As we watch the Mets off-season 40-Man Roster take shape and as we watch the outfielder discussions regarding Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Shin-Soo Choo (amongst others) take place, we need to also be aware that the Mets are going to be looking at shortstops too.
Tovar took over the shortstop at the major league level at the tail-end of this season. He only played in a handful of games but could he make the permanent jump from Double-AA Binghamton to CitiField?
He’s only 22 but he is in his sixth pro-season (all with the Mets). He is known for his defense and not his bat. He has plus speed; he stole 13 bases in the minors this year and added one more during his short audition for the parent club. In the minors, he put up a slashline of .263/.323/.340. At Binghamton, his fielding percentage was .981. We can’t really gauge the full extent of his potential major league defensive contributions next year but FanGraphs did give him a 1.0 UZR.
Tejada is a year older than Tovar. In just over 200 ABs, Tejada stole only two bases and put up a slash line of .202/.256/.260. His fielding percentage for the year was only .969.
It should be noted that only the San Francisco Giants turned fewer double plays than the Mets last year. The Mets turned 127 double-plays while the Giants turned 126. At the high end of the spectrum, the St. Louis Cardinals turned 177
If the Mets go with Daniel Murphy at second, Tovar might be able to help him improve upon his 2013 defensive rating of -4.4. Couple that potential improvement with a Juan Lagares center field defensive rating of 25.4 and the Mets could be considerably more solid up the middle. If Tovar covered more
ground up the middle, then Murphy could perhaps edge a step or two closer to first base and that, in turn, could help their first baseman field that position a little better.
…and if we added a stud outfielder, maybe we might really have something.