Roundup: Top quartet among Mets' camp invites
The Mets were one of the most active teams this offseason, making a series of signings and trades to infuse their roster with veteran talent. Still, though, there will be a youth movement when camp opens later this month. All four of New York’s Top 100 Prospects -- No. 48
The Mets were one of the most active teams this offseason, making a series of signings and trades to infuse their roster with veteran talent. Still, though, there will be a youth movement when camp opens later this month.
All four of New York’s Top 100 Prospects -- No. 48 overall
Alvarez, a catcher, signed with the Mets out of Venezuela for $2.7 million in the summer of 2018. The 19-year-old spent most of 2019 with Rookie Advanced Kingsport, hitting .282/.377/.443 in 35 games. The Mets challenged him in 2020 with an assignment to their alternate training site in Brooklyn, and Alvarez reportedly had the best performance of any hitter there.
Mauricio will turn 20 before the Minor League season begins. The Dominican Republic native signed for $2.1 million in 2017, then spent the bulk of the following year with a 49-game debut in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League during which he hit .279/.307/.421. The shortstop held his own in his full-season debut in 2019, hitting .268/.307/.357 in 116 games with Class A Columbia. The expectation is Mauricio, a 6-foot-3 switch-hitter, will continue to add power as he matures.
Baty and Allan were two of the Mets’ first three picks in the 2019 Draft. The former, taken 12th overall, appeared at three levels during his debut, finishing with Class A Short Season Brooklyn and hitting .234/.368/.452 on the year. Baty boasts 60-grade power as a left-handed hitter and possesses the arm strength to stick at third base should he maintain his athleticism as he rises through the Minors. Allan, a third-round pick, turns 20 in April. New York signed him away from a University of Florida commitment and he immediately rewarded them with one earned run in 8 1/3 Gulf Coast League innings in 2019. The right-hander was one of the youngest prospects to appear at the alternate training site last summer.
A total of 28 players landed on New York’s list of non-roster invitees, including No. 8 Mets prospect
Pitchers and catchers will report to Port St. Lucie, Florida, on Feb. 17. The Mets' first full-squad workout is scheduled for Feb. 22.
In other spring invite news:
Tribe invites Top 100 trio: Cleveland invited a dozen prospects to big league Spring Training, including No. 36 overall prospect Nolan Jones, 51st-ranked Triston McKenzie and No. 98 Tyler Freeman.
Jones and Freeman headline a group of eight ranked prospects going into Spring Training on the 40-man roster. Freeman, Bo Naylor (Cleveland's No. 4 prospect), Owen Miller (No. 20) and Nick Sandlin (No. 30) are the ranked prospects among the non-roster invitees. There are also three additional prospects -- No. 5 George Valera, No. 8 Brayan Rocchio and No. 17 Joey Cantillo -- headed to Goodyear, Arizona as part of the depth group.
Jones debuted to a .253/.370/.466 slash line with 20 extra base hits and 22 RBIs in 49 games with Double-A Akron in 2019. The 22-year-old dealt with a broken thumb during that season and eventually required surgery that would cut his time in the Arizona Fall League short. Jones also showed a keen eye at the plate in 2019, drawing the second most walks in the Minors with 96.
The 2016 second-rounder earns plus grades for his power and arm strength. Jones, a former high school hockey star, is a natural third baseman but reportedly played a lot of outfield at the club's alternate site in Lake County this summer.
McKenzie debuted in the Majors in 2020 after various injuries kept him from pitching in a competitive game for nearly two years prior. The 6-foot-5, 165-pound right-hander made eight appearances, six starts, for the Major League club, compiling a 3.24 ERA. The 23-year-old boasts strong control of a four-pitch mix and collected 42 punchouts and nine walks in 33 1/3 innings in Cleveland last year
Indians No. 6 prospect Gabriel Arias was also invited to big league camp. Arias headlines the group of six players -- including Cantillo and Miller -- that came back from San Diego in the Mike Clevinger trade at the deadline, all of whom should be at big league camp in some capacity in 2021.
No. 14 prospect Bobby Bradley, No. 18 Daniel Johnson, No. 24 Carlos Vargas, No. 26 Scott Moss and No. 28 Sam Hentges are also going to Goodyear on the 40-man.
Joe Bloss is a contributor for MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jtbloss.