Top prospects to watch at each Mets affiliate

April 4th, 2024

NEW YORK -- For the first time in years, a significant number of Mets top prospects are beginning the season at Triple-A Syracuse -- just one step away from the Majors. As such, several blue-chippers who made the organization’s MLB Pipeline Top 30 list are familiar to fans. They spent a chunk of time in big league Spring Training and have already begun their Minor League seasons.

The rest will celebrate Opening Day on Friday, when the three other full-season levels of the Minors begin their seasons. There’s plenty to watch throughout the organization, considering how fully the Mets have invested in their farm system over the past year. The upper Minors in particular should be a source of intrigue all summer.

Here’s a cheat sheet on what to watch for early in the season:

Triple-A Syracuse

Player to watch: The most significant piece that came to the Mets in last year’s Justin Verlander trade, outfielder (Mets' No. 2 prospect, MLB's No. 50 overall) stands a solid chance of making his way to Flushing this summer. But first, he’ll need to prove himself in his Triple-A debut. Gilbert homered in his first game at the level, which is always a good sign.

Pitcher to watch: Right-hander (No. 5) is the Mets’ highest-graded pitching prospect for a reason. Now featuring both a hard slider and a softer, sweeping version, Scott has rocketed up the organizational rankings over the past year. He’s positioned himself well to earn a big league call-up soon.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: INF Luisangel Acuña (No. 3, MLB's No. 62), RHP Mike Vasil (No. 11), RHP Dom Hamel (No. 14), LHP Nate Lavender (No. 24)

Double-A Binghamton

Opening Day: April 5, 6:35 p.m. vs. New Hampshire

Player to watch: Not only is (No. 1, MLB's No. 43) the organization’s top-ranked prospect overall, he also offers one of the most unique skillsets of any young Met. Standing just 5-foot-6, Williams drew 104 walks last year in his first full professional season, stole 45 bases and hit 13 home runs, all while playing both shortstop and center field.

Pitcher to watch: This time last year, team officials were as excited by right-hander (No. 10) as anyone in the organization. A college star at Tennessee who has risen quickly through the season, Tidwell leads the organization’s next wave of pitching prospects behind Scott, Vasil and Hamel.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: C Kevin Parada (No. 9), OF Alex Ramírez (No. 16), RHP Tyler Stuart (No. 18), RHP Joander Suarez (No. 28), OF Rhylan Thomas (No. 30)

High-A Brooklyn

Opening Day: April 5, 6:35 p.m. at Wilmington

Player to watch: The second prospect the Mets acquired in the Verlander deal was outfielder (No. 4, MLB's No. 92), who’s also capable of playing first base. What excites team officials about Clifford is his power ceiling, which could be the highest of any Mets Minor Leaguer.

Pitcher to watch: Right-hander (No. 13) impressed during a brief Spring Breakout outing this spring and has hit 101 mph on the radar gun. Much like Clifford on the position-player side of things, Sproat boasts some of the brightest star potential of any Mets pitching prospect.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: RHP Nolan McLean (No. 19), RHP Calvin Ziegler (No. 22)

Single-A St. Lucie

Opening Day: April 5, 6:10 p.m. vs. Daytona

Player to watch: Although infielder (No. 8) is not the highest-ranked Mets prospect at this level, he’s certainly drawn the most buzz since the Mets acquired him as part of the David Robertson deal last July. Vargas’ hit tool is one of the finest in the organization.

Pitcher to watch: Right-hander (No. 29) is cousins with Wilmer Flores, which should immediately endear him to Mets fans. It also helps that he’s been clocked at 97 mph as a 20-year-old, with lots of movement on his bread-and-butter sinker.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: SS Colin Houck (No. 7), C Ronald Hernandez (No. 20), SS Jesus Baez (No. 21), OF Nick Morabito (No. 26)