PORT ST. LUCIE — Mets normal supervisor Billy Eppler gave some perception into the membership’s decision-making course of Monday when he stated proprietor Steve Cohen informed him to make one of the best baseball resolution when it got here to retaining scuffling DH Darin Ruf.
Fans had a tough time reconciling this with the baseball resolution revamped the weekend to choice third baseman Brett Baty and third baseman/first baseman Mark Vientos to Triple-A Syracuse. Based on numbers alone, the duo had outperformed some veterans in Grapefruit League play. But it’s spring coaching, so the numbers don’t inform the entire story.
Baty, Vientos, catcher Francisco Alvarez and shortstop Ronny Mauricio all made nice strides this spring and can proceed to make them in Triple-A, the place they do nonetheless have issues to show. They can turn out to be leaders on the sphere and off, construct confidence and so they might help Syracuse win.
They can even develop some consistency of their at-bats, their routines and particularly defensively. Consistency is a crucial ingredient the Mets are searching for from all of their prospects, however from these 4 particularly.
For Alvarez, it’s about his setups. His pitch framing improved and he was tasked with catching the Mets’ prime arms, however refining some small particulars will assist the pitchers.
“I think for Alvy, it’s about being consistent with his setups and what he does on every pitch and just kind of being the same,” catching coach Glenn Sherlock informed the Daily News. “You hear a lot of things, like do this and do that, but he needs to be himself. He needs to stick with something and just get really good at it. That was something we worked on with him, being consistent with his setups, not moving so much, getting up and down as far as the umpire goes. But he did a really good job. He has good hands, he’s very strong. He did a good job at framing in spring training.”
Sherlock regularly reiterated how excited the group is about their 21-year-old power-hitting catcher. The plan was at all times to start out Alvarez in Triple-A with two wholesome catchers in Omar Narvaez and Tomas Nido, the Mets had no selection however to ship Alvarez to Syracuse as a result of there weren’t sufficient video games to go round.
The Mets don’t wish to carry three catchers and so they don’t need him to DH and ignore his catching duties at a vital level in his improvement. So they despatched him to the minor leagues with a listing of issues to work towards.
“I think just handling the pitching staff and building up his endurance,” Sherlock stated. “Concentrating on being an everyday catcher and catching a lot of games this year. In Triple-A, they’re going to play 150 games this year so he’s going to catch a lot of games. This is going to be a really good experience for him.”
Baty and Vientos had related springs. They each began off scorching on the plate after which cooled down towards the tip. Their closing numbers have been nice, with Baty slashing .325/.460/.425 with an .885 OPS and one residence run, and Vientos going .278/.310/.481 with a .791 OPS and two residence runs.
“I feel like I played well and I put together competitive ABs, like I try to do every night,” Baty stated final week earlier than the roster transfer was made. “I’ve played pretty consistent defense these last couple of weeks and really just showed that I made a lot of improvement over there.”
Close mates on and off the sphere, Vientos was capable of present Baty round Miami, near the place he grew up in Plantation. They’ve been shut for a couple of years now, even if they’ve been competing in opposition to each other at third base.
But now Vientos might be throughout the diamond at first base with the Syracuse Mets and he’ll have a chance to have continuity at one place.
“I’m pretty comfortable at first base,” he stated. “I played a good amount last year and the year before, but as you get more reps at the position I get more comfortable.”
Baty made it a degree to watch gamers like Eduardo Escobar, Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor and made modifications to his pregame routine after seeing how a number of the veterans structured their days. He plans to stay with them.
The velocity of the sport was impressed upon Baty and he feels as if he’s turn out to be extra conscious of it this spring and is healthier outfitted to handle it.
“Really shoring up just the catch first and slowing the game down,” Baty stated. “Not being in a rush over there and knowing how much time I have. If you look at all of the elite fielders, they all know how much time they have. It might be a bang-bang player over there, but they always know the exact amount of time they have before the runner gets there. That’s what I’m kind of focusing on.”
The undeniable fact that the Mets have 4 homegrown prospects who’re practically prepared for the large leagues is an effective indicator of the group’s improvement processes. Fans might not like these choices, however the Mets are assured that having endurance now will result in success sooner or later.