2023 MLB Fantasy: Should You Scoop Up Mets Infielder Ronny Mauricio?
What to make of this elite prospect.
The Mets have called up several of its young prospects that tore up AAA pitching in April and May, but there’s still one notable name that remains. 2B/SS Ronny Mauricio’s name has trended in recent weeks with regards to a potential callup, but should you pick him up? Let’s take a closer look at the 22-year-old infielder.
Related: 2023 MLB Fantasy: Five Hitters That Have Broke Out This Year
A Look at Mauricio
Switch-hitting Mets prospect Ronny Mauricio has torn up AAA over the first two months of the regular season. Through his first 48 games of the 2023 campaign with Syracuse (AAA), the 22-year-old infielder hit .348/.384/.586 with seven home runs, a AAA-high 31 extra base hits, and 33 runs batted in. Mauricio also netted nine stolen bases in that time.
To say that Mauricio’s season thus far has been incredible would be an understatement. The Mets infielder’s been a menace to opposing pitchers this season. His .970 OPS is 13th among qualified AAA hitters and third among middle infielders. Only Reds prospect Matt McLain — who’s currently up in the Majors with Cincinnati — and Elly De La Cruz own higher OPS figures among middle infielders. Much of that is thanks to his raw natural power, smooth swing, and ability to keep the barrel in the zone for a long period of time.
Just from looking at those numbers, one would find it hard-pressed to figure why Mauricio is still in the Minors. However, there are a few reasons as to why this is the case. For one, the Mets are likely keen to see how Mauricio continues to progress at the plate. While his power numbers are incredible, the 22-year-old possesses a low 4.7% BB% and can be quite aggressive at the plate from time to time. Mauricio’s proven that he can hit AAA pitching — but MLB pitching is a different story.
The second issue likely has to do with his future in the field. A shortstop by trade, Mauricio has no opening at short with the Mets thanks to the presence of Francisco Lindor. The 6’3” infielder has shifted to second base over the past few weeks, a move that seemed to be inevitable given his size but one geared towards getting him ready for the Majors now.
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Mauricio’s fantasy outlook for this season is rather complex. For one, we still don’t have a clear idea for when the 22-year-old will inevitably get the call to the Majors. Even though he’s roasted MiLB pitching in recent weeks, one would have to think defense is a sticking point. But if Mauricio continues on the pace at the plate, the Mets’ hand will likely be forced — regardless of readiness at second.
Second, there’s the issue of finding at-bats for Mauricio. While rookies Brett Baty and Francisco Alvarez successfully wedged their way into the Mets lineup this season, the same can’t be said for slugger Mark Vientos. Vientos, who still ranks third in AAA among qualified hitters in OPS (1.104), was called up in mid-May but has been sat on the bench most nights against right-handed pitchers in favor of Daniel Vogelbach.
As far as the Mets’ depth chart is concerned, New York does have Jeff McNeil slotted in at second, although he does have experience in the outfield and would likely shift in the event Mauricio gets called up. However, outfielders Mark Canha and Starling Marte — who have a combined AAV of $32.75M per Spotrac — are roadblocks.
The structure of the Mets roster, coupled with Mauricio’s inexperience at second, are really the only two primary reasons why he isn’t in the Majors yet. For now, we recommend waiting on Mauricio in roto and H2H leagues. But when he does make it to the bigs, he’s worth a grab. Very few infielders in the Minors possess the power that Mauricio has in his frame and he could be a versatile infielder that picks up eligibility at second and short.