The New York Mets are firing it up so far this offseason, biting off big chunks of the free agency and trade market. The blue and orange side of New York is handling the grief of an early-playoff exit fairly well while filling big holes in the roster, and addressing the needs of the franchise. The Mets also have an important task at hand, the international prospect signing period.
The Mets grabbed a huge rebound, after losing ace arm, Jacob deGrom to Texas. New York immediately responded by inking free agent World Series champion righty, Justin Verlander. Following this deal, the Mets have begun to process a deal for southpaw, Jose Quintana, along with the acquisition of lefty reliever, Brooks Raley. In recent news, the Mets also signed free agent Japanese right-handed pitcher, Kodai Senga (more to come on this). While these players are priority for the 40-man roster, the Mets will enter the time frame in which selections will be made to secure an international free agent prospect.
Currently, of the top 30 Mets prospects, 14 of these players are international free agent signees. The Mets selected a high-ranking prospect in 2022, outfielder, Simon Juan, which is a long-term win for the organization. Currently sitting at the top of Mets prospect rankings, is catcher Francisco Alvarez, who was a 2018 international signee. With a diverse and talented group of prospects up next, which international players Mets pad the farm system with in 2023?
The Mets should zone in on the following International Prospects
RHP Jun-Seok Shim, Seongnam, Republic of Korea
This right-handed gem is ranked 10th on the top 50 International prospects list, and does not seem to have a clear direction towards a club of interest at this time. Jun-Seok Shim is a 6’4” 215-pounder with a cannon of an arm, originating out of Seongnam, Republic of Korea. Shim displays absolute filth in his repertoire. He primarily drives from the set with a quick break in the hands into a wing-like separation, and finishes over the top, with a good repeated delivery.
Shim throws 4 pitches; fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup. Shim’s changeup is workable, opposing his fastball. His slider runs in the direction of a right handed batter, darting mid-pitch. Shim’s go to his is fastball and curveball. The hook dives deep, with solid 12-6 break, throwing eye levels off. His fastball is commanded well, and the velocity of off the roof, averaging 95-96mph, topping at 100mph. Shim can work the count, and has solid IQ on the mound. Mlb.com compares Shim to Chan Ho Park, and I could not agree more. He’s projected to imply the same success if not more, than Park. The Mets have an opportunity to bring this young fire baller to the big apple.
C Daiverson Gutierrez, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
The Mets have 2 catchers in their top 30-ranked prospects, why not add another? Daiverson Gutierrez is the 27th ranked prospect of the top 50 in the 2023 international class. He’s currently 17 years old, at 6’0”, 180lbs, behind the dish. Gutierrez looks average at eye-level, but possession tools and above average power. Gutierrez shows a strong swing with ability to go up the middle, and muscle pull-side. He has a good eye, good discipline, and understands his game at the plate.
His defence is above average with ironed skills of blocking, receiving, and footwork. Daiverson also has an above-average arm with a ton of room to develop. The Mets are currently the club that has expressed interest, with expectations to sign Daiverson. With Francisco Alvarez being protected on the 40-man roster, Daiverson Gutierrez may be a perfect backfill to the farm system’s catching strength.
SS Sebastian Walcott, Nassau, Bahamas
Coming out of the beautiful islands of the Bahamas, Sebastian Walcott is one of many recent hot developments to brew from this nation. This 6’3”, 170-pounder 16 year-old plays in the hole and displays tons of athleticism. When watching the field, Walcott stands out with his height and makeup. His fundamentals, tools, along with his age, shows for promising projections of development. His comparison type would be Edgar Renteria in his early career. Walcott will be a big on base guy, with the ability to steal bags, and hit 2-3 in the lineup. The Mets may have an opportunity to catch this future shortstop if Texas passes up.
The Mets will enter the signing period in week’s time, and have until December 15th, 2023 to complete their picks.