Mets of the Future: Where does first baseman Jeremy Vasquez fit in?
By Tim Boyle
Jeremy Vasquez produced well down on the New York Mets farm in 2018. Does he have a future in Flushing?
We figure Peter Alonso eventually takes over the first base gig for the New York Mets as soon as next year. For other first basemen in the organization, this means changing positions or finding a home elsewhere.
Down in Single-A, there’s a guy named Jeremy Vasquez who put together a nice season for Columbia and St. Lucie. His 2018 totals between both teams include a .280/.369/.421 batting line and 10 home runs in 518 plate appearances. He began the year with an impressive on-base streak and continued to show off this ability throughout the season.
While these numbers pale in comparison to what Alonso did at higher levels, they’re still ones to pay attention to.
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To some surprise, Vasquez didn’t register on the team’s Top 30 Prospect list this year. This doesn’t mean he’s destined for a lifetime of riding buses from one city to the next. At only 22 with a pair of seasons now under his belt, he’s right on the track he needs to be.
Whenever he comes to the plate we see a patient hitter. He drew 62 walks this past season, helping him finish the year with a high on-base percentage any team would want from their first baseman. The power numbers, though lower than one may desire, could still increase as his talent develops further. I don’t think there’s anything in Vasquez’s game that should hold him back from eventually reaching MLB.
The problem is, the Mets may not have room. If all works out for Alonso, he should already have his feet dug in at first base by 2020. Even if he starts out weakly, I don’t see the Mets moving on all too quickly; at least not for another minor leaguer.
It looks quite apparent that Vasquez is future trade fodder. National League teams should never carry more than one first baseman. Unless Vasquez is capable of playing a corner outfield spot, I don’t see a regular role for him in Flushing.
Still young, the Mets should at least explore the idea of making him into a more versatile player. His plate discipline alone warrants a test at another position. Guys like this should always have a 25-man roster spot. The question is whether or not Vasquez can continue his march uninterrupted.
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Otherwise, his future may be playing against the Mets, not with.