Tuesday evening saw the Mets reassign 19 players from their major-league camp — basically cutting prospects and fringe talents from their big-league roster three weeks ahead of spring training.
Among those cuts was shortstop Ronny Mauricio, the organization’s top prospect who put on an impressive showing during the exhibition slate, going 5-for-11 (.455) with three RBI.
— New York Mets (@Mets) March 9, 2021
“This has been a tremendous experience being here in big-league camp and I’ve learned a bunch from the guys here,” Mauricio. “I spoke a lot with Francisco Lindor and JD Davis. We’ve spoken a lot and I’ve learned a lot from them.
“In my maturity as a player, it’s been really been showing at the plate. I have more control in the strike zone, more trust in my hands, and the thought process allows me to be successful at the plate.”
Along with his performance at the plate, Mauricio gained attention at Mets camp for his new physique, gaining a considerable amount of muscle compared to a more slender frame seen last season.
“This offseason, I focused a lot on my body,” he said. “I focused on gaining more muscle so my body can withstand the long season. I feel like I have more control and I feel more confident because of it.”
At 19 years old, Mauricio’s estimated time of arrival to the majors won’t be for at least another few years. But now along with his development into a legitimate MLB offensive contributor, he could be contending with a move defensively, too.
Mauricio is the last remaining homegrown shortstop product in the Mets’ system after they traded their former blue-chip products in Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez to the Cleveland Indians for the superstar, Lindor.
The four-time All-Star is in the prime of his career and with his current contract expiring at the end of the 2021 season, negotiations for a massive extension have been one of the major talking points around the Mets’ ranks this spring.
Should Lindor and the Mets agree to a deal that many believe could eclipse 10 years and $300 million, there’s no place for Mauricio to play his natural shortstop position.
Adaptation will be the only way up for Mauricio, who made it clear that he’s ready to do whatever necessary to get to the big leagues.
“Yeah for sure, I think about [the possible Lindor extension],” Mauricio said on Wednesday. “But at the same time, it’s not going to take away from my goals of reaching the major leagues.”
A shift to third base won’t be any easier to clear Mauricio’s path to the majors. JD Davis is currently slotted as the Opening Day man on the hot corner while Brett Baty and Mark Vientos — two top-10 prospects in the organization — wait in the wings. At second base, Jeff McNeil should have the position bolstered down for the foreseeable future.
“I have to just focus on myself, focus on the game,” Mauricio said. “If I’m not playing [with the Mets] in the major leagues, maybe I’ll be playing somewhere else. If I’m playing here, I could switch positions and feel comfortable there as well.”
“I’m just going to continue to improve and achieve the dream that I want to.”