As we get closer and closer to the 2014 MLB season beginning, spring training is always an interesting time of the year to see where players stand and how far certain minor league prospects are in their development. It's also a time when certain players battle for starting jobs or even just roster spots.
Here are 10 New York Mets that will be battling for roster spots in spring training.
Statistics are courtesy of Baseball Reference.
The Mets recently signed catcher Taylor Teagarden to a minor league deal. Teagarden is expected to compete with 2013 backup catcher Anthony Recker for the 2014 backup catching job.
Ike Davis is one of the Mets first basemen who will be battling more for a starting job than an actual roster spot. That is, as long as he is still on the team.
Davis batted just .205 in 2013 with nine home runs and 33 RBI in 317 at-bats. Davis raised his .308 OBP in 2012 to .326 in 2013 thanks to a higher walk rate, but his slugging percentage fell from .462 to .334. Davis got off to a very slow start and was eventually demoted in June for nearly a month. He hit slightly better after coming back, but in late August, he suffered a season-ending oblique injury.
Davis has spent his whole career with the Mets thus far.
The other first baseman who will be competing with Davis if neither ends up getting traded will be Lucas Duda. Duda should end up on the Mets' major league roster regardless, but it's the starting first base job he would be battling for.
After spending the 2011 and 2012 seasons as a right fielder and part of 2013 as a left fielder, it has become clear that Lucas Duda's position going forward will be at first base, whether it is with the Mets or another team.
Duda batted .223 with 15 home runs and 33 RBI in 318 at-bats this past season. He was the starting left fielder until he got injured in June and was replaced by Eric Young Jr. in left field for the rest of the season. When Duda eventually returned in late August, it was as a first baseman. Originally, he was on the bench, but after Davis got hurt, Duda took over at first base for the rest of the season.
Like Davis and Duda, Ruben Tejada will be battling more to remain the Mets' starting shortstop than for just a mere roster spot.
Tejada batted .202 with 10 RBI in 208 at-bats in 2013. He missed a good chunk of the season with a quadriceps injury. All in all, it was a completely lost season for Tejada.
Wilfredo Tovar played briefly for the Mets near the end of last season and will likely compete to be a backup infielder on the 2014 Opening Day roster.
Tovar batted .200 in 15 at-bats with two RBI and a stolen base.
Matt den Dekker will most likely have an opportunity to compete for a major league roster spot during spring training. He could become a fourth or fifth outfielder on the Opening Day roster if he does well enough.
den Dekker hit .207 with one home run, six RBI and four stolen bases in 58 at-bats in 2013.
Andrew Brown is another outfielder who will be fighting for a roster spot in spring training.
Brown did a decent job as a platoon right fielder for part of 2013. He hit .227 with seven home runs and 24 RBI in 150 at-bats.
Jenrry Mejia will be one of the main competitors for the fifth spot in the Mets' starting rotation this season. At this point, he should considered the favorite to win the job.
Mejia went 1-2 in five starts with a 2.30 ERA last season and showed a lot of potential in those starts.
One reliever who will be competing for a 2014 roster spot will be Gonzalez Germen. Germen right now should be considered a favorite to be on the Opening Day roster, but the possibility of the Mets signing any more relievers before spring training could have an effect on that.
Germen was with the Mets for much of the second half after being promoted in July. He went 1-2 with a 3.93 ERA in 29 appearances.