Mets Minor League Players of the Week: Week Thirteen (2024)

Carlos Cortes

Week: 6 G, 25 AB, .400/.423/.800, 10 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 1 BB, 4 K, 0/0 SB (Triple-A)

2024 Season: 32 G, 105 AB, .276/.358/.495, 29 H, 5 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 14 BB, 18 K, 1/2 SB, .281 BABIP (Triple-A)

Drafted twice by the Mets, the first time after graduating Lake Howell High School in Winter Park, Florida in 2016 and the second time while attending South Carolina University, Carlos Cortes joined the organization in 2018, when the Mets selected him with their 3rd round pick. He signed for slightly over $1 million dollars, roughly $300,000 over the MLB-recommended slot value, and made his debut with the Brooklyn Cyclones that summer, posting a .264/.338/.382 batting line in 47 games, hitting 4 homers, walking 17 times and striking out 34. Since then, he has slowly but surely climbed the Mets’ minor league ladder, hitting .256/.336/.397 for the St. Lucie Mets in 2019, .257/.332/.487 for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in 2021, a cumulative .223/.295/.369 with Binghamton and Syracuse in 2022, and .241/.355/.428 with Syracuse last season. Cortes missed some time this season, transferred to the Development List twice, but is currently enjoying the most success of his professional career.

Cortes stands open at the plate an uppercutty swing, a stark difference from his earlier high school and collegiate days, when his bat path was much more level. Cortes swings at most pitches with intent and as such, there is some swing and miss in his bat, particularly against secondary pitches and against left-handed pitchers. Pitches that he is able to make solid contact with, mainly fastballs, jump off the bat despite his small stature; his load, coil, bat speed, barrel accuracy, and swing plane all magnify the power that you might expect from a guy that stands just 5’7”. He displays above-average raw power, but stagnation in his hit tool over the years limited his in-game power. This season, he is hitting the ball harder than he ever has on average, with his exit velocity up 5-10 MPH against fastballs and secondary pitches on the whole.

Defensively, Cortes does not have a true home. He is able to do a lot of things and play multiple positions, but he does not stand out at any. Naturally a left-hander, Cortes taught himself to throw with his right hand and is fully ambidextrous. When he is playing in the infield, he throws right-handed. When he plays the outfield, he throws left-handed. Because his arm strength is fringy from both sides and because he is a slightly below-average runner, he profiles better in the infield, at second base. Being an outfielder makes him a bit more valuable as a player, and as such, the Mets have primarily used him in the outfield since 2021.

Jonah Tong

Week: 1 G (1 GS), 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K (High-A)

2024 Season: 4 G (2 GS), 18.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 0 ER (0.00 ERA), 5 BB, 36 K, .269 BABIP (Single-A) / 10 G (10 GS), 42.2 IP, 34 H, 20 R, 16 ER (3.38 ERA), 21 BB, 56 K, .300 BABIP (High-A)

Jonah Tong got off to an incredible start with the St. Lucie Mets, dominating the Florida State League and forcing the Mets to promote him to Brooklyn. He slowed down a bit upon promotion but was still excellent, posting a 1.69 ERA in 21.1 innings with 15 hits allowed, 11 walks, and 26 strikeouts. He pitched 21.1 innings in June as well, but the results were quite different. In June, he posted a 5.06 ERA with 19 hits allowed, 10 walks, and 30 strikeouts.

The Canadian right-hander seems be getting back on track now with back-to-back dominant outings. Last week, on June 20 against the Jersey Shore BlueClaws, he threw five shutout innings, allowing just a single hit while walking three and striking out seven. This week, against the Aberdeen IronBirds, he allowed one run over six innings with three hits, one walk, and a eleven strikeouts, the third time he racked up double-digit Ks and the first time since the beginning of April.

Tong faced Aberdeen once before this season, pitching against them at home on June 7th. That night, while he did strike out eight, he also gave up four runs on seven hits and a walk. Likewise, Tong also faced the BlueClaws once prior to his June 20 start and didn’t do too well. In a pre-planned bullpen game, the right-hander recorded just one out and allowed five runs.

Earlier in the season, Tong was dominating with his fastball, newly added slider, and curveball and the recipe remains the same. In his past start, he racked up 6 strikeouts with his fastball outside, 2 with his fastball elsewhere, 2 with his big 12-6 curveball, and 1 with a slider. The same ratios, more-or-less, were how he dominated the Florida State League in April, with his fastball responsible for 23 strikeouts, his curveball 8, and his slider 9.

Players of the Week 2024

Week One (March 29-April 7): Ben Gamel/Joey Lucchesi
Week Two (April 8-April 14): Jesus Baez/Christian Scott
Week Three (April 16-April 21): Mark Vientos/Blade Tidwell
Week Four (April 23-28): Matt Rudick/Jonah Tong
Week Five (April 30-May 5): Matt Rudick/Blade Tidwell & Joander Suarez
Week Six (May 7- May 12): Nick Morabito/Douglas Orellana
Week Seven (May 14-May 19): Trayce Thompson/Kade Morris
Week Eight (May 20-May 26): Luke Ritter/Jose Butto
Week Nine (May 28-June 2): AJ Ewing/Brandon Sproat
Week Ten (June 4-June 9): Christopher Suero/Cameron Foster
Week Eleven (June 11-June 16): Ryan Clifford/Jeffrey Colon
Week Twelve (June 17-June 23): Simon Juan/Jonah Tong
Mets Minor League Players of the Week: Week Thirteen (2024)
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