5 minor league outfielders contending for a 40-man roster spot

Feb 23, 2023; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets outfielder Tim Locastro poses for a picture
Feb 23, 2023; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets outfielder Tim Locastro poses for a picture / Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 5

The New York Mets aren’t carrying any true outfielders on their 40-man roster who won’t be on the Opening Day roster. When they designated Khalil Lee for assignment, the only outfielder they had on the 40-man roster was removed, leaving them with five non-roster invitees ready to fight for a spot.

Although there isn’t any requirement for the team to carry an outfielder into Opening Day, how each performs this spring could give the big league club an idea of who makes the most sense to get added.

Which of these five makes the most sense?

1) NY Mets outfielder contending for a 40-man roster spot: Tim Locastro

Tim Locastro is more of a late-season addition to the 40-man roster than someone who would get there early. He doesn’t have a strong bat. It’s his speed that has kept him in the picture.

Through 247 games in the majors, Locastro has just 549 plate appearances. Used regularly as a pinch runner and defensive replacement, he joins the Mets with a lifetime .227/.325/.331 slash line. His speed hasn’t been put on great display outside of the 2019 season when he stole 17 bases for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 17 attempts.

Locastro might be one of the more familiar names in this bout vying for a 40-man roster spot. Working against him are a lack of minor league options and how valuable he could be in September as a pinch-runner. Look for the Mets to hold him back instead. If they get desperate enough for an outfielder, we should see Jeff McNeil shift beyond the infield dirt before the organization promotes Locastro.

Keeping a 40-man roster spot available for someone who could actually get promoted in the early part of the year is more important than putting Locastro there. There is no danger of losing him at the moment. However, on the waiver wire once players start going down with injuries, someone could swipe him away.