Entering the 2017 season many in the Mets organization were hopeful Jose Reyes would have continued success and growth from last season. This season Reyes has one hit in six-plus games. It is not just his lack of production, but the way he is making outs which is disconcerting. He has been having difficulty making contact, and when he has made contact is has been in the air. This is not the recipe for success for a speedy leadoff hitter.
Reyes’s lack of production and possible regression must make the organization look for other options at the leadoff position as well as third base. Though David Wright was cleared to begin throw today, the odds of him contributing to the team currently or in the future are slim to none. With the possibility of Wright never contributing again the team may look to June’s draft to find his replacement for the future.
While the draft may be one option, another could be free agency, where Manny Machado will be one of the prizes of the 2018 offseason. Though the odds of the Mets signing him will probably be slim as he will most likely command a contract approaching 200 million dollars. Yet another option could be the trade market which will assuredly heat up the closer we get to the deadline. One strong option there would be White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier a New Jersey native and a strong power bat, though the package to acquire him might be too rich for the Mets blood.
As far as finding a replacement leadoff hitter the team may find a few options from within. One strong possibility for next season could be star shortstop prospect Amed Rosario. He has the speed and the contact rate to make an ideal leadoff hitter. Another strong possibility could be outfielder Brandon Nimmo. He too has good speed and is a good enough hitter to bat first. Of course, the Mets would have to find a place to play him defensively.
While both options are strong possibilities for next season and beyond the team may need to get creative in the trade market to seek out some team speed for the present. The closer we get to the deadline the more the market will reveal itself. Luckily for the team, Sandy Alderson has already stated that the Mets are “all in” this year and will have the financial resources to add at the deadline if necessary.
Until the Mets can address this concern externally they can always slot Curtis Granderson back at the top of the order. While he seems to be more comfortable hitting down in the order, he has been more than serviceable as the team’s leadoff hitter over the past few seasons.
At third base the team has T.J. Rivera as fill in option should Reyes continue to falter. In limited action last season, he proved he can hit at the big-league level, hitting .333 with 3 Home Runs and 16 RBI in 105 at bats. While a small sample size he looked like a confident clutch hitter.