Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Prospects in the Mets' 2020 player pool

Gimenez, Peterson ready to contribute at big league level
Andrés Giménez and David Peterson are two of the Mets' top-30 prospects in the team's player pool. (Jeff Roberson/AP)
@AndrewAtBatt
July 13, 2020

As part of the new rules for the 2020 Major League season, each of the 30 organizations will maintain a 60-man player pool for the duration of the campaign. Some members of the player pool will feature on the active Major League roster while others will work out at an

As part of the new rules for the 2020 Major League season, each of the 30 organizations will maintain a 60-man player pool for the duration of the campaign. Some members of the player pool will feature on the active Major League roster while others will work out at an alternate training site in the hopes of staying fresh for a potential callup or getting in much-needed development time.

The MiLB.com staff is rounding up the notable prospects in each organization’s 60-man player pool and analyzing what the new system will mean for their 2020 seasons.

As baseball nears its return, Summer Camp about to kick into full swing to get everyone back up to game speed. For the Mets and the 51 players in their pool, it's a bevy of familiar returning faces, with veterans comprising the bulk of their roster.

That's not to say there aren't top-30 prospects in camp. As it stands, the Mets have included five ranked prospects in the group along with some Minor Leaguers who saw action during the truncated Spring Training.

There are three players among the organization's 10 best prospects who have strong chances of making their big league debuts once the regular season begins. And while many of the club's top-ranked pitchers who are on the 40-man roster were not included, New York still has nine spots it can fill.

For those who do not end up in big league camp or on the active roster, those players will report to the alternate site at MCU Park, home of the Class A Short Season Brooklyn Cyclones.

Andrés Giménez, SS: Likely to make his Mets debut in a normal Major League season, Gimenez finds himself in the 60-man pool with a strong chance to get some at-bats during game action. The shortstop flew through the system on the strength of his defense and ability to make consistent contact. A breakthrough 2018 season in which he impressed on both sides of the ball, Gimenez took a step back offensively during a full year at Double-A, hitting .250 with a .695 OPS, although he did belt a career-best nine homers and swiped 28 bases. In the Arizona Fall League, MLB.com's No. 84 overall prospect won the batting crown with a .371 average. Even with just his plus glove and speed, the 21-year-old can provide immediate help for the Mets.

Thomas Szapucki, LHP: After missing nearly 22 months with injuries, the 6-foot-2 southpaw made a big impact in 2019, posting a 2.63 ERA over 61 2/3 frames and striking out 72 batters while holding hitters to a .214 in 21 appearances at two levels. The team's seventh-ranked prospect, Szapucki has three solid pitches in a low-90s fastball, a breaking ball and a changeup that is coming around. If he stays healthy, he could see action out of the bullpen in 2020.

Kevin Smith, LHP: Switched to a starter full-time in 2019, Smith did not disappoint in his first go-round while fully stretched out. He got off to a strong start with Class A Advanced St Lucie, putting up a 3.05 ERA (2.63 FIP) and 102 strikeouts over 85 2/3 innings, ranking ninth at the level with a 29.1 percent strikeout rate and 19th with a 4.25 strikeout-to-walk rate before a promotion to the Eastern League. With Binghamton, the southpaw remained fairly consistent with a 3.45 ERA and 28 strikeouts in his final six starts. When all was said and done, Smith was an Organization All-Star and earned an invitation to his first big league camp. With a solid three-pitch mix, including a slider that veers into the plus category, he could help with a spot start or as an extra bullpen arm in the 60-game sprint.

David Peterson, LHP: The southpaw has developed into a reliable workhorse since the Mets took him in the first round of the 2017 Draft. Without the flash of a high-speed fastball, Peterson relies on his command and ability to get groundouts, recording at least 52 percent of his outs via the ground ball since entering the Minors. His 4.19 ERA at Double-A last year is a bit misleading as Petreson’s peripherals paint a broader picture. He ranked in the top 30 at the level in walks per nine innings (2.87) and home runs per nine (0.70) and was eighth with a 17.1 strikeout-to-walk rate. His ability to pound the zone and eat innings is valuable at any level and would be a welcome addition in Queens.

Franklyn Kilomé, RHP: The 6-foot-6 righty missed all of the 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery following a 2018 in which he posted a 4.18 ERA over 140 Double-A innings. His fastball sits in the mid-90s while his 12-to-6 curveball serves as an out pitch. Prior to surgery, his changeup was improving and could be a good third pitch. The Mets project Kilome, their No. 12 prospect, as a starter but getting him back to full strength might be more appropriate in 2020, keeping him to spot relief in the Majors.

Jordan Humphreys, RHP: The No. 14 prospect missed all of the 2018 season and pitched just two innings in 2019 but made a healthy return in the Arizona Fall League, posting a 0.77 ERA in 11 2/3 frames. Humphreys has a low-90s fastball along with a solid curveball that has a lot of late action. Seen as a starter in the Majors, Humphreys could contribute either starting or out of the bullpen this season.

Walker Lockett, RHP: A familiar name to those who follow the Mets, Lockett already has pitched in the big leagues with limited success. With an ERA topping 8.00 over 37 2/3 innings with New York last year, Lockett could pitch in spot starts and as a long man out of the bullpen. He had more success at Triple-A Syracuse, compiling a 3.66 ERA in 11 games, including 10 starts.

Along with Peterson and Smith, Lockett looks to be insurance policies for the rotation if any of the five pieces goes down.

Ali Sanchez, C: Sanchez has all the abilities to be a plug-and-play backup catcher in the Majors right now, with a great defensive skill set. In six seasons in the Minors, he’s thrown out 46 percent of would-be basestealers. His ability to call a game is unquestioned. Offensively, though, he does not possess a ton of pop (.331 career slugging percentage) but he hits well for contact, connecting at a .278 clip at Binghamton last year.

Other notables

With true swing-and-miss stuff, No. 27 prospect Ryley Gilliam utilizes his explosive fastball and curveball to pile up punchouts (14.0 strikeouts per nine). In 56 innings since 2018, the right-hander has picked up 87 whiffs.

Known for his speed, outfielder Johneshwy Fargas earned a spot in the player pool. Joining the Mets in January after seven seasons in the Giants system, he stole an Eastern League-leading 50 bases in 2019 and has accumulated 235 thefts since 2013.

The Mets have another layer of catching depth in Patrick Mazeika, a 2019 midseason and postseason Eastern League All-Star with Binghamton last year. He belted 16 homers and posted a .426 slugging percentage, both career highs at a full-season level. He also has experience at first base, where he played 53 games in 2019.

Brian Stultz contributed to this report.