Mets’ Ronny Mauricio thrives in second game after strong debut

Ronny Mauricio had to wait until the final month of the regular season to get a taste of the majors, and he’s not wasting any time making his presence felt.

After opening eyes with a 117.3 mph double to right in his debut Friday, Mauricio followed it up with two more hits in Saturday’s 8-7 loss to Seattle at Citi Field — including a 110 mph single to center in the fourth off Luis Castillo.

Mauricio also swiped his first base, stealing second with one out in the third following his first hit in the game.

The game ended with Mauricio in the on-deck circle.

And though the 22-year-old is still learning how to play second base, he’s doing well enough that he combined with Francisco Lindor for a double play for a second straight game.

Lindor said he’s liked what he’s seen from Mauricio at second, a position he only picked up this season at Triple-A Syracuse.

Ronny Mauricio steals second base during the third inning of the Mets’ 8-7 win over the Mariners.
Robert Sabo for New York Post

“He was very composed,’’ Lindor said before the game. “He was very slow — in a good way — in the field.”

Though Lindor liked the way Mauricio started a double play on a grounder to second by Mike Ford in the second, the veteran shortstop chose to focus on a play later in the game that he believed showed better why Mauricio has the physical and mental ability to become a good second baseman.

With a runner on first in the top of the ninth, Francisco Alvarez threw behind the runner to Pete Alonso in an attempted pickoff.

“I saw two guys moving on that play besides Pete,’’ Lindor said. “Jeff [McNeil] in right field and Mauricio was going at the same time to back up the play.”

As Lindor noted, few people probably even noticed Mauricio’s actions, since “nothing happened because Pete caught it.”

Ronny Mauricio rips a single during the fourth inning of the Mets' loss.
Ronny Mauricio rips a single during the fourth inning of the Mets’ loss.
Robert Sabo for New York Post

But if the throw had gotten away from Alonso, Mauricio or McNeil would have been there.

“That play said a lot because it shows he’s in the game and in the moment,” Lindor said. “He’s not thinking about anything else. He’s reacting to what’s happening in front of him. For a guy who’s not a second baseman, that’s impressive.”

The Mets hope Mauricio does become a second baseman. And his 117.3 mph line drive double to right was also promising.

He was back at second Saturday night, though Buck Showalter said Mauricio’s value as a potential multi-positional player — like McNeil — is too valuable to have him just play second for the rest of the season.

“You’re always an injury away from something,” Showalter said. “If and when he’s on a major league roster all year, you see what Jeff is able to do for us. We like that versatility. At your best, you’d like to be able to move pieces around and not sacrifice defense.’’

Before his promotion from Triple-A Syracuse on Friday, Mauricio played shortstop and second base, as well as left field and two games at third base this season.

Ronny Mauricio throws to first base to complete a double play during the first inning of the Mets' loss.
Ronny Mauricio throws to first base to complete a double play during the first inning of the Mets’ loss.
Robert Sabo for New York Post

He played only second base in his final two weeks in the minors and acknowledged it would be challenging bouncing around on defense in the majors.

Lindor said he intended to work with Mauricio as he gets to know him better. They were together a bit during spring training, when Mauricio was still playing short.

Since Lindor has that spot locked down in Queens for the next decade, if Mauricio is going to remain a Met, he’s going to have to be flexible, which it appears he is.

“It’s very encouraging to see a young player do whatever it takes to stay up here,’’ Lindor said. “And he wants to win. I don’t care if you’re a first overall pick or signed for $5,000 out of the Dominican Republic, show me you want to win. The first day, he showed he did.”

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