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Mets Player Performance Meter: Position players, September 13-19

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

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

After an exciting Subway Series in which the Mets took two out of three from the Yankees and the bats appeared to stir from their season-long slumber, it turned out that was perhaps merely some sleepwalking on the offense’s part. This week, presented with a golden opportunity against two teams they were chasing in the standings, the Mets came out completely flat and rolled over with the bats returning to a comatose state. The Mets were swept by the Cardinals and then dropped two of the first three in their weekend series against the Phillies before finally eking out a victory on Sunday. Many of the players who were hot have cooled off some, but if there is anything positive to take away from this meter it’s that Jeff McNeil and Dominic Smith are looking a little closer to themselves—hopefully a little nugget of optimism the Mets can take away into the offseason if their hot streaks persist.

Since I mentioned Jeff McNeil and Dominic Smith taking positive steps forward this week, let’s start with them. In the only game the Mets won this week, the team received contributions from both of them. McNeil delivered the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning that proved to be the decisive run for the Mets. It was McNeil’s first home run since August 1 and just his seventh home run of the season. That was McNeil’s only RBI this week, but his four runs scored lead the team this week and he shares the team lead in hits with six. And perhaps most importantly, half of those hits went for extra bases. Overall, McNeil posted a 118 wRC+ in 22 plate appearances this week, which is nothing spectacular, but it is one of the better weeks he’s had this season, which says something about how his season has gone.

It was Smith’s RBI double in the fifth inning (McNeil crossed the plate with one of those two runs) that tied the game for the Mets on Sunday. One of the forgotten men on the Mets, Smith amassed just six plate appearances this week, but he logged hits in half of them, including two extra base hits. And Smith’s three RBIs for the week share the team lead with two players who had far more plate appearances than him this week, which probably says more about how the team performed this week than it does about Smith. Nevertheless, it was a positive week for Dom.

The other player that scored on Smith’s double was Tomás Nido, who doubled after McNeil singled to keep the rally going. That double and run scored unfortunately are the extent of Nido’s production this week over six plate appearances. Nido’s catching companion James McCann was even worse, posting a -31 wRC+ over 16 plate appearances this week, earning him a poop emoji. He had just two hits this week—both singles.

One of the few players who had been hot in recent weeks who has not cooled off is Javier Báez. Okay, he has cooled off a little bit. But he leads the team this week among players with ten or more plate appearances with a 154 wRC+ in 26 plate appearances. He is also one of the three players to collect six hits this week, one of which was a game-tying home run in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s backbreaking extra-inning loss. Two of Báez’s three RBIs for the week came in Tuesday’s game and that home run was one of two runs he scored this week. Somehow, Báez also leads the team in walks this week with six—more than twice that of anybody else. I guess pitchers just aren’t interested in giving the red hot Báez many pitches to hit right now.

Francisco Lindor’s bat is one that did cool considerably from last week’s torrid week at the plate. However, Lindor still posted a respectable 90 wRC+ this week over 26 plate appearances. He rounds out the triumvirate of players with McNeil and Báez who share the team lead with six hits this week, but he walked half as many times as Báez did (3) and his only extra base hit this week was not a homer. Lindor scored three runs and drove in one this week.

Pete Alonso still finds himself in the green despite having a below-average Pete Alonso week. A 115 wRC+ over 26 plate appearances is certainly solid and enough to earn the up arrow, but it is not what we are used to seeing from the Polar Bear lately. Alonso amassed five hits, three of which were singles, three walks, two runs scored, and two RBIs. Alonso homered—a solo shot—in Wednesday’s lopsided loss. It was his 33rd home run of the season, which is obviously not his rookie year pace, but still leads the Mets by far and ties Bryce Harper for fourth in the National League.

This week saw the return of Brandon Nimmo from the injured list and he collected three hits in his 13 plate appearances this week, but uncharacteristically no walks. But as two of those three hits were for extra bases, including a home run, that’s still good for a 120 wRC+ over that span. That home run came in the eighth inning of Saturday’s game, but it was too little, too late for a comeback. That was Nimmo’s only RBI this week, but he scored three runs. José Peraza returned from the injured list as well this week and he hit an RBI single in one of his two plate appearances.

Jonathan Villar, who had been filling in as the Mets’ leadoff hitter in Nimmo’s absence, continues to struggle for the second straight week. In fact, I considered slapping a poop emoji on him for his 7 wRC+ in 24 plate appearances this week, but out of the goodness of my heart, I did not do so because he did at least score a run this week. He collected three hits—all singles—and walked twice this week. Unfortunately, J.D. Davis, who would be seeing those at-bats at third base, did not do much better this week. In seven plate appearances this week, Davis collected two hits. He did not score any runs or drive any in.

Michael Conforto went from the green to the red this week as well, posting a 47 wRC+ over 26 plate appearances this week. But he does share the team lead with Dominic Smith and Javy Báez with three RBIs, low of a bar as that may be. Two of those RBIs came in Tuesday’s extra-inning loss and they both put the Mets ahead at the time. He got them on the board with an RBI single in the first and then notched a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fifth. His other RBI came in Friday’s one-run loss—an RBI double in a late-inning rally that ultimately came up short.

Conforto was driven in that inning by Kevin Pillar, whose RBI double brought the Mets within a run in the eighth inning, but they could not complete the comeback. Overall, Pillar put up a 101 wRC+ over 16 plate appearances this week. His other extra base hit this week came in the form of a home run in Wednesday’s lopsided loss. He collected four hits this week in total.

Luis Guillorme had two plate appearances this week and Albert Almora Jr. had one and they each failed to reach base over those combined three at-bats.