The Willets Point Whackers? Maybe that’s what the future holds for the New York Mets. This organization has rarely been known for its home run prowess. Pitching has been the main focus of the way this team has always been built. From Tom Seaver to Dwight Gooden to Jacob deGrom, the strategy for success has always begun on the mound.
The top Mets prospects may have something to say about it. The organization has some bashers in the minor leagues that could soon turn the Mets into one of the most powerful teams in baseball.
Will the top Mets prospects turn this team into one of the best home run-hitting teams in baseball?
Three specific prospects stand out. Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, and Mark Vientos are the trio of minor leaguer sluggers who know how to hit the ball a long way. Match them up in a lineup with Pete Alonso, a proven major league masher, and this team suddenly has half a lineup of power hitters.
Alvarez, Baty, and Vientos would still need to prove themselves at the major league level. Even if the power translates well, there are other parts of their game that’ll need to keep up. None will keep an everyday job with 25 home run potential if it comes paired with a .160 batting average.
It all works out perfectly for the Mets, too, because of the positions they play. Alvarez behind the plate, Alonso at first base, Baty over at third base, and Vientos getting the bulk of the DH duties. We’d probably see all three of them get some at-bats as the designated hitter with first base also getting occupied by each if needed at some point. Left field is also an option for Baty and Vientos but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. None of those three have yet to sniff a major league roster.
While none of those three are quite as prolific of home run hitters in the minors as Alonso was during the 2018 run, there’s always room for growth. We should expect it to happen for them, too. It’s not unusual for a guy to develop power later in his career. It’s one of those tools that arrives a little later.
Home runs are important in baseball even if a lineup of nine sluggers isn’t necessarily going to win a lot of games. Teams need balance. What has made Alonso a successful major leaguer isn’t just how high and far he can hit baseballs. He can also rip a single or leave one close enough to the outfield wall for a sacrifice fly.
Power is something Mets teams haven’t always had. This season, it is one statistic they’ve been behind at. Good results in the win column serve as a reminder for how secondary they can be compared to other types of offensive production. Nevertheless, some added pop can’t hurt.