In their recap and analysis of the 2018 season across all minor league levels, Baseball America rated Mets shortstop prospect Ronny Mauricio as the second best prospect in the Gulf Coast League this season.
This ranking is based not just on how much Maurcio has literally and figuratively grown, but also how much more he can develop:
Since then, Mauricio has grown two inches and filled out with considerable strength gains, driving the ball with impact and making a strong impression with his defense.
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Mauricio whips the barrel through the zone with a loose, easy swing from both sides of the plate, keeping his long arms inside the ball well to make frequent contact with impact. Mauricio already shows the ability to hammer the ball from both sides of the plate, and with plenty more room to fill out, he could develop plus or better future power.
This is exactly the type of prospect the Mets thought they were getting when they gave him a $2.1 million signing bonus last year. At the time, the bonus surpassed what was given to Amed Rosario, which was the previous record.
As noted by Baseball America, Mauricio was hitting .322/.333/.510 over the first two months of the season before tiring as the season came to an end. During the season, he would finish in the Top 10 in many categories including finishing fifth in hits and sixth in doubles.
On the strength of his season, the Mets would call him up to Kingsport as that team made a push for the playoffs. That’s how highly the Mets think of him, and apparently from these rankings, the Mets are not alone.
What is interesting is how Maurcio was alone in these rankings. Notably, 2018 second round pick Simeon Woods Richardson was not on this list despite not yielding an earned run in 11.1 innings.
Numbers aside, Woods Richardson answered questions about his velocity with him maintaining a mid 90s fastball and being able to ramp it up to 99 MPH in a game.
One thing that has been made apparent over the course of the 2018 season is how the Mets have really stocked the lower levels of the minor leagues with promising talent.
The performance of both Mauricio and Woods Richardson is a testament to that, and it should be exciting to see how they and the other young Mets prospects develop during the upcoming seasons.