While the Mets have struggled offensively this season, top shortstop prospect Matt Reynolds has had himself a solid season for Triple-A Las Vegas. The 2012 second-round pick out of the University of Arkansas is hitting .280/.332/.418 this season with nine stolen bases in 68 games. While putting up these offensive numbers, he has played well defensively too.
With Reynolds’s professional prospects at an all-time high, it appears that now would be a great time to bring him to the majors. At 24, he has had ample time in college and the minor leagues to develop and mature as a player. He appears ready to handle the rigors of Major League Baseball just in time to help the Mets offensively.
Calling up Reynolds would provide the Mets with a much-needed infusion of offensive talent. Reynolds has shown throughout his minor league career that he is a capable hitter, as he has batted .282/.348/.398 over the course of four years. While that batting line won't draw coos from many onlookers, the Mets could use all the help they can get in the lineup, especially after losing two low-scoring heartbreakers in Atlanta. The team ranks 13th in the National League in runs scored, hits, and slugging percentage. Reynolds would help address these offensive deficiencies and fill the voids left by David Wright and Daniel Murphy.
Additionally, this move could have a positive effect on Wilmer Flores. Putting Reynolds at short would allow Flores to move to second or third base, two positions that he played in the minor leagues. Despite being tied for the team lead in home runs, Flores has struggled in the field all season, as his ten errors at shortstop are third most in the National League. While some advanced defensive metrics like DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) rate Flores as something like an average shortstop, they tend to be unreliable when measuring playing time over less than a season (or two).
If the Mets were to make this move now, it would give the front office time to give Reynolds a trial run as the everyday shortstop before the July 31 trade deadline. Should Reynolds not play well, the Mets could then go out and trade for a short-term player like Jean Segura to fill the position down the stretch. If Reynolds were to play well, the Mets could then make a trade to get help at another position.
If the Mets want to stay in contention, they will need to find offense somewhere. They have enough pitching talent to contend for a playoff spot, but without sufficient offensive support, it is hard to imagine a scenario where the Mets will continue to contend. The Mets have one of the best farm systems in all of baseball, and with the team just a game-and-a-half out of the playoffs, the front office should waste no time taking advantage of this young talent.