Mets SS prospect Ronny Mauricio is holding his own this season as an 18-year-old in Low-A Columbia. With plus potential on both sides of the ball, Mauricio will likely be ranked as the Mets' No. 1 prospect sooner rather than later...
Weight: 166 lbs
MLB Pipeline Mets Prospect Ranking: 2
2019 Statistics: 290 batting average, .333 on-base percentage with 13 doubles, two home runs and 17 RBI in 59 games
Ronny Mauricio was born in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. Coming into the 2017 international free agency period he was ranked as the No. 11 international prospect by MLB Pipeline and the No. 3 prospect in the class.
While being trained by Carlos Guzman in the Dominican Republic, Mauricio drew interest from a lot of teams with his very projectable frame at 6-foot 160 pounds with a high waist and long arms. He showed the natural ability to slow down the game when playing in showcases and was a smooth defender with a strong arm. His offensive game was largely contact-based and the power was more of a projection.
The Mets were able to sign Mauricio on July 2, 2017 for a $2.1 million signing bonus which was at the time the Mets' record for signing bonus on an international free agent -- passing Amed Rosario.
With The Mets
Mauricio made his professional debut at 17 years old in 2018. He started with the rookie level GCL Mets and played his final eight games with rookie level Kingsport Mets. The GCL season begins in June, and in 35 games between June and July Mauricio hit .331 with an .848 OPS. He had 12 doubles, three triples and three home runs in that span while accruing 27 RBI.
The month of August was a struggle for Mauricio, where he hit .190 with a .493 OPS in 22 games. Between playing games every day for almost three months as well as facing competition that generally was older and more experienced than him, it just led to some struggles down the stretch.
In 2019, the Mets were very impressed with Mauricio's work at minor league spring training and decided to be aggressive with his assignment -- sending him to Low-A Columbia. So far, Mauricio is hitting .290 with a .728 OPS in 59 games played. He has 13 doubles, three triples, two home runs and 17 RBI.
More recently, in 10 games in the month of June, Mauricio has his highest slugging percentage of any month in his pro career thus far at .571. Scouts are saying that he is showing more confidence at the plate and is making more consistent hard contact while driving balls into the gaps with authority. He also got the opportunity to represent Columbia and the Mets at the 2019 South Atlantic League All Star Game.
Mauricio is a switch hitter with a more level contact type swing from the right side, while on the left side he shows more natural ability to put some loft on the ball. He has shown the ability to hit for average, hitting .282 for his career. Like a lot of 18-year-old kids, he needs work on his eye at the plate. But he's already made small strides in 2019 as he has upped his on-base percentage to .333. Mauricio is still only listed at 166 pounds, and as he physically matures the raw power he is showing should turn into legitimate above average game power.
Defensively, Mauricio looks like a natural at shortstop. Despite his bigger build at 6-foot-3, he still plays the position very smoothly with great actions and a plus arm. He is not much of an athlete and likely will never be a threat on the base paths. Frankly, he likely will remain a below average runner as he will physically mature and get bigger. If he happens to outgrow shortstop, he has the actions, the hands and plenty of arm to translate to third base.
Mauricio probably has the highest upside in the system and I believe many outlets will rank him as the No. 1 prospect in the Mets' system if not in updates coming after the recent Draft picks sign, then in the offseason. He has the ability to impact the game offensively and defensively at either shortstop or third base.
If Mauricio physically matures as expected, you can be looking at a 20-plus home run bat that plays above average defense on the left side of the infield. As some outlets have said, the Mets haven't been as excited about an international prospect like Mauricio since Amed Rosario. I think when Mauricio's time comes, which may not be for three or four years, he will come up a more natural baseball player than Rosario arrived as.