With Spring Training officially underway, the New York Mets opened camp at Port St. Lucie. Although many players are entrenched into their roles once Opening Day arrives, there are a few bullpen and bench roles that are open for competition, and several non-roster invitees have a solid opportunity to seize those roles with the Mets to start the year.
Of all the non-roster invitees that arrived in camp with the Mets, DJ Stewart is the one player to keep an eye on as Spring Training progresses. Because of his big league experience, coupled with the fact that he could fill an important role with the Mets, Stewart has the opportunity to provide a small, but significant impact for the Mets.
Stewart is a former first round pick by the Baltimore Orioles back in 2018. He moved up the ranks, making an impact with Triple-A Norfolk before being called up by the Orioles in September 2018. After posting a stellar 316/.425/.586 line with the Norfolk Tides in 2019, the Orioles called him back up to the majors. Since then, Stewart had spent most of his time in the big leagues, serving as a reserve outfielder for the Orioles.
How D.J. Stewart can contribute to the Mets this season
What Stewart can offer the Mets is raw power, which he had displayed at several times in the minors and with the Orioles. One of the most memorable displays of his power came during a home run tear in September of the 2020 season, which saw him hit seven home runs in nine games, most of them against the Orioles’ division rival New York Yankees.
The issue for Stewart is that his batting average has not translated to the big leagues, and he has struggled to remain healthy. He underwent numerous rehab assignments with the Orioles during his tenure, which has no doubt impacted his ability to get into an offensive rhythm. Now healthy, Stewart needs to establish in camp that his power is still as strong as it ever was, and that he can remain a consistent power hitting threat the plate.
If he can showcase his power regularly during Spring Training, Stewart will have a strong case to make the Mets roster as a left-handed bat off the bench who could serve as a fifth outfielder. The most likely outcome for Stewart will be beginning the season with Triple-A Syracuse and potentially being shuttled back and forth from the minors to the majors throughout the year depending on when the Mets need him.