The Mets recently welcomed catcher Chance Sisco to the big league roster and bid adieu to struggling outfielder Albert Almora.
Both were once top prospects who have yet to live up to their promise.
Sisco has been in the majors since 2016, slashing .199/.319/.339 in 191 career games. With the Orioles this season, he hit just .154/.247/.185 in 23 games before being selected off waivers by the Mets in June.
But there is a glimmer of hope for Sisco. Despite his offensive struggles, he usually performs well in the minors (never mind his .207 average this year) and was twice selected to the Futures Game.
Encouragingly, he knows how to get on base, posting a career .383 on-base percentage on the farm and, as recently as last season, a .364 mark in the majors.
That bodes well for the 26-year-old, who has yet to enter his prime and who arrives in New York with three .300 seasons in the professional ranks under his belt.
At the very least, he shores up a team’s catching contingent that is in disarray, with starter James McCann batting .240 with an OBP barely over .300, backup Tomas Nido – currently on the Injured List – hitting .231 and career minor leaguer Patrick Mazeika managing a .276 average that is bound to regress.
Optimally the Mets have caught lightning in a bottle – again, as Brandon Drury certainly fits that description, as well – and perhaps they did. Sisco collected a hit and RBI in his first Mets at-bat.
As for Almora, his tenure with the Mets has been nothing but a complete failure.
Once a sixth overall pick, he was once a wunderkind, making Baseball Prospectus’ and Major League Baseball’s top prospect lists five years in a row – peaking at number 18 on both – and Baseball America’s list thrice, peaking at number 33 there.
And it almost seemed like he’d live up to the hype. In his second big league season, 2017, he hit .298 in 299 at-bats and the next year – his first with significant starting time – he batted .286.
But the wheels fell off the cart.
Then Almora arrived in New York.
And the cart fell apart.
In 47 at-bats with the Mets, he’s batted just .128. His longest hitting streak is one game. He’s gotten a hit in just three of the 39 games he’s played.
Each year, New York keeps at least one struggling outfielder around way too long. In 2020, they let Billy Hamilton, who hit .045, steal 17 games and 22 at-bats from a more deserving player. In 2019, they had Carlos Gomez (89 AB, .198 BA), Keon Broxton (49 AB, .143 BA) and Aaron Altherr (31 AB, .129 BA). In 2018, they brought back former prospect Matt den Dekker and gave him 18 at-bats, just to hit .000. And this year, in addition to Almora, they had Cameron Maybin, who went 1-for-28 (.036 BA).
Trotting the same mediocrity out day after day just breeds the same mediocre results.
New York threw Almora at the wall. He didn’t stick. Time to try something new.
Hey, Mark Payton’s hitting .317 at Syracuse. Give him a shot.