2024 Mets Minors Top Prospects: 25-21 (2024)

Counting down towards baseball season, Mets Minors is counting down our list of the Mets’ top 35 prospects. This is the third edition of the series, breaking down the prospects ranked between 25 through 21 in the Mets’ system.

2024 Mets Minors Top Prospects: 25-21 (1)

José Butto, Photo by Richard Nelson

25. José Butto, RHP

B/T: R/R Age: 3/19/1998 (25)
Ht: 6’1″ Weight: 202 lbs
Acquired:Signed as an international free agent out of Venezuela in 2017
ETA: 2022 Previous Rank:13
2023 Stats (Syracuse): 3-7, 5.93 ERA, 1.626 WHIP, 4.8 BB/9, 8.1 K/9
2023 Stats (MLB): 9 G (7 GS), 42.0 IP, 1-4, 3.64 ERA, 1.333 WHIP, 4.9 BB/9, 8.1 K/9

At 25, Butto is naturally one of the older prospects in the Mets organization. Since being an international free agent signing in 2017, he has gradually worked his way up through every minor league level and finally reached the majors in 2022. He has just 46 career major league innings under his belt heading into 2024, but he could be in line to have a larger role on the team this season.

Butto impressed in nine games (seven starts) in 2023, in which he recorded a 3.64 ERA. Five of his nine appearances came in September alone, withMax Scherzer andJustin Verlander no longer in the picture clearing the way for him to try to prove himself as a big league pitcher. The Mets’ rotation heading into 2024 is very shaky, and it’s limits will be tested early with Kodai Senga likely missing at least the first month of the season.

To break camp and remain with the big league team, Butto needs to remain consistent. While he had a great stretch of starts in September last year, he has proven to be inconsistent in the past and struggled mightily in Triple-A Syracuse where he spent most of last year. Cutting down on walks is another area in which Butto could look to improve.

Butto will likely begin the year in Triple-A, though he has a chance to be bulk guy out of the major league bullpen. Ultimately, he should have a golden opportunity to prove his strong finish to last year wasn’t a fluke with his sights set on being a mainstay in the Mets’ rotation.

24. A.J. Ewing, 2B/OF

B/T: L/R Age: 8/10/2004 (19)
Ht: 6’0″ Weight: 160 lbs
Acquired: 2023 Fourth Round Pick from Springboro HS (Springboro, OH)
ETA: 2027 Previous Rank: N/A
2023 Stats (FCL): .286/.524/.357, 2B, 3 RBI, SB

Ewing had a very brief pro debut in 2023, playing in just seven games and recording 21 plate appearances in rookie ball. Still, Ewing impressed with his defensive versatility and his ability to get on base. He played 47 combined innings at second base, left field, and center field, and recorded just one error at second base while playing clean outfield defense. He also had an on-base percentage over .500 as he walked five times in his 21 plate appearances.

Ewing was drafted out of high school primarily as a shortstop, but the Mets clearly value his ability to play the infield and the outfield. He’s able to do so due to his above-average speed, which will help him on the basepaths as well.

Offensively, Ewing has been described as having sneaky power for his size. When he was drafted,SNY’s Joe DeMayo wrote that Ewing has “big-time bat speed with surprising power given his size to the pull side.” Ewing will also have to put on weight as he matures and fills into his frame, which should make his power stand out even more.

If everything goes right for Ewing, he could be a plus defender at second base with the ability to occasionally hit home runs and steal bases. The Mets have a deluge of middle infield prospects so he will be given time to develop as he’s still just 19-years-old. Ewing be playing his first full pro season in 2024, and the Mets will be hoping he can rise higher on their prospect list than where he currently stands.

2024 Mets Minors Top Prospects: 25-21 (3)

Nolan Clenney, Photo by Rick Nelson

23. Nolan McLean, RHP/DH

B/T: R/R Age: 7/24/2001 (22)
Ht: 6’4″ Weight: 214 lbs
Acquired: 2023 Third Round Pick from Oklahoma State University
ETA: 2026 Previous Rank: N/A
2023 Pitching Stats (St. Lucie): 2 G (1 GS), 3.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, 0.900 WHIP, 5.4 BB/9, 5.4 K/9
2023 Batting Stats (FCL/St. Lucie): .125/.375/.313, HR, 3 RBI, SB

McLean is an intriguing prosect, as all two-way players are. Coming out of the draft, he was believed to profile better as a pitcher long-term. McLean, however, prefers hitting. Luckily for him, the Mets are letting him do both. At least they did during his first stint in pro ball. He had a tiny sample size at the plate and on the mound, recording just 24 plate appearances and 3.1 innings pitched. However, there’s a lot to like about the Oklahoma State product.

McLean has a repertoire that includes three above-average pitches: a fastball, curveball, and slider. His fastball, which can reach up to 98 miles-per-hour, is his best pitch and was graded a 65 on the 20-80 scale prior to being drafted. His slider sits in the mid-80s, while his curveball is typically in the high-70s. Both of those pitches earned a grade of 55 prior to the draft.

One area in which McLean needs to improve on the mound is his command of pitches. Because of this, he has been projected as a relief pitcher for his career. Though, if he can figure out his command there’s a chance he could become a mid-rotation or back-end of the rotation starter.

Offensively, McLean’s most obvious gift is his power, which graded 60 on the 20-80 scale. In his college career he hit 36 home runs in just over 500 at-bats, while also recording 32 doubles. As it tends to be with power hitters, though, his overly aggressive swing leads to a large number of strikeouts. He struck out 11 times in 24 at-bats in his first pro season, and also set a NCAA Division I record when he struck out 107 times in 290 plate appearances during his sophom*ore year of college.

McLean possesses exciting potential both on the mound and at the plate, but he also possesses glaring areas of weakness that will need to be addressed if he wants to reach the big leagues. He should continue getting a chance to both pitch and hit, but transitioning to pitching full-time might be his best bet.

2024 Mets Minors Top Prospects: 25-21 (4)

Calvin Ziegler, Photo by Ed Delaney

22. Calvin Ziegler, RHP

B/T: R/R Age: 10/3/2002 (21)
Ht: 6’0″ Weight: 205 lbs
Acquired: 2021 Second Round Pick from TNXL Academy (Ocoee, FL)
ETA: 2025 Previous Rank: N/A
2023 Pitching Stats (St. Lucie): 1 G (1 GS), 1.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.000 WHIP, 0.0 BB/9, 27.0 K/9

The Mets have a really good pitching prospect in Ziegler. His 2023 season was cut short, limiting him to just one inning pitched. He has dealt with several injuries in his brief career, including biceps tendinitis, bone spurs, and a torn quad. In total, he has pitched just under 50 career pro innings.

The upside is undoubtedly there, though. In his only full season, Ziegler pitched to a 4.44 ERA in 46 2/3 innings but recorded 70 strikeouts. That equates to an impressive 13.5 K/9. On the other hand, Ziegler also walked 35 batters in that same span, equating to a poor 6.8 BB/9.

Ziegler throws three pitches: a fastball, curveball, and splitter. Ziegler’s fastball and curveball are considered above average, grading out to a 60 on the 20-80 scale. His fastball tends to sit in the 92-94 mph range, which works well for him despite his below average size on the mound. His curveball sits in the low-80s and tends to generate a lot of swings and misses. The splitter is still considered a work in progress, and staying healthy will have a big impact on further developing his pitches.

A lot will be riding on the 2024 season for Ziegler. He needs to prove that he is healthy and can stay healthy. If he does that and pitches at a high level, he can absolutely rise through the minor leagues quickly. If he is unable to stay healthy, though, it would be yet another setback that stunts his development.

2024 Mets Minors Top Prospects: 25-21 (5)

Tyler Stuart, Photo by Ed Delany of Metsmerized

21. Tyler Stuart, RHP

B/T: R/R Age: 10/8/1999 (24)
Ht: 6’9″ Weight: 250 lbs
Acquired: 2022 Sixth Round Pick from the University of Southern Mississippi
ETA: 2024 Previous Rank: N/A
2023 Pitching Stats (Brooklyn/Binghamton): 21 G (21 GS), 110.2 IP, 2.20 ERA, 1.102 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, 9.1 K/9

Stuart is a massive presence whenever he’s on the mound, standing at a gargantuan 6’9″ and weighing 250 lbs. A product of the University of Southern Mississippi, Stuart pitched his first full pro season in 2023 and recorded a 2.20 ERA across High-A Brooklyn and Double-A Binghamton. Stuart was especially dominant in Brooklyn, where he recorded a 1.55 ERA over 75 2/3 innings. The 1.55 ERA led the entire minor leagues at the time he was called up to Binghamton.

Stuart’s success in both Brooklyn and Binghamton has him set to have a major league impact as early as this season. There is, of course, more he needs to prove in the minors before a call-up is a possibility. Though there is no reason to expect that he can’t continue his upward trajectory.

Stuart relies on his slider as his primary pitch and he mixes a sinker and changeup in as well. His slider tends to clock in in the low-80s with his sinker consistently in in the low-90s. Stuart doesn’t use his changeup nearly as much as his primary two pitches, but he will need to continue developing it if he wants to eventually become a major league starter.

A fantastic 2023 season has the Mets optimistic about Stuart’s future. He needs to improve his changeup and utilize it more often, but his strikeout-to-walk ratio and his ability to limit runs to this point gives the Mets another pitching prospect to be excited about.

2024 Mets Minors Top Prospects: 25-21 (6)

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