Another week in Mets spring training has flown by and that means it's time for us to check in on the most important spring training award in all of 2015: the Mets' King of Spring Training! There's been a lot of movement in the field over the past week, as you'll see below, but the most important thing to know is that the hottest hitters in camp have continued raking at prodigious paces. Here's the update:
Kirk Nieuwenhuis (Stock: Holding)
The initial frontrunner in this race, Captain Kirk continues to hit as his .469/.553/.625 spring line shows us. Despite this, Kirk perhaps has lost a little bit of his lead thanks to some other outstanding performances in camp. Kirk's bench spot is all but wrapped up at this point, he's looked a lot better at the plate against left-handed pitchers, and he's actually walked more than he's struck out in 32 at bats. Most importantly, he's still a strong chance to win the KOST, though maybe not a shoe-in anymore.
Matt den Dekker (Stock: Falling)
After cutting down on the strikeouts in Triple-A and the majors in 2014, den Dekker's whiff issues have come back this spring. In 28 at bats, den Dekker has been punched out 11 times thus far, though 8 walks is also very nice. Though a bit aesthetically odd, a .214/.389/.429 line certainly isn't bad, but to win this competition, you'll have to do better than that. We actually have standards here, for some reason!
Eric Campbell (Stock: Falling)
Not unlike den Dekker, Campbell got off to a quick start only to see his small sample size fortunes slow down a touch over the past week. Campbell's line is impressive enough at .259/.394/.519 but his .912 OPS isn't even in the top 15 in Mets camp (Dustin Lawley leads the Mets with a 1.500 OPS in 2 at bats)! You're going to have to hit a little more if you want to win this one, Soup.
John Mayberry Jr. (Stock: Rising)
Mayberry keeps hitting at a prodigious pace, raking at a .444/.515/.704 clip for the spring in 27 at bats. He's also struck out just twice while walking 5 times thus far. This feels like a real typical veteran bench guy spring performance before he comes back to Earth and has a crappy regular season. Let's hope we're wrong and Mayberry rides a KOST winning spring to the most improbably NL MVP in MLB history (Lol, okay whatevs)!
Johnny Monell (Stock: Rising)
Could the Mets have themselves a new backup catcher? While Anthony Recker has struggled at the dish, Johnny Monell has looked fantastic in contrast. A .440/.481/.840 line certainly speaks for itself but Monell has also clubbed 3 home runs including the game-winner against the Marlins on Tuesday. Whether Monell replaces Recker on the roster will depend on what the front office decides to do but in this mostly useless race, Monell appears to be a strong contender.
We've added a couple of new players to the poll after a big week but we also removed Anthony Recker, whose .150/.227/.200 line this spring is incredibly disappointing given his spring training background.
Reynolds was listed as a potential KOST breakout guy and though the 24-year old saw his line dip a little bit, it's still up at a strong .423/.444/.538 for the spring. Just one extra base hit, the walk-off home run two weeks ago, Reynolds could use a little more pop to help prop up his batting average heavy line. Reynolds is still a contender but is going to have to step it up a bit further if he wants to win this award.
After we snubbed Flores in last week's KOST update, the Mets' shortstop must've been pissed because he really went off with an outstanding week (yes, that's totally it. Stop laughing. STOP IT). With a home run yesterday, Flores is hitting an excellent .406/.412/.719 this spring. Perhaps a dark horse KOST run is in the offing for Mr. Flowers. Either way, Flores looks to be establishing himself as the Mets' shortstop and is certainly holding off Reynolds for the gig.