Both Walker and Cabrera are expected to be free agents after this upcoming season, but even if both of them decide to leave the Mets after this year, the Mets could still have one of the better middle infields in baseball due to the fact that the Mets have two young promising prospects high in their farm system entering 2017 in Gavin Cecchini and Amed Rosario.
It was just five years ago when the New York Mets selected Gavin Cecchini, a 19-year-old shortstop from Lake Charles, Louisiana in the first round of the 2012 MLB draft. At the time, Cecchini was expected to be the Mets long-term solution at shortstop. However, Amed Rosario has burst on the scene and has quickly become the Mets more promising shortstop in their farm system, giving Cecchini some competition to be the long-term shortstop for the Mets.
During the same 2012 season, the Mets signed shortstop Amed Rosario as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic. Rosario has burst onto the scene and has quickly become the Mets more promising shortstop in their farm system, giving Cecchini some competition to be the long-term shortstop for the Mets.
Rosario, now 21 years old, is expected to start off the 2017 season in Triple-A Las Vegas after having a monster 2016 season in Double-A Binghamton and High Single-A Port St. Lucie. He batted .324 with five home runs, 71 RBIs, a .833 OPS, and 19 stolen bases in 120 total games last season at both levels combined.
The Mets have not had a young talented long-term shortstop since Jose Reyes first got called up in 2003, but now the Mets have seemed to once again have found a long-term solution at shortstop in Rosario who is expected to be a very similar player to what Reyes was in his prime. Rosario is expected to be a great defender at shortstop with great speed on the base paths and can get on base and score some runs.
Despite being natural shortstops, Cecchini and Rosario could still both be everyday big league players for the Mets as soon as 2018, as Rosario would remain at shortstop, while Cecchini could spend most of his 2017 season in Triple-A trying to make the transition from shortstop to second base.
After the Mets traded their top second base prospect Dilson Herrera to the Cincinnati Reds at the trade deadline last season in the trade that sent Jay Bruce to the Mets, the Mets were left without a player in their farm system who could be a candidate to be the Mets long-term solution at second base.
It is no secret that Cecchini has the potential to be a great big league hitter, the main issue is his defense and giving him one more year in Triple-A could help improve that.
Cecchini has progressed very nicely the past couple of seasons in the Mets farm system, batting over .315 with an OPS over .815, while striking out less than 60 times in over 105 games each of the last two years in Binghamton and Las Vegas. Cecchini is not expected to be much of a power threat at the plate, but he is capable of making solid contact and putting the ball in play on a consistent basis.
If Cecchini has no problem with the transition from shortstop to second base, and Amed Rosario continues to show progress in Triple-A this season, 2018 could be the beginning of a very solid infield duo the Mets could have for a long time.