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Mets Player Performance Meter: Position players, September 26-October 5

A quick review of how the Mets’ position players fared over the final eight games of the regular season.

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Mets Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Well, folks. We’ve reached the final set of meters for the regular season. I don’t need to rehash in excruciating detail what happened in the final week and a half of the regular season. After splitting a two-game series with the Marlins, the Mets were swept in Atlanta, squandering the NL East crown. They bounced back by sweeping the Nationals and ended the season with the same record as the Braves, but had to settle for a Wild Card. The offense feasted on the Nationals pitching staff and thus this final meter looks pretty positive overall. Notable highlights include an exciting culmination of The Month of Escobar, Francisco Álvarez’s major league debut, and Jeff McNeil’s tear down the stretch to claim the batting title.

We’ll start with Jeff McNeil, who was the Mets’ hottest hitter over the final eight games of the season. He led the team in hits with fourteen and wRC+ with a 254 over 31 plate appearances. He also led the team in runs scored with six. Notably, he hit two home runs as well, falling just short of double digits with nine dingers for the season. But more importantly, his .326 batting average secured the second batting title in Mets franchise history. McNeil staying hot in the postseason would bode very well for the Mets.

Similarly, Brandon Nimmo finished the regular season hot as well, posting a 233 wRC+ over 30 plate appearances. He is the only player besides McNeil to log double-digit hits in the final week and a half of the season; four of his eleven hits went for extra bases, including two home runs. Nimmo led the team in RBIs over this eight-game span with six. In the nightcap of Tuesday’s doubleheader, Nimmo went 3-for-3 with a home run, a double, three RBIs, and a run scored. He also walked twice and scored five runs.

In fact, in Game 2 on Tuesday, the Mets began the game with three consecutive homers. Sandwiched between home runs by Nimmo and McNeil, Francisco Lindor hit a long ball as well. Unfortunately, that was one of only a few highlights for Lindor over the final eight games of the season. Lindor logged just six hits (half of them for extra bases) over 33 plate appearances—good for a 43 wRC+. Lindor scored three runs and drove in four over that span. Lindor heads into the postseason cold, but with plenty of playoff experience under his belt.

By contrast, the nightcap on Tuesday is also when 20-year-old Francisco Álvarez’s bat came alive. After a slow start since being called up for the Atlanta series, Álvarez’s first major league hit was a home run in the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s game. Álvarez went 2-for-2 on Tuesday and posted a 123 wRC+ overall in his first 14 plate appearances in the big leagues. It was enough to earn him a spot on the Mets’ Wild Card roster this weekend.

Tyler Naquin, on the other hand, was left off the Wild Card roster. The fact that he took an 0-fer in his final 18 plate appearances in the regular season probably did not help matters for him. He did score a run, but that is not enough to spare him the poop emoji—certainly a sour note on which to end for his regular season.

Mark Vientos too was left off the postseason roster, as he continued to look mostly overmatched by major league pitching. In 12 plate appearances over the final eight games of the regular season, Vientos hit two singles, walked twice, and scored two runs. Vientos was outcompeted for a Wild Card roster spot by Darin Ruf, who spent the last eight games of the regular season on the injured list with a neck issue. Ruf has certainly not covered himself in glory as a Met, but the Mets opted for his veteran experience and familiarity with the Padres as an opponent.

Terrance Gore also got a nod for the Wild Card roster, but despite notching his first hit in three years in the final game of the regular season, it definitely wasn’t for his bat (he went hitless in his other four plate appearances). As the Mets’ pinch runner extraordinaire, Gore will try to go for his fourth career World Series ring.

The Month of Eduardo Escobar certainly had an exciting conclusion, as Escobar essentially won last Wednesday’s game by himself. He drove in all five Mets runs with three hits, including a home run, the game-tying hit, and the game-winning hit. Escobar had just one other RBI outside of that game, but his six total RBIs match Nimmo for the team lead. Escobar posted a 150 wRC+ over 28 plate appearances in the final week and a half of the season. Escobar also walked four times and scored two runs over that span.

Pete Alonso led the team in walks over the final eight games of the season with five. But more importantly, his three RBIs enabled him to match Aaron Judge for the league lead for the 2022 season at 131. Alonso also reached the 40 home run mark—his only extra base hit out of seven hits for the week being a long ball in the first game of the Marlins series. Overall, Alonso put up a 157 wRC+ in the final three series of the regular season and finishes the regular season with a 143 wRC+—right about the same mark as his incredible rookie season in 2019.

Mark Canha continues to be mired in a bit of a slump, but showed improvement over last week, putting up a 90 wRC+ over 33 plate appearances in the final eight games of the regular season. Canha collected seven hits, one of which went for extra bases. That extra base hit was three-run homer in the first inning of Wednesday’s game—his 13th homer of the season. Canha scored three runs and drove in five runs in total in the final week and a half of the season.

Wednesday’s game was also a huge game for James McCann, who went 3-for-4, including a three-run homer which represented just his third long ball of the season. McCann has struggled mightily with the bat this season and has spent a fair amount of time on the injured list, but finished the season by posting a solid 124 wRC+ over his last 14 plate appearances of the regular season. Tomás Nido went deep in the final eight games of the regular season as well, posting an 85 wRC+ overall over 15 plate appearances. His home run represents his only run batted in, but he did score two runs.

Daniel Vogelbach finished the regular season on a high note, posting a 132 wRC+ over 20 plate appearances in the final three series. Vogelbach’s biggest hit of the week was a solo homer that tied Sunday’s game in the second inning, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to help the Mets to victory. Overall, Vogelbach notched five hits, walked twice, scored three runs, and drove in two runs. He will be the Mets’ DH against right-handers in the postseason.