Remember when everyone was ready to cut ties with Adrian González before he had seen a single pitch in the 2018 regular season?
All González has done this week is hit a game-turning grand slam against the Mets' biggest division rival, make a game-saving pick to ensure a sweep in Washington, and on Wednesday night, come through with an eventual game winning, two-run single off a lefty. That totals up to seven RBIs in his last three games. Through New York's first 11 contests of the season, he's got a slash line of .296/.406/.444.
Oh, and the Mets are paying him the league minimum to do all this.
Look, I get it. Every fans loves their team's prospects. González being in the lineup means that Dom Smith is stuck at Vegas, whether he's healthy or not. And now, with Michael Conforto back in the lineup, it also means Brandon Nimmo and his .600 OBP are sitting down on the farm, too. But if Adrian Freakin' González has something left in the tank (and, albeit in a small sample size, it certainly looks like he does), then he's your first baseman.
Thus far, not only does El Titán look every bit of his old self on the field, but he's meshed beautifully inside a clubhouse that Todd Frazier said earlier this week is the best he's ever been in. If he's not modeling Salt and Pepper shirts, he's rocking a custom handshake with Asdrúbal Cabrera. It's the kind of veteran leadership this team needs; an attitude that permeates deep into a team's culutre that allows them to be calm in times of panic, be patient and capitalize on their opportunities when they finally get them, and fight back when they're down: all qualities the Mets have shown during this 10-1 start.
This is why fans can't get so obsessed with "blocking" a prospect, or giving up on a guy because his bat speed "seems slow" in Spring Training. And that especially applies if one of your division rivals is paying that player $21.8 million to win ballgames for you. Imagine if A-Gon was off to this type of start, and the Mets had passed him over? Everyone would be killing them for not jumping at a chance to get an All Star caliber bat at a position of uncertainty for $500,000.
This doesn't mean that González is destined to sustain this level of play, or that Dom might not unseat him at some point this season. But what it does show is that not everything is as certain as some fans, and even some executives inside the game, make it out to be. Each player is unique, and some situations just perfectly allow the right piece to showcase his strengths. It's only 11 games, but so far, the Mets and A-Gon look suited for one another, and that's a good thing, no matter who it leaves in Las Vegas.
Not only did it seal the victory, Yoenis Céspedes' monster grand slam taught Mets fans a lesson worth remembering this season: Don't panic over a couple of losses. Not with this team.