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Mets will get glimpse of their future as Dominic Hamel, Mike Vasil headline spring training invites

David Stearns has invited a group of youngsters to join the Mets' big league camp.
David Stearns has invited a group of youngsters to join the Mets’ big league camp.

The Mets will get a look at some of their most promising young pitchers in two weeks when they report to Port St. Lucie for spring training. The club invited 10 minor leaguers to Major League camp in addition to prospects on their 40-man roster.

Right-handers Dominic Hamel, Mike Vasil, Christian Scott and Eric Orze, left-hander Nate Lavender, outfielder Drew Gilbert, infielder Jett Williams and catchers Tomas Nido, Kevin Parada and Hayden Senger will start spring training on the Major League side. Infielder Luisangel Acuña, the Mets’ top-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, and outfielder Alex Ramirez will also be with the Major League group since the Mets currently have them on their 40-man roster.

This means the Mets’ top five organizational prospects will be in the same clubhouse during spring training, including infielder Ronny Mauricio, who will rehab from knee surgery. The Mets will also have their Nos. 9 (Vasil), 11 (Ramirez), 12 (Scott) and 16 (Hamel) prospects in camp as well.

The club has struggled to get their pitching pipeline flowing recently, but that could change soon. Vasil and Hamel impressed last spring, having good showings against tough lineups.

Vasil may be the first starter of a promising group to reach the big leagues. The 23-year-old Boston native drafted out of Virginia appeared in the Futures Game during All-Star weekend last year and was promoted to Triple-A last summer after posting a 3.71 ERA in 10 starts with Double-A Binghamton. Triple-A proved to be the challenge Vasil needed and he went 4-4 with a 5.30 ERA in 16 starts.

Hamel, the club’s 2022 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, spent the entire season in Double-A, helping the Rumble Ponies advance to the Eastern League Championship.

Scott, the 2023 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, quickly rose through the Mets’ system last year. He posted a 2.57 ERA (25 ER/87.2 IP) over 19 starts across three levels of play (Low-A, High and Double-A) and led all Mets minor leaguers with a 0.86 WHIP and a .199 opponent batting average (.199). His ERA was the lowest of all Mets minor leaguers with at least 75 innings pitched.

Relievers Orze and Lavender could make their big league debuts as soon as this season, with Lavender having especially impressed Mets officials last season. They could join right-hander Grant Hartwig (undrafted) and left-hander Josh Walker (37th round) as homegrown scouting success stories.

Orze, a fifth-round pick out of the University of New Orleans during the COVID draft, overcame testicular cancer to play professional baseball. Lavender, a 14th-round pick in 2021 out of the University of Illinois, was one of the best relievers in the Mets’ system last year.

Nido was cut from the Mets last year after struggling to hit early in the season. He faces an uphill battle to get back to the Major Leagues with Francisco Alvarez and Omar Narvaez on the roster, but he’ll be a good clubhouse mentor for Parada and Senger.

Catcher Austin Allen, infielders Rylan Bannon, Jose Iglesias and Yolmer Sanchez, outfielders Taylor Kohlwey and Trayce Thompson and pitchers Kyle Crick, Cam Robinson, Yacksel Rios Chad Smith Cole Sulser and Danny Young (left-hander) also received invitations to Major League camp.