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Mets Player Performance Meter: Position players, August 22-28

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

New York Mets v. New York Yankees Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Mets began their week by being swept by the Yankees in a two-game series—by a score of 4-2 in both games—evening the season series with their crosstown rivals. But, they then bounced back to take three out of four from the Rockies over the weekend. However, with the exception of Friday’s thrilling walk-off win, the Mets relied mostly on their pitching for their wins this week. The offense has not performed well of late, posting just an 88 wRC+ as a group over this six-game span. The notable exception to this is Mark Canha, who continues to stay hot. Brandon Nimmo has also stayed consistent and Pete Alonso has broken out of his mini-funk. But Francisco Lindor is now in a funk himself and Starling Marte and Jeff McNeil have cooled off some.

We’ll start with Mark Canha, who continues to carry the offense right now. While Buck Showlater has been judicious about giving Canha regular days off this season, he has played him nearly every day as we head into the stretch run. And Canha has been up to the task. Of course, Canha’s most notable contribution this week was his performance in Friday’s walk-off victory, in which he doubled twice—the first plating the go-ahead run in the sixth and the second to tie the game in the eighth, setting the table for the Mets’ walk-off win in the ninth. This is the second consecutive week Canha has been the hero in a thrilling come from behind win. His overall numbers for the week are nothing to sneeze at either: 199 wRC+ across 18 plate appearances. He collected five hits, but four of the five went for extra bases—the two doubles on Friday, a double in Tuesday’s game, and a double in Saturday’s game.

The team leader in his this week is Pete Alonso, who has somewhat broken out of his slump. His power has still not returned yet; seven of his eight hits this week were singles. But, he did hit a two-run homer in Thursday’s victory to support Jacob deGrom’s cause. Of course, Alonso’s most notable hit this week was the walk-off single on Friday night that lifted the Mets to victory in that game. Overall, Alonso posted a 137 wRC+ across 25 plate appearances this week.

The bad news this week is that Francisco Lindor is now slumping. He had just one hit in 26 plate appearances this week. His only saving grace is that he led the team in walks with five and stole a base. However, even with that, his wRC+ for the week amounts to a putrid 7. This is Lindor’s first cold spell in quite some time and hopefully it is temporary. The Mets are going to need his bat against the Dodgers this week.

After his fireball performance last week, Jeff McNeil has come back down to earth some, putting up a 108 wRC+ over 23 plate appearances this week. But unsurprisingly, he trails only Alonso for the team lead in hits with seven for the week. McNeil also walked once and scored a run, but did not drive in any runs this week.

Starling Marte too has cooled off after a couple of hot weeks, posting a 93 wRC+ in 23 plate appearances this week. However, he does lead the team in RBIs with four, which says a lot more about how the offense is performing than it says about Marte. But, Marte had a good day in Tuesday’s loss, going 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. Marte also walked once and stole a base this week—the only player besides Lindor to swipe a bag this week. As a pinch hitter with the tying run at second in the bottom of the eighth in yesterday’s game, he struck out swinging, which mostly is just another indicator of the funk the Mets are in offensively right now.

Brandon Nimmo followed Marte and also struck out, failing to capitalize on the opportunity to tie the game yesterday and work to complete a four-game sweep. However, Nimmo otherwise had a good week this week. His 141 wRC+ for the week is second only to Canha on the team among players who had ten or more plate appearances. Aside from his five hits this week, Nimmo also walked four times—the only player besides Lindor to walk more than twice this week. Nimmo had a big game against his childhood team in Saturday’s shutout victory when he went 2-for-3 with a home run, a double, a walk, two RBIs, and two runs scored.

James McCann also had a good week for the first time in awhile. He played in just three games to Tomás Nido’s five, but he collected three hits and a run scored in seven plate appearances this week. By contrast, Tomás Nido had just one hit and a run scored in ten plate appearances in his first week back from the COVID injured list. The Mets carried three catchers briefly, but when Tommy Hunter was activated from the injured list, Michael Pérez was optioned back to Triple-A Syracuse.

Eduardo Escobar also returned from the injured list on Saturday and went hitless in four plate appearances. To make room for Escobar, the Mets designated Yolmer Sánchez (who appeared in one game this week, but did not get any at-bats) for assignment. The Mets have opted to keep Brett Baty in the majors and have indicated that Escobar will play mostly against lefties with Baty handling the long side of the platoon—at least until Luis Guillorme returns. Baty’s overall numbers improved in his second week in the big leagues. Baty got the scoring started in Friday’s game with a solo home run—his first home run at Citi Field. Other than that, he singled three times and walked this week—good for a 110 wRC+ over 18 plate appearances.

Unfortunately, this is the first week I have to hand a bad grade to Daniel Vogelbach, who is struggling. Vogelbach is dealing with a hamstring injury and is unable to run the bases well, but he is still serving as the DH for most games. Over 16 plate appearances this week, Vogelbach collected just one hit and walked twice—a 40 wRC+. His one hit this week was a two-run homer that brought the Mets within a run in the seventh in Monday’s game. Other than that, he did not accomplish much of note this week.

Darin Ruf and Tyler Naquin also continue to struggle in their bench roles. Ruf went hitless over six plate appearances this week, but did reach base once via a walk. He also scored two runs. Naquin collected just two—both singles—hits over eleven plate appearances. He also walked once, but did not score any runs or drive in any runs. For Naquin it’s an improvement over last week’s platinum sombrero performance, but not by much.