Three Options For Mets “In-House” Third Baseman

On December 4, 2023, New York Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns spoke to the media for the first time at the winter meetings. He admitted that the Mets already have a third baseman in the house. Here are three players who could resemble an in-house third baseman for a team that ranked 29th in baseball with a .590 OPS at third base in 2023.

Three Mets Players Who Could Play Third Base in 2024

Joey Wendle

Wendle, 33, has been in the big leagues for eight seasons, playing third base alongside second base and shortstop. The newly acquired veteran infielder has a chance to shine at third base, especially because of his defense.

Wendle’s 107 defensive appearances last season may have come as a shortstop, but he has the potential to take his defensive skills to third base. With the Miami Marlins last season, he made 218 assists including 45 double plays. He only committed 10 errors last season, compared to the Mets as a team that made 88 with 17 of them coming from third base.

As for his offensive numbers, Wendle had a tough ride with the bat last season. He hit just two home runs with a .212 batting average. However, that didn’t prevent Stearns from signing him.

“Joey fits a lot of the things we’ve been talking about. He is a very good defender and baserunner,” Stearns said. “He brings a cultural element I think is important, which is to have guys who can be positive influences on the rest of the team when not in the lineup. He checks all the boxes.”

There might be certain games where Wendle doesn’t start, but once the Mets put him in, it could be hard to safely reach on base if a ball gets hit his way.

Ronny Mauricio

This is the guy everybody wanted to be called up to the big leagues sooner than later last season. Mauricio, just like Wendle, can play second and third base alongside shortstop. In 26 games last season, he recorded 25 hits with a .248 batting average.

Mauricio only played five games at third base last season, while he spent most of his time with the Mets playing second base. Despite committing one error at third base, his overall defensive skills are solid with 50 putouts and 65 assists.

Keep in mind that Mauricio is playing more third base in the Dominican Winter League this offseason. While the three errors he has committed are something to think about, his bat continues to stay hot.

Overall, Mauricio has a good glove in addition to his bat, but as long as Mauricio continues to improve his glove at third base while he plays in the winter league, Stearns probably wouldn’t have a problem playing him at that position.

Jeff McNeil

The squirrel, as he is known, is an all-around player. He can play just about both in the infield and outfield. Stearns loves that about him.

As a third baseman throughout five seasons, McNeil has 22 putouts and 62 assists and has only committed seven errors. He knows how to play defense.

On offense, while he is not a big home run threat, he can produce a lot of hits. He has maintained a career batting average of .298 with 722 hits. After all, he is the 2022 National League batting average champion.

McNeil is a guy who’s probably going to move around a lot as the Mets shuffle their lineup for some games. He has so much experience playing the infield, so if the Mets want to put him at third base for any reason, there is no reason for them to be worried.

Who Could Be The No. 1 Mets Third Baseman in 2024?

Well, Stearns has options in front of him, but it’s unclear about who specifically can be the go-to third baseman. What is clear, however, is that Brett Baty and Mark Vientos, who are also third basemen, have their work cut out for them after struggling last season. In the end, anything is possible.

Main Image: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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