Things are certainly looking a bit better for the New York Mets’ much maligned farm system. The Mets’ minor league system was ranked as the fourth worst in the sport by Baseball America entering the season, and it showed when the Mets had no real help coming when injuries started to strike the roster. The team made an emphasis on player development this winter, overhauling their process and having former manager Terry Collins go back to the minor league side to help oversee that change. The results have been good so far, as Baseball America now ranks the Mets’ farm system as the 19th best in baseball, MetsBlog.com reports.
Part of the leap is due to some of the talent in the lower levels of the farm system starting to advance, including top prospects Andres Gimenez (now hitting .296 as a 19 year old in AA Binghamton) and Peter Alonso (who has a combined 27 home runs and 99 RBI’s over two levels this year). The next wave of pitchers also appears to be emerging as Justin Dunn, Anthony Kay, and David Peterson have all posted solid years. Acquiring Franklyn Kilome from the Philadelphia Phillies in the Asdrubal Cabrera trade gives the Mets another talented young arm to play with, further increasing the team’s options once Thomas Szapucki returns from Tommy John surgery in 2019.
The lower levels of the farm system are also starting to show even more impact talent, and that should only improve with Omar Minaya back in the organization. Shortstop Ronny Mauricio, who was the Mets’ top international free agent signing a year ago, is hitting .302 with three homers and 28 RBI’s in his first season as a professional hitter. Recent top draft picks Jarred Kelenic and Mark Vientos are also at low-A Kingsport, and both have flashed potential that could make them a part of the Mets’ future in a few years.
The fact that the farm system is trending up is good for at team that may need to consider a rebuild. There is clearly more talent in the farm system than scouts previously believed, and if the Mets can do a better job of developing it would make the job the big league general manager has to do much easier. Trading a top pitcher like Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard this winter could also accelerate the rebuild, adding even more talent to a farm system that is on the rise and giving the Mets options. The Mets have seen first hand how the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, and Atlanta Braves have used their farm systems to build strong clubs that can contend for years to come. That same blueprint could work for the Mets if they choose to go in that direction, which may be more of a consideration with the farm system improving.