Minor league baseball returns in 2021 after a layoff in the 2020 season. For New York Mets fans, this meant less chatter about what the team could look like in the future.
Minor league baseball was a big part of many of our lives growing up. It was a chance to see future stars up close. I’m happy it’s returning because it gives us a whole lot more to talk about. Notably, we can discuss how some of the organization’s top prospects are performing.
Not every important minor league player is actually a top prospect, though. Many are outside of any listing you might find but still play an important role. I tried to find a few lesser-talked-about yet still very important players on the Mets farm worth knowing this year. Are any of them the next Jeff McNeil, ready to rise up to the minor leagues without much warning? Or do we have a few guys we’ll never hear from again after this season on the list?
Mets minor league pitcher Junior Santos
Just outside of the top 10 Mets prospects on MLB.com’s list is a 19-year-old pitcher from the Dominican Republic named Junior Santos. Standing at 6’8 with a listed weight of 218 pounds, he’s a tall yet slender giant on the mound.
I know size doesn’t always translate into success, but combine this with his age and Santos definitely grabs my attention. Despite a poor season when he lasted pitched professionally in 2019, Santos is a guy we could see leap up the prospect rankings as soon as this year.
Mets minor league catcher Patrick Mazeika
Anyone who knows a thing about this franchise’s farm system is well aware of Francisco Alvarez. Potentially the best prospect they have at any position, he’s the future star we can wait around to see catch some games for the big league squad.
Until then, we’ll have to see what guys like Patrick Mazeika may be able to accomplish. Already on the 40-man roster and ready to turn 28 already this October, Mazeika isn’t what we should consider a prospect. However, catchers sometimes do bloom late. If his bat produces at the minor league level, the Mets may have to look at him as a possible backup option in the not too distant future.