By Jerry Del Priore
With the end of the minor league season coming to a close in a few weeks, some prospects will get a chance to showcase their skills in the Arizona Fall League (AFL), which begins play on Sept. 18.
The New York Mets will be sending seven players to Scottsdale: Andres Gimenez, SS/2B (No. 3, MLB No. 91); David Peterson, LHP (No. 7); Thomas Szapucki, LHP (No. 12); Ryley Gilliam, RHP (No. 16); Ali Sanchez, C (No. 17); Patrick Mazeika, C (No. 26); Luis Carpio, SS/2B (No. 28).
Of the seven players, five have seen time with the Brooklyn Cyclones: Peterson (2017); Szapucki (’17); Gilliam (2018); Sanchez (2016); and Carpio (’16).
Gimenez is the highest-ranking Mets prospect on the 2019 30 MLB Prospect Watch list heading to the AFL, hitting .243 with eight home runs and 35 RBI this season. Peterson is the top pitching prospect on the same list, posting a 3-6 record with a 4.45 ERA.
Hopefully, the former first-round pick out of the University of Oregon can get back on track with some fine-tuning in the AFL.
Sanchez, a defensive-minded catcher, is New York’s top backstop ticketed for playing time in Scottsdale, and second-best overall on the top 30 list. Batting .265 with a long ball and 33 RBI through 317 at-bats in 88 games in two minor league stops, he’ll need to work on his offensive numbers in order to reach the major league level, in my opinion.
Mazeika has better offensive stats than Sanchez, hitting .253 with 16 homers and 69 RBI with a slash line of .317/.441/.758 in 399 at-bats in 111 affairs with Double-A Binghamton thus far this year.
Carpio has had a decent campaign so far this year, hitting .273 with 3 long balls and 32 RBI in 322 at-bats in 108 contest, though he has wiffed times 62 times to 38 walks, something he’ll need to cut down going foward.