Gilbert, Acuña rocket back-to-back homers in Triple-A debuts

March 29th, 2024

The future is bright in Flushing largely because the Mets’ farm system is deeper and more robust than it’s been in a long time.

And once the 2024 Triple-A season opened Friday, two of their top prospects didn’t waste any time proving that point.

The future was plain to see at Syracuse when and connected for back-to-back homers to power the Mets’ 6-3 win over Rochester at NBT Bank Stadium. The Mets’ Nos. 2 and 3 prospects, respectively, socked solo shots in the fourth inning off former Met Robert Gsellman, notching their first Triple-A homers in their respective debuts at the level.

Acuña also reached on a two-run error in the second inning to back Joey Lucchesi, who logged five innings without allowing an earned run to record the victory. Syracuse's win stood as the organizational highlight of the day after the Major League Mets were one-hit in a 3-1 Opening Day loss to the Brewers at Citi Field.

The power display was emblematic of the kind of upside the Mets see possible for both Gilbert and Acuña, who are entering their first full season in the organization after arriving as part of New York's key deals of Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer at the 2023 Trade Deadline.

A first-round pick by the Astros in the 2022 Draft, Gilbert was acquired from Houston in the Verlander deadline blockbuster, then enjoyed an impressive 35-game run with Double-A Binghamton to close out the year. He finished the season with a .289/.381/.487 slash line across two levels and two organizations in his age-22 campaign, and entered 2024 as the game’s No. 51 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline.

Acuña was excelling at Double-A when the Mets got him from the Rangers in the deadline deal that sent Scherzer to Texas, but MLB's No. 64 prospect struggled down the stretch after switching organizations. His 104.1 mph homer Friday was a good sign, considering he only hit two across 37 games at Binghamton last year after the trade.