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Constructing a stacked Mets lineup

There’s really no wrong way to do it, but it’s a fun thoughte exercise.

New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Two Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

With the staggering addition of Carlos Correa very early this morning, the Mets’ lineup looks formidable from top to bottom as the 2023 season approaches. With Correa set to play third base, the team’s typical defensive alignment seems obvious at every position.

And there could very well be more tweaks to the roster. Adding a true fourth outfielder instead of relying solely on Jeff McNeil to take some innings in the corner outfield would be a good idea, particularly if it means upgrading upon Darin Ruf’s bench spot or trading away the likeable Eduardo Escobar, who finished the 2022 season incredibly well.

Let’s take the Mets’ roster as it currently stands, though, and look at what the ideal lineup might be.

The leadoff spot

Nine of the Mets’ thirteen position players have both 2022 and career on-base percentages that would make them respectable options at the top of the order, which is an absurd number of options for one team. Since they have so many options, though, it doesn’t seem like messing with Brandon Nimmo’s spot atop the order makes any sense. Jeff McNeil bested him with a .387 OBP this year, but Nimmo’s career .385 OBP is the best of anyone among this very good group of major league hitters.

On days that Nimmo isn’t playing, McNeil’s career .370 OBP would slot in nicely in this spot, and even if it’s neither of them, there are options based on career rates: Correa (.357 OBP), Luis Guillorme (.354 OBP), Pete Alonso, (.349 OBP), Mark Canha (.348 OBP), Starling Marte (.346 OBP), Daniel Vogelbach and Omar Narváez (.343 OBP), and Francisco Lindor (.342 OBP).


Conventional baseball wisdom puts a lot of emphasis on the second spot in the order—and with good reason, as it sees a ton of plate appearances, many of which come with at least one runner on base. That the Mets to get to choose among Correa, McNeil, Lindor, and Alonso for this spot and the spots that follow it is an incredible luxury. McNeil (131 wRC+) and Correa (130 wRC+) have been nearly identical hitters in their big league careers, but Correa’s .200 isolated slugging is the better of the two. That might make him the best fit for the second spot, but the Mets really can’t go wrong in choosing either player. And if they wanted to slot Alonso or Lindor into this spot, sure, why not?


If the lineup starts with Nimmo and Correa, there’s no shortage of good options for the third spot in the lineup—the one that was thought to be the most important in the game for several decades. If Alonso is to be saved for the cleanup spot for maximum RBI opportunities, letting McNeil hit third might make the most sense. That would bump Lindor down to fifth in the order, which again is an absurdly good reality.


Let’s just assume this will be where Alonso hits. There’s a good amount of power in the lineup, but he possesses by far the most raw power on the team and puts it to good use in games.


Francisco Lindor, five hitter? Even if he’s higher in the lineup, you could ask the same question by putting McNeil’s or Correa’s name in that place, and it would still seem pretty great. And for what it’s worth, Marte has been a tick better than Lindor by wRC+ over the course of his career. An argument could be made for batting him ahead of Lindor, especially with Marte having a slightly better OBP and Lindor having a bit more power.


Whichever one of that group of great hitters hasn’t found a spot in the lineup yet would hit here. We’ll just assume it’s Marte.


Canha hasn’t even been mentioned for any of the middle-of-the-order spots in this exercise, but his career wRC+ matches up nicely with the marks of both Lindor and Marte. If you’re sorting the lineup from best to worst, you’d put him here. If you prefer breaking up the left-handed-hitting Vogelbach and Narváez—both of whom figure to start most games since most pitchers are right-handed—then you could go with Vogelbach here.


Whichever one of Canha or Vogelbach isn’t batting seventh presumably bats eighth.


The catcher bats ninth in this lineup. While his career numbers are quite a bit better than what he’s done since the start of the 2020 season, Narváez is certainly the best hitter among the catchers the Mets have right now. But any of their options—barring unexpected significant playing time for Franciso Álvarez at the position—are clearly the ninth-best option in this stacked lineup.

The lineup

The Mets’ projected lineup at Roster Resource looks like this:

  1. Brandon Nimmo
  2. Carlos Correa
  3. Francisco Lindor
  4. Pete Alonso
  5. Jeff McNeil
  6. Starling Marte
  7. Daniel Vogelbach
  8. Mark Canha
  9. Omar Narváez

And if you want to go with the slightly different version laid out in this piece, it would look like this:

  1. Brandon Nimmo
  2. Carlos Correa
  3. Jeff McNeil
  4. Pete Alonso
  5. Francisco Lindor
  6. Starling Marte
  7. Mark Canha
  8. Daniel Vogelbach
  9. Omar Narváez

There’s simply no wrong answer for Buck Showalter and the Mets’ front office here.