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Mets Player Performance Meter: Position players, May 23-29

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

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets began the week by dropping two out of three to the Giants in San Francisco. The heartbreaking game in that series was Tuesday’s game, in which the Mets once again clawed back from a massive deficit with a huge inning, only to blow that lead and take the lead in the ninth and blow that lead again. But the Mets made up for it with a sweep of the Phillies at home over the weekend—somehow their first series sweep of the season—which culminated in a thrilling walk-off victory in the tenth. The Mets’ losses this week cannot be blamed on the offense, which is firing on all cylinders right now. Over the past, week the Mets are second in baseball in runs scored (49) and team wRC+ (152). As the Mets continue to face challenges with injuries to their pitching staff, they will have to continue to hit to overcome them as the calendar turns to June. And this week provided a lot of encouraging signs in that regard.

We’ll start with the bad news this week since there’s so little of it to discuss. Patrick Mazeika has not hit much at all the past couple of weeks after some early Mazeika magic. Mazeika had an RBI double in the Mets’ rout of the Giants on Monday, but that was about the extent of his production this week. He notched just two hits in total over 17 plate appearances this week. But if the worst of your offensive woes is that your backup catcher isn’t hitting, that’s probably a good position to be in.

The other bit of bad news that came on the position player side this week is that Travis Jankowski fractured his finger on a diving catch in Wednesday’s game, which required surgery to repair. The Mets’ fourth outfielder will now be out 6-8 weeks as his finger heals, which is not good news for a team that does not have much in the way of outfield depth in the minor leagues. But, at least through Memorial Day, everything is going the Mets’ way and Jankowski’s replacement Nick Plummer started last night’s game and provided the game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth inning—his first major league hit. It was Plummer’s only hit in his four plate appearances, but it was a huge one.

Of course, it was Eduardo Escobar who provided the walk-off hit in the bottom of the tenth last night after Plummer’s solo shot tied the game. Escobar was key to last night’s victory in more ways than one; he also made an excellent catch in foul territory over the railing of the Phillies’ dugout for a crucial first out in the top of the tenth. Escobar had been struggling mightily heading into this week, but this week was a better one for him. He racked up nine hits this week, which is tied for the team lead and posted a 125 wRC+ over 27 plate appearances. His five RBIs for the week are third-most on the team.

The RBI leader this week by quite a large margin is Francisco Lindor, who after encouraging signs last week has fully broken out of his slump now and earns a fireball for his blistering 240 wRC+ in 27 plate appearances this week. Lindor amassed a whopping 14 RBIs and ten runs scored this week, leading the team in both categories. He collected six RBIs in Tuesday’s game alone, getting the Mets’ comeback started with a two-run homer in the seventh inning and then hitting a well-placed, bases-clearing triple in the eighth that put the Mets ahead. Lindor was also vital to the Mets’ victories in the first two games of the Phillies series, scoring three runs in Friday night’s win and going 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs in Saturday’s game. Heading into the 2022 season’s 50th game, Lindor now holds a 128 wRC+, which is only exceeded by his 2018 season mark, in which he was an 8 WAR player. His 1.9 fWAR this season is second among NL shortstops.

Somehow Lindor doesn’t lead the team in wRC+ this week, however. That distinction (among players with 10 or more plate appearances for the week) belongs to Jeff McNeil, who continues to tear it up with the bat. After a heckler in San Francisco quipped that McNeil had no power, McNeil immediately turned on a pitch for a two-run homer that blew the doors off Monday’s game. It was one of two home runs McNeil hit this week; the other was of course the crucial go-ahead three-run shot on Saturday—complete with his new celebratory home run dance from Wedding Crashers. McNeil also walked three times and scored six runs this week, good for a 269 wRC+ for the week. The Squirrel is having fun playing baseball in 2022 and who wouldn’t with a .317/.372/.463 season batting line?

Pete Alonso stayed hot as well this week, posting a 169 wRC+ in 27 plate appearances with a .700 slugging percentage. Like Lindor and McNeil, Alonso also hit two long balls this week. The first was a three-run shot in the third inning of Monday’s game which put the Mets ahead; they took off running and didn’t look back after that. Alonso also hit a two-run homer in Friday night’s game. All told, Alonso’s nine RBIs for the week are second only to Lindor for the team lead. Also also walked four times and scored four runs this week.

Rounding out the trio of fireballs with Lindor and McNeil this week is the unstoppable Luis Guillorme, who earns his second fireball in a row for putting up a 227 wRC+ in 14 plate appearances this week. Guillorme had an especially big day on Saturday, in which he went 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Guillorme scored five runs in all this week and walked three times, putting up an incredible .571 on-base percentage for the week. With both McNeil and Brandon Nimmo a little banged up, Guillorme’s consistent production and positional flexibility is more important than ever.

Speaking of Brandon Nimmo, before wrist soreness sidelined him for a couple of days, he was continuing to produce with the bat. In 20 plate appearances this week, he posted a 131 wRC+. Of his five hits, two were were extra bases and like most of the lineup, he was right in the middle of the Mets’ big eighth inning rally on Tuesday. Nimmo walked once, scored four runs, and drove in two this week. Hopefully his sore wrist will not require an IL stint because the Mets’ leadoff hitter is essential to the team’s success.

Luis Guillorme being too hot to bench has mostly been to the detriment of J.D. Davis, who had a strong week in his own right. Davis had a huge day in Monday’s lopsided victory, collecting four hits, two of which were doubles. He drove in two runs and scored two runs in the Mets’ rout of the Giants. That is the extent of Davis’ production for the week, but with only nine at-bats to begin with, it’s a perfectly good week for Davis, who should see some playing time against Patrick Corbin and the Nationals in this week’s upcoming series.

Meanwhile, Dominic Smith is also improving, even if the Mets still aren’t seeing the level of production out of him that they’d like. But it was Smith who got the scoring started in the Mets’ huge eighth inning on Tuesday, singling with the bases loaded to bring in two runs and bring the Mets within two. In total, Smith collected just two hits and three RBIs in 17 plate appearances this week, but he also walked three times, good for a 107 wRC+ for the week.

Other than Patrick Mazeika, Mark Canha was the only Met to have a wRC+ below league average this week, but just barely—a 97. Canha continues to collect his hits and run a high BABIP, but he did supplement five singles with a home run this week; he went back-to-back with McNeil in Monday’s lopsided win. Canha also singled to load the bases ahead of Dominic Smith’s two-RBI hit in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s game and hit an RBI single to help the Mets put up a crooked number in the first inning of Friday’s game.

Rounding out the Mets’ outfield contingent, Starling Marte had himself another strong week with the bat, posting a 124 wRC+ in a team-leading 29 plate appearances this week. His eight runs scored are second only to Lindor for the team lead and he also swiped two bags this week. Marte matches Escobar this week for the team lead in hits with nine; two of them went for extra bases. He walked once and drove in three runs this week.

Probably due to the fact that Buck Showalter felt the Mets needed some offense in the bottom of the lineup with McNeil and Nimmo banged up over the past couple of days, Tomás Nido did not play as many games as Mazeika this week. Nido played in three games to Mazeika’s five and collected two hits—both singles—in seven plate appearances this week. Nido walked once and scored two runs this week.