Over the weekend, the Mets released their full 2021 Spring Training roster. The Mets also announced on Sunday they’ve signed right-handed pitcher Tommy Hunter and left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery to a minor league deals with an invitation to major league camp.
Those two additions bring the Mets number of players invited to big league camp to 70, the max for this season is 75 players. That means the Mets have decided to bring in 30 non-roster invitees (anyone not on the 40-man roster) for now.
Let’s take a look at those 30 names by position with age in parentheses.
RHP Matthew Allan (19), Mets №3 prospect
LHP Jerry Blevins (37), Former Met that didn’t pitch in 2020
RHP Oscar De La Cruz (25), Mets №23 prospect
RHP Jerad Eickhoff (30), Didn’t pitch in 2020
RHP Ryley Gilliam (24), Mets №21 prospect
RHP Harol Gonzalez (25), 3.60 ERA in 6 MiLB seasons
RHP Trevor Hildenberger (30), 3.21 ERA in 2017 w/Twins
RHP Tommy Hunter (34), 4.01 ERA in 2020 w/Phils
RHP Tylor Megill (25), Mets №28 prospect
LHP Mike Montgomery (31), 115 ERA+ from 2015–2018
RHP Marcel Renteria (26), hit 99 mph this offseason
RHP Jared Robinson (26), 3.87 ERA in 6 MiLB seasons
RHP Arodys Vizcaino (30), 151 ERA+ from 2015–2019
LHP Tom Windle (28), Dodgers’ 2nd RD in 2013
The Mets came into the winter with little to no pitching depth in the upper minors, they’ve done a good job this winter bringing guys in on minor league deals (in addition to trading for Carlos Carrasco, Joey Lucchesi, and multiple others) to improve that.
Hunter and Vizcaino are the two names I would keep an eye on in terms of guys with big league experience that could help the Mets in 2021. Both have recent major league success and experience pitching high-leverage spots.
In terms of prospects that could potentially help in 2021 from this list, Renteria, Megill, and Gilliam stand out. Renteria was 94–97 mph with his fastball during instructs and hit 99 this winter in a training session. He also features a high spin slider that Baseball America called the best in the Mets farm system.
Megill is another arm that showed well during instructs last year, he was up to 98 mph with his four-seamer. The right-hander has been both a starter and reliever in the Mets system since they took him in the 8th round of the 2018 draft. He also throws a slider, curve, and change, all three pitches that grade about average. Megill has struck out 128 batters in 99 minor league innings.
Gilliam features a high spin fastball and a dagger curve, both pitches that produce high levels of swings and misses (14.0 K/9 in minors). He’s struggled with control though big time, with 5.0 BB/9 in the minors. In 2019 during the Arizona Fall League — the last time he’s pitched due to lost 2020 minor league season — he had 11 strikeouts compared to only two walks in 9 and 2/3 innings.
With that said, all eyes will be on 19-year-old Matthew Allan when he reports to big league camp in on Wednesday. The first round talent (slipped because of supposed bonus demands) was taken in the third round of the 2019 draft by the Mets.
Allan has only 10 1/3 minor league innings under his belt between the GCL Mets and Brooklyn Cyclones, he allowed three runs and struck out 14 in that span. He showed off his swing and miss stuff during a very impressive instructs in the fall. He has a plus-plus fastball and a plus curve, both of which he showed good command of this fall.
Francisco Alvarez (19), Mets №1 prospect
Bruce Maxwell (30), A’s 2nd RD in 2012
Nick Meyer (23), Mets’ 6th RD in 2015
David Rodriguez (24), 1.040 OPS in winter ball this year
Most publications have the exciting young Alvarez as the Mets №1 prospect and Keith Law has him as the №19 prospect in all of baseball. Here’s what Law had to say about Alvarez:
“With his contact skills and present power, he’ll be very good, but if the power develops, or he maintains his strong walk rates, the Venezuelan teenager will be a star.”
3B Brett Baty (21), Mets №4 prospect
INF Brandon Drury (28), -1.0 WAR in 2020
INF Jake Hager (27), Rays’ 1st RD in 2011
SS Ronny Mauricio (19), Mets №2 prospect
INF José Peraza (26), 2.5 WAR in 2018
INF Wilfredo Tovar (29), Made MLB debut in 2013 w/Mets
3B Mark Vientos (21), Mets №8 prospect
Not much in terms of depth that will help the big league club here, but three of the Mets top prospects. The trio of Mauricio, Vientos, and Baty give the Mets an exciting group of young Mets prospects that will be in their first big league camp.
Mauricio is ranked №67 in MLB Pipeline’s top 100 baseball prospects and Baty is at №94.
Pete Crow-Armstrong (18), Mets №5 prospect
Johneshwy Fargas (26), 50 SB in 2019 (AA)
Drew Ferguson (28), 27 SB in 2019 (AAA)
Mallex Smith (27), 46 SB in 2019 with Mariners
Tim Tebow (33), Former QB
A top prospect, three speedsters, and some dude playing in his fifth major league camp without any real chance of him ever playing in the big leagues.
As you can see, the Mets outfield depth is thin and outside of a trade for Khalil Lee and a few minor acquisitions like Smith, Ferguson and Albert Almora, Sandy Alderson and company haven’t done anything to address it.
What to Watch For
The Mets will have all of their top five prospects in camp and eight of their top nine, making it intriguing to see what they have coming from the farm system.
They’ve done a solid job (would still like to see a signing or two like Trevor Rosenthal and Jake Odorizzi) building back up pitching depth in the organization.
However, there’s infield and outfield depth are weak spots. The Mets were one of the finalists for George Springer and one of the teams interested in Justin Turner, but they missed out on both.