For many seasons now, we preview one non-roster invitee to Mets spring training per day, leading up to the regular season. NRI’s generally fall into one of two buckets. Players are either prospects on the verge of breaking the 40-man roster and the time in major league camp is crucial for their development. This is also the best time for the major league coaches to get their first good look of the players of tomorrow. In the second bucket veteran players trying to break camp with a new team. The Mets invited about 20 players to spring training last year outside of their 40-man roster. 2023 was a chaotic, volatile year for the Mets and a good chunk of the players the Mets invited to camp eventually saw time at the major league level. A total of 12 of the 20 players the Mets invited to camp last year eventually played with the Mets including five of ten position players.
Nick Meyer: Meyer was drafted by the Mets in 2018 and over the years he played in 323 games hitting a career .220/.309/.297. Last season he played only in Syracuse and hit .217/.309/.309, which is pretty close to his career line. The Mets have quite the logjam of backup catchers for the 40-man roster, so after obtaining free agency this winter, Meyer signed with the Rays. Best of luck Nick!
Kevin Parada: In what will be an unfortunate trend on this list, 2023 was a tough year for some of the Mets top prospects that had been in the system for a few years. In 2022 he hit .275/.455/.425 and started to rise in off-season prospect lists. He had a tough 2023 where he hit .248/.324/.428 over 457 PA’s. That continued into the fall where he he hit .186/.240/.371 over 75 PA’s. Parada will be back in Mets camp as a NRI in 2024 as he looks to bounce back.
Michael Pérez: Michael was a veteran depth signing for the Mets last off-season and ended up seeing three games in Queens where he went 4-8 with a double and a strikeout. He signed with the Orioles this winter.
Hayden Senger: Senger hit .188/.307/.295 in Binghamton in 2023. So far over his five seasons in the Mets system hitting .236/.328/.359. Senger will be competing for his depth position again this spring as an NRI.
Jonathan Araúz: Jonathan got slightly more than a cup of coffee last season with the Mets. Over 66 PA’s he hit .136/.205/.288. This off-season he signed with the Dodgers. You know those Dodgers, getting everyone on the market.
José Peraza: The Mets signed Peraza as veteran depth last year and he never had an official plate appearance with the Mets. He mostly played in Syracuse hitting .258/.324/.359 over 177 PA’s. He is still a free agent (as of writing).
Abraham Almonte: Almonte went 1-15, 2B, BB, 8 K’s in his short time with the Mets last season. He is still a free agent (as of writing).
Tim Locastro: Locastro seemed destined to break camp with the Mets from early on in spring training last season. Between Locastro and Nimmo the Mets were looking to be an on-base percentage machine. Over 67 PA’s with the Mets Locastro hit .232/.338/.393 including six stolen bases and was hit by six pitches.
Alex Ramírez: Alex was another prospect who saw his stock tumble over the season. In 2022 he hit .281/.346/.836 over 552 PA’s. Last season he hit .221/.310/.317 over 521 PA’s. The Mets added Alex to the 40-man roster this season, so we’ll see a lot of him in spring training this month.
DJ Stewart: Finally we end with the best NRI signing from 2023. DJ Stewart had 11 HR”s over 185 PA’s last season, hitting .244/.333/.506. Between Mauricio’s injury and the Mets not signing a DH (as of writing) Stewart has an inside lane to more playing time this season. Did the Mets catch lightning in a bottle here?
As of now the Mets have 11 position players coming to camp in 2024. Who will be this year’s DJ Stewart? We are only a few weeks away from finding out!