The New York Mets have been adamant about looking inside themselves both while doing some reflective meditation and finding an answer at third base. They’ve remained steadfast in this notion. Straight from the mouth of David Stearns, nothing has changed.
It appears a third base competition will indeed take place with the fighters being Brett Baty, Ronny Mauricio, and maybe even a little Mark Vientos thrown in for good measure. Who wins and who comes away in need of somewhere else to play?
Brett Baty prediction
Brett Baty won’t win the third base job outright, but he will end up playing the position more than anyone else in 2024. His lack of experience at other positions in the major leagues will have the Mets utilizing him at the hot corner more often than not. He won’t seal the end of a third base debate. However, Baty will show signs of improvement on both sides of the ball. Nobody will write fanfiction about Baty winning a Gold Glove. What he’ll do is at least look a bit more comfortable on a major league field. The bright lights will dim and a hot power streak will help propel him into a more permanent spot in the everyday lineup.
Games at third base in 2024: 102
Ronny Mauricio prediction
Ronny Mauricio will be the best defender at third base. It does little to earn him the everyday gig as his own rookie jitters catch up on the offensive side of the ball. Long thought of as a trade chip, Mauricio eventually eliminates himself from this competition when the Mets do move him. Mauricio will increase his trade value even with some pedestrian numbers in 2024. His proven ability to play more positions, including some outfield, make him the subject of Mets trade rumors more than ever before. We will end up seeing Mauricio at second base as much as we do at the hot corner with a few games that end with him shifting to third to upgrade the defense.
Games at third base in 2024: 58
Mark Vientos prediction
The Mets quickly decide not to play Mark Vientos at third base any longer. He truly is a DH as everyone already knew him to be. The occasional start at first base in lieu of a day as the DH for Pete Alonso is when we see him with the glove most frequently. Also mentioned in trade rumors, the Mets get a little more “stuck” with him because of the defensive questions. Fortunately, Vientos has time to improve at the plate. In 2024, he hits for power in a part-time role while also showing he can hit for a decent average, too.
Games at third base in 2024: 17