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Mets Player Performance Meter: Position players, April 10-16

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

New York Mets v Oakland Athletics Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Mets went 5-1 this week, taking two out of three from a good Padres team and sweeping the lowly A’s over the weekend. Although the final two games of the A’s series were hard-fought victories, the Mets offense exploded on Friday night, scoring 17 runs, though a lot of that was thanks to assistance from the A’s pitching staff, who walked a historic 17 batters. The Mets also managed to get the better of Yu Darvish, a pitcher who has had their number in the past. Though the bottom of the Mets’ order continues to struggle and players like Jeff McNeil and Mark Canha have yet to truly find their groove, the top part of the Mets’ lineup is raking and the twin pillars of the offense—Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso—are red hot this week.

Two straight fireballs to start the season for Pete Alonso can be nothing but a good sign for the Mets’ bats. Early on, his stats were being carried by the long ball somewhat, but this week he’s firing on all cylinders while continuing to hit absolute moonshots. In 27 plate appearances this week, Alonso hit .318/.444/.727 with a blistering 211 wRC+. He hit three home runs this week—all solo shots—representing his entire RBI total for the week. But those home runs, especially the final two, were key to the Mets’ success this week. His home run on Saturday got the Mets on the board, cutting Oakland’s lead in half and setting the stage for the comeback victory. And of course, Alonso delivered the game-tying shot in the ninth inning of yesterday’s extra inning victory. Alonso had seven hits in total, the other four being singles. He also walked five times and scored six runs. The way things are going for the Polar Bear, I have a feeling the “Pete Alonso home run total watch” is something I’m going to be doing every week with these meters; he currently holds major league lead with eight long balls. For those keeping track, that’s on pace for 81 home runs for the season.

Francisco Lindor also hit three home runs this week. One of them was a grand slam that was part of his seven-RBI performance in Friday night’s game. Lindor leads the team in RBIs by far this week with eleven. Of his seven hits this week, all but one were for extra bases. Lindor’s seven runs scored also lead the team this week. He also walked three times and stole a base, posting a 221 wRC+ for the week in 27 plate appearances. Lindor also continues to dazzle in the field as well and has a spot on the MLB leaderboards himself, currently leading all position players in bWAR (1.3).

Speaking of dazzling in the field, Brandon Nimmo made two spectacular plays in center field yesterday, the second of which was game-saving. And he is also the team leader in hits this week, collecting nine hits in 29 plate appearances. He also walked five times, good for a 194 wRC+. His five RBIs are second only to Lindor for the team lead and he stole a base this week as well, adding to the Mets’ NL-leading stolen base total. His .517 on-base percentage is the second-highest on the team, as he continues to serve as the sparkplug for the Mets’ offense.

The highest wRC+ on the team this week does not belong to Nimmo or Lindor or Alonso, however. It belongs to Tommy Pham, who really broke out this week in a big way, posting a 225 wRC+ in 12 plate appearances. Pham contributed a key RBI single in a ninth inning rally on Tuesday that ultimately fell short, but he helped add a key insurance run in the rubber game the following day, and his home run in the second inning got the Mets on the board yesterday. Pham now holds a 137 wRC+ for the season and is proving to be a valuable contributor as a fourth outfielder.

Luis Guillorme also contributed positively off the bench this week. His .538 on-base percentage is the best on the team this week. He did his best Brandon Nimmo impression by walking four times this week in only 13 plate appearances, but he seemed to be a favorite free pass for the A’s pitching staff, who were walking everyone in the ballpark. He also collected three hits, scored three runs, and drove in a run this week. Guillorme and his 169 wRC+ for the week represent the biggest turnaround on the meter from last week.

By contrast, our two poop emojis this week are unfortunately still thus. It is true that Eduardo Escobar has hit several balls hard where he was robbed of a hit, but a 15 wRC+ for the week and a 10 wRC+ for the season are impossible to ignore. And there is perhaps no moment more representative of Escobar’s struggles this season than the inning-ending double play he grounded into in the ninth yesterday. With the promotion of Brett Baty, Escobar’s playing time will likely decline significantly, but hopefully he will benefit by being put in more situations to succeed.

Tomás Nido also continues to not hit a lick, putting up a 0 wRC+ in 14 plate appearances this week. Nido got one hit—a single—walked once, and scored two runs, which represents the extent of his offense this week. Nido’s ineptitude with the bat has given more of a chance to Francisco Álvarez, but unfortunately the rookie catcher has not yet taken advantage. Like Escobar, you could argue that Álvarez has hit into a bit of bad luck this week, but nevertheless he went hitless in 11 plate appearances across the three games he caught his week. He has looked somewhat overmatched and overeager at the plate so far and I am reluctant to slap a poop emoji on the 21-year-old just yet, but if this continues much longer, poop may loom in his future.

Tim Locastro also remains hitless, but continues to contribute on the base paths. He stole three bases and scored a run this week. But with the promotion of Brett Baty, his days on the roster may soon be numbered.

Starling Marte remains the Mets’ king of the stolen base, swiping three bags this week to match Locastro for the team lead. Marte’s seven total stolen bases for the season are the second-most in baseball. Marte had just three hits this week, but he also walked five times—good for a 92 wRC+. Marte scored two runs and drove in three runs this week.

It was a frustrating week for Jeff McNeil, who seemed to be just about the only Met who didn’t feast upon the beleaguered A’s pitching staff. McNeil’s biggest moment came early in the week when his RBI double got the Mets on the board against Yu Darvish in Monday’s victory. Uncharacteristically, McNeil is not racking up the hits, but he is walking a lot more than he usually does. In fact, McNeil’s six walks this week lead the team, so despite a .158 batting average in 26 plate appearances this week, he posted a 94 wRC+. Though McNeil has been far from the Mets’ biggest issue, it’s fair to say he has yet to hit his stride.

Mark Canha’s numbers have been similarly middling; he is another player who has yet to really get going this season. The Mets’ left fielder put up a decidedly mediocre 46 wRC+ this week. However, Canha did contribute a game-tying home run in Saturday’s narrow victory. It was one of just two hits Canha had all week. He also walked two times, scored two runs, drove in two runs, and stole a base this week.

In the early season, Daniel Vogelbach has racked up the walks, but has not been aggressive enough at the plate and has not been hitting all that much—especially not for power. His only hit this week in 14 plate appearances was a single. He walked four times, drove in two runs, and scored two runs. The Mets’ DH put up a 66 wRC+ for the week. The Mets have faced a lot of left-handed pitchers early in the season, so Vogelbach’s playing time has been limited. He should get more regular plate appearances soon, which should hopefully help him get into a groove.