Michael Paez 2B/SS
Bats/Throws: R/R Ht: 5’7 Wt: 175 lbs Age: 23 (DOB 12/8/94)
It was a tale of two seasons for Mets middle infield prospect Michael Paez. After tearing up the South Atlantic League, the Florida State League did prove problematic for most of Paez’s second half. But before we get into that, let’s see what we have here.
Michael Paez, all 5’7, actually has some real pop in his bat. Let’s get that straight. Check out this HR he blasted toward the end of his tour through the Sally league last June.
Using a little leg kick to help generate power, you can see in that clip that Paez also has some nice loft in his swing. A middle infielder who slugs .509 in the pitching-friendly Sally league gets notice in my book. Paez is also no slouch in the on-base department, as his 59/98 K/BB ratio over 439 at-bats in 2017 attests to a decent approach. Throw in the fact that although he may not kick it as a true shortstop, he profiles fairly well as a good second baseman. What’s not to like?
Well, we have to get to that part too. Listen, his .200/.324/.270 slash line at St.Lucie isn’t pretty. But notice that he did not stop drawing his free passes as he went up a level. It’s possible that he tired as the dog days of summer rolled around, and the FSL is notorious for depressing offense, especially power. One final positive tidbit, is that Paez finished the season strong, hitting .273 over his final 10 games, drawing 9 walks and K’ing only 3 times in 33 at-bats.
So the former 2016 4th round pick out of Coastal Carolina University enters 2018 much the same as many of the Mets brightest prospects: with much to prove. Can Paez put forth a strong showing second time through the FSL, or did the more advanced pitching expose holes in his swing? There’s still some nice tools here, and upside of a middle-infielder with decent pop and a decent approach is still in play. It’s going to be hard to show off in High-A, but should Michael be able to push Mets brass into promoting him to the Eastern League later in the season, we might be able to see that lofty swing do some serious damage. The type of damage that get’s an infield prospect noticed.