Make-The-Mets-O-Meter, Week 1: Hitters

Yesterday we covered the pitchers in Mets camp and the likelihood that each will make the Mets' Opening Day roster. Today we'll take a first look at the hitters in Port St. Lucie. At minimum, the Mets need a couple of reserve outfielders, a second baseman, a backup catcher (for a week or so while Ronny Paulino finishes serving his PED suspension from last season), and a backup middle infielder who can play shortstop.

Player Comment
Russ Adams, IF Adams hit a three-run home run on Sunday and has a minuscule shot at the last outfield spot on the roster. That he's not on the 40-man puts him at a disadvantage.
Luis Castillo, 2B Arrow up? If Castillo appears healthy this spring there's a good chance he makes the Opening Day roster. At his best, he gets on base, steals bases, and performs capably if unspectacularly in the field. The Mets are paying him $6 million this year regardless, but if they think he'll be better in 2011 than Daniel Murphy, e.g., then they'll keep him.
Raul Chavez, C Had a .580 OPS in a hitter's park with Triple-A Las Vegas in the Blue Jays' system last year. It's hard to imagine that Chavez is anything more than a warm body to catch for the pitching surplus in camp.
Lucas Duda, OF "The Dude" has a small chance of making the team this spring. With Carlos Beltran's health an uncertainty and Scott Hairston signed to a major league deal, it doesn't seem likely that the Mets would carry an offense-first corner outfielder like Duda.
Brad Emaus, 2B Despite his curt interview with Rob last week, Emaus must be on the Opening Day roster or the Mets have to offer him back to the Blue Jays, an offer Toronto is unlikely to pass up. As meaningless as spring performances are, if Emaus lights it up in March he's got a great chance to make the team.
Nick Evans, OF/1B Who?
Kai Gronauer, C Hit .324/.375/.403 with High-A St. Lucie last year. Could make the team for a week or so while Paulino finishes up his PED suspension.
Willie Harris, OF Harris settled for a minor league contract with the Mets but his defense gives him the inside track for the fifth outfield spot. With Beltran's selfishly wonky knee, Harris is probably the best bet for a backup center fielder to Angel Pagan.
Luis Hernandez, IF It's hard to envision a scenario where Hernandez wins a backup role. Hu has better defense, Murphy has better offense, and Emaus has the Rule 5 thing in his corner.
Chin-lung Hu, IF The Mets need someone who can capably play shortstop when Reyes is out of the lineup and, apart from Tejada, Hu is their best bet.
Zach Lutz, OF Lutz plays third base and the Mets don't really have an opening there. He also missed a couple of months last year with a foot injury has only played five games above Double-A.
Fernando Martinez, OF If Martinez isn't going to start with the big club—and it's not likely that he will, at least not this year—then there's not much sense in keeping him around as a bench player. He needs to play and, more importantly, he needs to stay healthy.
Daniel Murphy, 2B Even if he loses out to Castillo or Emaus, Murphy's versatility to "play" third base, first base, and left field makes him a decent option to stick with the team when camp breaks.
Mike Nickeas, C Nickeas came over in August of 2006 in a deal that sent Victor Diaz to the Rangers. He hit .283/.403/.396 in Double-A last year and is the favorite to keep Paulino's seat warm for the first week-plus of the season.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF "Captain Kirk" was great in Double-A last year, but there's no chance the Mets sit him on the bench at Citi Field.
Val Pascucci, DH It's never a good sign when MLB.com lists you as a DH on a National League team.
Jason Pridie, OF He has a sweet, sweet beard, and he could make the team as a defensive replacement. If he hits this spring and Willie Harris doesn't, it might just happen.
Dusty Ryan, C Ryan hit .199/.333/.349 with the Padres' Triple-A club last season but has otherwise been a decent minor league hitter. Someone has to back up Josh Thole until Ronny Paulino finishes serving his PED suspension, so Ryan has an outside chance at that opening.
Ruben Tejada, IF Probably ticketed for Triple-A. He just doesn't have the bat to stick in the big leagues right now (or ever?).
Justin Turner, IF I'd say Turner is pretty far down the depth chart at second base, but the fact that he can play shortstop might give him an edge.
Jordany Valdespin, IF No plate discipline and very little power, plus he has been suspended on multiple occasions for undisclosed reasons.
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