Amidst a flurry of off-season moves, the signing of veteran infielder Adeiny Hechavarria by the Mets did not attract a whole lot of attention at the time. The Mets had a crowded infield, and Hechavarria began the year in AAA ball. You could say that Hechavarria was flying under the radar. He was thirty years old, he had been a utility player the past few seasons, and for his previous club in 2018, the Yanks, he batted just .194. It began to look like Hechevarria was near the end of the line.
Then on May 4, as injuries accumulated for the Mets’ infield, Hechavarria was brought up from Syracuse to provide some depth. When Robinson Cano was placed on the injured list, Hechavarria began playing second base regularly, and he responded by providing solid defense and timely hits.
So far this year, he has assembled a slash line of .241/.279/.466 in 21 games with three homers and 58 AB. Not bad for a glove first utility man, but Hechavarria has recently stepped up his production. In his last seven games his line is .308/.333/.500.
Hechavarria is not providing empty production in runaway games. In recent Met wins, few as they have been, it seems like Hechavarria has been right in the middle of the action in some recent Mets come from behind victories.
For example, on May 22, he provided a key 8th inning hit as the Mets rallied for a 6-1 win over Washington. Then on May 26 his three run homer made the difference in a 4-3 triumph over Detroit. And last Friday, he had a single in the midst of an 8th inning rally that carried the Mets past Arizona, 5-4. Earlier in the game he had put the Mets up by driving in two runs with a double.
In the field this year, playing mostly second with some games at short and third, he has a positive UZR rating and he’s been part of 11 double plays. He has just two errors this year in 79 total chances. Back in his prime he was a human highlight reel with the glove, as can be attested by his old clips on YouTube.
If the Mets were a true meritocracy, as has been proclaimed by the front office, then the underperforming Cano would have to fight for his job back after returning from the IR. We all know that’s not going to happen, Cano will be penciled in at 2b most of the time after he is reactivated. But even as a back up, Hechavarria should see plenty of action, giving the other infielders off days and pinch hitting.
This year quite a few Mets have under-performed on the field, and a fair amount have performed about as expected. Hechavarria is among the few who have exceeded expectations, and should the Mets decide to deal him, he may just put himself on the radar of some clubs looking to fortify their infield at the trade deadline.