The New York Mets have built up the upper echelon part of their farm system in 2023. Some came from trade acquisitions at the deadline such as Drew Gilbert and Luisangel Acuna, and some had breakout seasons such as Christian Scott and Blade Tidwell. Though the Mets' outlook for 2024 is a mixed bag at best, the farm system gives fans a reason to believe in the years to come.
Prospects have long been considered a "lottery ticket", meaning there is no guaranteed production for an organization's investment. In viewing prospects in this manner, the Mets have traded most of their top prospects away for veteran talent across the cavalcade of regimes since Sandy Alderson stepped down as general manager in 2018. Steve Cohen has committed large investments in the farm system since buying the team in 2021, and the prospect rankings are finally starting to show a return on his investment. With the minor leagues now built up, which prospect will be the next star to wear the orange and blue?
Will be a star: Drew Gilbert
Drafted by the Houston Astros in the first round of 2022, outfielder Drew Gilbert has already drawn star accolades for his performance at the University of Tennessee. Known as the "bat flip king" of college baseball, Gilbert belted 18 home runs with a .289 batting average and .381 OBP between Single A and AA in 2023.
Acquired at the trade deadline for Justin Verlander this past July, Gilbert was highly sought after by the Mets for his animated efforts on the field. The outfielder has drawn comparisons to Lenny Dykstra for his all-out 'down and dirty' efforts on the field each and every game. He is someone who hustles out every play and isn't afraid to ruffle some feathers in the opposing team's dugout.
Gilbert's determination and tough demeanor is the attitude of a star in the making for a New York professional sports franchise. He is a blue-collar worker with the numbers to back up his brilliant efforts. Gilbert has been evaluated by scouts as an above-average outfielder in all three spots with tremendous arm strength. He has enough speed to steal 15-20 bases a year and much power for a 5'9'' individual. If Gilbert continues to develop, he will become the next beloved Met in 2024.