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Ronny Mauricio out 8-12 months after undergoing ACL surgery

Ronny Mauricio underwent ACL surgery. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Ronny Mauricio underwent ACL surgery. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Ronny Mauricio has not officially been ruled out from playing in 2024, but it’s not looking good.

The Mets infield prospect underwent ACL reconstruction surgery Tuesday at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, the club announced. The timeline for a return is 8-12 months, which would have him playing rehab games in August if his rehab goes well, but it’s tough to plan on a definitive return for a young prospect like Mauricio.

Mauricio was injured last month playing in a Dominican Winter League game. The injury occurred on the basepath and he was able to walk off the field on his own, providing some optimism, but that quickly disappeared when imaging revealed a tear in his ACL.

The Mets’ fourth-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, Mauricio made his big league debut last September and did not disappoint. His first career hit was a double and he went on to hit three more in the final month of play, as well as two home runs and nine RBI. In 26 games, he slashed .248/.296/.347 with seven stolen bases. He played mostly at second base but also saw time at shortstop and third base.

Mauricio was signed and developed as a shortstop but moved to second base last season while playing with Triple-A Syracuse. However, some talent evaluators believe his future is at third. He was playing third this winter with Tigres del Licey intending to get reps at the hot corner in important games.

Manager Carlos Mendoza spoke to Mauricio after he received a diagnosis, saying the 22-year-old was “devastated.”

“I feel for the kid, we all do,” Mendoza said last month at Citi Field after the Mets’ annual holiday kids party. “We know how hard he’s worked to get to a point where he was scheduled to compete for an Opening Day roster spot and to see something like that happen — not only to Mauricio but to anybody — is awful.”

The Mets anticipated a spring training position battle between Mauricio, Brett Baty and Mark Vientos. Last month, president of baseball operations David Stearns said that the Opening Day third baseman will come from inside of the organization. That may still be true, especially since the Mets signed utility infielder Joey Wendle in December. However, that was before Mauricio’s injury.

Mauricio still has plenty of developing to do, especially when it comes to defense and plate discipline, and this injury will put a pause on it. It could also force the club to make a move for third base help.