Matt Reynolds could very well be major leaguer.

Coming off a week in which he hit .533/.588/.767, the 23-year-old Reynolds was named the Pacific Coast League's Player of the Week for the period ending August 3. In 43 games in Triple-A, in the thin air of Las Vegas, he's hitting .329/.390/.470 with 15 walks and 41 strikeouts while playing eight games at second base and 33 at short.

The Mets drafted Reynolds in the second round of the 2012 draft out of Arkansas, where he was primarily a third baseman. They shifted him back to his natural shortstop position for his professional career. Reynolds isn't going to dazzle anyone with his range or his arm, but can he hit enough?

Reynolds hit a disappointing .226/.302/.337 in 117 games with St. Lucie in 2013. He did not show much power - just three home runs. He didn't walk much - just a 7.4 percent walk rate. And his overall line was torpedoed by a .263 batting average on balls in play.

Fast-forward to 2014, where he has put up big numbers at both Double-A (.355/.430/.422 in 58 games) and in Triple-A.

Reynolds, who still lives in Arkansas in the winter, credits offseason work, especially with Rick Strickland, a Mets scout based in St. Louis, for his improvement this season.

"I’d work out in Fayetteville for a week, then drive to St. Louis and stay up there for a week,” he said. “I’d hit twice a day and probably take 500 swings a day. It’s paying off. I’m glad I did it," he told the Las Vegas Review Journal last week.

Reynolds told Newsday that he just had to iron out a few "kinks" in his swing.

"[O]ne big thing we saw, right when he was ready to make contact, he wasn't releasing the bat in the proper order," Strickland said."He was pulling the bat across the ball, which was producing a lot of soft ground balls."

Now, Strickland and Reynolds believe the young shortstop is staying through the ball better, which has obviously impacted his stats at the plate.

Looking at his numbers and projecting his stats shows nothing to suggest that Reynolds is an above-average everyday shortstop.

That Reynolds might be an improvement as the Mets everyday shortstop says a lot about the Mets, and a little about Reynolds, who would most likely be a below-average everyday guy at the position. However, with his defensive versatility and on base ability, he’d look just fine on the bench as a very cheap, MLB minimum guy, who can handle short, second or third.


For the full analysis of Reynolds' numbers so far and where he projects to be, read on...


Reynolds' groundball rate in 2013 and 2014 is nearly identical. The real change in his batted ball profile is the change in composition between "line drives and fly balls." His line drive rate has skyrocketed, at the expense of fly balls and infield pop ups.

Ground BallFly BallLine DrivePop UpFB+LDAll Air
201349.732.09.78.641.750.3
201448.321.025.55.246.651.7
Consider these observations with a degree of caution. From a batter's perspective, more line drives are better. However, the line drive statistic, especially at the minor league level, is not very reliable. Chris Moran at Beyond the Box Score argued recently that since line drive rate at the big league level did not correlate well with any other important offensive statistic, or even itself on a year over year basis, it was just not useful. Colin Wyers, who now works for the Astros, wrote extensively about the bias in measuring line drive rate at Baseball Prospectus and Hardball Times.


The BABIP Monster

What accounts for the change in Reynolds' offensive production? Let's look at Reynolds' important secondary indicators: his strikeout, walk, and extra-base hit rates for his early professional career. All percentages are expressed in total plate appearances.

Year/LeagueXBH%SO%BB%HR%BABIPISO1B%
2012 SAL6.314.96.91.7.292.10817.2
2013 FSL6.616.47.41.0.263.11113.5
2014 EL3.716.912.00.4.433.06627.3
2014 PCL8.222.48.21.6.421.14021.3
2014 Total5.619.310.40.9.428.09924.7
There are four important changes in the data above:

  1. His batting average on balls on play at both Double-A and Triple-A in 2014 has soared compared to his rates in 2012 and 2013.
  2. His BABIP is higher because he's hit more singles, not more extra-base hits. His extra-base hit rate combined between AA and AAA is below that of a-ball.
  3. His walk rate increased in Double-A and, at 10% for the year, is up significantly over his 2012 and 2013 sub-7.5% rates.
  4. His strikeout rate is up a bit, combining Double-A and Triple-A. At 22.4% in Triple-A, it would be his highest at any minor league stop yet.


DirectionIs he pulling the ball less?

Heat maps from MLBFarm.com

Sort of. The angry red mark around shortstop has gotten a little smaller, while Reynolds is using more of centerfield.

This is clearer in chart form. Here's the location of his batted balls in 2013 and 2014, again using data from MLBFarm.com.

Left fieldCenter fieldRight fieldSS+3B2B+1B
201314.4%15.2%17.4%32.3%15.7%
201413.8%21.7%19.7%27.9%12.1%
As it happens, shortstops fielded 17.7 percent of Reynolds' batted balls in 2013 and 17.6 percent in 2014. What's happening mostly is that balls that were fielded by the corner infielders and the second baseman are going into centerfield.


Line Drive Rate, Singles and BABIP

So, again, we know that much of Reynolds' offensive improvement is driven by more singles and a higher BABIP. But how much of Reynolds' BABIP improvement this year is real - the result of better contact and more line drives - and how much is stuff beyond his control, like randomness and playing in better run environments?

To answer this question, here's Reynolds' batted ball profile again - his ground balls, fly balls, infield popups. Combine that with his line drive rate, use stolen bases as a proxy for the players' speed and plug all of into wonderful, "simple" expected BABIP calculator at the Hardball Times.

Year/LeagueBABIPxBABIP
2012 SAL.292.303
2013 FSL.263.297
2014 EL.433.317
2014 PCL.421.340
A few notes:

- This calculator was created for MLB, but here it's applied to minor league performance. Among other things, MLB fielders are far superior to their minor league counterparts.

- All batted ball data in this section comes from Reynolds' page at Minorleaguecentral.com.

- BABIP and xBABIP are a function the run environment. Per Baseball America, games in Savannah feature, on average, 7 runs per game, while those in Las Vegas feature 12.81 runs per game. To correct for this, I used the stadium with the closest run environment to the given minor league facility: Coors Field for Las Vegas, Busch for Binghamton and St. Lucie and Safeco for Savannah.

Now, the expected BABIP can be plugged back into Reynolds' performances for all of his minor league stops to get his expected performance based on his actual batted ball profile. Basically, this means adding a single to his line in Savannah, adding 13 in St. Lucie, subtracting 20 from his line in Binghamton, and 10 from his performance in Las Vegas.

His on base percentage plus isolated slugging (OBP+ISO) can be used to track Reynolds' production by level. This is OPS minus batting average. One of the problems with OPS is that it counts batting average (and singles) twice: in the on-base term and slugging. OBP + ISO, avoids this issue, and measures the two important things for hitters: how often they get on base, and how much power they provide.

Looking only at the blue bars and blue trend line, Reynolds' raw statistics, there's a player who has improved wildly between this year and the last two.

Looking at the red, which is normalized for his expected BABIP, he's a player who has improved, but much less so.


So, What?

BABIP is a funny beast. The players who hit more balls hard will have a higher BABIP. I'd expect potential Major League hitters to run a higher BABIP in the minors than their peers who are destined to top out in AA and move on.

Basically, I think Reynolds' massive uptick in BABIP in 2014 is the result of: 1. a hitter who was unlucky in 2013, 2. a hitter who has been a lucky in 2014 and 3. a hitter who has improved between seasons.

Plugging in Reynolds' expected BABIP in Double-A (a league that plays more like the MLB than the offense-friendly PCL) and his a strikeout rate of 20 percent(which is less than his Triple-A rate of 22 percent) yields a .251/.339/.318 hitter in the big leagues. That feels about right on the optimistic end for Reynolds, who makes contact, and can work a walk. It's suggesting that he will get on base at an above average rate and hit for below average power. This is Ruben Tejada's game. This is Cliff Pennington's game.

If we plug a .350 BABIP and a 20 percent strikeout rate into Reynolds' power production in Double-A, we get something like .275/.350/.341 that's playable at short, but nothing more.

Tags: Analysis, Toby Hyde
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Luis Rojas spoke in Port St. Lucie Friday afternoon just a day before the Mets kick off their first game of spring training, and discussed the progress he's seen out of injured outfielder Yoenis Cespedes so far this offseason.

On what he saw from Cespedes this week and how long until he's ready

"Well I think it was a really big week for him. He's advancing, he's progressing, he's doing things everyday that just impress you. He's out there taking fly balls with the rest of the outfielders -- obviously limited in the movement laterally and covering ground -- but he's out there, he's moving, getting behind balls, making throws in. He threw a couple to home plate yesterday, he made a couple of throws after a cutoff in relays. Facing live pitching."

"He's basically going through the schedule at lets say 75 percent of it, 80 percent of it from what everyone else is doing. So that's big news for us and the timelines not...we don't know yet. He's got to go through this progression. And our performance staff is working close with him, and he's doing a good job responding to it."

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard
Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard

Most anybody and everybody who knows pitching, it seems, still believes Noah Syndergaard can be one of the best pitchers in baseball, based on his talent. But what does he need to do to make it happen after 2019, the worst season of his career? 

Opinions on that varied among the several people I spoke to about the Mets' righthander, most centering around pitch selection and/or mental approach, something Syndergaard copped to himself in Port St. Lucie last week, saying his struggles last season were at least partly a case of "paralysis by analysis; thinking too much." 

However, Bob Ojeda, the former Mets pitcher, who has also worked as a minor-league pitching coach and SNY analyst, delivered a harsher critique that was aimed at Syndergaard's Thor persona, if you will.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, John Harper
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May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of New York Mets helmet in the dugout before a game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of New York Mets helmet in the dugout before a game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Josh Wolf is a projectable 6-foot-3, 170-pound power arm with more room to physically mature. Here's what to know about the Mets prospect...


The Skinny

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 170 lbs

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Mets Spring Training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Thursday, in case you missed it...


With Mets Spring Training kicking off, we're about to go from "best shape of his life" stories that often don't matter to game results that never matter >> Read more

Yoenis Cespedes and Jacob deGrom faced off against each other in live BP >> Read more

Tags: Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Yoenis Cespedes
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One of the most memorable moments for the Mets in 2019 came on August 9 against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.

With the Mets in the midst of a 12-wins-in-13 games streak, Washington pushed out to a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. But the Mets refused to go down quietly against Nats closer Sean Doolittle, and after Todd Frazier tied the game on a three-run shot, it was Michael Conforto who later singled in Juan Lagares to give the Mets the win. 

The Mets then celebrated in style, as Pete Alonso led the charge to rip Conforto's jersey off in the middle of the field.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Steven Matz
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J.D. Davis had a breakout 2019 season in his first year with the Mets, batting .307 and hitting 22 home runs in 140 games.

He talked to SNY's Todd Zeile at spring training about his swing and how he prepares for games. Zeile noticed Davis' ability to hit the ball to right field and stay off breaking balls.

"I started really tuning into that right-center or at second base probably by college, it's just the way my swing worked," Davis said. "It helped me stay more on the fast ball and not really pull off on any offspeed."

Tags: JD Davis
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There's been plenty written and said about Pete Alonso's rookie season.

And rightfully so, as the Mets first baseman slugged an MLB rookie-record 53 home runs and drove in 120. 

But as Mets spring training gets underway in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Alonso is now looking ahead to the new season, and he's got some lofty goals for this 2020 group.

Tags: Pete Alonso
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On Thursday night, Mets' Jeff McNeil joined the Mets Hot Stove at Duffy's in Port St. Lucie.

McNeil reflected on his 2019 All-Star season, what caused his power surge in the second half of the season, and how he feels about being the everyday third baseman.

Tags: Jeff McNeil
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Jacob deGrom was on hand at Mets spring training on Thursday putting in some bullpen work before going out to face live hitters in his first live BP session. 

And among his opponents was Yoenis Cespedes

As Cespedes continues to work his way back, the matchup against deGrom wasn't the most fair, with the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner blowing some pitches by him.

Here's what else happened at camp down in Port St. Lucie...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Yoenis Cespedes
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the Mets kicking off their spring training schedule on Saturday when they open Grapefruit League play with split squad games against the Marlins and Cardinals, we're about to go from "best shape of his life" stories that often don't matter to game results that never matter.

While it will be fun to see Pete Alonso taking his hacks against another team's pitcher and Jacob deGrom's glare 60 feet, six inches away, it's important to enjoy these games for what they are: fun distractions on the march to the first game that actually matters, when the Mets host the Nationals on Opening Day on March 26 at Citi Field.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Pete Alonso, Danny Abriano
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Yoenis Cespedes and Noah Syndergaard at Mets spring training
Yoenis Cespedes and Noah Syndergaard at Mets spring training

Mets spring training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Wednesday, in case you missed it...


Yoenis Cespedes tracked fly balls with the rest of the outfielders as he continued to progress toward a return >> Read more

Seth Lugo talked about his injured toe and updated his timeline >> Read more

J.D. Davis will take 50 percent of his spring training reps at third base, where he is most comfortable >> Read more

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Seth Lugo, Yoenis Cespedes
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Mets manager Luis Rojas was not ready Jan. 25 to definitively say RHP Edwin Diaz would be the team's closer, but the fifth-year reliever is preparing for whatever comes his way in 2020.

Ahead of Year 2 in New York after what was a disappointing 2019 debut, going 2-7 with a 5.59 ERA and 99 strikeouts against 22 walks and four hit batsmen in 58.0 innings pitched over 66 appearances, he's prepared to bounce back.

"Once last season ended, that was last season," Diaz told SNY's Steve Gelbs through Mets communications assistant and Spanish language translator Alan Suriel in an interview Wednesday. "So what I did, I took the positives from that season, I brought that with me, left all the negative in the back and I just try to continue to stay positive and I put a lot of work in to have a good season this year."

Tags: Edwin Diaz
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After an unforgettable rookie year in 2019, Mets 1B Pete Alonso looks for more at the plate as he prepares for his second MLB season. With those aspirations in mind, Alonso approaches 2020 accordingly.

Down in Port St. Lucie, Fla. for Spring Training, Alonso provided SNY's Todd Zeile with an inside peek at that process. Alonso, who slashed .260/.358/.566 with an MLB rookie single-season record 53 home runs and 120 RBI, reported Saturday to Port St. Lucie and has hit the ground running.

During Wednesday's 1-on-1 segment with Zeile, an SNY analyst and former Met himself from 2000-01 and in '04, Alonso broke down how he carries his practice routine into game situations.

Tags: Pete Alonso
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Mets ace Jacob deGrom has reached the pinnacle of pitching, from an individual standpoint, two years in a row. 

But as he looks to potentially take home his third straight NL Cy Young Award, putting him in rarefied air, deGrom is also focused on team success, and he believes the 2020 Mets are as good as anyone in the NL East.

"I think we're right there at the top," deGrom said on Wednesday's Mets Hot Stove. "Great rotation, a lot of depth, really good position players. You look at it, our plan is to win the East and win the World Series, so everybody in there Is pulling in that direction, and you got a good group of guys doing that. I think we've got a good shot."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso
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Mets prospect Brett Baty
Mets prospect Brett Baty

Brett Baty was the Mets' first round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. And while he's years away from the majors, he has joined Francisco Alvarez, Ronny Mauricio, and Matthew Allan as one of four blue chip prospects the Mets currently have...


The Skinny

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 210 lbs

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Mets' Edwin Diaz, Pete Alonso and Yoenis Cespedes (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets' Edwin Diaz, Pete Alonso and Yoenis Cespedes (Treated Image by SNY)

MetsBlog's Matt Cerrone makes some over/under predictions for the upcoming Mets season...


86.5 - Total wins

Over.

The roster is strong on paper, which is seconded by fan polls, expert commentary and reflected in countless prediction systems. My view is the same.

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Yoenis Cespedes was part of a group of Mets outfielders (Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis, and Michael Conforto among them) tracking fly balls in the outfield on Wednesday as he continues his progression toward a return.

Cespedes participated in the Mets' first full squad workout earlier this week but broke off to do individual work with the performance staff when the rest of the outfielders split up into two groups. Wednesday was different.

It should be noted that the other outfielders in Cespedes' group on Wednesday seemed to be getting balls hit to them that were farther away/tougher to track than Cespedes' were, but there is plenty of time for that to ramp up.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes
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May 8, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) throws to first base on a ground out by San Diego Padres left fielder Hunter Renfroe (not pictured) during the fourth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports (Orlando Ramirez)
May 8, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) throws to first base on a ground out by San Diego Padres left fielder Hunter Renfroe (not pictured) during the fourth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports (Orlando Ramirez)

J.D. Davis' struggles at third base for the Mets in 2019 were so bad that he was basically rendered unplayable at the position.

He was worth -9 DRS at third base (per FanGraphs) in just 220 innings. And when you extrapolate that over a full season, it's easy to see why Davis was used mostly in left field, where he was below average but playable.

But Davis said on Dec. 4 when talking about where he would play in 2020 that he preferred third base to left field, explaining that he felt more natural there.

Tags: JD Davis, Danny Abriano
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Executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association Tony Clark was down in Port St. Lucie on Wednesday to talk with the Mets, but also took time to answer some questions about the Astros sign-stealing scandal. 

MLBPA released a statement following MLB commissioner Rob Manfred's comments saying the union had pushed back after the league wouldn't rule out disciplining players when trying to make progress within the investigation. Clark said that anything regarding the obstruction of the investigation "is completely untrue."

Clark continued to comment on the immunity situation, saying that disciplining players wasn't even in the initial conversations before the investigations began. 

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Mets reliever Seth Lugo talked about his fractured left pinky toe on Wednesday, explaining that he suffered the injury when he stubbed it on the ottoman in his hotel room Monday night, and updated his progress toward a return.

Lugo noted that there was a slight miscommunication on Tuesday and that he has not stopped throwing entirely -- he has only stopped throwing from the slope of the mound for now.

Adding that he is not too concerned, Lugo said he would continue his throwing progression.

Tags: Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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A general view at Mets spring training
A general view at Mets spring training

Mets spring training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Tuesday, in case you missed it...


Seth Lugo is dealing with a small fracture of his left pinky toe but the Mets are not concerned >> Read more

Brodie Van Wagenen detailed what's ailing Jed Lowrie and touched on what his chances are of being ready for Opening Day >> Read more

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Seth Lugo, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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As the Mets' 2020 season comes more into focus, it's only natural to start thinking about how the everyday lineup will look under new manager Luis Rojas.

And that lineup intrigue starts right at the top. 

Perhaps Jeff McNeil, who was in play for the NL batting title last season, is the perfect choice. SNY's John Harper recently spoke to scouts about whether or not McNeil will be an on-base machine again or whether he could see an uptick in power numbers.

Or maybe Brandon Nimmo is the right man for the Mets' leadoff spot. The left-handed hitting outfielder has started 106 games as the Mets' leadoff hitter over his career, by far the most time he's seen anywhere in the order. He also has a career OBP of .387, so even with a career average of just .254, he's still done a great job at getting on base over his first four years.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano
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Mets new manager Luis Rojas was emotional when he addressed his team for the first time in full Tuesday.

Appearing on Tuesday's Mets Hot Stove down in Port St. Lucie, Fla, Rojas discussed how he felt to speaking to what has now become his team, after being a part of the organization for many years.

"Being in the organization so long, 15 years, and growing up here as a coach and becoming the manager as well, I think there's a lot of emotions in the mix. I mean, there's a lot of guys in the room that share some of that history, that journey to get to here,"Rojas said on Mets Hot Stove. 

"So it was really special to be in the room talking to the guys and exchanging emotions, you know exchanging our ambitions that we have for the season and what we're going to do in spring training, preparing as we started yesterday, and then taking that into the season and being successful, which is what we want."

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Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen is very excited about his club's outlook for the 2020 season. 

Appearing Tuesday's Mets Hot Stove, Van Wagenen expressed his confidence in the current roster, highlighting the team's strong second-half effort in 2019.

"We have talent, we have experience, and we have a team that's returning from last year that's carrying a great deal of momentum and confidence," said Van Wagenen. "So, we're very excited to get these guys in camp.

"The first half of the year last year, we were in a lot of close games and we couldn't figure out how to win those games. Second half of the year, that changed. The team had a better focus. The team had better chemistry and understanding of the small margin of error between winning and losing, and I think the goal is that they can carry that over into this year."

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Yoenis Cespedes
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Jeff McNeil
Jeff McNeil

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

On July 6 last season, Jeff McNeil went 4-for-5 against the Phillies, lining four singles through or over the infield, into left, center, and right. At that point he was hitting .356 for the season, looking like a young Wade Boggs.

Or Tony Gwynn. Or even Pete Rose. Indeed, to scouts of a certain age who cringe at the number of strikeouts in today's game, McNeil was a throwback to an era when hitters prioritized contact over power.

"He was my new favorite hitter," one long-time scout recalled by phone on Monday. "I loved the way he choked up on that bat with the fat handle and hit the ball where it was pitched. Around the All-Star break I remember thinking he was going to hit somewhere between .340 and .350 and win the batting title."

Tags: Jeff McNeil, John Harper
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Mets reliever Seth Lugo has a small fracture in his left pinky toe that he suffered in his hotel room on Monday night, manager Luis Rojas said on Tuesday.

Rojas said there is "no concern at all" and that Lugo will refrain from throwing for roughly three days before ramping back up again.

"It's probably gonna take a little later until he starts participating in games, but we're not concerned about it. ... they're doing a padding on his spikes," Rojas added. "He was testing it walking around today and everything. It's his left foot, so landing on it the next three days we'll see how it progresses and then he'll start throwing."

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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Mets manager Luis Rojas at spring training
Mets manager Luis Rojas at spring training

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Spring Training is in full swing for the Mets in Port St. Lucie, with games starting in just four days.

While every member of the team has arrived in camp, some (Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes to name two) don't appear to be on track to be ready for game action when the bell rings on Saturday.

Going by the above, listening to manager Luis Rojas talk, and reading between the lines, here's our roster prediction 3.0...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Luis Guillorme, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Rene Rivera, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Tomas Nido, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Jed Lowrie has been participating in all drills at spring training while wearing a large brace on his left knee, and Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen -- who said the team is encouraged by Lowrie's participation -- elaborated Tuesday on what exactly is ailing Lowrie.

"The left knee injury that he had coming into spring training last year has just continued to give him problems," Van Wagenen told SNY's Gary Apple during an interview that will air in full on Mets Hot Stove Tuesday at 6 p.m. on SNY. "A lot of the issues that he had last year were muscles on the left side of his body, on the lower half that were attributed to the knee.

"What he's doing is he had some instability and he had some laxity in the knee that we've tried to stabilize with the brace. The brace has allowed him to do his rehab, it's allowed him to do strength work, it's allowed him to do baseball activities. Now we're gonna try to see how that brace can correlate into competition."

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Mets 1B/OF Dominic Smith is heading into the 2020 season aiming to stay on the 26-man roster throughout the year, and make big contributions like his walk-off homer that ended the 2019 season on the highest note.

The journey up until this point for the former first-rounder has had its ups and downs, but in an exclusive 1-on-1 with SNY, Smith discussed that journey and explained why he's so excited to see what this Mets team can do this year. 


SNY: We were just talking about how we were in Las Vegas, which was 3-4 years ago, but it feels like a lifetime ago I'm assuming for you? 

Tags: Amed Rosario, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Scott Thompson
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It's another day at Mets spring training, and the players are all out getting their work in as games begin at the end of the week. 

Wilson Ramos took some hacks in the batting cage, and infielders like Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil corralled some grounders as fans looked on. Check it out above.

Below is some batting practice action from Tuesday:

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos
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Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes
Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes

Mets spring training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Sunday, in case you missed it...


Yoenis Cespedes participated in the Mets' first full squad workout of spring training, which included taking live batting practice >> Read more

Prior to taking the field, Cespedes said he wouldn't be talking to the media at all this season >> Read more

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Yoenis Cespedes spoke to the media in Port St. Lucie on Monday, but only say that he wouldn't be speaking to them at all for the remainder of the season. 

"Not today, not tomorrow, not at all this year," he said.

On Baseball Night in New York, Doug Williams, Anthony Recker and John Harper gave their thoughts on Cespedes' comments and discuss what role he could play for the Mets in 2020.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Sep 3, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Sep 3, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

MLB Network has released its Top 100 Players Right Now, and four Mets make an appearance on the list.

Jacob deGrom leads the way for the Mets at No. 8, coming off of his second straight NL Cy Young Award. DeGrom led the National League in strikeouts with 255, and posted an 11-8 record with a sparkling 2.67 ERA. He's the second-highest pitcher ranked on the list, slotted just below new Yankees acquisition Gerrit Cole, who came in at No. 7.

Coming off of an historic rookie season, Pete Alonso debuts on the Top 100 Right Now list at No. 24. After winning NL Rookie of the Year and setting the single-season rookie home run record with 53 dingers, Alonso comes into his second season with sky-high expectations, but has done his best to downplay his personal goals early in spring training

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso
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Brad Brach
Brad Brach

The Mets bullpen struggled last season, but righty Brad Brach was a bit of a bright spot. 

Signed in August after the Cubs DFA'd him, Brach threw 14.2 innings with a 3.68 ERA for the Mets over the final two months of the 2019 season. He added another 15 strikeouts as well. 

After his revitalization, the 33-year-old was re-signed by the Mets in December for $850,000 in 2020, with a $1.25 million player option for 2021. 

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Mets manager Luis Rojas spoke on Monday after the team's first full squad workout of spring training. Here are the takeaways...


Jed Lowrie has "no limitations"

Lowrie has been participating in all drills at camp while wearing an enormous brace on his left knee, but he has "no limitations," according to Rojas.

"Lowrie went through the day, he did everything with the team," Rojas said. "He was out there doing the plays -- the bunt plays, first and thirds, took ground balls at second base, he did some covers there as well. He was in the live BP facing (Robert) Gsellman on field 5. He looked good, he's moving good. He's got that brace, it works for him to do all his movements."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Yoenis Cespedes was among the participants Monday morning when the Mets had their first full team workout of spring training. And his swing was looking pretty good during live batting practice. 

Facing off against Michael Wacha, Cespedes almost went yard, but the ball went foul. His first swing was also a slight mishap, as it flew over the dugout out of his hands. Overall, it was good to see the veteran outfielder back in the batter's box. 

Check out the rest of the Mets warming up with Yo...

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Approached Monday morning by reporters at his locker at Mets spring training, Yoenis Cespedes said he wouldn't be speaking to the media this season.

"Not today, not tomorrow, not at all this year," he said.

Asked why he wouldn't talk, Cespedes said "because I don't want to."

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom warms-up before a workout during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom warms-up before a workout during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

Mets spring training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Sunday, in case you missed it...


Jed Lowrie showed up at spring training wearing an enormous brace on his knee, would not comment on what his specific ailment is, and would not commit to being ready for Opening Day >> Read more

Tags: Robinson Cano, Tim Tebow, Danny Abriano
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Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets prospect Tim Tebow walks back to the clubhouse before the start of workouts at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets prospect Tim Tebow walks back to the clubhouse before the start of workouts at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

Tim Tebow doesn't downplay the fact that he has yet to fulfill his dream of playing Major League Baseball, but that hasn't stopped him. Entering his fourth season with the Mets, the 32-year-old left fielder is coming off a 2019 season at Triple-A Syracuse in which he struggled, slashing .164/.299/.338 with four home runs and 19 runs batted in over 77 games.

So the odds are more than stacked up against Tebow, the former college football star at the University of Florida (2006-09) and three-year NFL quarterback (2010-12) who signed a minor-league contract with the Mets in September 2016. But he's back once again for his latest Spring Training with the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Florida, where Tebow embraces another opportunity.

"When I love something or am passionate about it, I kind of go all in for it," Tebow said Sunday. "Hopefully, that's something that anyone can see about my life and I think that's the biggest thing and I think that's also for a time. I think there (are) seasons in our life that call for different things and, hopefully, this can be a part of that season of my life. But ... it's not something that I want to do forever. There's a lot of things that I want to do that I'm very passionate about."

Tags: Tim Tebow
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Robinson Cano did not get off to the start he'd hoped for last season in his first year with the Mets after spending a lot of time on the IL, but it seems like he's doing all he can to make sure he stays on the field in 2020.

Speaking to the media Sunday in Port St. Lucie, Florida, Cano, who played in just 107 games in 2019 in part due to a partially torn left hamstring, said he's working on keeping his lower body in shape.

"I just need to stay healthy," Cano said on how he can be the player he normally is. "I've been working on my legs back home and something I'm going to continue doing here."

Tags: Robinson Cano
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 (Jim Rassol)
(Jim Rassol)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Marcus Stroman has always been driven to prove the doubters wrong. It's in his DNA as someone who has defied huge odds by becoming a major league starting pitcher at the height of 5-foot-7, and people who know him say it explains why he talks such a big game. 

In his first comments of spring training, for example, Stroman told reporters in Port St. Lucie, Florida, this week that he has "the best sinker in the league" and that he is "pretty much unstoppable" when he's in a good place mentally, among other things.

Strong stuff for a guy who didn't quite live up to expectations upon arriving in the midst of the Mets' wild-card push last August, via the trade from the Blue Jays, before finishing strong in September.

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Mets' Tim Tebow spoke to media for the first time at Spring Training on Sunday, and was asked if he heard anything from the XFL.

"Yeah there was some communication," Tebow said. "We had a couple conversations ... I love what they're doing, and I think it has a chance to have success, and I think that's great.

"I think there needs to be a place for a lot of players that are really good, and should and could be playing in the NFL, and are better than a lot of NFL players. There's a chance they're going to be seen. So I think it's awesome, and I think it's good for a lot of guys that are going to get a spot on an NFL roster because they're going to show a team they're worth it. But for me, this is what I wanted to do and pursue it, and be all in."

Tags: Tim Tebow
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On Sunday, Mets infielder Jed Lowrie arrived at Spring Training wearing a knee brace on his left leg during workouts.

When asked about the knee brace, Lowrie didn't get into specifics.

"This is just a brace that alleviates my symptoms and makes me feel like myself," Lowrie said. "Like I said, I'm wearing this brace to alleviate my symptoms and so I can feel like myself... I don't want to get into specifics of symptoms."

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Mets prospect Matthew Allan (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets prospect Matthew Allan (Treated Image by SNY)

Here's everything you need to know about Mets prospect Matthew Allan...


The Skinny

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 225 pounds

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A general view at Mets spring training
A general view at Mets spring training

Mets spring training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Saturday, in case you missed it...


Noah Syndergaard took a shot at the Houston Astros with a "buzzers not included" tweet >> Read More

Pete Alonso said, "I want to be celebrating on a parade float, drunk as hell, celebrating with my boys," when talking about wanting to win a World Series >> Read More

 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso
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Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the grass during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the grass during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Former Yankees and Mets infielder Tony Fernandez passed away on Saturday at the age of 57 after suffering a brain stroke that came with complications from polycystic kidney disease.

Fernandez is most notably known as a Blue Jays legend, winning four Gold Gloves, going to five All Star games and winning a World Series title during his time in Toronto, but he did spend two stints in New York -- in both Queens and The Bronx.

Leaving the Padres after two seasons, Fernandez joined the Mets in 1993, but the stay was short lived. After a disappointing start to the season, he was traded back up to Toronto, where he played a big role in the Blue Jays winning the World Series later that season.

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May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of New York Mets helmet in the dugout before a game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of New York Mets helmet in the dugout before a game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon recently took part in a Q&A email exchange with the New York Post.

In the exchange with Steve Serby, Wilpon touched on a wide variety of topics, from the 2020 team outlook, the Steve Cohen deal falling through, Mickey Callaway's tenure as Mets manager, Pete Alonso's potential, and much more.

Here are a few of Wilpon's answers from some of the many topics discussed:

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso
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Sep 27, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) goes to the dugout after giving up two runs to the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
		
		 (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 27, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) goes to the dugout after giving up two runs to the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Astros shortstop Carlos Correa made headlines on Saturday, telling The Athletic that part of the reason why Jose Altuve didn't want his jersey ripped off after hitting a walk-off home run in the ALCS against the Yankees was that "he's got an unfinished tattoo on his collarbone that honestly looked terrible."

In an interview with Ken Rosenthal, Correa said that Altuve's wife didn't like seeing him shirtless on national TV, but also that Altuve's "terrible" tattoo played a key role in Altuve telling his teammates to leave his jersey intact.

"The second reason - he doesn't want me to talk about this, but I'm going to say it, is because he's got an unfinished tattoo on his collarbone that honestly looked terrible," Correa said. "It was a bad tattoo, and he didn't want nobody to see it. He didn't want to show it at all."

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 (Jim Rassol)
(Jim Rassol)

Luis Rojas spoke to reporters in Port St. Lucie Fla. on Saturday on the heels of Pete Alonso's arrival at Spring Training, and as expected the new Mets manager was all smiles when he talked about the team's slugger.

But just as Alonso mentioned that his personal goal in 2020 was not to hit even more home runs, but rather win a Gold Glove, Rojas said the 25-year-old isn't focused on offensive numbers as he enters his second big-league season.

"You can't set goals as far numbers and try to do better than he did last year," Rojas said of Alonso. "I don't think he's going to give himself a number to hit. I know that he's got himself ready."

Tags: Pete Alonso
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