Mets prospect Ronny Mauricio changing positions in prep for potential call-up

Ronny Mauricio Mets
Mets prospect Ronny Mauricio. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Mets youth movement is underway as two of the team’s top prospects took center stage on Monday in a doubleheader split against the Atlanta Braves. Yet, the lineup could get even younger as it seems like another prospect is nearing a call-up. 

Francisco Alvarez and Brett Baty were both expected the break camp with the Mets after spring training, so it was a surprise when both were optioned to Triple-A to start the year. However, an injury to Omar Narvaez and a slow start by Eduardo Escobar opened the door for both players to get called up.

On Monday, Baty went 3-for-9 in the two games with two runs scored, and one RBI while, in the second game, Francisco Alvarez was 2-for-4 with a two-run double that put the Mets on top for good in the 6th inning. 

With both players cementing roles in the New York lineup, it might not be long before they’re joined by fellow Triple-A teammate Ronny Mauricio. 

The 22-year-old shortstop, who is currently ranked as the 90th overall prospect by FanGraphs and the Mets’ 6th-best prospect by MLB.com., was one of the big winners at spring training. He led the Mets with four home runs while slugging .636, and driving in eight runs in his 17 games played.

Ronny Mauricio Mets
Mets prospect Ronny Mauricio prepares for a swing during the 2019 season (Wikimedia Commons)

He has continued that success to start the year at Triple-A Syracuse.

The switch-hitter is 11th in the International League with six home runs and is also top 20 in the league in OPS (on-base plus slugging) and batting average. Overall, the Mets prospect is hitting .321/.363/.585 with those six home runs, 16 RBI, 19 runs, and four stolen bases.

That has been a continuation of a strong 2022-23 season for the Dominican native. Mauricio set a career-high last year with 26 home runs and 54 extra-base hits while batting .259/..296/.472 with Double-A Binghampton. He then went to play for Licey in the Dominican Winter League, where he hit .287/.335/.468 with five home runs, 31, RBI, and 26 runs scored in 46 games. 

With the Mets currently ranking 17th in baseball in slugging, 19th in home runs, and 17th in ISO (isolated power), the team continues to search for an injection of thump in their lineup. Their recent decision-making regarding Mauricio signals that he might be an option they’re exploring to jumpstart their power production. 

Over the last two weeks, Mauricio has started seven games at second base, which is notable because it’s the only time he’s ever played a position in the minors aside from shortstop. With Francisco Lindor locked into the starting shortstop position for years to come, the Mets are clearly searching for ways to get Mauricio’s bat into the lineup. Playing him at second base and moving Jeff McNeil to left field would be one way they could make it happen without much issue.

Defensively, Mauricio is admittedly inconsistent. FanGraphs notes that “He’s as likely to make an incredible play as he is to botch a routine one.” However, he certainly has the athleticism to play the middle infield, even though his 6’4″ and 220-pound frame might look more suited for third base or the outfield. 

Still, if the Mets are thinking about calling up Mauricio it’s because he “shows an ability to move the barrel around and sizzle the baseball somewhere, often with tremendous force behind it.” The switch-hitter hits for more power from the left side but is an aggressive swinger no matter where he stands, sometimes to a fault. 

While Mauricio showed early gains at being a little bit more patient at the plate, his walk rate has fallen back down to a 4.4% rate, which is the exact same as last year. He has cut down his strikeout rate a bit, but he’s never going to be a high-average hitter. Think of him as a .240-.250 hitter who has the potential to hit 25 home runs and steal 20+ bases.

That may not be perfect, but it’s exciting, and that might be exactly what the Mets need as they need to keep pace in the NL East with the Braves and a Phillies team set to get Bryce Harper back. 

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Ronny Mauricio Mets
Mets prospect Ronny Mauricio (Photo: Flickr)