Jaffe: Sorting out the Mets’ first base logjam

From SABR member Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs on March 13, 2019:

Who’s on first? This spring, it’s a question that both New York teams are figuring out through compelling job battles. While the Yankees attempt to decide between homegrown Greg Bird and mid-2018 trade acquisition Luke Voit — the latter of whom was the AL’s hottest hitter from August 1 onward, with a 194 wRC+ — the Mets are sorting out whether Dominic Smith or Peter Alonso will be their starter. I wrote enough about the Yankees’ pair late last season, when Voit seized the job from the struggling, oft-injured Bird, so today, it’s worth considering the Mets’ dilemma.

Of the two combatants, the 24-year-old Alonso, who currently lists at 6-foot-3, 245 pounds, is fresher in mind because he bopped 36 homers for the Mets’ Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas affiliates last year but didn’t receive a September call-up, a move that looked far more like a garden-variety attempt to manipulate his service time than it did a sound baseball decision. Taking a page from the playbook used by the Cubs for Kris Bryant and by the Blue Jays for Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the Mets even cited Alonso’s defense as one reason they were holding off. “His bat is his calling card and his defense is something he’s going to have to work at,” said director of player development Ian Levin last August, shortly after Alonso was named the Las Vegas 51s’ defensive player of the month for July.

Read the full article here: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/sorting-out-the-mets-first-base-logjam/

Originally published: March 14, 2019. Last Updated: March 14, 2019.