Mets fans have been pulling their hair out watching their team struggle to score runs of late (averaging 3.9 runs while losing 11 of their last 14 games) while their Triple-A team has two MLB-ready bats on fire for Syracuse. Mark Vientos has a 1.120 OPS with 10 homers in 31 games while Ronny Mauricio has a .951 OPS with 6 homers and 6 steals.
With Mauricio having moved to second base from shortstop to add versatility, it looks like he could be the one to come up any day now in an attempt to give New York’s struggling offense a boost. Mauricio could play second base with Jeff McNeil going to the outfield, pushing Mark Canha into a DH platoon with Daniel Vogelbach.
Why stop there? How about bring Vientos to the majors to man the DH spot? Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves as there would need to be corresponding demotions. The Mets could send down light-hitting utility infielder Luis Guillorme to accommodate Mauricio, but would have to cut somebody like Vogelbach or Eduardo Escobar to bring up Vientos. They’re probably not ready to go that far just yet. Now might be a good time for a phantom IL stint for Escobar.
Mauricio was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2017 and has been steadily rising through the minors ever since. He started to show his offensive potential in 2021 when he combined for a .745 OPS, 20 homers and 11 steals between High-A and Double-A. Mauricio made progress last year by posting a .768 OPS, 26 homers and 20 steals for Double-A Binghamton.
The problem has been poor plate discipline that has left the switch-hitter with just a .305 career OBP in the minors. Last year, Mauricio had just a 4.4% walk rate to go with a 23.1% strikeout rate, leading to a measly .296 OBP. He has cut back on his Ks this year in Triple-A, striking out at just a 18.1% rate, leading to a bounce in his OBP all the way up to .370.
Mauricio’s best tool is his power, which carries a 60-grade now and could become elite in the near future. Mauricio has the arm to play third base or the outfield, but for now he can hold his own defensively at short or second. Add in a dash of speed and that he’s a switch-hitter and it’s easy to see how he could help New York right now.
For fantasy, Mauricio should already be owned in dynasty leagues, but he can be added in all but the shallowest leagues if you could use a power boost with a chance for steals in the middle infield.
If Mauricio could get to 400 ABs, which would mean he played his way into a starting role, we could be looking at 20 homers to go with a .250 average and 12-15 steals. For dynasty purposes, his improved plate discipline in Triple-A this year gives hope that he could reach his ceiling as a 35-homer, 20-steal fantasy stud.