It's time for the Mets to reconsider Kevin Parada's ceiling as a prospect

The 22-year-old catcher continues to struggle at AA Binghamton this season.
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The New York Mets have created quality organizational depth over the past season and a half. Thanks to Mets owner Steve Cohen for buying a farm system at the 2023 trade deadline, the team has a plethora of prospects across all levels. For instance, if the Mets need an outfielder, they could just turn to Drew Gilbert once he's healthy. If they needed an infielder, Luisangel Acuna is just one call away. Suffice it to say, that the Mets have never reaped these benefits before.

The only position the Mets lack prospects is in the catching department. This should be no secret as Tomas Nido continues to get opportunities at the major league level. Newly acquired prospect Ronald Hernandez is still just 20 years old and is playing for Single-A St. Lucie. The AAA roster is composed of veteran catchers who are not part of the future. However, there is one catcher at AA Binghamton who is missing out on a glorious opportunity to raise the depth chart.

Kevin Parada's ceiling needs to be lowered

22-year-old catcher Kevin Parada has not developed into the player we had hoped for in 2022. Selected in the first round from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Parada was expected to become a fierce power threat at the major league level. He hit .361 with 26 home runs and 88 RBI in collegiate baseball in 2022. 

Unfortunately, these statistics have not carried over to the minor league level. Last season, Parada hit just .248 with 14 home runs and 58 RBI playing primarily for the Brooklyn Cyclones. 2024 has not been much kinder, as he has hit just .187 with 5 home runs and 19 RBI for the Rumble Ponies this season.

The hope in 2024 was for Parada to finally break out and create a conundrum between himself and Francisco Alvarez in the future. However, these statistics are not even backup catcher worthy. Furthermore, Parada's defense continues to be a liability, which means a Tomas Nido role is not even on the table either.

With two and a half years of minor league experience now gone, Parada's ceiling needs to be lowered from his draft-day status. The Mets can no longer view the 22-year-old as a potential .280-.300 batting average, 20-25 home run power threat. Parada has just not proven scouts to be accurate in their evaluation of him.

However, this does not mean just giving up on a young and developing prospect. In the best-case scenario, the Mets should view Parada's ceiling closer to Travis d'Arnaud than Alvarez: a .250 batting average with 15-20 home run potential. While these numbers may be disappointing, this is still starting catcher-worthy at the major league level. Keep in mind that the Atlanta Braves have kept themselves in the division hunt thanks to having two starting catchers on their roster.

Additionally, Parada has been credited for his pitch framing and ability to lead a starting rotation, per the d'Arnaud comparison. While we would all love to see Parada live up to his first-round potential, he has just not proven as much over the past two seasons now. With the clock ticking on his minor league career, it's time for the Mets to lower the bar for Parada in 2024.