Luisangel Acuna serves on the board of directors as a farmhand for the New York Mets.
The prized shortstop prospect landed his first hit Wednesday, days after returning from the Texas Rangers on Sunday in the Max Scherzer trade.
Battling the No. 1 spot, Acuna – who is the younger brother of Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. – picked right-center down the fourth inning for the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, who were hosting New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Acuna reached base twice, also walking, in Binghamton’s 3-1 loss at Mirabito Stadium.
The Mets have high expectations for Acuna, who is the club’s No. 2 prospect and No. 44 overall, according to MLB Pipeline.
General manager Billy Eppler is high on Acuna, saying Sunday the 21-year-old is “close to the big leagues.”
“It’s a talent that you can’t access,” Eppler said of Acuna, who has received rave reviews within the Mets organization for his athleticism.
“We’re thrilled to have a prospect of this caliber in the system,” Eppler said.
Eppler was a busy man heading into Tuesday’s MLB trade deadline.
In addition to trading Scherzer, the Mets dropped co-ace Justin Verlander, reliever David Robertson and outfielders Mark Canha and Tommy Pham.
These measures helped Eppler reduce the Mets’ record payroll while restocking the agricultural system.
However, the rotation and negotiation means the Mets are unlikely to be legitimate title contenders in 2024.
Consider what owner Steve Cohen said Wednesday in Kansas City: “I think the expectations were really high this year and I guess next year will be a lot lower. But I can’t talk about what’s going to happen in the offseason.
“There could be opportunities – I’m an opportunist,” Cohen continued. “I don’t want to start a team there that’s going to embarra*s us.
“But we also know that spending a fortune… doesn’t guarantee you a trip to the playoffs.”
This appears to match what Eppler told Scherzer before Sunday’s trade.
The Athletic reports that the three-time Cy Young Award winner met with the general manager before being shipped to Texas, which makes sense since Scherzer had a no-trade clause.
“I was like, ‘OK, are we charging for 2024?’ He says, “No, we’re not. Basically, our vision now is for 2025-2026, ’25 at the earliest, more like ’26. We’ll trade around that.
At that point, Acuna may be in the Mets’ starting lineup.
At least that’s what Eppler and Cohen are betting on as the club reorganizes for the future.