By Gino Gallo
We all pined for spring training baseball. We waited patiently for our beloved Mets to hit the field. Nobody truly knew what we were going to get, however so far the unproven commodities are those who are standing out the most. Regardless of what Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, or any of our proven players do during the spring, all we really want from them is their health. All we desire is for them to survive the spring and be ready and raring to go on for Opening Day. However, we are getting much more then we bargained for this spring.
We knew Pete Alonso was a big time prospect, but the guy is truly separating himself from the pack this spring. Of course the naysayers will sit there and comment, “Let’s see him do it in the regular season.” Fair enough. But his Spring Training play is turning him into one of the top power prospects in all of baseball. As much as Alonso himself has been a monster on the diamond, the forgotten man Dominic Smith is hitting over .400 with an OPS over .1000. Dominic also has come into camp in incredible shape and his defense is looking tremendous. Perhaps leaving Alonso in the minors for a measly 12 games and showcasing Dominic Smith over that time can do huge things for this team. It could very well be the case that a team like the Tigers who are in complete rebuild mode, realize Smith is 24 years old, a former first round draft pick and if he hits in the majors as he has in the spring, maybe a package with Smith and a few others can land us a guy like Nick Castellanos at the deadline (The absolute perfect fit for this team!).
As I have stated in prior articles, Rosario will have a big year. It’s coming, it is inevitable. Robinson Cano has pretty much figured out something most lefties have not. If you can serve a fastball into left field you can bat .350 with ease. Cano has specifically said he has been working to beat the shift and if you have kept track of the spring games, he has done just that. Look for this middle infielder to be absolutely fantastic this year. Do not forget, Robinson Cano even at his advanced age is the best pure hitter this team has had for a full season since the late 2000’s.
Lets not forget, Wilson Ramos is hitting very well this spring. Lets also not forget Wilson Ramos can take every at bat this season with a bat made of Styrofoam and would still produce more offense than our entire catching core did last season. It is also true that Ramos has been working extremely well with guys like Steven Matz. Matz is a name we often overlook because of the top three guys, yet if Matz has a great season, this team will be absolutely lethal.
It is true. Todd Frasier and Lowrie have been hurt for a while. Does that really scare you though? When the lineup consists of Conforto, Cano, Ramos, Nimmo, McNeil, Alonso/Smith, Rosario, ect…… The main pitfall of this team last year was plain and simple, the New York Mets went about 3 and a half months where they couldn’t score runs. Adding the consistency of Cano and Ramos, along with the progression of Nimmo and Rosario, as well as the hot streaks Conforto goes on that can carry a team and it’s pretty straight foward.
This will not be like last season. This team is not going to go through a month long drought with horrible offense. Ladies and Gentleman, get ready, what we have here is a legitimate team. This is a contender. Two Cy young candidates in the starting rotation, and 2 guys who are both excellent out of the number 3 and 4 spots. The bullpen is filled with 5 proven pitchers! And most of all, a lineup that will not be stagnate. This is a team not to be taken lightly. So go ahead and get excited folks. This is going to be a year to remember. Just remember were you heard it first. Right here at Mets Junkies.