After watching Wilson Ramos’ dreadful defensive year in 2019, I do hope he has worked hard over the winter, working on his glovework and release time when throwing to second and third base. In my 36 years of watching baseball, I have never seen a professional catcher turn so many strikes into balls, due to allowing the pitch move his glove from in the strike zone to out of the strike zone.
Granted, the Mets have some of the hardest throwers in the league with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Edwin Diaz, but he is a professional catcher and needs to keep that glove in the strike zone regardless of how hard the pitch is.
One way the Mets can improve their catcher defense is to keep Tomas Nido as the backup catcher in 2020. Nido was excellent in all aspects defensively behind the plate and did show a great connection with both Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. I think it makes too much sense to allow Nido to become the personal catcher for both pitchers.
Yes, Nido didn’t have a strong year at the plate, but his at-bats did seem to improve as the 2019 season progressed. With the Mets projected to have many strong hitters batting one through seven in the lineup, they can afford to lose some offense to improve the defense behind the plate for three out of the seven days of the week.
Compared to 2019, I hope to see less Ramos and more Nido in 2020.
It has been a very long time since I had the pleasure to watch the type of power that was displayed by the Polar Bear Pete Alonso in 2019. He brought back memories of early 1980s Dave Kingman, mid to late 1980’s Darryl Strawberry with a little mid-1990s Todd Hundley mix in there.
Hopefully, Alonso can avoid the sophomore jinx and look to build on his successes of 2019.
Personally, I don’t think he will let all the success go to his head (ala Matt Harvey) and do believe he will work extremely hard to keep improving his game on both sides of the ball. It is hard to say he needs to improve as a hitter, but a couple of things I noticed in 2019 was he needs to have a better understanding of when to use a two-strike approach so he can make some more contact when the situation calls for a single instead of a home run.
On the defensive side of the ball, I was surprised how good he was with the glove. All we heard in 2018 was that Alonso was a horrible defensive first baseman and was the reason why he didn’t get a September call up. I was expecting someone the likes of Jason Giambi, but at this point, he is already proven to be a far superior defensive player than Giambi ever was.
That being said he can still look to improve his scooping skills a bit and I do think he does have a chance to win a gold glove in the future.