Oct 26, 2022; Surprise, Arizona, USA; Texas Rangers infielder Luisangel Acuna plays for the Surprise Saguaros during an Arizona Fall League baseball game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

How Luisangel Acuña Could Help Mets in 2024

The New York Mets have plenty of depth in their farm system, consisting of young players who have the potential to thrive with the team in the major leagues. If there was one player who could live up to that potential starting next season, it’s Luisangel Acuña.

From Caracas, Venezuela, Acuña is the Mets’ No. 1 prospect and is a 21-year-old shortstop, second baseman and center fielder. He was acquired by the team last season in a trade that sent pitcher Max Scherzer to the Texas Rangers. If that’s not interesting enough, he is the younger brother of Atlanta Braves star right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. Given all his statistics and performances in Double-A so far, there is optimism that Acuña could become an important weapon for the Mets to use during big league games in 2024. 

How Mets Could Succeed With Their Top Prospect

His Bat

Offensively, Acuña is solid. Despite his lack of home-run power, he has kept a steady batting average of .289 in his minor league career. Last season, he demonstrated his ability to make more contact with the ball at the plate, which helped him produce 63 RBIs and a .359 OBP.

Now, while he struggled a bit offensively during the 34 games he played with the minor league Mets, Acuña still provides consistent production at the plate. He has a reasonable strikeout rate of 18%, striking out only 106 times last season.  

The Mets have had a tendency to go through seasons with a lot of strikeouts. For a team that finished 4th place in the division with a 75-87 record, Acuña’s offensive production will be a huge boost for the lineup.

His Base-Running

This is the area that makes Acuña so valuable during games. He is not just your average base-runner. Instead, Acuña is a dynamic threat on the base path and can easily steal bases. Last season, he stole 57 bases and got caught just 10 times, with his minor career total increasing to 158 total.  

The 2023 Mets set the single-season record for stolen base success rate at 88.72%. They stole 118 bases, only getting caught 15 times. Having Acuña in the lineup would likely only make those statistics increase. Additionally, current Met players like Francisco Lindor and Starling Marte have a combined 55 stolen bases and led the team last season. If those two players, alongside Acuña and anybody else, continue to wreak havoc on the bases, chances are that more runs could be scored, thus potentially leading to more wins.

His On-Field Presence

In each of the positions Acuña can play, he is considered above average in terms of his defense. It’s likely he won’t play shortstop, as Lindor is already signed there until 2031. However, second base and center field would be great fits, although scouts believe he’ll be better off playing second base. It’s also worth noting that he doesn’t often commit errors. He had just 10 of them in 120 games combined with the Rangers and Mets.

Due to Acuña’s ability to play multiple positions it gives the Mets more depth on the field and a potential good, reliable option should somebody get injured or granted a day off. They could also use him as a good pinch-hitter.

Acuña’s Status For an MLB Call-Up

While Acuña has all these characteristics necessary to be in the major leagues, it’s not yet officially known when exactly he could be there. According to Joe DeMayo, an MLB Prospects Freelance Writer, there is anticipation that he could begin the 2024 season with Triple-A Syracuse.

“He is already on the 40-man roster,” DeMayo said. “I would expect he is one of the prospects in the system who would make his big-league debut in 2024.”

Main Image: © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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