Baseball America released its Top 10 Mets prospects list for 2020 on Wednesday, and it featured a potential impact shortstop at the top, a very fast riser at No. 2, and a bunch of 2019 draftees throughout.
Here's how things shook out:
1. SS Ronny Mauricio
2. C Francisco Alvarez
3. 3B Brett Baty
4. RHP Matthew Allan
5. INF Andres Gimenez
6. 3B Mark Vientos
7. LHP Thomas Szapucki
8. RHP Josh Wolf
9. LHP Kevin Smith
10. LHP David Peterson
Things that immediately jump out about the new BA list: 18-year-old Francisco Alvarez shooting up to No. 2, Andres Gimenez dropping to No. 5, and Thomas Szapucki coming in at No. 7 after being off the radar due to Tommy John surgery and excelling in his return in 2019.
Some thoughts on each...
Citing him as their breakout prospect candidate for 2020, MLB Pipeline recently wrote that Alvarez "is already perhaps the best pure hitter in New York's system, with defensive chops behind the plate that could make him an impactful two-way catcher."
Matt Eddy of BA writes in his scouting report that Alvarez has the potential to be a "franchise catcher" on both sides of the ball who has the desire to be great.
As a 17-year-old this past season, Alvarez hit .312/.407/.510 with seven home runs and 10 doubles in 42 games between the Rookie level Gulf Cost League and Rookie level Kingsport of the Appalachian League.
He could begin at Low-A Columbia this season.
That Gimenez fell from near the top of most lists to No. 5 on BA's list is partially due to his struggles at Double-A in 2019 and partially due to the strength of the Mets' recent draft class, with Brett Baty and Matthew Allan (who both have higher ceilings than Gimenez) both being ranked ahead of him.
As one of the youngest players in Double-A this past season, the 21-year-old Gimenez hit just .250/.309/.387 with 22 doubles, five triples, and nine homers in 117 games. But he dominated in the AFL while competing with some of the best prospects in baseball.
Gimenez won the AFL batting title, hitting .371/.413/.586 with five doubles, two triples, and two homers in 75 plate appearances over 18 games.
He could begin at Triple-A Syracuse this season.
Szapucki returned in 2019 after missing more than a year due to Tommy John surgery and rose to Double-A Binghamton. He'll likely open the season there in 2020 and could be a legitimate option for the Mets by 2021.
According to BA, Szapucki has the best curveball in the Mets' system.
SNY contributor Joe DeMayo had the following to say about Szapucki last season:
"Missing a year-and-a half due to Tommy John has certainly pushed back Szapucki's path to the big leagues, but if everything comes back the Mets still possess an exciting left-handed power arm who could end up a mid-rotation starter with an upside to be a No. 2, or worst case -- a big time power arm out of the pen."