The Mets announced Monday that they’ve added seven players to their 60-man player pool: right-handers Matt Blackham, Jordan Humphreys and Franklyn Kilome; left-handers Stephen Gonsalves and Thomas Szapucki; infielder Jake Hager; and catcher David Rodriguez. They’ve filled 58 of the 60 spots in their pool. MetsMerized’s Michael Mayer first reported that Blackham, Humphreys and Gonsalves would be added (Twitter links).
Of the new adds today, Szapucki is the most highly regarded of the team’s prospects, ranking seventh at both FanGraphs and MLB.com. A fifth-round pick in 2015, Szapucki returned from Tommy John surgery to log 61 2/3 innings of 2.63 ERA ball with 10.5 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9 across three minor league levels in 2019. The 24-year-old topped out with four innings in Double-A, and while he wasn’t viewed as a candidate to log much time in the Majors this season, he’ll at the very least get in some developmental reps in the absence of a conventional minor league season.
Kilome, also 24, came over from the Phillies in the trade that sent Asdrubal Cabrera to Philadelphia back in 2017. He lands ninth on FanGraphs’ list and 12th at MLB.com on the heels of a 2019 season that he lost to his own Tommy John surgery. That procedure came back in October 2018, so Kilome should be largely back up to speed and ready to pick up after tossing 140 innings at Double-A that year. Kilome logged a 4.18 ERA with 8.0 K/9 against 3.9 BB/9. Kilome improved considerably upon being flipped to the Mets; in 38 innings with his new club his K/9 jumped from 7.3 to 10.0, and his BB/9 dropped from 4.5 to 2.4.
Among the other additions, the 26-year-old Gonsalves might be the most recognizable name. The former fourth-round pick was long a top prospect in the Twins organization and cracked multiple Top 100 lists as he rose through the minors, regularly drawing praise as a high-probability back-end starter. He never got much of a look in Minnesota, though (24 2/3 innings), and he’s been limited by arm troubles in recent years.
Humphreys, 24, is another arm on the mend from Tommy John surgery. He had a big 2017 season before surgery and will aim to work his way back into the team’s bullpen mix after pitching just 13 2/3 frames last year. Blackham posted sharp numbers last year, but he turned 27 in January and has only has 15 2/3 frames above Double-A to his credit. Hager and Rodriguez were minor league pickups this winter with limited offensive track records in the minors. Hager is a former first-round pick (Rays, 2011) who can play all over the infield, while Rodriguez brings some additional catching depth and a lifetime 39 percent caught-stealing rate to the table.