clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mets Player Performance Meter: Position players, August 15-21

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

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

The week began in a less than ideal fashion, as the Mets dropped three out of four from the Braves. But, they bounced back by taking three of four from the Phillies over the weekend, which culminated in one of the most exciting wins of the season yesterday. The Mets have also dealt with an influx of injuries to both position players and pitchers this week. On the position player side, both Eduardo Escobar and Luis Guillorme are currently on the injured list, leaving the Mets in dire straits on the infield. This resulted in the promotion of top prospect Brett Baty to the majors. Baty started off with a bang, but has struggled a bit since on both sides of the ball. Tomás Nido spent the week on the COVID IL and is due to return to the team soon. The recently acquired Michael Pérez joined the team to fill in for Nido and flashed his defensive skills, but didn’t hit much. But, he did hit when it counted. Although there are some players slumping pretty mightily right now, they are not the players taking the majority of the at-bats. Most of the core of the team is ranging from hitting well to flat out raking in the cases of Jeff McNeil and Mark Canha, with the notable exception of Pete Alonso.

Since it’s fresh in our minds, let’s talk about Mark Canha, whose epic bat flip yesterday will join the highlight reel of unbelievable moments from the 2022 season. Canha of course hit a game-tying home run in the seventh AND a go-ahead home run in the ninth in yesterday’s incredible 10-9 victory. That alone is a fireball-worthy performance, but he posted a 317 wRC+ overall for the week over 23 plate appearances, which perhaps deserves some sort of new “meteor” designation. Canha collected nine hits, a whopping seven of which went for extra bases, including one other home run besides yesterday’s two. He also walked twice and scored two runs. Unsurprisingly, his eight RBIs for the week lead the team. He is up to a 130 wRC+ for the 2022 season, which is the second-highest mark (ha) of his career.

Canha has been so effective this season in part because Buck Showalter has rested him far more often than any other regular in his lineup. The presence of Tyler Naquin on the roster has allowed him to continue to do this, but with Canha raking and Naquin having a horrible week after starting off hot as a Met, one is left to wonder if Buck can afford to continue to sit Canha as often has he has. Naquin went hitless over his twelve plate appearances this week, earning every bit of that poop emoji. In the day game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Naquin earned the infamous and rare platinum sombrero by striking out five times in a single game. Naquin did walk once and score two runs (one of them as a pinch runner), but he just looks lost at the plate right now.

The same can be said for Darin Ruf, who also went hitless this week over eleven plate appearances. Ruf walked twice, scored a run, and drove in a run. That RBI came in the Mets’ big ninth inning in Saturday’s Game 1 victory. But, Ruf’s biggest contribution this week was obviously the two scoreless innings he pitched in Monday’s lopsided loss. It’s not enough to for him to dodge the poop emoji, but it’s certainly notable in the role it played to help save the rest of the bullpen.

Rounding out our trio of poop emojis before we get onto more good news is James McCann, who continues to not hit at all. McCann collected just one hit in 14 plate appearances this week—a -45 wRC+. Although the Mets catchers have done well in getting a Mets pitching staff in flux through the week, the team continues to get next to no offensive production from the catching position.

Michael Pérez filled in while Tomás Nido was on the COVID IL this week and did well defensively, showing off his skills as a receiver by catching runners stealing and nabbing players at the plate. However, as we knew going into the week, he is also not a gifted performer with the bat. He posted a 27 wRC+ in 16 plate appearances this week. BUT, he gets some points for getting his two hits when they counted. His first hit as a Met came in Saturday’s Game 1 victory when he snapped a scoreless tie in the fifth and got the Mets on the board 2-0 in a key spot. He also got the Mets on the board yesterday after they fell behind early with an RBI single that plated two runs and cut the Phillies’ lead in half, setting the tone for a game that would feature multiple improbable comebacks by the Mets. Especially compared to what Mets catchers have been doing, that’s enough to get the side arrow from me in Pérez’s first week as a Met.

The team leader in hits this week is Jeff McNeil with a whopping sixteen hits in 35 plate appearances this week. McNeil is simply unstoppable right now and earns a second straight fireball for his 224 wRC+ for the week. McNeil scored five runs and drove in three. But not only has he been getting multiple hits every day, he’s made about four highlight reel worthy plays in the field this week as well. The most impressive one was a diving grab to rob J.T. Realmuto of a hit with the bases loaded in the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader. McNeil is currently fourth in the league in batting with a .321 batting average and has already accrued 4.5 fWAR this season.

Francisco Lindor also continues to roll. He is second only to McNeil on the team in hits with twelve this week. Over 36 plate appearances, he posted a 129 wRC+. He hit one home run this week in the Mets’ only victory in the Braves series on Wednesday. His six runs scored for the week is tied for the team lead. He also drove in two runs and stole two bases this week. Lindor continues to be right in the middle of nearly every rally the Mets put together.

You can add Starling Marte to that equation too, who shares the team lead in runs scored with Lindor. Marte rounds out the trio of Mets with a double-digit hit total for the week; he collected eleven hits, five of which went for extra bases. Two of them were home runs—both of them coming in Wednesday’s victory over the Braves in which he went 3-for-5 overall on the day. Marte also had three hits in the day game of Saturday’s doubleheader and in yesterday’s game. Like Lindor, he also stole two bases this week. He also walked three times and drove in four runs, putting up a blistering 195 wRC+ for the week over 36 plate appearances. This is all despite him clearly not being 100% running the bases. Hopefully the days off in this week’s schedule will serve him well after the gauntlet that was the past couple of weeks of games.

Pete Alonso too has played basically every day. Despite a second down week in a row, posting just a 27 wRC+ in 34 plate appearances, Alonso is still second only to Canha in RBIs with five this week. Alonso’s big day this week was on Friday when he 2-for-5 with a home run, a double, and three RBIs. It was that night when Alonso recorded his 100th RBI and his 30th home run of the season. Alosno’s RBI single in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game also provided key insurance so the Mets could stave off the Braves’ attempt at a comeback. His 102 RBIs on the season match Aaron Judge for the most in baseball. Alonso also walked three times and stole a base. Despite collecting just four hits this week, he continues to produce—partially because a huge proportion of his plate appearances come with runners on thanks to Nimmo, Marte, and Lindor batting ahead of him. Hopefully he heats up again in earnest soon.

Speaking of Nimmo and heating up, Brandon Nimmo has indeed heated up again after getting tagged with the poop emoji last week for his cold spell. Of course, most fresh in everyone’s mind is his solo home run that followed Canha’s in the ninth inning of yesterday’s game that provided a key insurance run which ended up being the difference in the game. But overall Nimmo put up a 135 wRC+ this week over 37 plate appearances. He is back to his Brandon Nimmo ways, collecting five walks this week—the second-most on the team. He also collected eight hits, four runs scored, and two RBIs. Like his outfield mate Marte, Nimmo is another guy that could benefit from the upcoming off days in the schedule to keep him healthy for the stretch run.

The team leader in walks this week is not Brandon Nimmo, but instead it is Daniel Vogelbach, who had yet another strong week as the Mets’ primary DH. Vogelbach put up a 142 wRC+ over 24 plate appearances. Although he collected just four hits over that span, he posted a .417 on-base percentage for the week because of those six walks. Three of Vogelbach’s four hits went for extra bases. He scored two runs and drove in two runs this week.

With Eduardo Escobar and Luis Guillorme both hitting the injured list this week, the Mets turned to Deven Marrero as a stopgap measure. Marrero was called up when Guillorme hit the IL and appeared in three games and went hitless across four plate appearances. He did steal a base, however. When it became clear Escobar was going to need an IL stint as well, the Mets sought a longer-term solution. They designated Marrero for assignment and claimed Yolmer Sánchez off waivers, who is currently serving as the team’s backup infielder. Sánchez has yet to swing the bat for the Mets, but he has appeared in two games in a pinch runner/defensive replacement role. He has a reputation as a slick fielder, but has already committed one fielding error as a Met.

When Escobar went on the injured list, the Mets also called up top prospect Brett Baty to play third base every day until Escobar and Guillorme return. Baty’s major league debut was an unforgettable one. In his first major league at-bat, he hit a two-run homer to extend the Mets’ lead to 4-0 in the second inning. He also had an RBI single in Friday night’s game against the Phillies that plated two runs, making four RBIs in total for the week. He also walked once and scored three runs this week. However, he had somewhat of a rough weekend and had just three hits in all over his first 24 big league plate appearances with a 42 wRC+. It is also clear that there is still room for Baty to develop defensively, as he’s had a few miscues in the field in his first week in the majors. Still, there is no denying the talent and promise that are there. If he continues to struggle, he will likely be sent down when Escobar and Guillorme return. But if he heats up, then he could force the Mets’ hand as the calendar turns to September.