways with Woods-Richardson last month when they included him in a trade package that they sent to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Marcus Stroman. I think Woods-Richardson has a long way to go before we see him in the big leagues but at this rate, he’s going to a fantastic starting pitcher.
Honorable Mention: Kevin Smith
Not including a player who is still part of the Mets organization didn’t feel right, so I decided to throw in Kevin Smith. The 22-year-old left-handed pitcher was drafted by the Mets in the seventh round and is currently their 11th best prospect.
Smith has definitely been a pleasant surprise since starting in the minors, and good for the Mets for seeing his untapped potential. His three-pitch arsenal has developed quite nicely: he has a quality fastball, slider, and changeup.
Depending on the needs of the organization, we shouldn’t be surprised if Smith gets called up as early as next season. He could end up being a really nice surprise for the Mets at the major-league level.
2019: Brett Baty
It is still very early but as of right now, Brett Baty is probably the Mets’ future at third base. Baty was the Mets’ first pick in this year’s draft and many consider him to be the best bat in this draft class.
He immediately became the Mets’ second-best prospect and cracked MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects (he is currently ranked at 85). The 19-year-old is a pure power hitter who is projected to mash home runs upon making it to the majors.
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Defensively speaking, he has a really good arm and will be an average third baseman, at worst. Baty is already held in such high regard in the baseball world at this young of an age, so it is scary to think how good he is going to become in three or four years’ time when he is ready to be called up.