Minor League Mondays Affiliate Review: Salt River Rafters

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 conclude our series today with some bonus coverage of the Mets’ top prospects who participated in the Arizona Fall League as members of the Scottsdale Scorpions.

Minor League Mondays Affiliate Review: Salt River Rafters

2021 Record: 10-20, Third Place in Arizona Fall League East Division

Story: Unlike the traditional minor league structure, each team doesn’t have an affiliate in the Arizona Fall League. The league is comprised of six teams, with each roster being filled with some of the top prospects from five major league teams. The Mets (along with the Diamondbacks, Rockies, Tigers and Brewers) sent players to be a part of the Salt River Rafters, who were managed by Matt Erickson. The Rafters didn’t have a very good year, finishing last in their division and failing to qualify for the AFL’s Championship Series. Despite the team’s shortcomings, the experience was valuable for the prospects who got to participate and test their skills against some of baseball’s future stars.

Top Promotions: N/A

Top Prospects:

3B Brett Baty: Baty, who split the 2021 season between High-A Brooklyn and AA Binghamton, was the Mets’ top prospect in the Arizona Fall League. In 25 games for the Rafters, Baty hit .292 with a home run, 15 RBI’s and a .777 OPS. Scouts were reportedly very impressed with what they saw out of Baty in the AFL.

OF Carlos Cortes: Cortes, who spent the 2021 campaign with AA Binghamton, struggled a bit in fall ball. In 17 games for the Rafters, Cortes hit just .236 with five RBI’s and a .667 OPS. The Mets left Cortes off their 40-man roster prior to the Rule V deadline so they could lose him in the Rule V draft over the winter.

RHP Connor Grey: Grey, who spent 2021 with AA Binghamton after signing with the Mets as a minor league free agent in June, was the Mets’ most effective pitcher in the Arizona Fall League. In six appearances (including three starts) for the Rafters, Grey went 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA, striking out 17 batters in 18 innings pitched.

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