Mets Minors 2018 All-Stars: Santana Leads a Strong Bench

Luis Santana, Shervyen Newton Photo by Tanner Cook of TimesNews

As the 2018 Minor League seasons come to an end, the Mets Minors staff made an All-Star team of minor leaguers. This list is strictly based on offensive numbers, age and prospect status did not play a role in our decisions. We want to give recognition to all players that had a good season in the minors.

Levi Michael, IF/OF

Height/Weight: 5’10″, 180 lbs

Date of Birth: 2/9/1991

Team(s): Binghamton Rumble Ponies/Las Vegas 51s

Stats: .306/.391/.467, 10 HR, 36 RBI, 21.0% K%, 7.8% BB%

The Mets signed many players from the independent leagues this season, hoping to find some gems in the rough. Although many of the signees didn’t pan out, Levi Michael was the outlier. After bouncing around the Twins minor league system for several years, he latched on with the Mets on a minor-league deal. Michael was a surprising contributor to the Binghamton lineup, recording team-highs with his 118 hits, 30 doubles, and 182 total bases. He also appeared at seven different positions throughout the season.

Unfortunately, his season was cut short by a wrist injury suffered in mid-August. He’s also a free agent after this season and the Mets would be smart to explore another minor-league deal with him.

Luis Santana, IF

Height/Weight: 5’10″/ 180 lbs

Date of Birth:7/20/1999

Team: Kingsport Mets

Stats: .348/.446/.471, 35 RBI 11.2% BB%, 9.5 K%

Despite being one of the more anonymous names in the Kingsport lineup, Santana was one of the most productive players on the team. The undersized infielder followed up a breakout 2017 with another strong campaign in 2018, setting new career-highs in average, on-base percentage, and home runs. Despite lacking power, his above-average hit tool and terrific plate discipline bode well for his future. Santana finished top-10 in the Appalachian League in average, OBP, doubles and was recently named the recipient of the Sterling Award, which names the best player in each Met affiliate.

Patrick Kivlehan, OF  

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 223 lbs

Date of Birth: 12/22/1989

Team: Las Vegas 51s

Season Stats: .314/.372/.588, 20 HR, 67 RBI, 7.7% BB%, 21.5% K%

Cast off by the Reds in early May, Patrick Kivlehan reinvented himself as a power-hitting outfielder with the Las Vegas 51s. He certainly took advantage of the high Vegas altitude, slashing an otherworldly .371/.446/.928 over the last month of the season.  After the 51s season concluded, the Mets shipped him to Arizona so he could enjoy a playoff push with the Diamondbacks. With the lack of outfield depth in the upper levels of the Mets system, the Mets would be wise to resign him this offseason.

Will Toffey, 3B

Height/Weight: 6′ 2″ / 205 lbs

Date of Birth: 12/31/1994

Team: Binghamton Rumble Ponies

Stats: .254/.394/.433, 12 2B, 4 HR, 18.2 BB%, 21.8 K%

Entering 2018, Toffey was low on the Athletics depth chart due to poor power numbers and other more promising prospects passing him. As such, the A’s felt comfortable including him as the second piece in the Jeurys Familia trade. However, his projection significantly changed once he came to the Mets.

Despite playing only half the season in the Mets system, Toffey made his production count. Among Rumble Ponies players who finished the year on the active roster, Toffey ranked first in wRC+ and BB%, second in OPS and third in SLG. Despite power being a huge question, he significantly improved on that aspect this year by posting career-bests in SLG, ISO, and OPS.

Of course, his future depends on his reaction to impending shoulder surgery that he will need to undergo in order to heal a dislocated shoulder that he played through during the 2018 campaign. That being said, his progress this year has been extremely encouraging and the Mets hope that he’ll be able to contribute in the Majors very soon.

Scott Manea, C

Height/Weight: 5’11”, 216 lbs

Date of Birth: 12/21/1995

Team: Columbia Fireflies

Stats: .261/.368/.432, 12 HR, 53 RBI, 8.6% BB%, 16.3% K%

One of the more unheralded prospects in the Mets system, Manea was done nothing but mash ever since he signed as an undrafted free agent in 2016. Despite having little prospect pedigree entering the year, Manea has emerged a legit catching option in the Mets farm system. He posted impressive offensive numbers with Columbia this year, producing 33% more than the average player, according to wRC+. While he posted horrific power numbers over the last few years, he improved on that aspect this season, having career-highs in SLG and ISO.

Special Assistant to the GM J.R. Riccardi recently commended the backstop commenting

“He has got a chance to be something,” Ricciardi said. “He has opened up some eyes this year. He has got power and a pretty good idea of what he is doing behind the plate.

“We don’t have a lot of catching. It’s an area where we need someone and (while) he didn’t come out of nowhere, he took a step this year.”

He’ll likely begin next year catching for the St.Lucie Mets.

Among other players, Walter Rasquin and Andres Gimenez were both considered for the team.

About Matt Mancuso 126 Articles
Hey everyone, my name's Matt Mancuso and I'm currently studying business at TCNJ. I've been covering the Mets minor-league system for MMN and MMO for the last year. Follow me on at https://twitter.com/Cuso__.