HomeTeamsMetsHitting is Hard for Mets Top Prospects 

Hitting is Hard for Mets Top Prospects 

The Mets have had great success in the pitching department in their farm. With a great debut from Christrian Scott and some young arms doing very well, the new pitching lab in the Mets organization is showing their promise. The arms of Jonah Tong, Joander Suarez, Brandon Sproat, Austin Troesser and Blade Tidwell, have shown the fans that pitching isn’ta major concern for the future. And it’s not only the starters, but also the reliever corps who have thrived. Not only in the Majors we have seen the much-improved depth, in the minors we have seen some tremendous starts of the season. Most notably Wilkin Ramos, who has been unscored upon so far, showing a lot more control.  

But with all the positives about the Mets young arms, how have the offensive top prospects fared so far in the early season? Well, they mostly have struggled.  

If you look at the Top 10, according to MLB Pipeline, you see just 2 pitchers (Scott at 5 and Tidwell at 10). Mauricio, Gilbert and Williams have been hurt for a big part of the year. In Mauricio’s case, he will miss the entire season. Williams and Gilbert didn’t have good starts before getting hurt, although the sample size is very small. So how are the other 5 top hitting prospects performing? 

#3 Luisangel Acuna: 

Acuna has struggled to open the season in Syracuse. In 130 at bats the 22-year-old middle infielder has hit .215/.271/.331, good for a .602 OPS. Now we know Acuna (at least this Acuna) isn’t known for his power and more for his bat-to-ball skills and speed. Still, Acuna is having trouble hitting the ball well. His numbers are way down, considering his career norm in the minor leagues. It is especially noticeable that Acuna so far lacks doubles. He hit 28 last season over 121 games and so far, he has 3 over 31 games.   

It’s definitely early and Acuna is a very young player in AAA, still since he became a Met, he has struggled. After the Mets traded for Acuna, he had a .621 OPS in AA Binghamton. Is that part of the Mets having trouble developing hitters? 

#4 Ryan Clifford: 

Another young player the Mets got in a Deadline trade last season. Clifford came in the Verlander trade and had a good day while I type this out. Clifford went 2 for 4 on Wednesday, with a Double and three runs batted in. He improved his overall OPS to .785, which is solid. Clifford has shown a tremendous eye with a .444 On Base Percentage. The power, however, has lacked as he has hit just one homerun and owns a .341 Slugging Percentage.  

Clifford, who was coming off a season with 24 home runs over 111 games last year, is struggling with his power so far. Still, even when he struggles, he keeps his on base percentage very high. His advanced eye is a good sign for the just 20-year-old.  

# 7 Collin Houck: 

The Mets drafted the 19-year-old Houck last year as the 32nd overall pick. Lot of scouts considered Houck as one of the better High School bats in the class. Unfortunately, so far it seems like Pro Ball is a large step for Houck.  

Which isn’t a big surprise. With his age and coming out of High School, you give the young Short Stop time to adjust to the level. However, so far in his pro career he has struggled. In 35 games between 2023 and 2024, Houck has hit to a .195/.333/.281 slash line and is overmatched in St. Lucie so far. Houck owns a .590 OPS in St. Lucie with 42 strikeouts in 26 games. 

I hope Houck can adjust to the level, because so far it isn’t promising. Obviously, it’s way too early to give up on Houck and call this first rounder a bust. However, with the Mets lack of success in developing hitters in recent years, it would be nice to see some success in your 2023 first rounder. 

#8 Marco Vargas: 

Another very young hitter in a difficult environment to hit. Marco Vargas is a teammate of Houck, but just 18-years-old. However, Vargas is at least showing a great eye in St. Lucie with a .421 on base percentage in 14 games. However, the young Vargas isn’t showing a lot of power with a .286 Slugging Percentage. 

And again, it’s worth noting that since the Mets traded for Vargas, his numbers have gone down. Not just because Vargas has played in a better league, but also in his short stint in the same league last year. Vargas hasn’t played a lot, so it is worth noting that it is a small sample size.  

#9 Kevin Parada: 

Probably the most concerning is Kevin Parada, who has struggled since joining the Rumble Ponies. A college first round pick was expected to be a bat first catcher, rising quickly through the minors. Unfortunately, the performance was lacking. After a solid first stint in the Mets organization in 2022, Parada has struggled to a .752 OPS in 2023. Now, that isn’tterrible and Parada had some physical issues, it’s not the numbers you would like from yourfirst round College pick.  

2024 was a big year for him and so far, he has been bad. In 82 at bats, Parada has hit .171/.286/.268. For a bat first catcher, who has had issues on defense, it’s alarming. Time for Parada to figure it out. 

While these are all fairly small sample sizes, it’s worth mentioning the hitting in the Mets minor leagues is struggling. The Mets pitching was the best in baseball for Organizational ERA, but the hitting has been behind. And if you consider the Mets have had issues in recent years to get value out of their homegrown talent, it’s not a promising sign. 

I hope the Mets organization will figure out hitting, like they have with pitching. So far pitching has outplayed the offense and considering most of the Mets top prospects are hitters, it’s not what was expected.

Corne Hogeveen
Corne Hogeveenhttps://mlbreport.com/
Mets fan from the Netherlands since 2006. As a European fan, trying to get to as many games as possible. Mets writer for MLBreport and Co-host of the Queens Connection Podcast. Author of Diary of a Dutch Mets fan


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