Checking in on the players the Mets received for Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander is back with the Astros, but the players the Mets received back in the trade with Houston could be a big part of the team's future.
Justin Verlander is back with the Astros, but the players the Mets received back in the trade with Houston could be a big part of the team's future. / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The trade deadline may be over, but for the New York Mets, the true results of their massive sell-off won't be fully understood for years. Pivoting in the wake of being baseball's most disappointing team, the Mets unloaded future Hall of Famers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, plus David Robertson and others, at the deadline.

While Scherzer was dealt to the Texas Rangers straight up for Luisangel Acuna, the younger brother of the Braves' Ronald Acuna, Verlander netted two prospects in return from the Houston Astros. Let's check in on those two players, Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford, now that they've spent some time in the Mets organization.

In its recently updated rankings, rated Drew Gilbert as the 59th best prospect in baseball. The left-handed outfielder has made himself at home with the AA Binghamton Rumble Ponies, posting a .294 batting average in nine games with the team.

Gilbert hasn't yet shown the power that saw him hit six homers in just 21 games for Asheville earlier in the season, but he's already formed a dynamic duo with Luisangel Acuna, and his all-out style recalls the days of Lenny Dykstra roaming the outfield for the Mets.

For a Mets team plagued by reports of clubhouse discord, a fiery guy like Gilbert could be just what the team needs in the future to shake things up.

Mets GM Billy Eppler said some exciting things shortly after the team acquired Gilbert. “Everyone is gonna love [him]. You should just come watch Drew,” Eppler said. “He’s really hard to describe. He plays the game with his hair on fire. That guy’s gonna collide with everything: teammates, walls, whatever, dive head-first into bags and just probably our own little version of Charlie Hustle. He gets after it.”

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see more of that.

Though he's still likely a year or two away from the majors, Mets fans should feel good about Gilbert's future. He recorded five RBIs in his first five games in the organization, and he's shown the speed and instincts to be a plus defensive outfielder.

Ryan Clifford also has the potential to be an impact player for the Mets.

After slugging 16 homers in 58 games with Asheville, Clifford already has two in just nine games with the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Ranked as the sixth-best prospect in the Mets organization, Clifford has a powerful lefty swing, and he took no time getting acclimated to Brooklyn, homering in his first at-bat and reaching base four times in his Cyclones debut.

Clifford has struggled with strikeouts, K'ing a whopping 17 times in 38 plate appearances with Brooklyn, but despite that, he still sports an .827 OPS.

Standing at 6'3", there's a bit of Joey Gallo to Clifford's game. The ball explodes off his bat, such as when he smoked a 111 mph double on Saturday. Three of his last five games have yielded multiple hits, but in the two that didn't, Clifford went 0-4 with four strikeouts for the dreaded golden sombrero. Prospects aren't finished products, so while Clifford's contact numbers are concerning, the Mets should be more encouraged by the pop he's shown.

Characterized by one scout as a "thinking man's power hitter," the 20-year-old Clifford has already shown the ability to adjust in his young career. After being promoted to High-A Asheville earlier this year, he struck out 10 times in his first 15 at-bats, but even with that slow start, he finished his time with the Tourists (minor league names are the best) with a .271 average and .903 OPS.

It will take some time until Gilbert and Clifford are ready for the big leagues, but the early returns on the Mets' trade of Justin Verlander are very positive. In a season that has drained the life from Mets fans, it's nice to have something to look forward to.