Ronny Mauricio was supposed to compete alongside Brett Baty for third base starts while also serving as somewhat of a utility man. The young New York Mets infielder was cursed with a knee injury that will limit how much we get to see him at all in 2024.
Compared to the other Baby Mets already at the major league level, there was belief in Mauricio having enough of an ability to be athletic enough to play more than one position. Fortunately, the Mets don’t need to look far.
Down on the farm, where the prospects grow, up to the majors they dare to go. By midseason, one of these three could take on the type of role we expected Mauricio to have as a member of the Mets.
1) Luisangel Acuna
This is an easy one. Luisangel Acuna is going to see big league action at some point in 2024. His exact role could have him roving around the infield plenty in the mind of role Mauricio seemed destined to have. Although maybe not quite as versatile on an everyday basis as Joey Wendle will be, we can expect Acuna to play any of the three infield positions aside from first base. He has already seen action at shortstop and second base. A small sample in center field could even happen again.
Blocked by Francisco Lindor at shortstop and less so by Jeff McNeil at second base who has his own defensive range, using Acuna early in his career at more than one position is one way to get him major league at-bats. Already present on the 40-man roster for the second straight season, the only way he doesn’t get to the big leagues is if he completely falls out of relevancy. Even then, a September promotion as a speedy guy off the bench to sip from the MLB coffee mug is in order.
Acuna has yet to play third base professionally. A position the Mets are still trying to figure out, giving him a look there is something to try.