2019 Mets Non-Roster Invitee Preview: Patrick Mazeika

New week, new position for our 2019 NRI preview series! Yesterday we finished profiling every pitcher the Mets have offered an NRI too (unless they sign more, which we’ll get on the back end) and now we start catchers.

The Mets catching situation has been complicated all off-season and it just got more complicated. At the start of the off-season, the Mets decided to non-tender Kevin Plawecki and tender Travis d’Arnaud for aprx 4 million. This signaled both an end of the Plawecki era and that the Mets would probably have to acquire another pitcher. There was a flirting with the Marlins for Realmuto, a massive contract offered and turned down by Grandal and ultimately an out of no-where signing of Wilson Ramos.

Then the Mets gave Devin Mesoraco an NRI, who will probably directly compete with d’Arnaud. Plus there is Ali Sanchez who is the up and coming catching prospect. In short, there’s a lot going on.

Then there is Patrick Mazeika. We wrote a profile about him back in October as part of our 2018 Baseball America Top 30 review. Where we started his review talking about his early success:

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.

But then noted how unlucky he was last year:

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.

It’s still unclear where Mazeika plays next year, which is why his NRI will be so important. In the profile in October we talked how Nido may dictate which level Mazeika ends up in. That’s even more complicated right now. Most likely Wilson and d’Arnaud are at the major league level, then Nido at Syracuse. If Mesoraco is still around (and not on the ML roster due to a d’Arnaud trade), then he is at Syracuse as well. Ali Sanchez is probably going to start in Binghamton.

A good spring can go a long way for Mazeika. Let’s see what happens! And how the Mets juggle 6 catchers in major league camp.

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