Mets: Brandon Drury may provide necessary insurance at third base
The New York Mets added infielder Brandon Drury to a minor league deal. With the team’s lack of infield depth and a question mark at third base, Drury gets an opportunity to provide insurance for the Mets at a key position.
Following the New York Mets trading for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco, their infield is nearly retooled. Heading into the 2021 season, the Mets are looking at a starting infield of Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Francisco Lindor, and J.D. Davis. Dominic Smith will also see time at first base, and players such as Luis Guillorme, who had a fantastic year last season, will get opportunities through the year at second, shortstop, and third base.
If there is a weakness in the infield as it is currently contrived, it is third base. While Davis has a capable bat despite his struggles in 2020 (.247/.371/.389), his infield defense leaves much to be desired. Davis was worth a -2.4 dWAR in 2019 and a -0.9 dWAR in 2020.
At this point, a huge upgrade at third base is unlikely. The Mets will turn to focusing on their proactive pursuit of George Springer as well as finalizing their starting rotation and bullpen. However, the Mets did make another minor league move after the Lindor trade that could assuage the team’s concerns with third base.
The move the team made was to sign Brandon Drury, an infielder who can play multiple positions but has spent the majority of his career at third base. Drury is coming off a poor year that saw him hit .152 with only one RBI.
Drury has always had a pretty lousy bat, only having one year in his career so far where he had a wRC+ over 100. However, what Drury provides is solid defense at key infield positions. He has a career fielding percentage of .989 in the infield, and he has compiled this while playing at shortstop, third base, second base, and first base.
As with all minor league deals, Drury is not guaranteed a major league roster spot. Considering his execrable performance in 2020, Drury is going to have to regenerate his career, especially at the plate. He will also be competing with several other former major leaguers for roster spots, particularly Jose Peraza, who I have written about in a previous article.
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However, it is also true that the Mets infield could use more depth. Trading away Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario has left the team’s infield bench looking bare. Guillorme cannot be the only bench player for the Mets infield (since Dominic Smith will be primarily playing left field). Therefore, Drury has a solid chance, provided he performs well in Spring Training, to find himself on the Mets active roster in 2021.