The New York Mets made a long term investment at second base when they traded for Robinson Cano over the winter. That move hasn’t worked out as planned, with Cano batting .228 in his first year as a Met, and it looks even worse considering the amount of options the Mets have at the position. Jeff McNeil was one of them, and he is currently hitting .340 while bouncing all over the diamond. There are also several intriguing second base prospects in the Mets’ farm system, such as St. Lucie’s Carlos Cortes, the focus of this week’s edition of Minor League Mondays.
Cortes, the Mets’ third round draft pick a year ago out of South Carolina, has been playing for the Mets’ High-A affiliate this season. In 69 games for St. Lucie, Cortes is batting .258 with seven home runs and 42 RBI’s, providing some solid pop in the middle of the Mets’ lineup. Cortes’ bread and butter is with his bat, which was rated as one of the better ones in the country out of high school, before he committed to South Carolina.
As far as defense is concerned, Cortes is very interesting because he can throw with both hands, meaning he could be a very rare switch fielder. Cortes isn’t a big guy, so his most likely position at the big league level is second base, but he is a good fielder there and could benefit from getting exposure around the infield. The best case scenario for him would be to become a utility player who can play second, short, and third, giving him a path to the majors if second remains blocked in the long term.
The Mets are in no hurry with Cortes, but they have to be happy with how he is developing so far this season. Cortes will likely stay with St. Lucie for the rest of the season, but don’t be surprised if he ends up getting a cup of coffee at AA Binghamton later this season. The Mets are likely watching Cortes closely in the event that he can either fill a need for them around 2021 or be a trade chip to improve another area of the roster. Either way, Carlos Cortes has become a very interesting prospect.