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Mets Player Performance Meter: Position Players, April 8-14

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A quick review of how the Mets’ position players fared over the past week.

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

The Mets had an even .500 record this week, splitting a two-game series with the Twins and a four-game series with the Braves. But, with the exception of last night when they only scored three runs, they scored at least six runs in each of the other five games they played this week. As a unit, the offense is firing on nearly all cylinders. The Mets have averaged 6.07 runs per game in this young season so far, which is the fourth best mark in baseball.

The most notable shift from last week to this week has been Brandon Nimmo breaking out of his early season slump in a big way. He’s still striking out a lot, but his strikeout rate dropped from nearly 50% in the first couple of weeks of the season to 32% this week—still well above his career numbers, but slightly less alarming. More importantly though, Nimmo is getting base hits and extra base hits at that. He is tied for the team lead in hits this week with nine and his 228 wRC+ for the week leads the team. He hit two home runs, drove in five runs, and scored seven times this week and has accrued 0.5 fWAR this week alone.

The other Met with nine hits this week is Jeff McNeil, who is continuing to get on base at a torrid clip. He looks exactly like the Jeff McNeil we saw last year—he doesn’t walk much, he barely ever strikes out, and he gets a lot of hits. He has a .383 batting average through almost 50 at-bats so far this season, which is second only to Dominic Smith for the team lead. He holds a 133 wRC+ this week with three runs scored and five driven in.

Michael Conforto has stayed scorching hot with the bat as well, making all of the predictions of a breakout year look pretty darn good right about now. Conforto posted a 186 wRC+ this week and led the team in walks with seven. Of his six hits this week, five went for extra bases, including one home run. He also scored four runs, drove in five, and stole a base this week.

Not surprisingly, the only Met to best Nimmo in the home run category this week is the polar bear himself, Pete Alonso, who continues to be an absolute phenomenon. He collected four extra base hits this week, three of them home runs. His 196 wRC+ for the week is second only to Nimmo for the team lead. His six RBIs are tied for the team lead for the week.

The only other Met to drive in six runs this week is Amed Rosario, who had himself a great week at the plate after struggling the first two weeks of the season. While he is never going to be as patient of a hitter as someone like Nimmo, Rosario has already demonstrated a lot more plate discipline this year and that is beginning to pay dividends in the form of him getting more pitches to hit. He collected seven hits and two walks this week, good for a 118 wRC+. While that’s not as flashy as the likes of Conforto or Alonso, the Mets would take a 118 wRC+ from Rosario all day, especially if he continues to show improvement defensively at shortstop, which has already been very noticeable in 2019.

Eventually, we do have to discuss the one blaring weak spot among the regulars in the lineup, which is Robinson Cano, whose struggles at the plate continue. He posted just a 31 wRC+ for the week. He had three hits in 24 plate appearances this week, walked three times, scored three runs, and drove in two. Notably though, Cano has also been hitting into a bit of bad luck, driving some balls hard that have been caught. There is no way he’ll continue to have a .188 BABIP all season.

Speaking of BABIP, Wilson Ramos has cooled off a bit after a hot start. He’s been running a pretty high BABIP all season, hitting the ball hard on the ground—especially the other way—and finding holes. This has worked well for the Mets in RBI situations, but he has yet to hit for any power this year; he does not have a home run yet this season. He posted an 88 wRC+ this week, collecting three hits—all singles—and five walks. He drove in two runs and scored two runs this week.

The Mets’ backup catcher, Travis d’Arnaud, returned from the injured list at the very end of last week, so this is his first full week of play after getting Tommy John surgery last year. He caught two games this week—Tuesday’s game against the Twins and Saturday’s game in Atlanta. Neither were particularly good days for the Mets. On Tuesday, he went 0-for-5, leaving six men on base, and Jacob deGrom struggled on the mound. Saturday was a better day at the plate; d’Arnaud had a hit, an RBI, and scored a run. But of course that was also the day that Jason Vargas didn’t get out of the first inning and Corey Oswalt did not fare much better. Things can probably only go up from here for d’Arnaud.

J.D. Davis continues to be an extremely useful hitter for the Mets, providing offense from the right side against left-handed pitching, giving the Mets the opportunity to rest their big bats on days when a lefty is on the mound. In fifteen plate appearances this week, he posted a 166 wRC+. He collected two hits, one of them a home run, walked five times, and scored two runs. His solo home run yesterday was his only RBI this week.

Of the Juan Lagares/Keon Broxton defensive center field duo, Lagares has had the better week at the plate. He had three hits in eight at-bats, walked twice, scored a run, and drove in two. Meanwhile, Broxton posted just a 51 wRC+ in his 13 plate appearances this week. He did, however, steal two bases this week, the only Met to steal more than one base. Both have proven to be assets defensively in center field, which is exactly why they are on the roster.

With Todd Frazier close to returning from the disabled list, it seems that Luis Guillorme is the most likely candidate to be sent down, especially given that the Mets have indicated they intend to use Frazier as the backup shortstop when needed. Guillorme has had very few opportunities to play, mostly being used as a defensive replacement late in games. Guillorme is hitless in five at-bats this week. He scored one run as a pinch runner for Robinson Cano in Wednesday’s victory.