Thursday Thought: Jake Mangum is a sleeper prospect to watch

New York Mets v St Louis Cardinals
New York Mets v St Louis Cardinals / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The New York Mets don’t have a particularly deep farm system. Most of the focus is on the eye-catching prospects like Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, Ronny Mauricio, Mark Vientos, Matt Allan, and even some younger guys Alex Ramirez and Calvin Ziegler. Those are the cream of the crop in the Mets’ system, but there are other guys to watch too.

One Mets sleeper prospect you should keep an eye on is Jake Mangum.

Mangum was drafted in the 4th round of the 2019 draft out of Mississippi State. The Mets actually took him in 2018 too, but he decided to go back for his senior year to chase the SEC all-time hits record, which he acquired with his 353rd career hit. He finished his college career with 383 knocks.

Mangum had a rough start to his minor league career in 2019, hitting just .247 with a .634 OPS. He then lost the COVID season in 2020, but in 2021 he got to play and performed better. Between High-A and Double-A he hit .285 with a .791 OPS. His power also came out a little bit in Binghamton, with 21 doubles, seven homers, and a .459 slugging percentage. He was ranked as the 22nd best prospect in the Mets' system.

He was assigned to Double-A to start the 2022 season, but after hitting .283/.353/.408/.761 in the first month, he was quickly promoted to Triple-A earlier this week. In his first two games in Syracuse, he’s hitting a ridiculous .571/.667/.714/1.381. He’s also stolen two bases and walked once.

Mangum is known for his contact hitting and defense. MLB Pipeline says he has the range and arm strength to play a quality center field, the speed to steal double-digit bags, and the contact skills to spray the ball to all fields. His arm, field, and run tools are all graded at 55 on the 20-80 scout scale (slightly above average), while his hit tool is 50 and his power is 40.

I don’t usually like to put comps on prospects, but I saw a good one from Michael Mayer on Twitter that I’ll share: Travis Jankowski. He plays good enough defense to be brought in as a defensive replacement, runs the bases well enough to be used as a pinch runner, and hits for enough contact to get pinch-hit at-bats. He might even have a little more pop than Jankowski. He’s an ideal 5th outfielder. Mayer’s tweet is below.

It’s possible we could see Mangum roaming the Citi Field outfield at some point in 2022.

If there’s an injury and the Mets need to call someone up, he’s one of two outfield options. The other is Nick Plummer, who has shown some pop in Syracuse (six homers, five doubles, and .511 slugging percentage). Kahlil Lee has been struggling mightily in AAA, so I don’t expect to see him anytime soon.

dark. Next. 4 trade options to replace Max Scherzer