The New York Mets made headlines this offseason with a couple of major league additions to the roster. Far less notable was the decision to sign free agent minor leaguer Nick Plummer to a major league deal.
A former first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals, Plummer struggled in his first four professional seasons and missed his second year due to hand surgery. He went into the 2021 campaign with horrific numbers. Somehow, he turned it all around.
Combined in 90 Double-A games and another 27 in Triple-A, Plummer hit .280/.415/.479 with 15 home runs and 54 RBI. A master at drawing walks throughout his professional career, he joins the Mets with a lifetime .221/.363/.358 slash line and nearly half of his 33 home runs occurring last year.
Plummer is on the current 40-man roster. With minor league options available, he’s likely to begin the season on the farm. But the baseball season is long, players get hurt, and reinforcements are called upon.
Will the Mets call their Plummer in 2022?
Plummer is a lot like Khalil Lee. They’re actually ranked number 8 and 9 on the list of the top prospects according to MLB.com. Each is an outfielder with both good and bad years in the minor leagues. Lee got to taste some big league action last season. Unfortunately, the taste was quite bitter.
It took Plummer until last year for anyone to consider him a future big leaguer. From out of nowhere, he found the ability to hit again.
A left-handed hitter with the ability to play all three outfield positions, Plummer has played more center field than anywhere else. This is great news for the Mets who could certainly use a younger option at the position—particularly one with a ceiling to reach for. Nothing would suggest Plummer will ever have the ability to become a big league regular.
However, if he can at least hit decently, find ways to get on base, and play solid enough defense, maybe he ends up as one of those career backups—I know there’s a great pun there about a Plummer and backups but I’ll let you come up with it.
There’s nothing to dislike about the addition of Plummer. The Mets didn’t have nearly enough outfield depth last year and even with him in the organization, it wouldn’t hurt to have more.
I expect a real battle between him and Lee for playing time. If one begins the season on the major league roster (Lee being far more likely), any lengthy slump or torrid streak from Plummer could have the Mets making a move.
Set your expectations low for Plummer this year but do it with a fringe of optimism about what he could offer if all of the right buttons are pushed.