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Mets non-roster invitees fighting for an Opening Day roster spot

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 08: The The New Era cap, Rawlings glove and Nike sunglasses of Jay Bruce #19 of the New York Mets in the dugout during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at FITTEAM Ball Park of the Palm Beaches on March 8, 2018 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 08: The The New Era cap, Rawlings glove and Nike sunglasses of Jay Bruce #19 of the New York Mets in the dugout during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at FITTEAM Ball Park of the Palm Beaches on March 8, 2018 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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BALTIMORE, MD – SEPTEMBER 21: Mallex Smith #0 of the Seattle Mariners runs the bases against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 21, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

Mallex Smith

One area the Mets’ have struggled with over the past several years is a consistent speed factor, but they have a non-roster invitee who could easily fill that role for them.

Joining the Mets on a minor league contract for the 2021 Spring Training, outfielder Mallex Smith is known as a “speedster”, having recorded over 40 stolen bases in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Prior to joining New York, Smith spent the first five years of his major league career bouncing around the league between the Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners

His breakout year as a player was in 2018 as a member of the Mariners, where he hit .296 with a .367 OBP while recording 40 steals over a career high 141 games.

Despite swiping 46 bags the following year, his batting average in 2019 dropped to .227, and Seattle outrighted him from the 40-Man roster in 2020 after a slow start to the season.

At 27 years old, Smith likely has plenty of baseball left in him, and if he can regain some semblance of his 2018 form, he could be an asset to the team as a 4th outfielder and as a bat off the bench.

He is admittedly off to a slow spring, having only recorded 3 hits and 4 walks over 20 plate appearances, although he has driven in 3 RBI and recorded 3 stolen bases.

Regardless how his numbers currently stand, this is a small sample size and if Smith manages to pick things up over the final weeks of spring training, he could make a strong case to break camp with the Mets for opening day.

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