1 Mets prospect we need to stop sleeping on
By Nick Prasad
The 2023 New York Mets will field a team with vengeance and anticipation to push past the downfalls of the 2022 postseason. This year’s roster has a more defined starting rotation along with a highly competitive offense, but what else is there to be excited about? The Mets farm system and their hidden gems!
The Mets farm system is currently ranked 11th of 30 teams for 2023. This is a direct reflection of phenomenal scouting, various successful drafts, and good selections in the international prospect signings. We’re all aware of the hot topic names growing loud out of the Mets grassroots, but do we pay attention to the names that are not as emphasized? Brett Baty, Alex Ramirez, Kevin Parada, Francisco Alvarez, and names of such are all extremely intriguing, but who else should we be watching closely? Right-hander Junior Santos is one to watch if you’re talking Mets prospects.
Mets RHP Junior Santos can be a huge boost for the future of the pitching staff and should not be slept on
Ranking 19th on the New York Mets top 30 prospects, the Dominican international signee sits behind seven pitchers ranked on that list, which is eye-opening to analysts who dissect Mets farm arms. Junior Santos holds his spot on the ranking and is still expected to appear in the show in 2024 with all abilities to corroborate that timeline.
Let’s address any elephants in the room about Santos; organizational movement, ERA, and predictability. This kid has been through the grind with regard to his development. He signed in 2018 and competed in high-A in 2022, participating at a different level each year. Each year he has advanced through the system, with his estimated arrival time being 2024. Santos put up a 4.47 ERA in 2022, and 4.59 in 2021. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is satisfactory with much room for improvement, and better execution of pitches can lead to less damage done by hitters.
In no way at all do these minor developmental notes translate to panic or elimination; Junior Santos has a ton to offer the organization, and a few tweaks to his approach and repertoire can lead to significant contribution. The 6’7” monster right-hander has attributes in his offerings off the mound. His fastball sits 94-96mph with downward biting action, disallowing barrels and forcing a lot of balls on the ground; as long as Santos can command this fastball, he will rely on this pitch as a blow-by put away or a weak groundout. Santos has a changeup and slider with potential; he needs to throw this pitch more for development and emphasis. His slider will be his outpitch if developed to its full potential.
With his organizational journey so far, Junior Santos will continue to work through the ranks and iron out his flaws which are clearly outlined and evident. As of right now, Santos will fit nicely in a bullpen role within two to four innings of work on average. His projections still stand for an arrival in 2024, with 2023 being a huge year of showcasing for him.