Surprise Mets prospect cracks the top 101 list on FanGraphs

The teenage prospect acquired at the trade deadline has caught the attention of FanGraphs.
Aug 2, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA;  detailed view of the cap and glove of New York Mets shortstop
Aug 2, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; detailed view of the cap and glove of New York Mets shortstop / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets fans have been following top prospect lists closely this offseason. There’s only so much analyzing of Luis Severino to do, after all. It’s from the farm system where we expect the next championship pieces to be assembled.

FanGraphs released their top 101 prospects on Thursday with some of the usual names but in a different order. Drew Gilbert was at 52 with Jett Williams right behind at 54. A little further down, we find Christian Scott sneaking in at 98. Two spots before him was the big surprise, Jeremy Rodriguez.

Acquired at last year’s trade deadline in exchange for Tommy Pham, it’s a curious choice. Rodriguez doesn’t crack most top 10 lists. FanGraphs went bold with this one, awarding the 17-year-old with a spot among the best minor league players in the game.

How Jeremy Rodriguez made the FanGraphs list

FanGraphs seemed to weigh the Mets they chose heavily on how the year finished. Luisangel Acuna was nowhere to be seen. His struggles with Binghamton may be one cause for this. Ryan Clifford was also notably absent. Those two fellow trade deadline acquisitions each saw their numbers nosedive after joining the Mets organization. Was this enough to punish them and reward Rodriguez?

Some of the praise Rodriguez received included his “high floor” and ability to put the bat on the ball. FanGraphs compares his ability to track pitches at the plate “with bird-of-prey precision.” J-Rod is the obvious nickname for him. But maybe if this continues and he does end up with the Mets, we’ll be calling him something like “el halcón” which is Spanish for “the falcon.”

The numbers speak for themselves with Rodriguez slashing .422/.536/.711 after joining the Mets organization. The sample size was small, however, but so is his entire professional career which is limited to last season. 

He showed enough for the evaluators at FanGraphs to add him to their list of top prospects. While it’s definitely subjective, it remains a surprising choice. It’ll be interesting to see where MLB Pipeline puts him when they make their updated lists for 2024 and whether he can jump from the edge of the top 30 up into at least the top 10.