Breakout Stars from New York Mets First Week of Spring Training Action
For many players, spring training is not about the numbers. Stats from the month of March can pretty much be thrown away for seasoned veterans who are entrenched in their team's starting lineup.
But there are some players who use spring training as a time to open eyes and showcase their skills, as they vie for a trip with their club once camp breaks and the season begins. Last year, for the Mets, pitcher Josh Edgin was one of those players.
Edgin made 10 appearances in the spring, didn't allow an earned run and gave up just four hits total. And though he started the season in the minor leagues, Edgin did make his MLB debut in July. It was a short-lived cup of coffee, lasting just one inning.
Still, his performance in the spring broke through, and it's expected that he will be one of two lefty relievers to head north at the end of the month.
The 2013 spring training season is about a week old, but already, there have been some standout performances coming out of Port St. Lucie. Let's take a look.
Right-hander Cory Mazzoni was a second-round draft pick by the Mets in 2011, and he has looked impressive in his first two seasons in pro-ball. In 2012, he reached Double-A and totaled 104 strikeouts while walking just 36 batters over the course of the season. His two-year ERA stands at a clean 3.72.
And so far, he has looked awfully good this spring. He has appeared in just two games so far, but has only allowed one hit and has not permitted an earned run, striking out three along the way. At 23 years of age, Mazzoni is still likely a year or two from reaching the big club. But so far, all is looking good for the young Pennsylvania native.
So far, early on in the spring, the Mets have to be impressed with what they have seen from Collin Cowgill. Considering the outfielder joined the Mets via a minor trade with the Oakland A's in December, Cowgill is expected to play a pretty large role in 2013.
He's a hard-nosed player who isn't afraid to get his uniform dirty. And so far this spring, he's 4-7 with two doubles, three RBI and two stolen bases. He will likely be at least a platoon center fielder, if not the number one guy in Queens.
Remember, keep in mind it's still very early in the spring training season. But so far, Omar Quintanilla has been impressive. He has two hits in just five ABs, but that includes a double, two runs scored, plus two free passes.
He stands a great chance of making the club as a backup middle infielder. He played with the Mets for the first half of 2012, and was a serviceable fielder with occasional pop (five doubles in 70 ABs).
I may be speaking a little out of bias here, but I love the signing of Marlon Byrd. A low-risk/high-reward acquisition, Byrd has a great chance of making the team and could be the starting right fielder in 2013. He had a down year in 2012, but has had a 20-home run season (2009), and he plays a good outfield.
So far this spring, Byrd is 3-8 with a double and a run scored. With a fresh start with a new club, 2013 could be a bit of a resurgent year for the 35-year-old.
So far, so good early on in the spring for Bobby Parnell. The hard-throwing righty is slated to start the season as the team's closer, a role he has been dancing around for the majority of his career. In 2012, he saved seven games for the Mets, a career-high.
Down in Port St. Lucie, Parnell has appeared in two games and has already recorded a save. He allowed a hit, but no runs to this point. And though it is still early on, if he keeps this up, he could make believers out of a lot of people as a closer in 2013.