With position players set to arrive in Port St. Lucie at the end of the week and the 2017 season set to launch, we’re going to take a look at some of the minor leaguers who will be part of the big league camp. Players like David Roseboom, Dominic Smith, Phillip Evans, P.J. Conlon and Travis Taijeron are intriguing names to follow as their spring training performances could earn them time in Queens during the 2017 season.
David Roseboom, RP: Before the Mets brought back Jerry Blevins, Roseboom seemed more and more likely to have a role on the 2017 Mets. Still, the lefty reliever has been good in the minors and will get a chance to show how his stuff plays against the players in the pros. Roseboom is also likely to fall victim to the numbers game but he’s got a chance to solidify his role should the Mets need a lefty reliever to come up. His overall numbers were very good last year and against lefties, in 89 PA he held them to a .430 OPS in Double-A.
Dominic Smith, 1B: While the world expects Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores to be the everyday starting platoon at first, Smith is an interesting player to watch. Duda’s struggles both at the plate and with his health have created doubt as to if he can still be counted on as a middle of the order hitter. Flores, on the other hand, is a pure lefty smasher whose future is likely still tied to him being a pinch hitter and backup infielder. Smith appears to be the future first baseman of the franchise and this spring he can show it. If he can display some of the contact oriented magic he’s shown in the minors and outplays Duda, it’ll be hard for the Mets to keep him in Vegas for long.
Phillip Evans, IF: The Mets have Matt Reynolds and T.J. Rivera and don’t need Evans in the majors but Evans will get the chance to show his defensive and offensive merits, nonetheless. He’ll never be a starting player but he might be attractive trade bait for a team interested in a versatile bench player who can field multiple positions.
P.J. Conlon, SP: Don’t get too excited about Conlon just yet. He’s got a snowball’s chance in Hell of making it to the show to start the year but the Mets will be testing him as another emergency starter behind Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. Conlon appears to be a pretty solid inning eater and his future does still look to land him in the majors but he’s got to work his way past a few names in the depth chart first.
Travis Taijeron, OF: I have repeatedly pointed out that Taijeron is a flawed prospect. He’s got power and can hit but he strikes out too often and will never be more than a power bat off the bench. The problem with Taijeron seems to be that he actually struggles to hit lefties. With the number of left-handed hitters on the Mets roster it’s possible that he can distinguish himself as an outfield version of Flores but his statistical history is against that happening.