Ronny Mauricio shifting to left field as Mets GM preaches versatility

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

QUEENS — Looking to open up a new route to the majors, the Mets are beginning to acclimate one of their top prospects, Ronny Mauricio, to left field, general manager Billy Eppler announced on Friday at Citi Field.

“He’s out doing early work, started yesterday,” Eppler said. “I got off the phone with him mid-day today just to talk about versatility…. he’s excited about it. He just wants to do whatever he can do.”

The 22-year-old natural shortstop has continued to rake down in Triple-A this season, batting .336 in 220 at-bats with a .927 OPS, seven home runs, and 33 RBI.

But his path to the big leagues at his normal spot was taken when he team acquired and secured Francisco Lindor for the next decade — and a shift to third also seems out of the question with Brett Baty and Mark Vientos already seen as future options at the hot corner. 

Brett Baty Mets
Brett Baty. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

He’s done well with a shift to second base this year with Eppler indicating that “the feedback has been good on him,” but reigning batting champion Jeff McNeil calls the position home for the most time amidst occasional calls to left field. It was a positional split that was more prevalent in previous seasons until the second-base job became more open.

And it stands as a lesson for the Mets’ No. 4-ranked prospect.

“We’ve seen the amount of impact [versatility] can have for rosters to have players who play multiple positions,” Eppler said. “It’s afforded Jeff McNeil lots of different opportunities. Players like [Enrique] Hernandez, DJ LeMahieu. We know Ronny can play on the left side of the infield. We know we can put Ronny at second base in a major-league game, too. But we want to see how that athleticism can play in the outfield.

“All the indicators, all the measurables tell us that he should be able to acclimate out there.”

There currently is no timeframe to get Mauricio into a game in left field as of yet, but the position could be wide-open by spring training next year. Both Mark Canha and Tommy Pham — the two main left fielders in Queens — will see their contracts expire following the 2023 season.

“The more versatility, the more tools in his tool belt,” Eppler began, “the better it is for his career and the better it is for the Mets.”

For more on the Mets and Ronny Mauricio, visit AMNY.com