Mets: Let The Kids Play And Que Sera Sera – Reflections On Baseball

Francisco Alvarez - That Sweet Look Of Youth And Confidence

The Mets have trashed their preseason plans to give their most prized prospects more seasoning in the minors. Good for them, now stay with it.

Mets brass, following a fervent push from fans and media, finally relented with a callup of Mark Vientos that completes a three-player sweep of rookies who are making a play for regular time in the team’s lineup.

Now teamed with Vientos, Brett Baty and Francisco Alvarez have already made their mark on the Mets, almost daring management to send them back to the minors.

Their arrival has been sweet music for Mets manager Buck Showalter who loves the blend of young and veteran players at his disposal.

Pete Alonso and Buck Showalter "Discussing Things"
Pete Alonso and Buck Showalter “Discussing Things”

Of the three, Francisco Alvarez (21) has eased his way into the major leagues with an air of confidence that is supported by his play on the field. In only 100 plate appearances, Alvarez has seven home runs and 19 RBI. His play behind the plate is unchallenged and already he is receiving high marks from the two mainstay veteran Mets pitchers, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.

Moreover, Alvarez is all baseball, 24/7, with an insatiable appetite to learn the nuances of the game, and he’s not afraid to put in the hard work he knows it will take to be one of the best of the best.

Brett Baty (23) has less flair to his play than Alvarez, but he is putting up respectable numbers (.248, 4 HR, 14 RBI in 34 games) for the Mets while holding down third base for the team.

Mark Vientos is the new arrival, and he has only a handful of plate appearances, mostly in the DH spot.

Mets Break The Barriers

Most major league teams hide under the veil of erring on the side of caution when it comes to promoting their best prospects, choosing instead to keep them in the minors for “more seasoning”.

But often, the real reason is to delay the arrival of the player and the time when his free-agent clock starts ticking (six years). Mets fans will recall this was the case with Pete Alonso his rookie season when the Mets waited out the clock before calling Alonso up in May.

With the more liberal spending ways of Mets owner Steve Cohen, economics matters less now than decisions based solely on baseball and what’s good for the team.

The next decision facing the Mets, however, is more crucial than the one they’ve already made – and that’s to stick with the program, continuing to play these youngsters with a que sera sera attitude – what will be, will be.

Baseball – A Game Of Failing

The usual assumption in baseball is that you want to protect young players from failure, and that’s why you wait for them to fully develop in the minor leagues.

But that’s a fallacy when you consider that baseball is a game based on failure, where the best catchers throw out only four of every baserunners on stolen bases, and Hall Of Fame hitters fail seven of every ten times they come to the plate.

Learning to adjust to failure is the game of baseball. Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, and Mark Vientos will struggle, and then they’ll struggle some more. They will look overmatched at times, and the temptation will be for the Mets to send them down for a “tune up” in the minors. It behooves the Mets not to fall into this trap, especially in the case of Vientos.

After all, it’s not as though Vientos is taking at-bats away from a player who is helping the team. With two home runs and 13 RBI in 41 games, Daniel Vogelbach is not the Mets answer in the DH spot, while Mark Canha has similar insignificant numbers.

Youth springs eternal in life, and it’s no different in baseball. Nowhere is that best seen than the look on Pete Alonzo after Alvarez blasted a three-run home run to tie the game last night in Colorado.

With that look of triumph, you could almost hear Alonso thinking to himself, “Whew, I’m not going to have to do this all by myself.”

Not to be underestimated, the rookies have Buck Showalter to lead and guide them. Showalter seems to have a knack for what to say and when to say it with his players. Mets players know what he’s looking for, it’s no secret. Show up ready to play, and play hard – to win.

Alvarez, Baty, and Vientos – all in the same Mets lineup – who would have thought?

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.