Now that the 2018 season is over, Minor League Mondays will take a look at each of the New York Mets’ minor league affiliates over the next several weeks. This series will take a look at each affiliate’s season highlights, top prospects, interesting promotions, and more. We continue our climb up the minor league ladder today with a look at the rookie level Kingsport Mets of the Appalachian League.
Minor League Mondays Affiliate Review: Kingsport Mets
2018 Record: 33-35, Second Place in Appalachian League West Division
Story: Despite posting a losing record, 2018 was a successful season for the Kingsport Mets. The K-Mets finished in second place in the Appalachian League’s West Division, trailing the Elizabethton Twins by seven games in the standings, but that was good enough to secure the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 2015. The road would end in the semi-finals for Kingsport, which lost to Elizabethton in a three game series that went the distance. The K-Mets also played host to a lot of intriguing prospects throughout the year, making the work that manager Sean Ratliff and his coaching staff did very important to the Mets’ future.
Top Promotions: The Kingsport Mets offered $2 Tuesdays in 2018. Throughout the regular season, fans could buy four $2 game tickets with a receipt from Food City. Several popular concession items were also sold for $2 on Tuesdays, including hot dogs, soda, and beer.
2B Luis Santana: Santana, who signed with the Mets as an international free agent in 2015, finally made his stateside debut in 2018 after spending the past two years playing in the Dominican Summer League. It was worth the wait for Santana, who tore up the Appalachian League by hitting .348 with four home runs and 35 RBI’s in 53 games. Santana not only made the Appalachian League All Star Game, but he was also awarded the organization’s Sterling Award for Kingsport, the equivalent of a team MVP award. MLB.com has Santana rated as the Mets’ 26th best prospect.
CF Jarred Kelenic: Kelenic, the Mets’ first round draft pick this past June, had an impressive professional debut. The Mets assigned Kelenic to the Gulf Coast League to start the summer, but he tore the cover off the ball there and earned a promotion to Kingsport. Kelenic spent the rest of the season in the Appalachian League and held his own, batting .253 with five home runs and 33 RBI’s in 44 games for the K-Mets. MLB.com has Kelenic rated as the Mets’ third best prospect.
3B Mark Vientos: Vientos, the Mets’ second round draft pick in 2017, took a big step forward in 2018. Over 60 games with the K-Mets, Vientos batted .287 with 11 home runs, 52 RBI’s, and an impressive .389 OPS. Vientos, who has drawn rave reviews for his bat and glove at third, is currently rated as the Mets’ 10th best prospect according to MLB.com.
Check back next week as we continue our Affiliate Review series with a look at the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League!