In an effort to help Mets prospects better prepare for the Major Leagues, the organization has sent their top prospects to work with the Major League team and coaching staff. Not only is this a chance for the prospects to improve, but it is also a chance for the prospects to impress the Major League coaching staff.
Much like he has done during the 2017 season, Justin Dunn is taking full advantage of the opportunity. Having seen him play, Mickey Callaway said, “He’s on our radar, for sure. If he continues to improve the way he did this year, you’re probably going to see him at some point in a Mets uniform next year.”
What will be interesting to see is what role Dunn could contribute next year. Certainly, if there is an injury, he could possibly join the rotation. There’s also the chance that if the Mets compete, Dunn could join the bullpen like we have seen with Adam Wainwright in 2006 or Joba Chamberlain with the Yankees.
It will also be interesting to see which prospects could join Dunn in making their Major League debuts next season. Looking at the farm system, there are three players who stand out:
Peter Alonso, 1B
Level: Binghamton & St. Lucie
Stats: .285/.395/.579, 31 2B, 3B, 36 HR, 119 RBI
MMN Rank: 4
In many ways, it is quite surprising Alonso didn’t already make his debut. He led the entire minor leagues in homers, and the Mets have had a hole at first base for much of the season. With the Mets looking to rely on players like Jay Bruce and possibly Yoenis Cespedes there next year, the Mets could very well be looking for a first baseman to call-up in case of injury.
Another important point with Alonso is the way this team is constructed, the Mets really need a right-handed power bat to compliment Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Jeff McNeil. Absent a move this offseason, Alonso seems best poised to be that guy.
Andres Gimenez, MI
Level: St. Lucie & Binghamton
Stats: .281/.347/.409, 29 2B, 5 3B, 6 HR, 46 RBI, 38 SB
MMN Rank: 1
Everyone who comes in contact with Gimenez comes away with his baseball IQ, drive, and his coachability. This is partially the reason why he was not just a 19-year-old in Double-A, but also the top prospect in the Mets farm system for two years running.
While he’s primarily a shortstop, he has the skills to fill-in at any position on the infield. Gimenez could also provide the Mets with two things the organization seems to be looking for in their players. First, he is a good defender no matter where you put him. Second, he has a contact oriented approach at the plate, and he does not strike out often (18.3 percent).
Franklyn Kilome, RHP
Level: Eastern League (AA)
Stats: 4-9, 4.18 ERA, 1.343 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 8.0 K/9
The Phillies added Kilome to their 40 man roster last year to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft meaning he has already used one of his options. With Kilome likely to begin the season with Syracuse, Kilome is going to use the second of his three options next year.
With Kilome already being on the 40-man roster, it is likely in the event of an injury, the need for a spot starter, or the team needing an extra arm in the bullpen, Kilome makes his debut next year.
Kilome has put himself in a much better position for that call-up with his work with Frank Viola. After being traded to the Mets, Kilome significantly improved his control. He would reduce his BB/9 from 4.5 to 2.4 while increasing his K/9 from 7.3 to 9.9. Those numbers coupled with his ability to ramp it up to 98 MPH could very well lead to his making at least one appearance with the Mets next year.
The fact the Mets have three well-regarded prospects in a position to not just make it to the majors next year, but also be significant contributors, speaks well of what is becoming a much better regarded Mets farm system.