NEW YORK—Outfielder Desmond Lindsay did not get on the field with short-season Brooklyn until July 23 because of a hamstring strain he suffered in extended spring training, before the New York-Penn League team broke camp in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Linsday ultimately hit .297/.418/.450 with nine extra-base hits and 20 walks in 32 games. He started 29 games in center field and three more at DH.
His on-base percentage would have ranked second in the NYPL behind only State College catcher Jeremy Martinez (.419), a Cardinals fourth-round pick from Southern California, but Lindsay fell well short of the required 205 plate appearances. He nonetheless reached base safely in all but two games in 2016 thanks to an average (.297) and walk rate (14.9 percent) that ranked among the best in the league.
“I got to experience (the NYPL) last year a little bit,” said Lindsay, referring to his 14 games at Brooklyn in 2015 after the Mets made him a second-round pick out of high school in Sarasota, Fla.
“I think this year was a little bit better because—I wouldn’t say I was more focused—but I just knew what to expect. So I really could focus more on playing baseball and not be nervous about all the other stuff, (such as) being in New York and all the distractions and playing in front of fans.”
Linsday, who turns 20 in 2017, had twice dealt with hamstring injuries that kept him idle prior to being drafted. The Mets have suggested the injuries may have prompted him to fall to the 53rd overall pick. Lindsay said the hamstring strain did not seem to linger much once he joined the Cyclones.
“Just some typical tightness,” Lindsay said, “but for the most part it was good.”
Lindsay played mostly third base on travel teams as an amateur, but the Mets shifted him to the center field. He said his improvement there was the thing he felt best about in 2016.
“Just because it’s a new position,” Lindsay said. “I just want to make sure every year I’m making the right steps forward and progressing.”
NEW YORK MINUTES
• The Mets promoted manager Pedro Lopez from Double-A Binghamton to Triple-A Las Vegas, where he will succeed departed Wally Backman. The 51s retain pitching coach Frank Viola and hitting coach Jack Voigt.