New York Mets pitchers and catchers officially report for Spring Training tomorrow. Important preseason work in Port St. Lucie awaits this Mets team with enormous expectations.
This is a baseball team with some headlining superstars, a promising rotation, top of the lineup, and an improved bullpen.
As Spring Training gets underway, let’s take a look at three Mets players to watch over the next month.
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Three Mets to watch this Spring Training:
1. Francisco Alvarez:
The Mets’ universally top-rated prospect will be must-see TV this spring. Francisco Alvarez is one of baseball’s best prospects. He just turned 21 a few months ago and has the potential to be a core Met for years to come.
Entering the 2023 Spring Training, though, it seems Alvarez is competing to be on this 26-man roster. Likely, as a right-handed designated hitter. And ironically, the right-handed DH is arguably the biggest question the Mets offense has going into this period of work in Port St. Lucie.
We know that Alvarez has all the ability to be a force for the Mets lineup at the plate. Now, the key for him this spring is proving to the Mets that he can take professional at-bats, grow from a confidence standpoint, and allow his talent to take over. With a strong showing over the next month, Alvarez could force the Mets to put him in the primary right-handed designated hitter role to start the season.
2. Brett Baty:
The consensus second-ranked Mets prospect, Brett Baty, will be one of the top Mets to watch throughout Spring Training. Similar to Alvarez, Baty has all the skills to be a long-term difference-maker for the Mets. But, going into the work this spring, Baty is vying to be on this Opening Day roster.
Whether it be size, the ability to hit for power or contact, or arm strength, Baty has so much talent. This spring, it is obviously well-known that he needs to convince the Mets that his defense at third base is up to par to give himself a chance of being on the roster.
Baty just turned 23 in November and offers so much enticing upside to the Mets for years to come. Hopefully, he does enough this spring to start living up to that immense potential starting this year.
3. Daniel Vogelbach:
A little bit of a curveball here with Daniel Vogelbach. But unlike the right-handed DH role, Vogelbach happens to be the Mets’ left-handed designated hitter clearly. This offense, one that is essentially the same from last year, will need some players to step up to get where this team expects. Vogelbach is one of those players who will need to do more.
When reviewing the Mets projected batting order, a lack of power is still a valid concern to have. After Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor, Vogelbach is the one who should assert himself as the Mets’ next-best power hitter this year.
As a mid-season acquisition last year, the fast transition to New York likely impacted Vogelbach. In 55 games and 149 at-bats with the Mets in 2022, Vogelbach only hit six homers. For reference, in the first half of last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he had 12 in 75 games (237 at-bats).
After nearly half of a season in Queens, Vogelbach should be comfortable heading into 2023 with the Mets. As noted in the introduction, it is currently the top of the Mets lineup that looks promising. From there, players are needed to step up and give this offense a boost. Against right-handed pitching, the Mets will need some consistent contributions from Vogelbach this year.