It feels like the New York Mets are cursed at third base. Until Howard Johnson came along, there wasn’t much stability and even he was one of the worst defenders in club history. His bat made up for those shortcomings.
There will never be another David Wright at the hot corner which is unfortunate because that’s the standard we desire. The team is currently in a situation where Brett Baty may get one more shot at the position alongside Ronny Mauricio. Mark Vientos has already been pretty much written off as ever becoming a major league third baseman.
Down in the minors is yet another third base prospect trending into the Baty and Vientos territory. Jacob Reimer, the club’s fourth round pick from 2022, didn’t have a monster year in the minors last season but a productive one nonetheless. It’s a bit of early history repeated.
Another Mets third base prospect who can hit will need to find a new position
Reimer’s first full season included a third of the season with St. Lucie and the other fourth (with the exception of two games) up in Brooklyn. He thrived in St. Lucie, batting .280/.412/.392 with 6 home runs and 37 RBI. It wasn’t overpowering by any means.
One step closer to the big league dream, Reimer stumbled. He hit only .203/.354/.279 with Brooklyn. The stand out number from that number was the continued success rate of getting on base. Reimer was hit a total of 16 times last season and his combined OBP at the three levels came out to .399.
Some early struggles after 25 games with a team and only 99 chances at the plate won’t have anyone dismissing Reimer as a player to keep an eye on. As a third baseman, however, the organization already notices the weakness.
Reimer made 17 errors in 2023 and finished the year with an .886 fielding percentage. It’s not uncommon for a lower level minor leaguer to have such a poor fielding percentage at any given time. In many of his minor league seasons, Baty was in the low .900s.
The quick conclusion to come to here is that Reimer is already a worse defender. Maybe so. The Mets have tried him out at first base and given him ample at-bats as a DH as well. While still primarily playing third base, the red flags are ever-present.
A quick hook on Reimer isn’t necessary at the moment. He’s just 19 and bound to change and develop further as a ballplayer. He hasn’t hit for much power yet but neither do many teenagers on the farm. The weakness as a third base defender can become a thing of the past. Even by the time Wright got to the majors, he was smooth as sandpaper with the glove.
MLB Pipeline has Reimer listed as the club’s number 13 prospect right behind 2023 breakout artist Christian Scott and Brandon Sproat, the second-round pick of the Mets this past summer. Probably the least talked about among the top 15 prospects, there’s an all-too-familiar feeling with this one in regards to a position change.