The New York Mets are the subjects of this week’s installment of Under the Radar Prospects in which five unheralded players within a team system are identified as players to watch out for. Among the five players this week are a teenage catcher who besieged the DSL, a toolsy outfielder, and a trio of pitchers who can easily rack up strikeouts.

Joel Diaz, RHP – New York Mets

Entering the 2023 season, Joel Diaz seemed well on his way to becoming one of the best pitching prospects in the Mets system. Unfortunately, the injury bug nabbed Diaz and he would undergo Tommy John surgery in May, keeping him sidelined for a prolonged period of time. Prior to undergoing the knife, Diaz was making strides as a developing starting pitcher.

The Mets grabbed Diaz during the 2021 international signing period and the talented teenager quickly proved himself as one of the top pitchers of his class. During the 2021 DSL season, Diaz allowed just 3 earned runs over 50 1/3 innings pitched, with a 32.3% strikeout rate and 4.6% walk rate. The Mets were so impressed with Diaz that he skipped the FCL and went straight to Single-A in 2022 where he compiled a 5.86 ERA | 4.79 FIP over 55 1/3 innings pitched. Although he didn’t enjoy as much success, he still performed well at just 18-years of age. When healthy, Diaz features a fastball that averages in the low 90’s but has reached 97 before as well as a curveball that could turn into a well above-average offering. Diaz’s arsenal, coupled with his plus command, could make him an excellent starting pitcher for years to come. Now entering the 2024 season, the 20-year old Diaz is still rehabbing from his Tommy John surgery.

Blake Tidwell, RHP – New York Mets

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