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Mets Player Performance Meter: Position players, July 12-21

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A quick review of how the Mets’ position players have fared since the All-Star break.

New York Mets v San Francisco Giants Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Welcome to the first edition of Player Performance Meters in the second half of 2019. This week’s meters encompass the slightly larger sample size of nine games the Mets have played since the All-Star break. Over that span, the Mets went 5-4, taking two of three from the Marlins, sweeping a two-game series from the Twins, and losing three of four to the Giants, all in walk-off fashion. In many ways, this stretch of play since the break has taken a very Metsian arc, with the Mets coming out of the gate looking just good enough to suck you back in and then pulling the rug out from under you just when you were perhaps ready to believe again. That said, the position player meter doesn’t look quite as bad this week as one would perhaps believe going in, given the frustrating lack of offense in many of these games—the most recent series in particular. However, a couple of the Mets’ wins in the past ten days were lopsided ones in which the Mets scored double-digit runs, and the overall offensive numbers reflect that.

It is quite stark to see a down arrow for Pete Alonso at the very top of this table. I believe it may be the first down arrow I’ve given him this season and if it isn’t, there certainly haven’t been that many. I was, in fact, tempted to give him the side arrow despite his .118 batting average since the break because, despite that, he is still second on the team in RBIs over that span with seven. This is mostly due to the fact that of the few hits he did have, three of them were home runs, which of course, leads the team. However, a 66 wRC+ and a 34.1% strikeout rate over 41 plate appearances are hard to ignore. The fact of the matter is that Alonso is in his first real slump of 2019. Slumps happen to everyone, including potential Rookie of the Year candidates.

Slumps happen to everyone, that is, unless your name is Jeff McNeil. Although given his overall numbers for the season, a .268 batting average over 44 plate appearances could perhaps constitute a slump. Since the break, he has posted a 114 wRC+ with two home runs and five RBIs. He also stole a base and scored eight runs, which is second on the team. He is also tied for second on the team in hits, with eleven.

The player who leads the team in both runs scored and hits since the break is Amed Rosario with nine and 14, respectively. He earns the fireball for his team-leading 212 wRC+. It’s been by far Rosario’s hottest stretch of the season. He’s also hit two home runs since the break, bringing his total for the season up to 11. He also drove in four runs and stole a base. Not only is Rosario collecting his hits with regularity these days, he also is walking more and striking out less—certainly an encouraging trend to see. He carries an 8.1% walk rate and a 13.5% strikeout rate in the second half so far.

The other player to collect eleven hits along with Jeff McNeil is Michael Conforto, who came into the break ice cold, but has shown signs of breaking out over the past nine games. His .297/.350/.459 slash line since the break is buoyed in part by his four-hit game against the Twins on Tuesday. Of his eleven hits, two are home runs. He’s also walked twice, scored four runs, and driven in five, posting a 118 wRC+ since the break. McNeil boasts a spectacular catch in the field as well in yesterday’s game.

Robinson Cano’s production has also ticked up since the break and is beginning to trend in the right direction. He holds an unremarkable 106 wRC+ since the break, but is slugging .500—four of his nine hits have gone for extra bases. He has scored six runs, driven in four, and walked once.

Despite his .222 batting average and 80 wRC+ over the past nine games, Dominic Smith leads the team in RBIs since the break with eight. He collected six hits—including two home runs—and scored four runs. However, he is starting to become exposed in the outfield with regular play there, committing an error that cost the Mets a game in the Giants series. He bounced back the next day with a 3-for-5 day with four RBIs in the Mets’ lopsided victory on Saturday.

Smith has been sharing time in left field with J.D. Davis, who has hit very well since the break, posting a 128 wRC+ over 29 plate appearances. His .370 batting average over that span is second only to Rosario for the team lead. He collected ten hits and drew two walks. Unfortunately, nine of those ten hits were singles and didn’t result in much run production. He has driven in only one run since the break and scored two. That said, Davis continues to be one of the Mets’ under the radar success stories this season.

Todd Frazier—who the Mets are perhaps trying to showcase for trade, due to his expiring contract—has unfortunately scuffled since the break, hitting .194 over 39 plate appearances. However, the majority of his seven hits have been extra-base hits and therefore he holds an 82 wRC+ over that span. He has walked three times, driven in three runs, and scored six runs over the past nine games.

The Mets’ catching contingent has not fared well since the break. Wilson Ramos has put up an abysmal 21 wRC+ over 32 plate appearances and hasn’t scored a single run in the second half. He has only two RBIs. In addition to his five hits, he has walked three times. Tomas Nido hasn’t exactly fared any better. He has one hit and two walks in twelve plate appearances since the break.

Given that the Mets played in three extra inning games in the Giants series, Adeiny Hechavarria has seen quite a few plate appearances since the All-Star break. He posted a 63 wRC+ over 22 plate appearances, collecting five hits, three runs scored, and two RBIs. However, there is no denying his utility as a defensive replacement, as he continues to look good in the field.

Unsurprisingly, with Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis now somewhat permanent fixtures in the outfield for the Mets, Juan Lagares still is not seeing much playing time—nor has he exactly earned it. He has one hit and one walk in five plate appearances over seven games since the break. It is also worth noting that Luis Guillorme appeared in two games and had one hit and one walk before being sent back down on Friday in favor of an extra pitcher in the aftermath of the Mets’ sixteen-inning game.