Why This Mets Prospect is One of the More Enticing Prospects in Baseball

Real and natural power-hitting shortstops are some of the rarest and most coveted players in baseball today. Stars like Fernando Tatis Jr, Francisco Lindor, and Carlos Correa run the position year after year. Mets prospect Ronny Mauricio has shown he has the raw power and potential to eventually be put into conversations with other star shortstops. The Mets nabbed the now 21-year-old out of the Dominican Republic during the 2017 international amateur signing period for a then organizational record $2.1 million. The switch hitter has had a somewhat confusing minor-league career, though. Mauricio has risen and fallen on prospect rankings like nobody else currently in the Mets organization, and the league-wide opinion on his value remains as wide as any other prospect in baseball. On MLB.com, Mauricio ranks as the sixth-best prospect in the Mets organization and falls outside the league-wide top 100. On ESPN, he ranks as the Mets’ third-best prospect and the 56th-best prospect in all of baseball. The reason for scout’s insane gap in confidence in the infielder is his wretched plate discipline. In 131 games in double-A over the course of two seasons, he has an on-base percentage of just .300. A number that low is a massive roadblock to the young player’s success, and until he can improve, it’s hard to see his more impressive tools outshine his on-base woes. There’s a case to be made that the development of his discipline is lagging behind due to the cancellation of the minor league season in 2020, but he’s shown no signs of a refined approach. There’s still plenty of time for Mauricio to prove himself, though. In spring training so far, in a limited sample, Mauricio has clubbed two home runs, including a 450 ft bomb against the Nationals on Sunday that came off the bat at 110 MPH. There is no doubt that his ceiling is high, maybe as high as any prospect in the Mets system, but at this point in his career, there’s no guarantee he’ll even make the Major Leagues. The 2023 season will undoubtedly be the most important of the young slugger’s career thus far. If his discipline can improve, he will almost certainly net himself a promotion to triple-A this year. But if he continues to show no signs of improvement, his future will be as uncertain as it ever has been.

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