2. Luisangel Acuna will not debut until late summer 2024.
So far, the deal for Clifford and Gilbert is evaluated as incomplete since neither has been promoted and Verlander helped the Astros with the American League West. The other trade of significance seems to be lopsided in the Mets' favor as Max Scherzer will miss the first half of 2024 rehabbing from herniated disk surgery. In return from the Texas Rangers, the Mets received infielder Luisangel Acuna, the 22-year-old younger brother of Ronald Acuna Jr. Signed for just $425K out of Venezuela in 2018, Acuna is ranked as the organization 3rd best prospect on the MLB Pipeline.
Acuna showed advanced contact and base-stealing ability between the two organizations last season. In 569 plate appearances, he struck out just 106 times and stole 57 bases. These statistics were enhanced by his .294 batting average and .359 on-base percentage. In the field, Acuna's speed has given him an above-average range that makes up for his average arm strength. Having played multiple positions in the infield and outfield, scouts believe Acuna's best path to the majors will be at second base.
Acuna still has much to prove offensively before being promoted to the major league club. While his name recognition and speed have garnered a lot of attention, evaluators have been drawn back by his lack of power and ground ball rate. Similar to Ronny Mauricio and Amed Rosario, Acuna often chases pitches out of the strike zone. The difference between the three infielders is that Acuna does make contact, but the results have been weak ground balls pulled to the left side. This has led to Acuna's prospect stock falling since being acquired in July. For the 22-year-old to earn his place on the depth chart, he must show better line-drive ability and pitch selection.