We all know who we want to be the starting catcher for the New York Mets in 2021. Who will his backup be?
It’s not a glamorous position. In many ways, it’s the backup quarterback of Major League Baseball. Some guys stick around forever and even if their numbers don’t look good on paper they can get a job the following season. Leadership, grit, and the ability to teach are sometimes more important than batting average.
The Mets don’t need to go out searching for an answer at this spot. They already have four guys with the 2020 squad that could fill this need. I contemplated including Wilson Ramos in there, but I don’t think a backup catcher lacking defensive skills makes sense when he’s also getting paid well.
Mets backup catcher candidate: Tomas Nido
Perhaps the best candidate for the job is Tomas Nido. He’s young, has played well defensively, and doesn’t cost a whole lot. Nido is the whole package to remain as the club’s number two catcher in 2021.
Nido made some positive strides at the plate in 2020 to fuel this notion further. The one downside to him is that he is out of minor league options which means if they make the wrong decision and want to replace him they may lose him forever.
This isn’t a major concern, though. Nido is far enough into his big league career for us to know he’s likely not blossoming into an everyday catcher. It could happen, but I don’t think the Mets will ever give him that opportunity anyway.
So, if they do go with Nido and have regrets later on, it’s just the way things will be.
I like the idea of Nido as the backup with a veteran lurking down in Triple-A in case of an emergency. I’m curious to see what he could do with more at-bats. Was his limited 2020 performance a mirage or does this young man have a bat that can survive Major League Baseball?