New York Mets Projected Bench for 2021 Season

Mets Projected 2021 Bench

With the injury to Jose Martinez, the New York Mets seem to have their bench set early in spring training. With the likelihood of a five-man bench, Tomas Nido, Jonathan Villar, Kevin Pillar, Luis Guillorme, and Albert Almora Jr. seem destined to make the team barring any more injuries. Let’s take a look at the role these five players may have this season for the New York Mets projected bench.

Tomas Nido

With the Mets signing James McCann, New York has a catcher to play five to six times a week. Nido will likely get starts on day games after night games and provides the Mets with a capable backup catcher. He is known for his defense but has shown some power over the past two seasons. In only 57 games, Nido has seven home runs and had a memorable walk-off home run.

The Mets will not lose much on defense when Nido starts and will likely hit eighth in games he plays. The one area he needs to improve on is his batting average. Nido hit over .300 in a shortened 2020 season but didn’t hit over .200 in his first two years in the big leagues.

Jonathan Villar

Villar has already made a name for himself this spring as he hit a long three-run home run against his former team. He will likely play throughout the infield, including third base, where he has not played much in his career.

However, with New York’s concern on J.D. Davis’ fielding at third base, he may see a good amount of playing time at the hot corner. Villar also could find himself as a pinch-runner late in games. He has had as many as 62 stolen bases in a season.

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar may find himself on the bench opening day against Max Scherzer but is going to see plenty of playing time. He will likely get his first start against Patrick Corbin as he is set to platoon with Brandon Nimmo in center field. While Dominic Smith will also likely start in left field, Pillar should certainly be a defensive replacement. He has shown to be one of the best defensive center fielders in the league and would push Nimmo over to left late in games.

Pillar also got off to a strong start this spring. He had five hits through his first eight at-bats before going 1-4 on Tuesday. Similar to Villar, Pillar has excellent speed and can steal a base in a big spot. He can also hit for power but has never been much more than a .260 hitter in his career.

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Luis Guillorme

Other than Smith, Guillmore may have been the biggest surprise last year. For a player that is more known for his glove, Guillorme hit .333 in 2020. He only has one career home run, but it came in a big game against the Washington Nationals in 2019.

His role should be as an extra infielder and occasionally get a start, but he is primarily going to be a pinch hitter and a defensive replacement. Guillmore usually puts the ball in play and is tough to strike out. He is also 5-11 this spring and getting a fair amount of playing time around the infield.

Albert Almora Jr.

If there is a player that may benefit from the Martinez injury it’s possibly Almora Jr. After playing for the Chicago Cubs for the start of his career, Almora Jr. was traded to New York and has a minor league option. He has yet to produce much offensively this Spring other than his one home run so far.

He had his worst season in the MLB last year, hitting only .167. His role will likely be as a fifth outfielder and a pinch hitter. Almora Jr.’s versatilely in the outfield will get him to get an occasional start. Still, he is definitely the one bench player on the bubble if somebody else has an excellent spring training.

It seems like the Mets are done adding free agents, but there are definitely a few good players still out there. With the injury to Martinez, Maikel Franco’s name has been put out there as a potential pickup as someone that can play both first and third base. However, the group that the Mets have now are going to need to step up when called upon, especially in a year affected by COVID-19.

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