Now that the 2023 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
2023 Record: 32-18, First Place in Florida Complex League’s East Division
Story: A stronger focus on development at the lower levels of the minor leagues under Steve Cohen’s ownership has paid dividends for the Mets’ rookie-league stateside affiliate in the Florida Complex League. 2023 marked the second straight year that the FCL Mets won their division, going 32-18 to secure the East Division title and earning a spot in the postseason. That playoff run ended in the semifinals as the Mets lost to the Atlanta Braves’ Complex League affiliate by a score of 7-1.
While the winning was nice, the result didn’t truly matter in the end since the FCL remains focused on player development at the lowest level of the minor leagues. Admission isn’t charged for FCL games and concession stands are not operated as the focus of the league is helping the youngest pros reach their full potential.
Top Promotions: N/A
SS Marco Vargas Vargas, who the Mets acquired from the Miami Marlins in the David Robertson trade, did well in his first year as a member of the Mets’ organization. In 15 games for the FCL Mets, Vargas hit .234 with five RBIs and a .368 OPS, earning a late-season promotion to High-A St. Lucie. MLB.com has rated Vargas as the Mets’ eighth-best prospect.
C Ronald Hernandez Hernandez, who was also a part of the Robertson trade, made a solid first impression as a member of the Mets’ organization. In 14 games for the FCL Mets, Hernandez hit .286 with a home run and 11 RBIs, joining Vargas in High-A St. Lucie late in the year as a result of a deserved promotion. MLB.com has rated Hernandez as the Mets’ 20th best prospect.
SS Colin Houck Houck, the Mets’ first-round pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, appeared to be a steal after sliding down to No. 32 due to sign ability issues. The Mets happily handed Houck a huge signing bonus and assigned him to the FCL to begin his pro career, where he hit .241 with a .389 OPS in his first nine games as a professional. MLB.com has rated Houck as the Mets’ seventh-best prospect and he will likely begin 2024 back in the FCL.
Check back next week as we continue to climb up the minor league ladder with a look at the Low-A St. Lucie Mets!