Me, sitting down at my computer: Alright, it’s KoST season!
Jeff Wilpon, crashing through my window: I told you! We can’t possibly pay for Dallas Keuchel!
Me: Not cost. KoST!
Jeff Wilpon: What?
Me: It’s time to see who’s the KoST.
Brandon Nimmo, crashing through my other window: I told you! It wasn’t my perfectly cooked chicken! The test came back and said I had a virus.
Me: Not cause. KoST!
Brandon Nimmo: What?
Me: You won last year!
Let us review this year’s early KoST favorites, shall we? I will provide periodic updates throughout the rest of spring training and shortly before Opening Day, the community will decide the winner.
J.D. Davis - .316/.316/.526 in 19 ABs
The player the Mets traded two notable prospects for has suddenly gone from fringe 25th man to an important piece with infielders Jed Lowrie and Todd Frazier nursing injuries, with their status for Opening Day questionable. His positional flexibility at both infield corners means he is likely a lock to make the roster if Lowrie and Frazier remain sidelined. The Mets, especially manager Mickey Callaway, seem to be talking Davis up a lot this spring and it helps that he has walked the walk at least so far in Grapefruit League play. Davis is tied for the team lead in RBIs with five.
KoST points: 4
Dominic Smith - .500/.579/.688 in 16 ABs
Dominic Smith may be the forgotten man for a team that has its sights set on a future at first base that includes Pete Alonso, but it is hard to forget Smith’s unfortunate struggles at the plate and misadventures in the outfield last season. Mercifully, the Mets have played him exclusively at first base this spring and he has collected a parcel of hits so far this spring. He leads the team in hits with eight; seven of those hits are singles, but the remaining hit was a booming three-run shot that put the Mets ahead in yesterday’s contest. It’s certainly a far cry from the way last spring started for Smith, when he was late for a meeting and scratched from his very first spring training start. He is healthy, has maintained his weight loss, and certainly seems like he’s going to make the first base question more challenging for the Mets than perhaps many had anticipated. To say he has a good chance of supplanting Pete Alonso is premature, but with the aforementioned injuries to other starting infielders, the door may be open just a crack for Smith to push his way through.
KoST points: 5
Pete Alonso - .357/.438/.643 in 14 ABs
Speaking of Alonso, he certainly has made it clear that he has every intention of winning the first base job outright this spring. And it’s hard to argue with his results at the plate so far. Among his five hits this spring are a double and a home run. He’s also walked twice and driven in four runs. His play in the field has been decidedly mixed thus far, which most expected. But no player is out there doing reps earlier and more often than Alonso to show that he is continuing to work hard to improve.
KoST points: 5
Luis Guillorme - .500/.571/.833 in 12 ABs
KoST candidate is familiar territory for the flying bat snatching Guillorme, who once again is doing well so far this spring on both sides of the ball. He has six hits, including a double and a home run in Grapefruit League play thus far. He is tied with J.D. Davis and Amed Rosario in runs scored with four, the second-highest mark on the team. It’s tough to envision a way for Guillorme to make his way onto the roster, especially with another glove-first infielder, Adeiny Hechavarria in camp as a non-roster invitee. But perhaps if Hechavarria falters and Guillorme continues to perform, he can overtake his more experienced teammate on the depth chart.
KoST points: 4
Rajai Davis - .364/.500/.818 in 11 ABs
Rajai Davis is also a non-roster invitee in big league camp, brought in to strengthen the Mets’ rather thin outfield depth. So far, the minor league deal seems like it may pay dividends, as Davis has performed well at the plate in the first week or so of Grapefruit League play. He figures to slot in behind both Juan Lagares and Keon Broxton on the depth chart, but it seems likely that he would be the first to be called upon should injury befall any of the Mets’ outfielders. Two of Davis’s four hits are doubles and he has driven in three.
KoST points: 4
Gavin Cecchini - .286/.583/.429 in 7 ABs
Cecchini is another familiar face from KoST lists past. Much like Smith, the former top prospect has fallen from grace rather precipitously—so much so that he was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Justin Wilson. Perhaps even more surprising, he went unclaimed and was therefore outrighted to Triple-A and finds himself in Mets camp this spring. He has made the most of it so far and joins what will likely be a large contingent of infielders in Syracuse this season. Cecchini’s impressive on-base percentage is buoyed by a team-leading five walks so far this spring. He also leads the team in runs scored with five and has stolen two bases.
KoST points: 2
Good luck to all of our KoST contenders!