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Here's a look at the Mets' farm system

@JimCallisMLB
March 20, 2019

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Since the Mets hired Brodie Van Wagenen in October, the agent-turned-GM has done everything he can to transform a franchise coming off consecutive fourth-place finishes in the National League East back into a contender. Van Wagenen's biggest move involved trading two of New York's best

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Since the Mets hired Brodie Van Wagenen in October, the agent-turned-GM has done everything he can to transform a franchise coming off consecutive fourth-place finishes in the National League East back into a contender.

Van Wagenen's biggest move involved trading two of New York's best prospects, outfielder Jarred Kelenic and right-hander Justin Dunn, as well as righty Gerson Bautista and a pair of big leaguers to the Mariners for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. Van Wagenen also sacrificed six more prospects, most notably second baseman Luis Santana and righty Bobby Wahl, to add depth in deals with the Brewers and Astros for Keon Broxton and J.D. Davis.

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Those moves didn't leave the Mets' system bereft of talent, however. Former Red Sox vice president of player personnel Jared Banner is New York's new farm director after getting hired at the Winter Meetings, and he has liked what he has seen during his first Spring Training with his new organization.

"It doesn't really come together until you see the players on the field," Banner said. "I've been very impressed with the talent level, both at the upper levels and the high-upside young guys. We have talent in a lot of different areas."

While it's no shock that a farm director is bullish on his system's prospects, scouts outside the organization also are intrigued by several Mets farmhands. Reigning Minor League home run champ Pete Alonso and fellow 2018 Futures Gamer Andres Gimenez generate the most headlines and hype, but New York actually may be deeper at the lower levels.

The Mets' 2017 international class is full of potential, led by a Dominican contingent of shortstop Ronny Mauricio (who signed for $2.1 million), outfielder Adrian Hernandez ($1.5 million) and right-hander Junior Santos ($275,000). Mauricio's bat speed and projectable 6-foot-3 frame could yield uncommon pop for an infielder, while Hernandez could wind up with solid tools across the board. Santos has grown to 6-foot-8 since turning pro and already reaches the mid-90s with his fastball.

"Mauricio is a very talented switch-hitting shortstop with power and a lot of tools," Banner said. "The thing that jumps out with Hernandez is the way he can impact the baseball. It makes that loud sound when he makes contact. Santos is a big, physical guy who's very young but very advanced for his age."

None of that trio has played above Rookie ball, which may not change in 2019 because they'll all be 18 at the end of this season. Many of New York's best prospects have yet to reach full-season ball, a group that also includes third baseman Mark Vientos, shortstop Shervyen Newton, right-hander Simeon Woods-Richardson, catcher Francisco Alvarez and outfielder Freddy Valdez.

Vientos combines power and plate discipline as well as anyone in the system, while fellow second-round choice Woods-Richardson might have the highest ceiling of all the pitchers. A revelation since signing for $50,000 out of the Netherlands in 2015, Newton is a 6-foot-4 switch-hitter with a good chance to stay in the middle infield. Alvarez ($2.7 million out of Venezuela) and Valdez ($1.45 million from the Domincan Republic) were New York's big-ticket international purchases last summer, and Alvarez could develop four above-average tools in his bat, power, arm and defense.

Camp standout

After winning home run titles in the Minors (36) and Arizona Fall League (six) last year, Alonso has continued to smoke the ball in the Grapefruit League. He's batting .360/.396/.680 with a team-best four homers, and manager Mickey Calloway admitted that at this point it's impossible to argue that he's not one of New York's 25 best players. The Mets have insisted throughout the offseason that talent rather than service-time considerations will dictate who makes the Opening Day roster.

Alonso's pop is no surprise but Banner said he has been impressed with how the first baseman has addressed his defense, the weakest part of his game.

"Alonso has serious power and he's a good hitter as well," Banner said. "One of the things that jumps out about Pete is that he made a commitment this offseason to change his body. He's moving around well and looking good at first base. He's looking to improve every day and that's all we can ask for."

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.