Power-hitting Mets prospect is minor league muscle to consider for the MLB roster

His 27 home runs last season put him on the map. This year, he is a more rounded player offensively.
Oct 22, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; New York Mets infielder Luke Ritter plays for the Peoria
Oct 22, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; New York Mets infielder Luke Ritter plays for the Peoria / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets will need to make some sort of a move in the coming days with the roster. They can’t go long without a middle infielder. Even if Francisco Lindor plays every day, they need security. Plus, Jeff McNeil isn’t doing much at all.

The Mets actually have a whole bunch of options in Triple-A. Veteran Jose Iglesias seems like the most obvious choice. They could even go bold and accelerate Luisangel Acuna to the majors even if his numbers don’t suggest they do.

Rylan Bannon. Mike Brosseau. They’re all guys who could push for a spot. Someone else to consider is power-hitting prospect Luke Ritter. Coming off of a 2023 campaign where he smashed 27 home runs including 13 in 264 Triple-A plate appearances, the 27-year-old is putting up some notable numbers in the minors.

The benefits of seeing what Luke Ritter can offer the Mets over some of the other candidates

Ritter carries with him those coveted minor league options general managers love to have. Many of the other names the Mets could promote don’t have the option of going back to the minors without first passing through waivers. It’s not the most important reason to call up Ritter but if a guy like Iglesias is more important for the club for a longer stretch, why not first see what Ritter can offer?

Through 138 plate appearances, Ritter is batting .265/.377/.470 with 6 doubles, 6 home runs, and 20 RBI. The power is down a little from last year in exchange for a better batting average. Last season’s totals in Double-A and Triple-A came out to 27 home runs in 450 plate appearances with a .244/.372/.496 slash line.

Ritter has shifted to playing more first base this year than anywhere else. However, he has played more games at second base than anywhere else. Ritter has even played some third base and outfield. He got one start in 2023 at shortstop for Syracuse. Would a few starts at second base versus lefties be such a bad plan?

The downside of calling up Luke Ritter

Unless Ritter is playing often, there isn’t much to gain from having him on the roster. Sure, he has hit well this year. Off the bench, he could be a decent bat to have.

He is unexceptional defensively and doesn’t give them much of a punch on the base paths. Still a massive strikeout candidate but improving, Ritter profiles more as a guy who should replace DJ Stewart than anything else.

This might not improve the Mets a whole lot, though. Stewart has proven he can handle major league pitching. And with few other left-handed bats available off the bench outside of Baty when he may sit, it’s nice to have Stewart available over Ritter who’d fall behind Tyrone Taylor.

Whomever the Mets eventually do call up for middle infield help will need to be someone capable of playing good defense. Iglesias remains the frontrunner. Ritter’s ability to also play the outfield adds a little more intrigue. Plus, with minor league options available, it’s a reversible move if it fails to work. Maybe the Mets catch some lightning in a bottle.