The Mets added a depth piece today with the signing of veteran outfielder Travis Jankowski to a minor league contract, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. Jankowski has spent parts of the last seven seasons with the Phillies, Reds, and Padres, and sports a career .239/.322/.318 slash line.
Jankowski’s bat is not what he is known for, however. A good baserunner, Jankowski stole 30 bases in 2016, when he appeared in 131 games for the Padres. He can cover all three outfield positions, and gives the Mets a true backup center fielder on their roster. Last season, Jankowski played 45 of his 57 innings in center and was five for five in stolen base attempts. He owns a 75% stole base percentage over his career.
Also, via his Instagram, one time he dressed up like Luigi. That’s pretty cool.
For a team with limited outfield defense and baserunning on its major league roster, there’s a scenario that Jankowski sticks on the big league roster for most of the season. However, there are quite a few players currently ahead of him on the depth chart, and so unless some trades or injuries happen over the next few weeks of camp, Jankowski seems poised to start the season at Triple-A Syracuse.