Which New York Mets prospect is going to grab the headlines in 2024? According to MLB.com where they looked at one prospect most likely to break out in 2024 for each team, it’s one of the guys the Mets got at last year’s trade deadline.
Luisangel Acuna? Drew Gilbert? Ryan Clifford? It’s none of those three. Their choice was Marco Vargas.
The number 8 prospect in the farm system according to MLB Pipeline, he’s a fascinating choice for this list. When at first glance many saw what the Mets received at the trade deadline for David Robertson, there were doubts about the direction of the ball club. Who? As soon as Vargas landed so high on the list of top Mets prospects, there was some reassurance. The 18-year-old might not have been a name too many were familiar with. Once the cooler heads prevailed and some digging took place into what Vargas can do, the fans came around. So, apparently, have the experts who put this list together.
Why Marco Vargas is the right choice for this list
The other guys you might have guessed could make this list have already broken out or are a little too well-known already. Not Vargas. Still somewhat lost in the Mets farm system behind other notable additions plus breakout prospects from last year such as Christian Scott and Jett Williams, it’s easy to forget he’s even there.
With only 6 games played above Rookie Ball and no more than 18 candles blown out on any birthday cake, Vargas is about as youthful as it gets. He’s now a lifetime .296/.427/.421 hitter in 471 professional plate appearances. Limited to only 4 home runs, it’s his other tools that are more intriguing.
Vargas can run, stealing 27 bases in 37 attempts since beginning his professional career in 2022. The shades of speed may only get better, but it’s still not what has him as a breakout candidate.
Any time a player has a slash line where there’s more than a 100 point difference between the batting average and OBP it’s going to stand out. Vargas' discipline of walking 88 times versus 70 strikeouts is the kind of attribute you won’t find in too many youngsters. As noted by MLB.com, the 1.6 BB/K ratio ranked second among all qualified players in the complex-level.
Listed at 6’0 tall and 170 pounds, there’s room to grow in both directions. We all know a 19-year-old who shot up a few inches. As long as Vargas keeps the tools he already has and adds to the arsenal perhaps with a bit more power even if only to the gaps, we’re going to look back at the trade as one of the greatest Mets heists from the Miami Marlins; as if we don’t already have enough of those.