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Mets Player Performance Meter: Position players, August 2-9

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

MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Folks, I’m not going to tell you what the Mets’ record was this week because you already know and why should I depress you more than I already am about to on this Monday afternoon? Every game this week ended with a pretty tight score and it was truly the failure of the position players as a collective to hit with runners on that has been the key part of this tumble into third place in the NL East. As I loaded up the old trusty Fangraphs dot com hitting splits for the team this week, I had to actually brace myself as the page was loading because I knew it was going to be bad. And yes, it’s bad. The Mets hit .189 as a team this week with a 73 wRC+.

Having seen that, I debated just giving everyone poop emojis across the board and moving on with my day. Because I am an agent of chaos.

But out of pure benevolence and mercy on my part, I’m not going to do that. But I will say that the overall position player grade is a big giant poop, despite the fact that breaking it down by player somewhat masks the gigantic team-wide failure this week.

This meter is not as ugly as it easily could be on the whole because, as I alluded to, the overall stats for each player mask the main problem, which is the lack of run production. Nobody on the team has more than four RBIs for the week because nobody is hitting with runners in scoring position. The only player with halfway decent numbers this week period is Michael Conforto, who is rocking a respectable 149 wRC+ this week in 25 plate appearances. But this is with him starting to be shielded by Luis Rojas from tough lefties, who the Mets have struggled to hit all year as a group. Conforto’s five walks helped him on his way to an even .400 on-base percentage for the week, despite collecting only five hits. But like most of the players on the team, the number of runs scored (3) and RBIs (1) are underwhelming. Conforto hit only one home run this week—the first of the back-to-back-to-back homers the Mets hit in the ninth inning against the Phillies on Saturday in the comeback attempt that fell short.

The next of those home runs was hit by Jonathan Villar, who leads the team this week with four RBIs, mostly because he hit two home runs this week—the only player on the team with multiple long balls for the week—which also represent his only two runs scored for the week. But four RBIs is a pretty low bar to clear. Overall, Villar posted an 80 wRC+ in 23 plate appearances this week with a .182 batting average. With Javier Báez’s status unknown at present, Villar is currently the only player on the roster who can play shortstop, so you could say things are going well for the Mets.

Speaking of Javier Báez, his overall numbers this week are poor: a 57 wRC+ in 28 plate appearances with five hits, two walks, three runs scored, and an RBI. But that RBI was critical; it came on a home run that turned out to be the decisive blow in the Mets’ only victory for the week. So although Báez has not exactly been tearing the cover off the ball since becoming a Met, he has played a crucial role in almost every Mets victory since arriving (although there haven’t been many of those to speak of). If he is sidelined for a lengthy period due to the hip tightness that forced his exit from yesterday’s game, that spells even more trouble for the Mets.

The third of the three consecutive homers in Saturday’s unsuccessful ninth inning comeback belonged to James McCann, but it was one of only two hits he had the entire week. To be fair, his other hit was also an RBI hit—a double in yet another unsuccessful comeback attempt in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s game. But that’s it for his production this week and his 14 wRC+ over 18 plate appearances earns him a poop emoji for this meter.

The other poop emoji recipient this week is Kevin Pillar, who had just one hit (a single) in eleven plate appearances this week. Due to a combination of Brandon Nimmo needing to rest for a few days due to tweaking his hamstring and the Mets facing a bevy of left-handed starters of late, Pillar has had a lot of opportunities, but simply has come up short in the second half so far. He now carries a 12 wRC+ for the month of August and a 30 wRC+ for the second half. Woof.

It’s pretty funny that the two players that received poop emojis last week are two of the only up arrows on this week’s meter. Besides Conforto, the only regular who put up somewhat respectable numbers this week is J.D. Davis and “regular” is probably a loose term for him at this point. Despite collecting only three hits for the week, Davis walked six times, which is second-most on the team for the week and helped propel him to a 117 wRC+ for the week. Davis also scored two runs and drove in one this week.

Aside from Conforto and Davis, the only up arrow to be found on this meter is Albert Almora Jr., who was recalled this week from Triple-A and got three hits in his five plate appearances this week. He also scored a run. He’ll likely hang around for a bit, especially if Javier Báez spends some time on the injured list or if Kevin Pillar continues to be ineffective.

It’s been a weird week for Pete Alonso. And not really in a good way. There is no way his .083 batting average for the week can be construed as good. After a post-All Star Break hot streak, his bat has gone cold again. But his eight walks for the week lead the team, partially because even when he is going bad, in a lineup that is struggling to score runs, he is still seen as the biggest threat. His solo homer in Monday’s game is his only RBI for the week, but he also just missed a homer in Sunday’s game, hitting a ball to the deepest part in center field that came up just shy, which is the type of thing that happens when your team is on a losing streak. Like most Mets hitters right now, he is simply missing on the fastball, even in the zone, which is not a good sign. Overall, Alonso posted a 59 wRC+ in 32 plate appearances this week.

The team leader in hits this week is actually Dominic Smith with seven, despite carrying a 60 wRC+ for the week. That is because all but one of his hits were singles and he did not draw any walks this week. Sadly, Smith’s three RBIs this week are second to Villar for the team lead. And two of those three RBIs came on sacrifice flies—both in Tuesday’s loss to the Marlins.

Jeff McNeil matches Smith’s mediocre 60 wRC+ over 24 plate appearances this week. Three of McNeil’s four hits went for extra bases and he scored two runs, but was otherwise unproductive. It’s possible he’s still suffering from the effects of the leg fatigue he has been dealing with for the past couple of weeks, but really the entire lineup just looks fatigued at the moment.

Brandon Nimmo is still drawing walks from the leadoff spot; he has five of them this week. But even his hot bat has cooled off, to the tune of an 87 wRC+ this week and a .360 on-base percentage, which is under his usual .400 mark. The fact that the Mets’ leadoff hitter has just one run scored this week speaks volumes. As Sunday’s game demonstrated, even when Nimmo gets on, the Mets have not been driving him in.

Brandon Drury could not carry on his fireball ways forever and it seems his raging hot streak is over. He did have two hits and two RBIs in nine plate appearances though, which is more than much of the rest of the lineup can say for themselves, including Tomás Nido, who had just one hit and a walk in his eight plate appearances this week. Nido’s RBI this week came on a fielder’s choice in the Mets’ three-run first inning in Wednesday’s victory.