Stop me if you have heard this one before: the Mets have a player in the system that doesn’t really fit any position in the field particularly well, but they shown strike zone knowledge, they hit the ball well and have the promise for pop. Coming into 2018 that’s where Patrick Mazeika, a catcher and firstbasemen found himself.
BA was down on his defensive mechanics at both positions and that he must grow defensively in order to continue to move up.
The Mets drafted Patrick in the 8th round of the 2015 draft after he hit .348 for three years at Stetson University. He started his minor league career at Kingsport and he dominated hitting .354/.451/.540 – eyepopping numbers really spreading the ball all over the place. The next season, he was 22 at this point, he continued, hitting .305/.414/.402 in Columbia. Two years in a row like this you start to turn heads (except for the defense stuff). In 2017 he mostly played in St Lucie but had a week or so in Binghamton. He combined for a .290/.389/.416 line.
Patrick came into 2018 needing to continue his production at Binghamton. Over 87 games that just didn’t happen the same way. He hit .231/.328/.363. Not bad for a catcher, but a large drop off from previous years. These numbers could be a combination of a couple of things. First off, he’s getting better defensively. Second, as John Sheridan at MMO found, he had a .216 BABIP, so super unlucky and in August for a period of time he was hitting .381/.480/.524. The article also talked about his decrease in playing time.
That latter part is what I personally believed led to Mazeika’s down year offensively. The Mets have really messed with Nido’s development behind the plate keeping him all over the country thus cutting into everyone else’s time. For Patrick, his playing time next year and his level will completely depend on what the Mets do this year in the off-season. If they don’t sign any catchers, Nido will have to be with the club breaking camp so Mazeika will be in Syracuse. If the Mets sign a back up catcher or a starting catcher, Nido goes to Syracuse and then the Mets have a tough choice with Mazeika. Do they send him to Syracuse to split time with Nido? The Mets already have a logjam at first base their too. Or do they send him to Binghamton to get the lion’s share of playing time?