Mets Spring Training Invitees

The New York Mets have (thus far) invited twenty players not on the 40-man roster to spring training.

They are as follows:

Right-handed Pitchers

Chasen Bradford
Joel Carreno
John Church
Jeremy Hefner
Rafael Montero
Miguel Socolovich
Noah Syndergaard
Cory Mazzoni
Logan Verrett

Left-handed Pitchers

Adam Kolarek
Jack Leathersich

Taylor Teagarden
Kevin Plawecki


Brandon Allen
Eric Campbell
Anthony Seratelli
Daniel Muno


Dustin Lawley
Cory Vaughn
Brandon Nimmo

The bulk of these players are youngsters who will be given a quick look before sent down to minor-league camp. Of this entire list, the player with the best opportunity to go north with the big club at the end of March is catcher Taylor Teagarden, though he’ll have to beat out Anthony Recker and Juan Centeno for the backup backstop role behind Travis d’Arnaud. Even if Kevin Plawecki is outstanding, I doubt the Mets will bring him up to be a back-up — they’ll want him playing every day and developing.

Other than Teagarden, Cory Mazzoni and Joel Carreno have outside shots at cracking bullpen roles. Mazzoni has been a starter throughout his pro career, but at 24 years old, isn’t showing enough to project in that role; some think that focusing on fastball velocity and one secondary offering could allow him to be a decent middle reliever. The 26-year-old Carreno converted to relief in 2012, and struck out 12.2 batters per nine innings last year, splitting the season between AA and AAA; he was signed as a minor-league free agent after 8 years in the Toronto Blue Jays’ system. Carreno’s bread and butter is a heavy sinker that gets to about 91-92 MPH.

There’s been buzz that Rafael Montero could be in the mix for a spot in the starting rotation, but, barring injuries to others, I’m not seeing it happen just yet. Same goes for Noah Syndegaard.

I’m guessing that Syndegaard and Jack Leathersich will be kept around longer than others so that the Mets brass can get good, long looks at them. Paul DePodesta seems especially hot on Leathersich as a future LOOGY, I suppose because the little lefty has had ridiculously high K/9 rates in the minors. Unfortunately those swing-and-miss stats are accompanied by high walk rates; he walked 29 batters in 29 innings in AAA last season, and has averaged 5 BB/9 in his pro career (along with an eye-popping 15.2 K/9). His lefthandedness and 94-MPH fastball are intriguing, and he doesn’t turn 24 until mid-July, so there’s time for him to one day become Matt Thornton. Maybe a few weeks under the brilliant guidance of Dan Warthen can accelerate his progress.

Eric Campbell likely won’t make the team, but he turns 27 in April so this may be his last shot. He’s a corner infielder / corner outfielder who can swing the bat from the right side but doesn’t have much power. In a similar spot is Brandon Allen, a first baseman / left fielder with some pop from the left side, but who has never shown quite enough to earn a big-league job in ten years of pro ball, including parts of four MLB seasons. Allen is the prototypical “AAAA” player, but considering the mystery at 1B for the Mets, who knows what might happen? If Lucas Duda, Ike Davis, and Josh Satin all look awful in the spring, and Allen hits bombs, he might just steal a roster spot. My feeling, though, is that Allen won’t have enough opportunity to prove himself, considering the “glut” of players at first base.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Dan Capwell January 12, 2014 at 9:29 am
    Inviting this many players to Spring Training this early in January is the clearest indication that they are done adding any additional major league talent.


  2. Jujo January 12, 2014 at 1:38 pm
    They may add one more arm or a SS if they are let go as a surprise. I wonder if Alderson addressed the needs this offseason. The signings (Grandy, Young, Colon) may work out or they could blow up. The one signing I agree with is Grandy. They should have gotten Aoki instead of Young-that would give them a leadoff hitter. They could have signed Morse to a 1 year $6 mil deal like SF did. He has had more recent success than CY and done it in the NL East. They should have signed Hawkins-he would have helped the young bullpen like last year. They did not need Colon for 2 years-they should have gotten Josh Johnson or someone else for 1 year. These signings would have been cheaper and more effective AND addressed the main needs besides SS. It would have save $ for Drew if needed. I say offer Drew 2 years $20 mil and walk away if he says no.