Of all the affiliates in the New York Mets’ farm system, the Columbia Fireflies might be the most intriguing. The Low-A team, which plays in the South Atlantic League, is loaded with a ton of talent that could be a part of the Mets’ core in the next several years. Minor League Mondays’ first trip to Columbia this season takes a look at one of the most interesting prospects in the Mets’ farm system, shortstop Ronny Mauricio.
Mauricio, who is just 18 years old, is one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League but has done just fine against older competition. Over his first 40 games with the Fireflies, Mauricio has hit .280 with a homer, 11 RBI’s, and a solid .333 on base percentage. Mauricio, who signed with the Mets as an amateur free agent for $1.2 million in 2017, has a ton of potential both with the bat and the glove.
Amazin’ Avenue put together a solid scouting report on Mauricio, who is a switch hitter who has more power from the right side of the plate. Mauricio has an advanced eye at the plate, which explains how he has managed to hold his own against pitchers several years older than he is. In terms of defense, Mauricio is a good fielder with a strong arm, and his natural instincts help him make up a ton of ground that could be problematic since he is a bit slow in terms of speed.
There is a lot of room to project with Mauricio, who has an opportunity to rise rapidly through the farm system if he plays well. The Mets are in no rush to get Mauricio to the majors, however, with Amed Rosario already at the big league level and Andres Gimenez not far behind at AA Binghamton. Mauricio could theoretically get the full year to develop in Columbia, although the Mets could push him along to St. Lucie in the second half if the level proves to be not enough of a challenge for Mauricio.
It is also worth monitoring Mauricio in case he becomes a trade chip in the future. General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen has showed little hesitance to deal prospects who can’t help the big league club for several years, notably shipping out Jarred Kelenic and Luis Santana in trades over the winter to land big league players. Mauricio could be a potential trade option with the Mets set at shortstop for a while, but the smart play may be to just let him develop and continue to build his stock for the future.