Members of the Amazin’ Avenue community: spring training is complete and we are now less than 48 hours away from Opening Day. You know what that means. Time to vote for the 2019 Mets King of Spring Training!
Almost the entire Mets lineup has absolutely raked this spring and there have been a few guys—both expected and unexpected—that have won jobs on the back of their strong showings this spring. So this year’s race is an exciting and competitive one!
Let’s take a look at all of the candidates with their complete spring training stat lines.
Pete Alonso - .352/.387/.620 in 71 ABs
Pete Alonso took the first base job essentially by force. He was so good this spring that he made it so that the Mets would look terrible if they didn’t bring him north with the club. And to the Mets’ credit, they did. We’ll make a final judgement on the service time manipulation question when Todd Frazier returns, but for now Pete Alonso appears to be the Opening Day starting first baseman for the Mets. Even though there wasn’t much of a question about the hitter he is, the boldness of the statement he has made this spring makes him a favorite for the KoST title.
KoST points: 5
Total KoST points: 22
Dominic Smith - .321/.367/.464 in 56 ABs
The injury to Frazier gave Dominic Smith an opportunity as well and he made the absolute most of it, making the Mets’ decision regarding first base more difficult than anyone thought it would be going into spring training. Smith put an exclamation point on his fantastic spring with a game-winning three-run homer in Monday’s final Grapefruit League game against the Orioles. Maybe the use of a CPAP machine to help with his sleep apnea and his maintained weight loss indicate that what we’re seeing this spring is for real and Smith is primed for a breakout season. Either way, he’ll get some more major league time—at least until Frazier returns—to try to prove it. At this stage, it’s unclear exactly what the playing time split between Alonso and Smith will be, but at the very least, Smith provides a dangerous left-handed bat off the bench, which is something the Mets’ roster really did need.
KoST points: 4
Total KoST points: 19
Luis Guillorme - .342/.444/.526 in 38 ABs
Guillorme is perhaps the biggest surprise of anyone in camp this spring. When the Mets signed the glove-first veteran shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to a minor league contract, I—like many others—figured Guillorme’s chances of making the roster were slim to none, given how much the Mets like their veterans. But, along with taking Alonso north, Brodie Van Wagenen and the Mets made good on their new “players-first” mantra with the choice of Guillorme over Hechavarria. Guillorme certainly earned it with his play this spring and that makes him a strong contender for the KoST crown.
KoST points: 4
Total KoST points: 16
J.D. Davis - .309/.367/.491 in 55 ABs
The injuries to both Frazier and Jed Lowrie all but secured J.D. Davis’ spot on the roster. But, Davis’ spring line certainly makes Mets fans feel a little better about the ability to ride out the injuries to their veteran infielders, if nothing else. Davis has raked in the minor leagues and found himself blocked on a very talented Astros roster with very little opportunity to get major league at-bats. The Mets are hoping that he can break out in orange and blue.
KoST points: 4
Total KoST points: 15
Rajai Davis - .323/.395/.548 in 31 ABs
Of all of the frontrunners for KoST, Rajai Davis is the only one who ultimately did not crack the Mets’ 25-man roster. With Keon Broxton out of options, it was an uphill battle for Davis, but he still performed incredibly well this spring on both sides of the ball. Of all the Mets’ hitters, it is unfortunately Juan Lagares who has struggled the most this spring, which does leave the door open a crack for Davis if those struggles continue in the regular season. In the event of an injury to one of the Mets’ outfielders, it also seems like Davis would be the first to get the call. He has accepted his minor league assignment and will start the year in the Syracuse outfield.
KoST points: 3
Total KoST points: 12
Luis Avilan - 2.31 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 14 Ks in 11 2⁄3 IP
Avilan is a guy who has made the list as a dark horse for the KoST title because of his spring performance winning him a job. Of all the Mets’ minor league signings, he is the only one who made the roster. Despite a major league track record, Avilan was forced to settle for a minor league deal due to a combination of the harsh free agent market, declining velocity numbers toward the end of last year, and the decline of the LOOGY. But his velocity is back up this spring, which is certainly an encouraging sign, and he posted the results to back it up. The Mets hope he is a useful addition to the bullpen this season.
KoST points: 2
Total KoST points: 5
Gavin Cecchini - .286/.583/.429 in 7 ABs
Cecchini may be the long shot candidate, but he did a lot in the small amount of time he spent in camp. He had a steep fall from grace from first-round draft pick to a guy who was outrighted off the roster shortly before spring training began. Somewhat surprisingly, no team claimed him so he remained with the Mets and showed that he may still yet have something left in the tank. He goes to a crowded Syracuse infield full of hopefuls trying to win some major league innings this year and we should at least probably see him again in September as he makes a last ditch effort to show he wasn’t a bust after all.
Total KoST points: 2
Denizens of Amazin’ Avenue: Who is your 2019 King of Spring Training?
Who is the 2019 Mets King of Spring Training?
This poll is closed
Pete Alonso (22 KoST points)
Dominic Smith (19 KoST points)
Luis Guillorme (16 KoST points)
J.D. Davis (15 KoST points)
Rajai Davis (12 KoST points)
Luis Avilan (5 KoST points)
Gavin Cecchini (2 KoST points)
Pizza! (Tell me about the player you wish had been in this poll in the comments.)