One of the number one rules of baseball statistics is to take small sample sizes with a grain of salt. For the most part, we do that here at Amazin' Avenue. But when it comes to spring training statistics, there are only small sample size statistics. So because of this, we LOVE to parse them when it comes to narrowing down the field for our King of Spring Training award.
Let's check in on how the first week of Mets pretend games went and which players are making the most noise in the KOST hunt. 2016 KOST Favorites
Eric Campbell (Stock: Holding)
Every time I check a box score or catch a few seconds of a game, it seems like Campbell is at the plate or making a play in the field early on this spring. That made me think initially that Campbell had gotten off to a hot start but upon looking at the stats, it's more just a decent line at .222/.500/.333, a double, and 4 walks compared with 3 strikeouts. The OBP is nice but Campbell had better start hitting a little more if he wants to keep his position as the leader of the pack.
Johnny Monell (Stock: Holding)
A decent start for Monell, who has hit .273/.385/.273 so far while seeing the same number of at bats as Kevin Plawecki. If Monell gets in a power groove like he did last spring, he could not only become the first catcher to clinch the KOST title but he might also win himself a roster spot if the Mets decide to give Plawecki at bats in Las Vegas.
Matt Reynolds (Stock: Holding)
Reynolds has gotten some early reps at shortstop and made a few nice plays but let's face it, this is a hitting award. There are no fielding stats in spring training (don't show me the spring fielding stats, they don't matter)! At .222/.364/.222 with a pair of walks and a stolen base, Reynolds has yet to wow in this year's contest. NEXT!
Danny Muno (Stock: Falling)
With David Wright still a week or so away, Muno has absorbed a large amount of his at bats this spring and it's been a tough start at .091/.167/.091 with a walk and 2 RBI. Should Wilmer Flores begin to take on more of the third base duties before Wright returns, Muno could be boxed out of opportunities to save his line this spring and that would ultimately knock him out of KOST contention. This appears to be a deciding week for the Fresno State alum.
Alejandro De Aza (Stock: Rising)
We previewed De Aza as a potential competitor for this award last week and through the first week of action, he's certainly brought his A game. Hitting .400/.500/.500 with a double, two walks, and an RBI, De Aza appears locked in and ready to make himself a favorite with another strong week.
Ty Kelly (Stock: Falling)
Like Campbell, Ty Kelly also seems to always be playing in games and at least he's got the at bats to show for it at 15. While Kelly has made thrown out two runners on the bases already from the outfield, that again has little bearing on his KOST status. That status, at the moment, is tenuous as he's again struggling at the plate during the all important spring months. Sitting at .200/.333/.267 with a double, three walks, and two RBIs, we may have to admit that Kelly is not a clutch spring training performer. That wasn't actually a thing until I just decided it was.
Roger Bernadina (Stock: Falling)
Bernadina was a late arrival to camp and has only made his way into one game, going 1-2 with a walk and a run scored in the process. That's a great ratio but as we've explained, part of the KOST battle has to do with at bats and Bernadina has lost a number of them with his tardiness to camp. Should Bernadina see more playing time this week and avoid a slump, he'll avoid the ax.
A snub from our initial rankings, Flores quickly made us pay for that decision by getting off to a hot .455/.500/.545 start. Another week like that and Wilmer will find himself among the top group.
Taijeron wasn't really a thought heading into this spring but the slugging outfielder put together a strong week and he leads the team in at bats early on. A .375/.412/.563 line with a double, a triple, a walk, and four RBIs is quite solid. Unfortunately, the worry with Taijeron has always been strikeouts and the 27-year old has already piled up six of them on the exhibition season.
Kevin Plawecki, Juan Lagares
Plawecki and Lagares have both gotten off to nice starts this spring and the Mets' bench players are firmly on the periphery of this race. Watch out for them!