A look at Joey Wendle’s baseball journey
After four successful seasons at West Chester University, the Cleveland Indians selected Wendle in the sixth round of the 2012 Major League Baseball draft. The Delaware native rose to Double-A Akron before being traded to the Oakland Athletics for Brandon Moss on December 8, 2014.
Wendle continued to impress in the Athletics system and got called up on August 31, 2016. Over the next two seasons, the Wendle appeared in 36 games and slashed .305/.339/.645 with two home runs and 16 RBIs. Despite Wendle having success in his limited sample size, the Athletics designated him for assignment on December 7, 2017, and then shipped him to Tampa Bay four days later for Jonah Heim.
After an impressive Spring Training, Wendle made the Rays’ opening day roster and had a superb first full season in the major leagues. Wendle appeared in 139 games and slashed .300/.354/.435 with seven home runs and 61 RBIs while leading all rookies in WAR (4.3) and finished fourth in the American League Rookie of the Year race.
The Delaware native had an injury-riddled second season in Tampa Bay, leading to Wendle playing just 75 games. When on the field, Wendle’s production took a step back as he slashed just .231/.293/.340 with three home runs and 19 RBIs.
Wendle returned to his 2018 form in the Covid-19 shortened 2020 season. In 50 games, Wendle slashed .286/.342/.435 with four home runs and 17 RBIs.
Wendle parlayed his bounceback 2020 campaign into a stellar 2021 season. In 136 games, the Delaware native slashed .265/.319/.422 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs while making his first all-star game. Following the 2021 season, the Rays shipped Wendle to Miami in exchange for Kameron Misner.
In his first season in Miami, Wendle appeared in 101 games and slashed .259/.297/.360 with three home runs and 32 RBIs. The Delaware native failed to replicate his first-season success in his second season in Miami. In 112 games, the 33-year-old slashed .212/.248/.306 with two home runs and 16 RBIs while having a career-worst 50 OPS+.
What are the Mets getting in Wendle?
After non-tendering Luis Guillorme, the Mets needed a versatile fielder on their bench, and Wendle will fill that role.
The 33-year-old has vast experience at shortstop, second base, and third base. In addition, Wendle has spent some time in the outfield but hasn’t played there in a regular season game since 2019.
Wendle’s defensive versatility and ability to hit at the big league level should make him a stellar bench piece for the Mets in 2024.