Folks, this is it: the home stretch of the King of Spring Training contest! We are a mere ten days away from Baseball Games That Count. Next week shortly before Opening Day, I will put up the final poll so we, Couch GMs Everywhere, can determine the flag that truly flies forever—King of Spring Training.
In the meantime, let’s get all caught up on the latest point totals for our frontrunners.
Pete Alonso - .347/.385/.673 in 49 ABs
Alonso continues to do it all, especially hit for power. Today he hit yet another home run, bringing his total up to four, which leads the team. He also leads the team in RBIs. He is tied for the team lead in doubles as well, also with four. He is second only to Robinson Cano for the team lead in hits, with 17. He’s had the most at-bats of anyone in camp, which shows that the Mets want to take a nice long look at him and there is every indication that the Mets are serious when they say that he has earned a spot on the Opening Day roster. When asked if Alonso has done anything to show he is not one of the Mets’ 25 best players, manager Mickey Callaway said, “At this point? No, plain and simple. He’s done a great job.”
KoST points: 6
Total KoST points to-date: 17
Dominic Smith - .359/.419/.487 in 39 ABs
Dominic Smith may not be keeping pace with Alonso in the power department, but then again, who is? In every other way, Smith is making the Mets’ decision difficult, however. Smith’s .359 batting average is behind only Cano and Luis Guillorme among players with at least ten at-bats. The only troubling sign from both Smith and Alonso this spring? Strikeouts. Both of them are striking out at a pretty high rate and that’s a trend we saw from Smith during his previous tenure in the big leagues. Smith has struck out 12 times in his 39 at-bats.
KoST points: 5
Total KoST points to-date: 15
J.D. Davis - .298/.340/.447 in 47 ABs
J.D. Davis shares the team lead in doubles with Alonso and is also second only to Alonso for the team lead in RBIs with eight. He has also seen a considerable amount of time this spring and seems like a near lock to break camp with the Mets. The Mets hope that he can unlock the potential he showed in the minor leagues when given enough consistent at-bats to do so.
KoST points: 3
Total KoST points to-date: 11
Rajai Davis - .296/.344/.556 in 27 ABs
Along with Alonso and J.D. Davis, Rajai Davis also has four doubles this spring in fewer at-bats than either of the other two players. Davis has also scored four runs and driven in six. While Gregor Blanco, signed to a minor league deal on the same day as Davis, was reassigned to minor league camp yesterday, Davis remains in big league camp—one of 39 players remaining with Opening Day just ten days away. “Even at 38 he still has great speed and he is playing the game the right way,” manager Mickey Callaway said of Davis. With four outfielders seemingly ahead of Davis on the depth chart, he seems to be on the outside looking in at this point, but he does have the option to opt out of his contract near the end of spring training. If he chooses to accept a minor league assignment, one figures that he could easily see big league at-bats this season with the Mets at some point.
KoST points: 3
Total KoST points to-date: 9
Luis Guillorme - .379/.486/.586 in 29 ABs
Guillorme is the only KoST candidate to have a higher OPS than Pete Alonso with a 1.072 this spring. I already mentioned that his batting average is second only to Cano for the team lead. It’s really a shame that the Mets are the team of infinite infielders, otherwise Guillorme may have won himself a spot on the Opening Day roster, especially given the injuries to Jed Lowrie and Todd Frazier. But the Mets acquired Adeiny Hechavarria—a glove-first shortstop with major league experience—and seem intent on rostering him, making Guillorme’s skillset redundant. But if you are the type of person that views the spirit of KoST as the delta between expectations and outcome, Guillorme is probably your guy.
KoST points: 4
Total KoST points to-date: 12
Luis Avilan - 1.86 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 10 Ks in 9 2⁄3 IP
He is certainly a dark horse to take the KoST crown, but I have added Luis Avilan to this week’s update because he deserves a shoutout for the spring he has put together. Brought on as a minor league signing, Avilan is now virtually a lock to make the major league bullpen.
KoST points: 3
Total KoST points to-date: 3
Other players with KoST points
Gavin Cecchini (.286/.583/.429 in 7 ABs): 2
Good luck to all of our contenders in the final week of Grapefruit League play!