Rylan Bannon is one of several members of the David Stearns Army who were added to the roster this offseason requiring a Google search. In all fairness, we would’ve done the same for Rick Reed in the 1990s. Some diehard New York Mets fans remember doing it with R.A. Dickey before he threw his first knuckleball at Citi Field.
As nothing more than a minor league signing by the ball club, Bannon should be viewed purely as depth. He’s now a little more important for them with Ronny Mauricio hurt because of his extensive albeit not so productive history as a professional third baseman.
While exploring outside options to replace Mauricio, the Mets should also consider what they already have in-house just in case whatever they end up adding isn’t a solution. What about Bannon? He’s a darkhorse candidate for some third base starts.
Why we shouldn’t expect Rylan Bannon to get too many, if any, third base starts for the Mets
The appeal of Bannon is his power. He hammered 18 home runs in only 408 Triple-A plate appearances last season. He has a track record of hitting home runs throughout his professional career. Now a lifetime .251/.358/.447 hitter in the minors through six seasons, he’s a “he is what he is” type of player whose journeyman status probably won’t change.
Fielding percentage might not be the greatest indicator of a player’s ability on defense, however, with so few available numbers for a minor leaguer, it’s one of the only ways to determine how a player has performed. Bannon and his .919 fielding percentage in a little under 3,000 professional innings at third base isn’t so promising. He did bring it up to .962 last year which at least shows some improvement or a much kinder official scorer in Sugar Land where he logged 55 games at the position.
Bannon has actually been a better career defender at second base and shortstop where the Mets conveniently don’t need nearly as much help.
Signed to a minor league deal in the first place, Bannon joins an organization willing to give him a look. He has already received an invite to spring training where a closer look can help determine if he actually can be an option for them. Out of options himself, he’ll either have to take off quickly and succeed or become one of those temporary Band-Aids on any issue the Mets may have that require them to call him up.