Whether it’s Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, or Mark Vientos, all three of them have the potential to become a future designated hitter for the New York Mets. A catcher and a pair of third basemen, none are exactly future Gold Glove winners.
Alvarez’s path to the major leagues is much simpler because of the spot he plays. A catcher that can hit and play even serviceably behind the plate has a spot in the big leagues. Baty and Vientos are in a slightly different position but not exactly held back from contributing if their bats are fantastic.
Before the DH coming to the National League was official, the Mets were meant to make a major decision about Baty and Vientos would one change positions or would one get traded? Now, they can simply move forward with all three of these youngsters on the roster and still have a spot to move on of them on the field if needed.
The DH benefits the Mets now and when the top hitting prospects are ready
Alvarez’s major league future looks promising even if he is a below-average catcher. It’s all about his bat. It’s the reason why he is on track to becoming one of MLB’s top prospects at any position.
Baty and Vientos, both of whom are on a similar timeline, have third base, left field, and the DH spot to fill. Fortunately, with that last role on the club now available, there’s no urgency to make a trade out of excess.
Ronny Mauricio looks like the one Mets prospect not bound for DH duties. The shortstop prospect has many more places he could move to before becoming a designated hitter. Likely to move to second base if he remains with the Mets due to the presence of Francisco Lindor, we also have to consider him at third base and maybe even a position like center field—as unlikely as it is.
When most of us think of the DH spot, it’s typically for older players whose abilities in the field have faded. This way of thinking may soon change. Younger guys, straight from the minor leagues with limited fielding skills, could be more viable candidates.
Why waste the roster spot on a veteran making even a million bucks when it can go to a rookie on the league minimum with better skills?