New York Mets: 5 players to watch in Spring Training

new york mets, mark vientos
Sep 11, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; New York Mets designated hitter Mark Vientos (27) at bat against the Miami Marlins in the second inning at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

In roughly two and a half weeks, the New York Mets pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie for Spring Training.

Much excitement surrounds this baseball team. World Series expectations are in place. They are coming off an offseason filled with splashes. Across the board, this is one talented roster with some superstars.

Outside of the headliners, though, there are some younger Mets players who will be fascinating to watch this Spring Training. A few who will be on the Opening Day roster, and some who are vying for a spot. Let’s go over five intriguing Mets heading into Spring Training.

Five New York Mets worth watching this Spring Training:

1. Kodai Senga, SP

In a few weeks, we will finally get to see Kodai Senga on the mound for the Mets. He has all the talent and upside to grow into an elite-level difference-maker for the Mets. The early phases of his transition to the Major Leagues will be fun to see, starting down in Port St. Lucie.

Senga’s forkball pitch should a generate thrill from the jump. As much as anything, though, how he adjusts to and begins to build his confidence pitching to MLB hitting will be worth monitoring. Is Senga further along than we anticipated? Or, will it maybe take some time for him to get up to speed?

Either way, it will be a blast to see Senga start working with the Mets.

2. Brett Baty, 3B

What an offseason it was for talented Mets prospect, third baseman, Brett Baty. After the initial announcement of the verbal agreement, the Mets had with Carlos Correa, Baty’s future as a Met looked to possibly be up in the air. Obviously, things fell through with Correa as the Mets could not reach a deal. Now, Baty is just able to focus on ball.

Talent is not a question anyone has with Baty. He is loaded with natural ability. Whether it be his size, pure swing, power, ability to hit for contact, or strong arm, Baty offers so much to be enthused about. We got to see some flashes of these traits late last summer when he joined the Mets.

The two keys with Baty are fairly simple, though. It all starts with where he is at defensively. Has he developed in the field with his glove at third base this offseason? The second question is whether or not he has grown at the plate, taking at bats. He has the skills to be a dominant hitter but showed last year he still needs some seasoning on how to approach plate appearances to allow his talent to take over.

Seeing hopefully development from Baty as a 23-year-old this Spring Training would be huge. He is certainly vying for a spot on this Opening Day roster.

3. Francisco Alvarez, C

The Mets’ top prospect was recently rated as MLB Pipeline’s third overall prospect in all of baseball. Francisco Alvarez will definitely be must-see at Mets Spring Training in a couple of weeks.

Along with the Mets’ second-rated prospect, Baty, Alvarez seems to be entering Spring Training, proving to the team why he belongs on the 26-man roster. And no different from Baty, all the talent with Alvarez is there, size and power, contact hitting, and an arm is all there. Where he is at in his progression, taking at bats and, more importantly, his defense, will likely tell whether or not he starts the season on the Mets roster.

Alvarez should deliver some excitement with his bat at Spring Training, showcasing his potential.

4. David Peterson, SP/RP

In terms of Opening Day roster status from the Mets’ collection of pitching, few potentially have more at stake than David Peterson.

The Mets’ first-round draft pick in the 2017 MLB draft has gained some experience over the last three seasons. Last year, Peterson got nine appearances as a reliever, which barring injury, is likely where he would start 2023 for the Mets.

Ironically, a left-handed reliever to complement Brooks Raley is a bit of an unknown entering Spring Training for the Mets. Peterson has some enticing traits with his size and slider. There was some promise shown throughout 2022 with his 3.83 ERA. A strong spring for Peterson could give him a favorable chance of landing on the Mets’ 26-man roster to begin the regular season.

5. Mark Vientos, DH

Mark Vientos is a talented young prospect for the Mets. He was another 2017 draft pick made by the Mets in the second round.

He gained his first big league experience toward the end of last season, playing in 16 games. Vientos is gifted physically with prototypical 6-foot-4 height. His bat has a ton of power. Vientos also offers positional flexibility in the field. Development with his glove is the key for him defensively.

The interesting point for Vientos entering Spring Training is that the right-handed designated hitter spot for the Mets surely looks underwhelming. Tommy Pham was recently signed but batted .236 last year and could also be deployed in the outfield on some days. The other options are Darin Ruf and possibly Alvarez. Ultimately, the opportunity for Vientos this Spring Training is there for the taking. He has the talent and is a respected prospect. Hopefully, Vientos makes the most of his reps this spring.