Predicting winners of 3 big Mets spring training battles to watch

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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Happy Spring Training Eve, Mets fans! New York Mets pitchers and catchers officially report on Wednesday to Port St. Lucie and will have their first workout on Thursday. The Mets begin the 2023 calendar with questions still to be resolved in three key areas. So who will win starting jobs and make the team coming out of camp?

1) New York Mets starting third baseman: Eduardo Escobar

Eduardo Escobar will retain the third base job going into this spring. I like Brett Baty, and he profiles to be a quality major league hitter down the road, but Escobar’s leadership with this team has been evident since last spring when he had a talk with the Mets’ prospects in Florida.

But Escobar goes into the spring with more confidence following a tremendous finish to what was otherwise a lackluster first season with the Mets. He was named the National League Player of the Month in September, where he hit .340 with 8 home runs and 24 RBI’s.

Luis Guillorme figures to be more of a utility player again in 2023 like he has been throughout his career given his defensive versatility. But he is next in line to play at third base if Escobar goes down with injury.

Baty, meanwhile, needs more reps at third base if he is going to contribute to the team in the future as per Troy Tulowitzki's advice. He probably won’t get them with the Mets with Escobar and Luis Guillorme as established third base options for defense. Baty will probably be in line for opportunities in the majors later in the season, and especially next year when Escobar hits free agency.

But for now, it’s Escobar’s job to lose and he won’t lose it.