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Top Mets prospect Ronny Mauricio has unleashed a new weapon

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 08: Ronny Mauricio #2 of the New York Mets in action against the Houston Astros during a spring training baseball game at Clover Park on March 8, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Mets defeated the Astros 3-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 08: Ronny Mauricio #2 of the New York Mets in action against the Houston Astros during a spring training baseball game at Clover Park on March 8, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Mets defeated the Astros 3-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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Depending on where you look or who you ask, Ronny Mauricio is the best or runner-up on any list of New York Mets prospects. The 20-year-old shortstop is with the High-A Brooklyn Cyclones to begin the year. Already, he looks like a new type of hitter.

Mauricio didn’t put together any gaudy statistics in his first two seasons as a professional player. Those teenage years of his career saw him put together a modest batting average and very little power.

Things are different this season, at least in one department. In 2019, Mauricio hit four home runs in 504 plate appearances. This year, after just eight games, he has gone deep three times. Could this be a hint at some more powerful days ahead?

This newfound power makes Ronny Mauricio a much more dangerous Mets prospect

Home run power is one skill batters don’t always develop right away. It’s easy to identify true sluggers. We had the privilege of doing so with Pete Alonso during his minor league days. There was no doubt he would be a big league slugger.

I’m not so sure anyone honestly expects Mauricio to be a power hitter in the big leagues. Nonetheless, it’s helpful to have at least a little pop. From what we have seen of him early on in 2021, he may have unleashed a new weapon to his arsenal.

If we didn’t know any better, we might think Mauricio was nothing special coming into this year. There’s a reason why scouts get paid the big bucks. They are able to identify talent before it blossoms.

A year wiser, Mauricio has tapped into a new department. As long as it doesn’t lead to a whole lot more strikeouts or causes his batting average to dip, a home run stroke is nothing but a good thing for him.

What does the future hold for Ronny Mauricio?

A question Mets fans will want to know about Mauricio’s future is exactly where he fits in. Francisco Lindor fills shortstop for at least a few more years. It wouldn’t be a shock to see him eventually move somewhere else. For at least another half-decade, shortstop belongs to Lindor.

What about Mauricio? Is he nothing more than a utility man?

People have speculated about his role with the Mets down the line. Second base, third base, and even the outfield have all been possibilities. Fans are hopeful second base will be occupied by Jeff McNeil for a few more years and the team does have other options at third base on the farm. Both Brett Baty and Mark Vientos are contenders to one day take on the role at Citi Field’s hot corner.

Next. How Khalil Lee can earn playing time with the Mets

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I couldn’t even guess right now how Mauricio could eventually get everyday action for the Mets once MLB-ready. Increased power will help. It opens up more possibilities than just the middle of the field where we traditionally find lighter-hitting players. Continued pop from his bat may allow the Mets to line him up somewhere else.

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