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Taking A Look At The Other End Of The Mets Updated MLB Pipeline

The Mets didn’t play a Spring Training game on Monday, and no significant news came out of camp, which at this time of year is a positive. Yesterday wasn’t a completely quiet day though, as MLB Pipeline released the updated Top 30 lists for the 2024 season for each team. Most of the names at the top of the list are recognizable and have already appeared in some of the team’s Spring Training games so far this year. The bottom of the list though consists of talented players who are just beginning their professional baseball journeys. Let’s take a look at the Mets players at the bottom of the MLB Pipeline list.

30. Rhylan Thomas, Outfielder – The Mets drafted Thomas out of USC in the 11th round of the 2022 draft. Last season, Thomas played for three of the Mets minor league affiliates, moving from the Single-A Port St. Lucie Mets to the High-A Brooklyn Cyclones, and ending his season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies. Everywhere Thomas went last year, he hit. In just about 300 at-bats across the three teams, Thomas batted .328, with a .407 OBP, and perhaps most impressively 40 walks and only 28 strikeouts. Making contact has been Thomas’ trademark since his time with the Trojans, and he successfully held on to that approach in his first full professional season. His reliability isn’t just at the plate, either. Thomas earned Mets Gold Glove outfielder honors last year as well. The one thing that his game has been lacking so far though is hitting for any type of power, as he only had 3 home runs in 2023, and none while with the Double-A squad. Currently, Thomas projects to be a reliable 4th outfielder, although if he can increase his power output without sacrificing his penchant for making contact, it would be easy to see him as a starter.

29. Saul Garcia, RHP – The Mets signed Garcia out of Venezuela in 2021, the day after he turned 18. Last year was Garcia’s first experience with full-season ball, having previously played in the 60-game rookie ball leagues. While his results were mixed at best, it was his 106 strikeouts in 80.1 innings that earned him a spot in the team’s Top 30. Garcia is a cousin of former Mets late-inning hero Wilmer Flores, and he aims to provide some heroics of his own at Citi Field one day, likely out of the bullpen.

28. Joander Suarez, RHP – Suarez has been a part of the Mets family dating back 2018 when the Mets signed him out of Venezuela. In 2019, Suarez had a remarkable run in the Gulf Coast League, with a 1.79 ERA and 47 K’s in 40.1 innings. Like all minor leaguers at that level, Suarez missed the 2020 season due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, his 2021 season was cut short as well, as he underwent Tommy John surgery just a couple weeks into the season. It took Suarez until about a third of the way through last season for him to regain his 2019 mojo. In his last 15 starts of the year (spread out between Brooklyn and Binghamton), Suarez had a 2.53 ERA, with 98 K’s in 74.2 innings, and a 0.91 WHIP. Perhaps most impressive were Suarez’s first 2 starts with the Rumble Ponies, as he didn’t allow a single hit over 13 combined innings. Suarez could start the season with Triple-A Syracuse, or at least be an early consideration for a promotion to the team. Since the Mets signed him so long ago, he will be a minor league free agent after this season, so it will be interesting to see if he can earn a big-league spot before then.

The Mets have made a more deliberate push to improve their farm system over the last few years. This was on full display last year when they made multiple trade deadline deals that brought back players at the top and middle of this year’s MLB Pipeline list. As the team has publicly stated, they are going to use this season to take a good look at what some of their top-level youngsters can do. That said, the fact that even at the bottom of this list, they have players with the potential to make an impact with the big-league club is additional proof of management’s efforts.

Shai Kushner
Shai Kushnerhttps://mlbreport.com/
Shai Kushner, is a seasoned sports journalist and versatile professional deeply embedded in the world of baseball. Since 2014, Shai has been a trusted voice covering the New York Mets for BaseballDigest.com and GothamBaseball.com. Before his journalism career, he served as a video engineer for the Mets Baseball Operations department.


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