Brandon McIlwain taking enormous strides in 2022

Houston Astros v New York Mets
Houston Astros v New York Mets / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The New York Mets are in a great position right now. Not only do they have the second-best record in baseball (only behind the Yankees), but they also boast an impressive farm system filled with several top 100 prospects.

Several of these prospects are currently playing for the Mets Double-A affiliate, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. The most notable prospect on the Rumble Ponies roster is star catcher Francisco Alvarez who, after excelling at the High-A level with the Brooklyn Cyclones, received the promotion and took the next big step in his career with the Mets.

Alvarez’s continued success at Double-A has taken the spotlight off of outfield prospect Brandon McIlwain, which is a shame, because he has been the Rumble Ponies best all-around hitter so far this season.

The New York Mets have to be impressed with Brandon McIlwain’s offense in the minors.

The 24-year-old was not a highly touted prospect coming out of high school. However, his athletic abilities were well documented. He was a two-sport athlete; apart from baseball, McIlwain played quarterback for South Carolina and California when he was in college. Taken in the 26th round in the 2019 Draft, McIlwain was not regarded as a prospect that would be a part of the future Mets contending team, but the team, intrigued by his athletic abilities, decided that signing him to bolster their outfield depth would be a benefit to the organization.

McIlwain’s trajectory this season has been similar to Alvarez’s. He started off the year with the Cyclones and crushed the competition, compiling a .298/.389/.472 battling line with 3 home runs and 16 RBI. Upon getting called up to Binghamton, McIlwain’s hot hitting continued, starting off his tenure with the Rumble Ponies by going 5-for-12 with three extra-base hits in the first three games.

McIlwain is not a household name among many Mets fans, but his performance so far this season deserves recognition. Monitoring how he performs in Double-A will be interesting to observe as the season progresses. He may have been an afterthought initially, but if he manages to maintain his current production, the Mets may find themselves looking at an unheralded major league player in the making.

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