2019: Brett Baty, Matt Allan, Alex Ramirez
The Mets’ haul from 2019 already has the potential to be one of the best in franchise history, with three players taken that year already among the organization’s top 10 prospects, per MLB.com.
The biggest name of the class is Brett Baty, whom the Mets selected 12th overall out of Lake Travis High School in Texas. As a 19-year-old, Baty’s first season included 24 extra base hits in just 47 games at Rookie Level before ending the year in Brooklyn, where he would spend time at the alternate site in 2020 during the height of the pandemic. The third baseman showed no signs of rust coming back in 2021, with a .309 batting average and .911 OPS before moving up to Binghamton, where he hit .272 over his final 40 games.
Baty (surprise) is the primary competition for Mark Vientos as the Mets’ third baseman of the future. Both currently have scouting grades of 50 for fielding (average) and 60 for arm (above average), so aside from hitting pedigree, the determining factor will be how well each adjusts to playing different positions. Like Vientos, Baty spent time last year in left field, so expect more of that experimentation this year, especially since both could debut as early as later this season.
For all the buzz around Baty, the Mets arguably generated more draft day excitement upon selecting Matt Allan, a right-handed pitcher out of Seminole High School in Florida, in the third round. There were questions as to whether Allan, whom many scouts tabbed as the best high school arm available that year, would sign or go to the University of Florida, but the Mets locked him in at $2.5 million, significantly higher than his slot value. Unfortunately, Allan missed all of 2021 due to Tommy John surgery, but is expected back at some point in 2022 and, still just 20 years old, maintains a high ceiling.
Rounding out the trio of top 2019 prospects is Alex Ramirez, who signed out of the Dominican Republic. Ramirez didn’t get his pro career going until 2021 due to the pandemic, so the forecast is still a bit raw. He struggled with the bat in St. Lucie, highlighted by a 31% strikeout rate, but did show strong defensive skills in center field. At just 19 years old, there’s a longer runway for Ramirez to hone his craft in 2022 and beyond.