The first round of spring training cuts are upon us, which means it’s time for a peek into how the KoST race is shaping up. In case you haven’t been paying close attention this spring, the Mets have the worst record in spring training play of any major league team.
This, of course, doesn’t really mean much of anything, but it does mean our KoST leaders are standing on a pile of proverbial poop, for lack of a better phrase. A lot of our typical KoST darling types have dropped the ball this spring (sometimes literally). That said, five players have very clearly emerged from the pack as beacons of light in the darkness.
Luis Guillorme - .323/.436/.452 in 31 AB
The now clean shaven Luis Guillorme has proven that he can hit baseballs with or without facial hair. He is the only Met besides Brandon Nimmo to rack up double-digit hits this spring. Not only that, he leads the team in walks as well with 7. Just as impressive as his performance at the plate has been his performance in the field, where he has flashed the leather on multiple occasions and participated in turning 9 double plays so far this spring—some of them rather impressive. He has also moved around the diamond, showing his positional flexibility by taking reps at second base, shortstop, and third base. In yesterday’s loss against the Marlins, Guillorme had his first multi-hit game, going 2-for-2 with two walks at the plate. He is putting himself in a great position to be the first call-up when the Mets have a need in the infield this season.
KoST points: 5
Total KoST points to-date: 10
Brandon Nimmo - .308/.391/.718 in 39 AB
Nimmo continues to positively rake this spring. His 1.109 OPS leads the Mets for players with more than 10 at-bats. In Tuesday’s game, Nimmo launched his third spring training home run, continuing to impress out of the leadoff spot. He has also proven that he can absolutely be a center fielder. As if all of this wasn’t enough, Nimmo spent the only off day so far this spring visiting children in the hospital with cancer, handing out Mets hats. Is there a more perfect human being on this planet than Brandon Nimmo?
KoST points: 6 (Again, I just have to give the man some extra credit for being the best human on and off the field and filling the Grandy-shaped hole in all of our hearts with his smiles.)
Total KoST points to-date: 12
Kevin Plawecki - .375/.444/.583 in 24 AB
The new-and-improved Launch Angle Plaw continues to impress. Look at that slugging percentage. That’s a nice slugging percentage. Only Nimmo and Yoenis Cespedes have better ones this spring among players with more than 10 at-bats. And only Nimmo has a better OPS. As I write this post, Plawecki just made this sparkling play behind the plate on a ball that got away in today’s Grapefruit League game. And he continues to show that he works well with the Mets’ pitching staff. At this point, it isn’t a question of whether he will play. It’s a question of just how much he will play.
KoST points: 5
Total KoST points to-date: 9
Gavin Cecchini - .250/.344/.571 in 28 AB
Cecchini has cooled off a little bit after his scorching start (his slash line was .385/.529/.923 this time last week), but he has still certainly impressed the Mets in camp. Overall, it has definitely been a big step forward for the former first-round draft pick, who had struggled to hit against higher levels of competition. The mechanical changes to his swing combined with the muscle he packed on coming into camp have made him look like a different player.
KoST points: 2
Total KoST points to-date: 7
Phillip Evans - .269/.406/.577 in 26 AB
Evans is another player who has slowed down slightly since last week, but still remains an outside contender in the KoST pursuit with an impressive .983 OPS this spring. We have known that his bat can play at the big league level, but his positional flexibility is also something that makes him very valuable to have around; he has had reps at both corner infield positions and in left field this spring.
KoST points: 2
Total KoST points to-date: 5
Other players with KoST points
David Thompson (.348/.464/.391): 1
Patrick Biondi (.333/.368/.333): 1
Tomas Nido (.200/.250/.467): 2
Ty Kelly (.207/.324/.241): 2
Chris Flexen (5.0 IP, 1.80 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 4 Ks): 2
That’s all for now, folks. Tune in next week during the last (!!!) week of spring training before real baseball for the final KoST update where as a community we will determine the King of Spring Training!