Mets Now View Jaylen Palmer As An Outfielder
Jaylen Palmer began the 2021 season regarded as a potential infielder, but it has become clear to the Mets his future is in the outfield.
The 21-year-old Palmer played 44 games last year in center field and this spring will likely receive most of his reps at that position. A 22nd-round pick in 2018 from Holy Cross High in Flushing, N.Y.—within walking distance to Citi Field—the 6-foot-4 Palmer’s raw athleticism is enticing.
“He’s a big kid, but he is a greyhound,” a Mets talent evaluator said. “He can run. He has a great body. He takes instruction well. It’s just a matter of him taking routes and getting with the roving outfield instructor and developing that, because he’s got tools.”
Palmer was drafted as a shortstop and moved to third base, but concerns about his throwing fueled the move to the outfield.
“His throwing mechanics, he sometimes has good feel and sometimes comes over the top too much, so he’s not like the prototypical infielder,” the talent evaluator said.
Palmer displayed his speed by stealing 30 bases in 36 attempts last season. At the plate he hit .244/.354/.368 with six home runs in 105 games split between Low-A St. Lucie and High-A Brooklyn.
“He’s got good power. He’s got good sound off the bat," the talent evaluator said. "That is what kind of lit us up is the way he can hit. The thump that he gives a baseball.”
The talent evaluator surmised Palmer’s attempt to pull the ball led to a year of transition offensively.
“He didn’t develop as well as I thought he would develop offensively last year,” the evaluator said. “I think some of the stuff he is working on affected his overall approach.
"(There were) a lot of strikeouts, pulling off the ball, trying to pull the ball a lot more. That’s the new way of doing things, (but) he’s got plenty of pop in his bat, plenty of strength. He’s a gap-to-gap type hitter and develop that first.”