Ever since Mike Piazza’s departure, the catcher position for the Mets has been in a state of flux.
Paul LoDuca, Brian Schneider, Rod Barajas, Henry Blanco and Ronny Paulino are just some of the catchers to suit up behind the dish.
Last season, the Mets handed the mask to young Josh Thole, and he seems to be the No. 1 guy again for this season, though Terry Collins has made it a point to Thole that he has to earn his spot.
The Mets are seeking a right-handed hitting complement to Thole for the backup catcher’s spot. Mike Nickeas has been with the organization for a while and could be the favorite for this spot. He’s solid defensively but needs to improve his hitting to see extended time.
One catcher that has impressed so far in spring training is Lucas May. Though spring stats don’t really mean too much, they are important for players on the bubble. May is hitting .313 in 16 at-bats, including two doubles and three RBI.
But even the outs he’s made, he consistently hits the ball hard.
May has been a career minor-leaguer since 2007. He didn’t appear in more than seven MLB games until last season, when he played in 14 games for the Kansas City Royals.
It may still be a little early to anoint May as the team’s backup catcher. Collins will give Nickeas every opportunity to win the spot, but if May continues to impress, it likely won’t go unnoticed.
Having a little pop at the catcher’s position is always a plus. Thole has shown he can be a good contact hitter, but May can be called on to pinch hit late in games and then remain behind the dish.
We were spoiled all those years with having an offensive-minded catcher like Piazza. Of course, even the combination of Thole and Nickeas or Thole and May wouldn’t be expected to produce like Piazza.
But it’s that the team got from production from the catcher’s spot. May could be a sleeper pick to crack the roster.