3 Mets prospects off to cold starts at AAA Syracuse

While these numbers are alarming, keep in mind it is only April.
Oct 7, 2022; Peoria, Arizona, USA; New York Mets pitcher Mike Vasil plays for the Peoria Javelinas
Oct 7, 2022; Peoria, Arizona, USA; New York Mets pitcher Mike Vasil plays for the Peoria Javelinas / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets are putting a premium focus on the farm system in 2024. Most of the attention is centered around the upper echelon such as Drew Gilbert and Jett Williams. However, the most intriguing aspect of the farm system being underrated around baseball is the emergence of pitching prospects like Christian Scott and Blade Tidwell. Regardless of which prospect ranking system we trust the most, there is much to get excited about in terms of the future.

Just like with the major league club, some of the prospects have gotten off to hot and cold starts. Scott has garnered the most accolades for his performance on April 10th against the Worcester Red Sox. He allowed just one run in 5 innings pitched while striking out 10. Suffice it to say, we want to see his arsenal live at Citi Field sometime soon. However, not every player at AAA Syracuse has seen the same performance at Scott to open the 2024 season.

1. Luisangel Acuna

One of the prospects closest to making their major league debuts this season is 22-year-old middle infielder Luisangel Acuna. Acquired at the 2023 trade deadline from the Texas Rangers for Max Scherzer, Acuna has caught the attention of every Mets fan. His speed is comparable to his older brother Ronald Acuna Jr., stealing 57 bases last season. However, the first 14 games of 2024 have not been as kind to the 22-year-old. He has a .207 batting average with a .233 OBP and just two extra-base hits. While he has stolen six bases in a short sample size, he has struck out an uncharacteristic 13 times. Although these numbers are alarming, this is also Acuna's first taste of AAA action.

2. Mike Vasil

Coming into spring training, the expectation was that Mike Vasil was closest amongst starting pitchers at contributing to the Mets this season. Even though he struggled 16 starts at AAA Syracuse last season, the Mets expected a better adjustment to the new automated strike zone in 2024. However, this has not been the case for the 24-year-old right-hander. In 3 games started, Vasil has allowed 11 earned runs in just 8.2 innings pitched. He has also given up 15 hits and 8 walks, showing he still has problems with the new ABS. Given the starting pitching problems at the major league level, Vasil would greatly benefit from a solid couple of starts to become a clear depth option.

3. Dom Hamel

Another intriguing right-handed arm the Mets were interested in showcasing during the spring is 25-year-old Dom Hamel. Scouts have compared his arsenal to that of Seth Lugo given the immense spin rate on his 4-seam fastball and wicked offspeed offerings. However, batters at the AAA level have been patient at the plate with the 2021 third-round pick. In 2 games started, Hamel has allowed 7 earned runs in 7.2 innings pitched. While he has kept opposing batters off balance striking out 13 and only giving up 5 hits, he has also allowed 8 walks. These numbers lead us to believe Hamel is also having difficulty with the new ABS given he had never thrown at AAA Syracuse before 2024.