We move on to a position that has been owned by one player for many years… third base.
There was a while this season that we thought we had lost David Wright, but it looks like we were wrong. Spinal stenosis almost got the best of him, but he came back to hit .289 in 152 at-bats. Where we go from here is a matter of debate, but I see the immediate projectable increase in operating expenses (salaries) for players giving the Mets the opportunity to limit Wright’s amount of games and extend his career through the rest of his contract (2012).
Organization wise, there’s not much to project as Wright’s replacement someday.
Eudor Garcia (Sav - .293 – 6th in league batting average) looks like the best there is in the system and has a conservative ETA of 2019. Garcia is an excellent defensive player as well as having some pop in his bat (23-doubles, 9-HR, 783-OPS).
Past that would be T.J. Rivera (AAA - .306, AA - .341), who is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. All this guy does is hit and yet no one considers him at any of the four positions he plays well. I have him settling in at the AAA level alongside Josh Rodriquez (30 yr. old – AA: .282, 19-HR).
Binghamton may get crowded. Jeff McNeil (A+ - .312), Jhoan Urena (A+ - .214), and Phillip Evans (A+ - .234) are all scheduled to play there in 2016 which probably means at least one of these guys need to go away. My guess is McNeil will be given the opportunity to be the starter here because he also projects out as a possible long range major league player. He's also getting a bunch of work this off-season at SS which is interesting.
Eudor looks to be spelled in St. Lucie by Jean Rodriguez (Sav - .254)
My guess at this point that the ex-4th round pick in 2015, David Thompson (Brklyn - .218) will get a chance to turn around a bad season and start in Columbia.
No one on the rookie level looks projectable at this point in their growth.
Conclusion – I think everything will be okay here in 2016 if the Mets can fine an adequate fill-in for around forty games a year. I’m still a big fan of Wright, but I just don’t like great players getting older. At some point the Mets are going to have to stop honoring him with either the second or third slot in the lineup.
Rating – B