1 Mets prospect set for a breakout season in 2024

The pitching prospects are the most underrated yet intriguing of the young players.
Mar 15, 2024; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Brandon Sproat (28) warms-up in
Mar 15, 2024; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Brandon Sproat (28) warms-up in / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets will spend their 2024 season trying to contend with an eye on the future. The recent signing of J.D. Martinez has proven Steve Cohen’s point that the team is not just going to ‘punt’ the season in 2024. While the rotation has left much to be desired, the offense has certainly been fortified. The organization's depth chart has also improved to the point where Mark Vientos will begin the season in AAA Syracuse. Suffice it to say, that the fanbase has been re-engaged by this transaction.

Regardless of anyone’s opinion, the Mets’ roster figures to look much different come September 1st. As previously stated, David Stearns’ approach to 2024 is to begin building for the future. This means younger players will receive more of an opportunity to prove themselves for the 2025 season. However, some prospects will not be major league-ready just yet and have to showcase their talents in the minor leagues first.

Brandon Sproat will make the most headlines in 2024

Most players that need more seasoning were just acquired via the draft or international market in 2023. Of those prospects not quite ready, right-handed starting pitcher Brandon Sproat leads the pack of untapped potential. Selected by the Mets in the second round of the 2023 draft, Sproat was coming off a down season at Florida State University. In 106.1 innings pitched, the 23-year-old posted a 4.66 ERA with 134 strikeouts.

The ERA being so inflated last season compared to the 3.71 he posted in 89.2 innings a year earlier is due to his walk rate. Sprout walked 48 batters in 2023, leading evaluators to believe the bullpen may be his route to the major leagues.

However, the Mets believe Sproat possesses the pitch arsenal to be a mid-rotation starting pitcher. His fastball rides at 95-99 MPH late into games, coupled with an 88 MPH change-up that garners plenty of swings and misses. Sprout is still working to build off his potential with a high-70s curveball that has a great spin rate. Keep in mind, that the Florida Gator intrigued the Mets enough to the point where Billy Eppler drafted him twice both in 2022 and 2023.

Additionally, the Mets’ pitching development department led by Eric Jagers has expressed a desire to move Sproat through the minor leagues faster than others. He is already 23 years old and has thrown over 100 innings before in collegiate action. If Sproat can better command the strike zone, he could find himself in AA Binghamton by mid-summer 2024. Given his high variance but tremendous potential, Sproat's unexposed talent will make him the top breakout candidate this season.