The World Baseball Classic has opened up an opportunity for a few players lower on the New York Mets totem pole to play a little bit more. Even before Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, and others left for the WBC, the Mets were giving chances for others to play and at least showcase what they have to offer.
While easing in several regulars, the team has shown a ton of faith in some other players whose roles on the 2023 season may never come to fruition. A prospect and a pair of offseason additions are seeing a lot of action this spring. The only conclusion: the Mets want to learn more about them.
1) The NY Mets are showing they have plans for Ronny Mauricio
Ronny Mauricio is one of two Mets prospects who have been around for a while whose futures seem uncertain. What do the Mets do with him? He’s a shortstop blocked by Francisco Lindor. Second base is occupied by Jeff McNeil. Brett Baty is already ahead of him in contention for the third base job.
Regular action this spring has given the team a closer look at how Mauricio can handle himself against a mix of fringe-MLB players and some guaranteed to play in the majors this season. Some big early home runs caught our attention immediately. All that remains is what the team should eventually do with him.
This season needs to be the one where the Mets try Mauricio out at positions other than shortstop. It’s not an impossibility for him to end up as the starting third baseman over Baty. Baty has already been a consideration for a left field job instead. Mauricio may even end up in the outfield instead. The one conclusion the Mets should come to is that they need to have a few uses for Mauricio.
An increase in power has made Mauricio more than another shortstop prospect to bat in the bottom of the order and be serviceable. He is a little too far down the depth chart for significant action this year. The next few months should be about figuring out where he fits into the puzzle, whether it’s in Queens or as trade bait.