Quite suddenly at first base, the Mets appear well-heeled. Five-time All-Star Adrian Gonzalez will man the position most days in April. Wilmer Flores remains a steady option against left-handed pitchers. Dominic Smith is still the Mets’ first baseman of the future authentic MLB jerseys cheap, in the organization’s eyes — and a promising one at that.
But it may not be long before another competitor enters the fray. Coming off a standout — albeit injury-shortened — first full Minor League season, Peter Alonso is ranked No. 7 on MLB Pipeline’s updated list of top first-base prospects. Tampa Bay’s Brendan McKay, the No. 4 overall pick in last year’s Draft, led a list that includes some of Minor League Baseball’s heaviest hitters.
A college standout at the University of Florida, Alonso parlayed a strong junior season into a second-round Draft selection by the Mets, who considered his power potential as substantial as that of nearly anyone in the 2016 Draft. That tool manifested itself in a significant cheap MLB jerseys way last summer, when Alonso hit 18 home runs with a .524 slugging percentage over two levels, rising from Class A Advanced St. Lucie to Double-A Binghamton in late August.
It was a promotion that came two months after Alonso returned from a broken hand — an injury that did not bog down his offensive statistics, despite costing him a significant chunk of the summer. Overall, in parts of two professional seasons, the 23-year-old Alonso has hit 23 homers in 123 games with a .903 OPS.
Tebow is the most famous Minor League baseball player since Michael Jordan played for the Birmingham Barons 20 years ago. And by the way? Mets general manager Sandy Alderson was running the A’s when Jordan was about to go to Birmingham, the Double-A affiliate of the White Sox authentic MLB jerseys cheap. Alderson said Thursday that before that happened, he called David Falk, Jordan’s agent, and offered Jordan a spot with the A’s.
“Obviously, [Tebow] isn’t that,” Alderson said. “These are different people and different stories. But my thinking at the time on Michael went something like this: ‘Why the heck not? What if he could actually do it with cheap authentic mlb jerseys wholesale?'”
Jordan gave up baseball after one season in Birmingham. Tebow, who hit .226 with eight home runs and 52 RBIs for Columbia and Class A Advanced Port St. Lucie, is still here, in big league camp, likely on his way to Double-A Binghamton this season.
I asked Tebow if he ever asked himself what he was doing when he was on the road from South Carolina to New Jersey.
“Oh, sure, those thoughts creep in,” Tebow said. “And then, you know, you’ve got to be mentally tough and spiritually tough. Being physically tough, that’s actually the easiest part of it for me. But then I adjust back to the reason I’m on the bus, and the reason I’m doing this. That’s because I love it, because I’m passionate about it.
In addition to the four pitchers guaranteed roles in the bullpen, the Mets will report to camp next month with a slew of roster hopefuls: Paul Sewald and Hansel Robles, who played significant roles for the team MLB wholesale jerseys last season; Jamie Callahan, Jacob Rhame and Drew Smith, three of the pitchers the Mets recently acquired during their midsummer sell-off; and even Rafael Montero, assuming he does not win a spot or china mlb jerseys wholesale in the rotation.
The idea is to rely in large part on relievers with Minor League options, so that the Mets can shuttle arms back and forth from the Minors on a regular basis — much as the Yankees, Dodgers and other clubs have done with authentic MLB jerseys cheap successfully in recent years. The Mets will likely employ three or four of those pitchers on Opening Day, with the rest heading to Triple-A Las Vegas to wait their turn.
“Based on how many innings our third, fourth, fifth starters go,” Alderson said, “having that kind of flexibility is going to be really important.”
The Mets are not sure yet if they will carry seven or eight relievers on Opening Day, though in some ways, it hardly matters. Over the course of the year, they will lean on at least a dozen different arms as they look to find authentic MLB jerseys cheap and the right mix for a unit that ranked last in the National League with a 4.82 ERA last season.