Mauricio flexes muscles in 2-homer night

July 28th, 2021
Gordon Donovan/

As the Mets continue to battle for NL East supremacy, the flowers of their system keep blooming.

 collected the first multihomer game of his career and scored three runs to lead High-A Brooklyn past Jersey Shore, 14-5, on Tuesday night at FirstEnergy Park.

MLB's No. 50 overall prospect has gone deep three times in his last five games and 13 times this season, nearly double his total from the previous two seasons.

The power surge doesn't come as a surprise to Cyclones hitting coach Nic Jackson.

"I think the increase in power is a combination of everything," Jackson said. "He's still only 20 years old, he's growing into his body and his big frame gives him a lot of usable power. Ronny is still learning which pitches he can drive and which to leave alone. He's a very aggressive hitter and he has to learn, like most young players do, that he can't hit everything he sees. Right now, he's being a lot more selective and it shows in the results."

With Brooklyn comfortably ahead in the fifth inning, highlighted by two Francisco Álvarez RBI singles, Mauricio connected on a long solo homer to right field. He followed that up in his next at-bat with an even longer jack to right-center. The multihomer game continued a hot stretch for the No. 2 Mets prospect, who has five homers in 75 at-bats this month while rebounding from a down June when he batted .202/.245/.385.

Batting .216 after going 0-for-3 on July 10, Mauricio has gone 20-for-56 (.357) with nine multihit efforts in his last 14 games to bring his slash line back up to .247/.289/.459. The 20-year-old has collected eight of his 26 extra-base hits and 14 of his 41 RBIs in July.

"It's a culmination of a lot of things, especially hard work," Jackson said of Mauricio's uptick at the plate. "He was frustrated at times, but he's stuck to his approach, has been more patient and he's finally seeing the results. The talent is there and now it's starting to shine through.

"Sometimes guys need to be left alone and other times they need a friendly voice. I give him a lot of credit. He's worked hard in the cage and with his pitch recognition. He could have veered off the plan we want him to follow, but he hasn't and it's paying off."

While Mauricio continues to pace Brooklyn's offense in July, Álvarez contributed a pair of much-needed hits. MLB's No. 34 overall prospect has struggled in July, batting .143 with a .572 OPS in 18 games. Álvarez has hit safely in six of his last seven games, but Tuesday was his first multihit performance since June 30.

"Francisco really is a fun guy to watch every day," Jackson said. "He's only 19 years old and is still figuring a lot of things out. Being his first full season, he's going to experience those ups and downs. Managing failure is the biggest part of a young player's first full campaign, and I think he's done a very nice job of that so far."

While the month has not been kind to Álvarez, Jackson expects big things down the stretch for the top Mets prospect. The 5-foot-10, 233-pound backstop has 11 homers among his 25 extra-base hits and a .905 OPS across two levels this season.

"He's always working, always learning and always asking questions," Jackson said. "Whether it's his defense, getting on the same page with the pitchers or hitting in the cage, he's doing everything to be as complete a player as he can be."