Now that the 2021 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 begin our climb up the minor league ladder today with a look at the rookie level Florida Complex League Mets.
Minor League Mondays Affiliate Review: FCL Mets
2021 Record: 32-22, Fifth Place in FCL
Story: The reorganization of the minor league ladder after the 2019 season shrunk the number of affiliates each team had down to five. The lowest level on the minor league ladder, which had been the Gulf Coast League for the Mets, was reorganized into the Florida Complex League. In a normal year, the FCL will feature 15 teams representing the franchises who play spring training ball in the Grapefruit League but the impact of the COVID pandemic saw the league have 18 teams in 2021 with three franchises fielding two rosters of players.
There were no playoffs this year due to the delayed start to the minor league season, which is fine in the FCL since the emphasis of the league is on player development. Admission isn’t charged for these games and concession stands aren’t operated as the focus of the league remains on developing the youngest prospects in a team’s farm system. The 2021 FCL Mets had a solid year, going 32-22 to finish in fifth in the 18-team league, landing 8.5 games behind the first place FCL Rays.
Top Promotion: N/A
RHP Robert Dominguez: Dominguez, who the Mets signed as an international free agent in 2019, finally made the jump stateside with the FCL Mets. The organization proceeded cautiously with Dominguez, who went 1-1 with an 8.25 ERA in 10 appearances for the FCL Mets over just 12 innings of work. Dominguez, the Mets’ ninth-rated prospect according to MLB.com, did rack up 10 strikeouts on the year and could make the transition to Low-A St. Lucie next season.
RHP Robert Hamel: Hamel, the Mets’ 3rd round pick in 2021 out of Dallas Baptist College, made his professional debut for the FCL Mets. After a dominant collegiate season where he racked up 13 victories (tied for second in Division 1) and set a school record with 136 strikeouts in 91.2 innings pitched, Hamel started just two games for the FCL Mets, striking out seven batters in three innings pitched without allowing a base runner. MLB.com has Hamel rated as the organization’s 11th best prospect and he should begin the 2022 campaign with Low-A St. Lucie.
OF Carlos Dominguez: Dominguez, an international free agent signing in 2018 out of the Dominican Republic, came stateside in 2021 after spending the 2019 campaign with the Mets’ Dominican Summer League affiliates. In 46 games for the FCL Mets, Dominguez was the team’s most productive hitter, batting .262 with 10 home runs, 28 RBI’s, seven stolen bases and an .879 OPS. Expect the Mets to push Dominguez up to Low-A St. Lucie to begin the 2022 season.
Check back next week as our Minor League Mondays Affiliate Review series continues with a look at the St. Lucie Mets!