When the Mets traded for Francisco Lindor back in January, it was a franchise-altering move. The team was bringing in a 27-year-old superstar with an opportunity to extend him for the long term, which it did shortly before the 2021 season got underway.
What transpired in Lindor’s first year with the Mets was something of a mixed bag, primarily because of a very slow start at the plate. From the beginning of the season through the end of May, Lindor hit just .194/.294/.294 with four home runs and a 70 wRC+. He played his usual brand of excellent defense at shortstop and was an upbeat, vocal member of the team throughout those struggles, but as has been the case with some other big new arrivals in Queens in the past, he wasn’t quite himself as a hitter in the early going.
From June 1 through the end of the season, though, Lindor looked like his usual self as a hitter. He put up a .252/.340/.482 line with 16 home runs and a 124 wRC+, but he missed a chunk of time beginning in mid-July because of an oblique injury. He and Jacob deGrom hit the injured list around the same time, and unsurprisingly, the Mets’ season unsurprisingly took a turn for the worse shortly afterwards.
In total, Lindor had a .230/.322/.412 line on the season with 2.7 fWAR and 3.1 bWAR. Per Statcast, his defensive work at short rate at 20 outs above average, the second-highest for any defender—at any position—in all of baseball and the second-best mark among shortstops.
While Lindor didn’t have an MVP-caliber season—something he’s certainly capable of doing—he was by no means bad. And no matter what he does moving forward, some will harp on his contract at every turn for the rest of his tenure with the Mets. But he turned things around at the plate during the season, still looked fantastic in the field, and will only turn 28 later this month. Given Steve Cohen’s billions, Lindor’s salary should hardly be a concern among Mets fans, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him put together a much stronger season from start to finish next year.