Mets prospect tiers: How Brandon Sproat, Ryan Clifford and Colin Houck are doing


Less than two months into the season, the New York Mets have already received help from a few young players — notably starting pitcher Christian Scott — out of a farm system that has recently seen some improvement. Who might be next? Below is a stock report for more than a dozen Mets prospects, using a tiered system of who’s moving on up, who’s right on track and who’s falling behind.

Tier 1: Moving on up

Brandon Sproat, RHP

Current assignment: Double-A Binghamton
Keith Law rank: 13th on team Top 20

The Mets love what they have in Sproat, who got bumped up to Binghamton a few days ago. With Brooklyn, walks were sometimes an issue for Sproat. But in his last couple of appearances, evaluators said, he showed a really good feel for all of his pitches, demonstrated the ability to land any pitch and got swings-and-misses on everything from his arsenal. The Mets drafted Sproat last year (for the second straight year after failing to sign him in 2022), but as a 23-year-old, he could continue to rise quickly.

Blade Tidwell, RHP

Current assignment: Double-A Binghamton
Keith Law rank: 9th on team Top 20

Tidwell added a cutter, which has allowed him to rack up more strikes. For Tidwell, the pitch has helped remedy a command problem; scouts have referred to his stuff as elite for multiple years, but an inability to find the zone limited his potential. Perhaps that’s changing because of the cutter, a pitch he picked up late last winter and has seamlessly incorporated into his arsenal. The cutter has worked as a bridge between an impressive fastball and an improved slider.

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Jonah Tong’s strikeouts are up and his walks are down. (Joe Robbins / Icon Sportswire via Associated Press)

Jonah Tong, RHP

Current assignment: High-A Brooklyn
Keith Law rank: Unranked

In 27 2/3 innings across both levels of Class A, Tong has allowed just one earned run. Walks remain a concern, but he’s greatly improved his walk rate from last year while continuing to pile up strikeouts.

Nolan McLean, RHP/DH

Current assignment: High-A Brooklyn
Keith Law rank: Unranked

A two-way prospect, McLean has turned heads this season with four home runs in 61 plate appearances (.579 slugging percentage) and a 3.00 ERA in 24 innings (six starts). On the pitching side, a sweeper and better slider have helped McLean amass 27 strikeouts.

Jesus Baez, SS/2B

Current assignment: Low-A St. Lucie
Keith Law rank: 17th on team Top 20

Baez’s traditional numbers have caught up to his underlying data — namely, his hard-hit rate. He’s an exciting prospect because of how hard he hits the ball. He has an .800 OPS with St. Lucie after struggling in the complex league last year.

Nick Morabito, OF

Current assignment: High-A Brooklyn
Keith Law rank: 12th on team Top 20

In 101 plate appearances with St. Lucie, Morabito hit .397 and quickly earned a promotion to Brooklyn, where he has continued to hit (6 for 18, .333 batting average).

Tier 2: Right on track

Ryan Clifford, 1B

Current assignment: Double-A Binghamton
Keith Law rank: 8th on team Top 20

The Mets earlier in the week promoted Clifford, who produced a .716 OPS with High-A Brooklyn. That figure doesn’t jump off the page and it’s influenced by a 23.5 percent walk rate. He can stand to be more aggressive on certain pitches. Scouts strongly believe there’s more power in Clifford, and the ballpark in Brooklyn may have played a role in his low slugging percentage (.304). Counting last season with the Houston Astros organization, Clifford had collected 698 plate appearances across both levels of Class A, so he was due for a new challenge.

Alex Ramirez, OF

Current assignment: Double-A Binghamton
Keith Law rank: 18th on team Top 20

After struggling with High-A Brooklyn last year (.627 OPS), Ramirez made some adjustments that have seemed to click at a higher level (.743 OPS). The Mets challenged him to perform better since he was already on the 40-man roster despite being just 21 years old. With Brooklyn, he made some better swing decisions but got away from doing much damage. This season, he has maintained the improvements from last year while trying to improve his swing. Mets officials have been encouraged by his work ethic.

Jett Williams, SS/CF/2B

Current assignment: Double-A Binghamton
Keith Law ranks: 30th on MLB Top 100, 1st on team Top 20

Williams is out with a wrist injury but should be back within the next couple of weeks. In 11 games, he has a .668 OPS.

Drew Gilbert, OF

Current assignment: Triple-A Syracuse
Keith Law ranks: 100th on MLB Top 100, 4th on team Top 20

Gilbert is out with a hamstring injury, but officials expect him back in June. In just seven games, he has a .681 OPS.

Luisangel Acuña, SS/CF/2B

Current assignment: Triple-A Syracuse
Keith Law ranks: 45th on MLB Top 100, 2nd on team Top 20

Acuña is here and not in the tier below just because he’s 22 years old and he’s in his first season at Triple A. But he’s just not hitting or getting on base enough. He has a .629 OPS (.599 in May) with two home runs and 13 stolen bases. His defense at second base, shortstop and center field has been strong, evaluators said.

Tier 3: Falling behind

Colin Houck, SS

Current assignment: Low-A St. Lucie
Keith Law ranks: 5th on team Top 20

Houck, the Mets’ first-round pick last year, has struggled to start 2024. Through 134 plate appearances with St. Lucie, Houck has just a .532 OPS. He slid to the Mets (32nd overall), and some scouts question his swing and offensive consistency.

Kevin Parada, C

Current assignment: Double-A Binghamton
Keith Law ranks: 7th on team Top 20

Perhaps Parada is turning things around. Over his last five games, he has gone 7-for-23 (.304 batting average) with two home runs. For the season, though, his OPS stands at just .633 after he struggled at the level last year and didn’t hit much in the Arizona Fall League (there are also defensive questions behind the plate). At 22, Parada, whom the Mets took 11th overall in 2022, still has plenty of time to improve his stock, and his last batch of games show such an ability.

Wilfredo Lara, UTIL

Current assignment: High-A Brooklyn
Keith Law ranks: 16th on team Top 20

Lara lost time at the start of the season because of a hamate fracture. In 89 plate appearances, he has just a .195 batting average and .537 OPS. He’s known as a player who brings energy and can play a handful of different positions.

Dom Hamel, RHP

Current assignment: Triple-A Syracuse
Keith Law ranks: 11th on team Top 20

Evaluators say Hamel has pitched better than his numbers suggest outside of his first outing and they like his new cutter. But the results haven’t been good: 6.59 ERA and 1.85 WHIP in 28 2/3 innings.

Mike Vasil, RHP

Current assignment: Triple-A Syracuse
Keith Law ranks: 10th on team Top 20

Vasil must do a better job of limiting hard contact and finishing outings, evaluators said. Through 24 2/3 innings, he has an unsightly 9.12 ERA.

(Top photo of Brandon Sproat: Jim Rassol / USA Today)



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