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2021 Mets King of spring training, update #3

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This week, we add three new candidates to the KoST field in the final full week of spring training.

MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, lovely Amazin’ Avenue community. Welcome to the final update in this year’s King of Spring Training contest before the final poll is posted next week and we determine the winner! This week, we have three new additions to an already wide-ranging field of candidates, including a player I wasn’t previously considering. Unlike some past years, I really don’t feel like there is a clear favorite, which makes it even more fun and interesting! Let’s review the field.

Albert Almora - .259/.286/.556 in 27 ABs

Much like Luis Guillorme last week, Almora was not a player I was previously considering for KoST, but I’ve come around. I think heading into spring training, given the Mets’ acquisition of Kevin Pillar not too long after Almora’s signing, Almora’s standing was somewhat unknown. Given his spring performance, I think he has firmly solidified his place on the Opening Day roster and for that, he deserves a KoST shoutout. Almora’s seven RBIs rank third on the team this spring, behind only Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor. He is also among the few players (Alonso, Lindor, Dominic Smith, Jake Hager) with multiple home runs in spring training this year. The question with Almora has always been his ability to hit enough to carry him for his defensive ability and the Mets would certainly take an .841 OPS from him all day long.

KoST points: 5
KoST points to-date: 5

Johneshwy Fargas - .286/.375/.500 in 14 ABs

I am thrilled that 2020 KoST standout Johneshwy Fargas has clawed himself back into contention in 2021. Over the past week, Fargas has broken into the top ten on the Mets in OPS this spring with an .875 mark in 14 at-bats. Over that span, he has also collected four hits and two walks and scored two runs. Fargas’ speed has also been on display; he is one of only three players (Pillar, Pete Crow-Armstrong) with a triple this spring and one of only four players (Pillar, Mallex Smith, Brandon Nimmo) with at least one stolen base.

KoST points: 3
KoST points to-date: 3

Patrick Mazeika - .364/.429/.455 in 11 ABs

Mazeika is another player whose star has risen over the past week. All winter, Mazeika was the somewhat surprising 40-man roster survivor as the Mets made acquisitions and corresponding cuts. He remains the third catcher on the 40-man roster besides James McCann and Tomas Nido. Although he is likely below non-roster invitee Caleb Joseph on the catching depth chart for the Mets, Mazeika has certainly outperformed Joseph with the bat this spring. He has collected four hits and two walks and driven in three runs in 11 at-bats. His .883 OPS ranks sixth on the team.

KoST points: 3
KoST points to-date: 3

Mark Vientos - .500/.700/.833 in 6 ABs

Among our KoST candidates, Vientos continues to have the smallest sample size (he only has one additional at-bat since our last update), but he still leads the team in OPS with a 1.533 this spring. And everyone else who has the same number of walks as Vientos (4) has many more plate appearances than the young infield prospect. He has certainly impressed this spring in limited action.

KoST points: 1
KoST points to-date: 8

Drew Ferguson - .500./583/.600 in 10 ABs

Pete Alonso is nestled between Vientos and Drew Ferguson in the top three spots in OPS. Ferguson holds a 1.183 OPS in ten at-bats this spring. This also comes with an extreme small sample size alert, but is impressive nonetheless. Ferguson has had a few additional plate appearances since our last update and has notched another hit and a walk since then, elevating his overall batting line.

KoST points: 2
KoST points to-date: 7

Luis Guillorme - .273/.360/.273 in 22 ABs

Guillorme’s batting line has also declined since our last KoST update, but that matters a bit less since he became a candidate in the first place for his 22-pitch plate appearance, which is no less epic than it was last week. I know his presence in the KoST field will continue to be debated and robust KoST debate is healthy—I encourage it—but he is not a starting player and has done something extraordinary this spring, the legacy of which will endure far beyond the final KoST vote being cast. This series started with Scott Hairston as a candidate and if Hairston can be KoST, Luis Guillorme can get his due.

KoST points: 1
KoST points to-date: 6

Jake Hager - .214/.214/.643 in 14 ABs

Hager continues to ride on the coattails of his two early spring homers, which still put him among only five players with multiple home runs this spring and his came in a much smaller sample size than the other players (Almora, Alonso, Lindor, Smith). But his overall batting line has dropped precipitously since our last update.

KoST points: 0
KoST points to-date: 5

Bruce Maxwell - .300/.462/.400 in 10 ABs

Maxwell has only had one additional at-bat since our last update and his line has fallen slightly, but he remains a dark horse among our field of candidates.

KoST points: 0
KoST points to-date: 3

Trevor Hildenberger - 0.00 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 7 Ks in 2 13 IP

Unlike last week, Hildenberger does have another appearance since our last KoST update this time around. He faced just one batter on March 19 and he struck him out. So Hildenberger maintains his streak of having recorded all of his outs via the strikeout. He has surrendered just one hit and and two walks over his three appearances.

KoST points: 1
KoST points to-date: 2

Ronny Mauricio - .417/.417/.417 in 12 ABs

Mauricio is the only one of our existing field of candidates that has not had any additional plate appearances since our last update. His last appearance came on March 12, but his batting line is still very aesthetically pleasing, so at least there’s that.

KoST points: 0
KoST points to-date: 2

The KoST love is spread very widely this season. It’s anyone’s game! Good luck to all of our KoST candidates and I’ll be back one final time next week with our final poll. #LFGM