We often talk about minor leaguers and their ETAs (Estimated Time of Arrival) in the majors. A player like Ronny Mauricio may be a top tier, top quality prospect but his ETA is currently projected for 2022. (I’d probably call that ETA aggressive.) Today, we are going to look at players who are in line to help the Mets win games in 2019.
Peter Alonso, 1B (MLB.com Ranking #2): The Mets have a pretty deep pool of options when they talk about first base. Alonso stands beside Todd Frazier, J.D. Davis, Robinson Cano and Dominic Smith this Spring Training, with his eye on the starting job, but it seems like only Alonso has the buzz of hope around him. Met fans know what they are likely to get from Frazier or Cano and Davis or Smith seem like stop-gap solutions. Should Alonso win the job the Mets are hoping to have a true 30+ home run hitter to stand tall in the middle of their lineup. If any prospect is geared to having a true impact on the 2019 season, it has to be him.
Andres Gimenez, SS (MLB.com Ranking #1): The Met’s actual Top Prospect is getting second billing to Alonso because the Mets don’t have a place to put him. With Amed Rosario currently poised to be the Mets shortstop Gimenez becomes more of an injury contingency for the 2019 season. With Jed Lowrie and Cano on the team it’s hard to see the Mets finding room for both Gimenez and Rosario at the same time.
Gavin Cecchini, Util (MLB.com Ranking #16): On the other side of the coin, Cecchini is aided by the Mets having overloaded their infield. He’s one of the few options for a stop-gap shortstop that the Mets have on their roster and he’s looking at a legitimate chance of getting a role on the Mets bench. Cecchini’s ability to play this defensively challenging role could be his ticket to helping the Mets in 2019.
Walker Lockett, RHSP (Unranked): The Mets have Corey Oswalt and a few other starting pitchers who can be called to duty if/when Jason Vargas lays an egg. Lockett, a newly acquired starter is one of the best options at the Mets disposal.
Drew Smith, RHRP (Unranked): One of the many relievers in the Met system who made his debut in 2018. With a fully stocked pen, Smith getting one of those last spots in the bullpen looks to be a much safer 2019 role for him. His minor league stats suggest he could have a role as a higher leverage reliever down the line.
Tyler Bashlor, RHRP (Unranked): Is likely the highest ceiling reliever from the 2018 crop that is still with the Mets. His power numbers are very exciting and the fact the Mets can give him a chance to pitch in AAA without forcing him into the majors again might pay off well for them when injuries start to happen.
Eric Hanhold, RHRP (MLB.com Ranking #25): A surprise 2018 debut in the majors wasn’t expected for Hanhold but he got one. Now he looks to 2019 and the upper minors as a place to hone himself for the majors. The fact that he’s already gotten some service in the majors likely means that the Mets may look to him again in 2019, though.
Tomas Nido, C (MLB.com Ranking #10): Nido is likely to get time in the majors and his defense and pitch calling remain his biggest asset but his bat doesn’t seem like it will provide much of an impact in the majors.
Stephen Nogosek, RHRP (MLB.com Ranking #22): A step behind his relief pitching confederates, Nogosek has been as high as AA with an Arizona Fall League also under his belt. He could join some of these other names in AAA but may also wind up getting a chance to close out games for the Rumble Ponies. He’s not too far down in the depth charts if relievers start to fall.
Will Toffey, 3B (MLB.com Ranking #21): If Will Toffey gets much major league playing time in 2019, I don’t think the Mets are enjoying a good season. He’s pretty well trapped in AAA with a number of names above him. Should the fire sale begin, Toffey will see playing time.