There’s only a week left until the tease known as spring training baseball is completed and the Mets quest for a 2017 World Series title begins! That means we have just a week’s worth of games with which to crown our ever important King of Spring Training for this spring. The top of our list appears appears the same but you’ll see a few new names at the bottom.
This week, we are also going to introduce a poll at the end of this post. Please vote for who you think should be the KOST and we’ll take that into account when we choose our very important, very formal 2017 King of Spring Training!
Michael Conforto – .346/.370/.635 (Stock: RISING)
With just over a week to go, this is looking like Michael Conforto’s fake spring training award to lose. He does have some contention, which we’ll get to in a moment, but Conforto has had an outstanding camp and even cranked his 3rd home run of the spring yesterday. With Juan Lagares’s injury, it’s looking like he may even sneak onto the Opening Day roster (though that doesn’t matter in KOST voting).
Travis d’Arnaud – .325/.413/.550 (Stock: HOLDING)
Over the last two days, the sports page headlines have been dominated by Travis d’Arnaud’s spring throwing struggles. While this may be a real life issue, we don’t give two shits about that here because in KOST world, defense doesn’t matter! And with that acknowledgement, Travis has had an outstanding spring and is keeping himself within striking distance of Michael Conforto. One Conforto slip-up this week and it could be d’Arnaud hoisting our non-existent spring trophy.
Gavin Cecchini – .333/.379/.519 (Stock: RISING)
With a week to go, we’re introducing a pair of new contenders into the race. After returning from the World Baseball Classic, Cecchini’s seen a lot of time on the field in camp. Though his overall numbers have dipped from where they were prior to the WBC, Cecchini’s overall work has been fantastic. It would take a huge final week for him to win but anything can happen in fake baseball games.
Wilmer Flores – .279/.347/.442 (Stock: RISING)
And suddenly, a new contender appears! Wilmer Flores, quietly plugging along all spring in Mets camp, has forced his way into contention. Similar to Cecchini, it would admittedly take a lot for Flores to jump ahead of those who are in front of him but a big week could do it. And we know he’ll get plenty of at bats, too. Keep an eye out for Wilmer.
Travis Taijeron – .297/.366/.405 (Stock: RISING)
A solid week for Taijeron keeps him from falling out of the top five, as he saw his entire line rise up from where it was a week ago. The average and on base percentage are in solid territory but the lack of extra base hits continues to sink his bid for a repeat KOST award. Can Taijeron rally and hit a few bombs this week to salvage his spring?
Phil Evans – .297/.297/.486 (Stock: FALLING)
We mentioned last week that Evans was sent back to minor league camp but he’s also stopped hitting in his now limited opportunities. Despite this, Evans has put together a solid spring and should he get some at bats over the next week, still has a very outside chance to win our KOST award. But at this point, it would be a surprise. Evans is likely ticketed for a role with Triple-A Las Vegas after his 2016 breakout in Binghamton.
Luis Guillorme – .257/.316/.400 (Stock: FALLING)
It’s been a somewhat eye-opening spring for Guillorme but he appears to have run out of gas at the plate, at least. Likely to open the season at Double-A Binghamton, his spring line is nothing special among our KOST contenders and he likely won’t get the at bats necessary to measurably improve on it. Still a solid spring, though!
Ty Kelly – .261/.393/.261 (Stock: RISING)
This is an interesting one. We’ve mentioned our affinity for Kelly’s grission in past updates and we’ve kept him low on the list as a “just in case” measure. Well now, rumor has it that Kelly may find himself as the 25th man on the Mets roster, which means he’s likely to see plenty of at bats over the next week even if he doesn’t end up winning the job. Depite a decent average and excellent OBP, Kelly still needs to exhibit some power to find himself a contender and that’s what’s keeping him so far down.
T.J. Rivera – .241/.226/.448 (Stock: FALLING)
Let’s face it: it’s been a brutal spring for T.J. Rivera. In addition to his struggles in Mets camp, he also very quietly hit an atrocious .154/.179/.423 with Puerto Rico in the WBC. We thought he’d be a shoe-in for top 3 in this year’s KOST field but I guess sometimes life throws you a surprise.
Brandon Nimmo – .476/.500/.524 (Stock: FALLING)
If healthy, Nimmo would likely be in the thick of the race for KOST but he hasn’t gotten an at bat since injuring himself in the World Baseball Classic a couple of weeks back. Oh well, hopefully he gets back on the field soon. There’s no reason for him to worry about a fake award that he doesn’t even know that we write about.
Who will be the 2017 Mets King of Spring Training?
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