PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Believe it or not, Mets camp is more than halfway complete. While sample sizes remain small, players have spent enough time on the field to make some initial impressions.
MLB.com polled a half-dozen Mets players on which of their teammates have stood out the most. Here’s who they chose:
Justin Wilson, LHP
Nearly every player polled mentioned Wilson, who has been dominant so far this spring. Joining the Mets on a two-year, $10 million contract before last season, Wilson missed two significant chunks of the year due to left elbow soreness. Following an offseason of rest, Wilson demonstrated his health by striking out the side Sunday against the Nationals. All told, the lefty has fanned four of the six batters he’s faced this spring. He hasn’t allowed a baserunner.
“Justin Wilson’s been pretty impressive. I got to see him pretty good last year, but he looks fully healthy,” said reliever Brad Brach. “He looks awesome. Usually, the velocity’s down a little bit in the spring. He’s like, ‘Oh, don’t worry, I won’t be throwing 100.’ His first outing [was] 94-96, and I’m like, ‘Oh, screw you guys.’”
“He’s looked the best so far, I would say,” said reliever Paul Sewald. “Everyone knows there are guys in here who are fighting for spots and people who aren’t. He’s not one of those people fighting for one, so for him to look that good already just means he’s going to be ready to rock.”
Jeff McNeil, 3B
Now a household name, McNeil hit .563 over his first 16 spring at-bats. Anyone expecting less may not have noticed his performance last season, when he stayed in the National League batting title race until September.
“He can hit everything, man,” said reliever Edwin Díaz. “He goes up there and swings, and he hits tough pitches and gets base hits every time. He’s the most impressive player here. He’s really good.”
Ryan Cordell, OF
Hoping to infuse some athleticism into their organization, the Mets inked Cordell to a Minor League contract this winter. He appeared in 97 games for the White Sox last year, and he has thrived in his first Mets camp -- showcasing not only speed and defense, but also an ability to hit for power. Cordell is vying for a bench job; at the least, he figures to start at Triple-A Syracuse.
“He’s showing a little bit of everything -- drop down a bunt, oppo home run, he threw a guy out, diving catch,” said outfielder Michael Conforto. “He’s done a little bit of everything.”
Johneshwy Fargas, OF
Another Minor League signing, Fargas has never played above Double-A, but he may be the most athletic player in camp. He’s stolen two bases already this spring, after swiping 50 in the Double-A Eastern League last season. Fargas isn’t a realistic candidate to make the team, but like Cordell, he makes the Mets a more athletic organization.
“Fargas with his speed is unbelievable,” said outfielder J.D. Davis. “He had like 50 bags last year. Just watching him with his baserunning is unbelievable.”
Jacob deGrom, RHP
He’s the reigning, two-time Cy Young Award winner. Of course he’s going to impress some teammates.
“His first outing the other day was stupid,” Brach said. “I wish I could pitch just one day like Jake. He’s ridiculous.”