The New York Mets minor league system has only a handful of reinforcements who could provide the major league roster with help in 2020. Is the depth deep enough?
The New York Mets added to their minor league depth on Saturday with the signing of veteran infielder Eduardo Nunez. Only two years removed from being a .300 hitter, Nunez hasn’t exactly been the same in his last two seasons with the Boston Red Sox.
The odds are against Nunez when it comes to seeing big league action in 2020. He has played a whole lot of second base and third base in recent years—two spots where the Mets have plenty of options at the big league level.
In case of an emergency, however, Nunez could fill in at shortstop. There’s also a chance we could see the Mets unload Jed Lowrie in a trade at some point, but let’s hold the excitement for now.
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Beyond Nunez, the Mets haven’t done much to add to their minor league depth this winter. Slugger Jarrett Parker wields a big bat that is best suited in Triple-A. Max Moroff has struggled in multiple opportunities at the big league level. I don’t think his bat will find its way to Flushing unless all other resources are exhausted.
The pitching depth isn’t much better at the minor league level. Chasen Shreve is one of those forgotten players the Mets signed earlier this winter. He’s likely to win his way onto the major league roster at some point, but I have my doubts he’ll stick around for an extended period.
These are just the veterans the team has signed. There are also some lifelong minor leaguers they could turn to for help as needed.
Unfortunately, none of these minor leaguers look completely ready to take the next leap. Their best prospects have very little, if any, experience at the Triple-A level. Most of their best prospects are at the lower levels, multiple years away from making regular contributions.
Last year felt different. The Mets managed to snag Carlos Gomez on a minor league deal. Rajai Davis, Adeiny Hechavarria, Gregor Blanco, and Danny Espinosa also joined the Syracuse club. Davis and Hechavarria had their moments while Blanco and Espinosa remained on the farm.
New York continually added throughout the year. Brodie Van Wagenen was not shy about parting ways with players as needed. For example, Matt Kemp lasted only eight games in Triple-A and never made it to Citi Field.
Moves to bolster their minor league depth can pay off. We saw Davis and Gomez each have their “moment” in 2019. Surely, someone will have a memorable game in the coming season.
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There are plenty more minor leaguers for the Mets to add to the organization before the season begins. Although it’s a lesser concern than the 26-man roster, decisions like these are essential to building a complete franchise.