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The arrival of the offseason means that it's time to rank stuff. Already this winter, we've sized up the 60 best free agents, both on an overall and positional basis. There's no law that prevents us from ranking minor-league players in addition to their big-league counterparts. As such, we're going to spend the winter evaluating every team's farm system. 

The lack of a minor-league season makes that more of a challenge this year. It doesn't help that some teams opted against sharing video and data from their alternate-site camps with the rest of the league. As such, we've opted against overthinking this. Our rankings will essentially be the same as they were last winter with a few changes. First, we'll exclude anyone who graduated by exhausting their rookie eligibility; second, we'll replace them with draftees or other worthy prospects; and third, and lastly, we'll present the information in a new format.

In every article in this series, you'll find a team's top five prospects as well as five others we felt like including, either because of their promise or some other reason. For those top five prospects, you'll find a quick summation of their pros (their saving grace, if one will) and their cons (their fault line), as well as beefier report and our attempt to peg their "likeliest outcome."

These rankings were compiled by talking to industry folks -- scouts, analysts, and other evaluators -- and include a touch of our own evaluative biases. Remember, that this is more of an art than a science, and that the write-ups matter more than the rankings themselves.

Now, let's get on to the top five prospects in the New York Mets system.

1. Ronny Mauricio, SS

Age (as of 4/1/2021): 19

Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 166 pounds

Acquired: International amateur free-agent signing (Dominican Republic)

Highest level: A-ball

Saving grace: Upside

Fault line: The limits of one's imagination

Scouting report: Zora Neale Hurston once wrote that ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. Teenage shortstops are often the baseball equivalent of that. That's especially true of those like Mauricio. He has oodles of athleticism; a tall, lanky frame that he could add weight to, giving him above-average power; plenty of dexterity (he's a switch-hitter); some established aptitude against pro-caliber pitching; and, potentially, an All-Star ceiling. Whether or not Mauricio gets there -- and whether or not he sticks at short or has to slide elsewhere, possibly to third -- is a ways off. For now, he's a dot on the horizon. And it's hard to look away.

Likeliest outcome: Starting left-side infielder with middle-of-the-order possibilities

2. Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF

Age (as of 4/1/2021): 19

Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 180 pounds

Acquired: No. 19 pick in the 2020 draft (Harvard-Westlake High School, California)

Highest level: High school

Saving grace: Athleticism, center-field profile

Fault line: Fun-fact repetition, power

Scouting report: Did you know Crow-Amstrong's parents were actors? Of course you did. But did you know that he hails from the same high school as Lucas Giolito, Max Fried, and Jack Flaherty? How about that he has the chance to be a high-quality center fielder with all the trimmings -- arm strength, speed, and so on? Crow-Amstrong doesn't project to be an easy out, either. He's probably not going to hit for a lot of power, but there's enough bat-to-ball skills here to envision him potentially sitting atop a lineup, either as a leadoff hitter or as a No. 2 type.

Likeliest outcome: High-grade center fielder with top-of-the-order potential 

3. Mark Vientos, 3B

Age (as of 4/1/2021): 21

Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 185 pounds

Acquired: Second-round pick in the 2017 draft (American Heritage High School, Florida)

Highest level: A-ball

Saving grace: Power potential

Fault line: Long-term defensive home

Scouting report: Vientos broke out in 2018, but he appeared to backslide in 2019. That makes the coming season an important one for his long-term forecast. The draw with Vientos is his bat, particularly his pop. He's already capable of hitting the ball hard, and that ability should be enhanced as he continues to mature. The drawback with Vientos is that his physical gains will likely force him off the hot corner, perhaps over to first base. If so, that just puts more pressure on his stick. 

Likeliest outcome: Second-division corner bat, albeit probably not third base

4. Brett Baty, 3B

Age (as of 4/1/2021): 21

Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 210 pounds

Acquired: No. 12 pick in the 2019 draft (Lake Travis High School, Texas)

Highest level: Low-A

Saving grace: Offensive upside

Fault line: Age

Scouting report: Baty was an atypical high-school prospect in that he was closing in on his 20th birthday when he was drafted. That concerned teams who are more inclined to take younger players based on research and the emphasis on age-relative performance. At any case, Baty does have his charms: he should be able to stick at third base, at least for the short term, and he has well-above-average raw power to go with a feel for the craft. There are going to be fears that his stock was inflated by him taking advantage of younger competition until there's not; a good showing Low-A (or wherever the Mets start him at in 2021) will assuage those.

Likeliest outcome: Starting third baseman; recipient of "Grandpa" or "Grandpa"-adjacent nicknames from younger teammates

5. Matthew Allan, RHP

Age (as of 4/1/2021): 19

Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 225 pounds

Acquired: Third-round pick in the 2019 draft (Seminole High School, Florida)

Highest level: Low-A

Saving grace: Fastball-curveball combination

Fault line: The C's of pitching

Scouting report: Allan slipped to the third round in the 2019 draft not because of talent, but because of signability concerns. The Mets ponied up, giving him $2.5 million to forego his commitment to the University of Florida. Allan missed out on seeing the Tom Petty tree, and he's likely to continue to evade lumber thanks to a high-grade fastball-curveball pairing. He's a teenage pitcher, meaning he needs to continue to work on his changeup and his command. There's no apparent reason why he can't make the necessary gains with those areas, and perhaps even develop into a No. 2 starter when all is said and done. 

Likeliest outcome: Mid-rotation starter

Five others to know

  • Francisco Alvarez, C
    Alvarez is all but certain to be in the top five next year. He's a promising defender who had an outstanding professional debut in 2019, hitting .312/.407/.510 with seven home runs across 42 games with a pair of rookie-ball affiliates. He just turned 19 in November, so the Mets would be wise to take it low and slow with his developmental arc. Alvarez should reward their patience. 
  • J.T. Ginn, RHP
    Ginn's stock crashed in spring, from the top-10 range to the middle of the second round, after he exited his first start and then underwent Tommy John surgery. The Mets plucked him with the 52nd pick and shelled out nearly $3 million to sign him. Ginn could make it worth the gamble thanks to a physical frame and a quality fastball-slider combo. He has mid-rotation upside.
  • Isaiah Greene, OF
    The Mets used their second second-round pick to lure Greene away from his commitment to Missouri. He runs well and he has an aesthetically pleasing left-handed swing. There is a chance that he'll have to slide to left field as he gains mass. He just doesn't have the arm for right.
  • Thomas Szapucki, LHP
    Szapucki's delivery will remind you a little of Ryan Yarbrough's, which is fitting since he might have to fill a bulk role in the future. To be clear, he has the stuff to start: a high-spin low-90s fastball and a swing-and-miss curve; alas, he doesn't seem to have the durability to handle the workload. To wit, his 61 frames in 2019 represented a new career-high. Szapucki is 24.
  • Shervyen Newton, SS
    Newton was the "one to watch" on last year's list because he's a "tall switch-hitter with legitimate offensive upside." We warned then that the "range of outcomes is so wide as to be laughable." He'll turn 22 just weeks into the new season, but nothing else has changed.