With the recent purchase of the New York Mets by billionaire Steve Cohen, the team has shifted to a win-now mindset. Cohen has expressed his willingness to spend big money on free agents and go past the salary cap if he feels it is needed. This resulted in the Mets acquiring multiple new players over the offseason, most notably Max Scherzer. The addition of proven players significantly helps the major league team but derails the progress of minor league prospects. These prospects will eventually get their chance with the major league team as many of the key players are aging, deGrom is 33, Scherzer is 37, and Bassitt is 33. So, it is important to have prospects ready to replace these players once they retire or become no longer effective.
The Mets have been working to restore their farm system as it had been fractured from a series of moves under the past ownership, sending Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn to Seattle. Currently, MLB Pipeline has the Mets’ farm system ranked 22nd. Even though the ranking is lower than the organization and fans would want, some talented prospects have upside.
A prospect that has gone under the radar in the Mets’ system is RHP Jose Butto. The talented righty put up a very impressive stat line in 2021: 3.12 ERA, 11.16 K/9, 2.01 BB/9. Butto signed out of Venezuela when he was 19 for a signing bonus of only $5,000. His fastball can reach 96 mph and has a very sneaky changeup, leaving him only with the need for a consistent breaking ball. Jose Butto is a name to look for in the future Mets’ bullpen as he could be a weapon for the bullpen that needs improvements.
One of my favorite pitching prospects in the Mets farm system, José Butto, made his Double-A debut last night for Binghamton:
6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 8 K, 85 pitches/54 strikes
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayer22) July 22, 2021
Another prospect to keep tabs on is LHP Franklin Parra. Mets’ minor league reporter Ernest Dove is impressed by the prospect, “Parra has a lot to learn as a work in progress, but I like his potential.” Parra had a 6 ERA in single-A but impressed in a small sample size in double-A, posting an ERA of 3.00. The lefty was an 11th round pick and became rule 5 eligible in December. With the Mets in need of left-handed pitching, it is important to retain Parra and monitor his development.
— Ernest Dove (@ernestdove) June 9, 2021
The Mets’ top prospect Francisco Alvarez is making rapid progress through the minors and could be called up soon. Ernest Dove believes Alvarez could sniff triple-A in 2022 and get some at-bats there. It is essential not to rush the catcher up, making sure he is fully developed before being called up. Alvarez has been ranked the 10th best prospect in the MLB due to his explosive power and strength. In 2021, Alvarez hit 22 home runs and put up a 132 wRC+ in high-A. However, he has work to do defensively with blocking and catch-and-throw skills. Alvarez has a strong arm and has seen improvements in his speed and mobility. Francisco Alvarez has potential to be one of the best catchers in the MLB, small defensive improvements just need to be made in the minors.
Mets top prospect Francisco Alvarez was a single away from a cycle tonight.
Some fun things of note: The homerun went 403ft and was 103MPH off the bat. And enjoy watching him have to crawl the last little bit on that triple. pic.twitter.com/GbZBGKZvrG
— Trevor Hooth (@HoothTrevor) August 8, 2021