Check out Jared Greenspan’s 2022 Season Preview Article for the New York Mets here.
Image: AP Photo / John Minchillo
2022 Record: 101-61 (.623 win%, 2nd in Division)
2022 Payroll: $282,709,066 (1st)
1. CF, Brandon Nimmo, .274 AVG/.367 OBP/.433 SLG, 5.4 fWAR
2. RF, Starling Marte, .292 AVG/.347 OBP/.468 SLG, 3.0 fWAR
3. SS, Francisco Lindor, .270 AVG/.339 OBP/.449 SLG, 6.8 fWAR
4. 1B, Pete Alonso, .271 AVG/.352 OBP/.518 SLG, 4.0 fWAR
5. 2B, Jeff McNeil, .326 AVG/.382 OBP/.454 SLG, 5.9 fWAR
6. LF, Mark Canha, .266 AVG/.367 OBP/.403 SLG, 2.8 fWAR
7. DH, Daniel Vogelbach, .238 AVG/.360 OBP/.433 SLG, 1.5 fWAR
8. 3B, Eduardo Escobar, .240 AVG/.295 OBP/.430 SLG, 2.3 fWAR
9. C, Tomás Nido, .239 AVG/.276 OBP/.324 SLG, 0.9 fWAR
10. Utility, Luis Guillorme, .273 AVG/.351 OBP/.340 SLG, 1.3 fWAR
1. Chris Bassitt, 181.2 IP/3.42 ERA/1.14 WHIP, 2.7 fWAR
2. Taijaun Walker, 157.1 IP/3.49 ERA/1.19 WHIP, 2.5 fWAR
3. Carlos Carrasco, 152.0 IP/3.97 ERA/1.33 WHIP, 2.4 fWAR
4. Max Scherzer, 145.1 IP/2.29 ERA/0.91 WHIP, 4.4 fWAR
5. David Peterson, 105.2 IP/3.83 ERA/1.33 WHIP, 1.4 fWAR
2022 Top 4 Relievers:
1. Edwin Díaz, 62.0 IP/1.31 ERA/0.84 WHIP, 3.0 fWAR
2. Adam Ottavino, 65.2 IP/2.06 ERA/0.98 WHIP, 1.1 fWAR
3. Seth Lugo, 65.0 IP/3.60 ERA/1.17 WHIP, 0.2 fWAR
4. Joely Rodríguez, 50.1 IP/4.47 ERA/1.35 WHIP, 0.4 fWAR
Regular Season Recap:
The New York Mets’ 2022 season was filled with sadness, disappointment, magic, and elation all at the same time. This year we witnessed the Mets’ second best regular season record ever, yet the ending of the postseason has led many fans to feel incredibly disappointed.
Playing in New York is like no other, and standards can be very high and unfair, so if one were amongst New Yorkers, it would be hard to know how successful the Mets truly were because it’s a “World Series or bust” kind of culture. Though the Mets won 101 games, almost every Mets fan still sits at home dejected.
We saw stellar performances and major improvements at the plate for the Mets in 2022. This team was led by star slugger Pete Alonso who had 40 home runs and 131 RBI. To add on, Jeff McNeil won the NL batting title with a .326 batting average! Francisco Lindor had a major bounceback season improving his average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, WAR, number of hits, and much more.
Even though there were incredible individual performances, the Mets lacked sufficient power at the plate throughout the lineup. The Mets rank right in the middle in the league for home runs in 2022. Home runs are arguably the most important aspect of offense in today’s game, and to be ranked 15th is unacceptable if you want to win the whole darn thing. This struggle with power showed this postseason, as the Mets could barely hit for power or come up with timely hits against the Padres in the Wild Card Series.
The Mets pitching staff was very solid this year, finishing 1st in SO, 7th in ERA, 6th in WHIP, and 11th in BAA. Even with the absence of Jacob deGrom throughout most of the season, the Mets’ pitching stepped up and performed, showing the depth of this pitching staff. This is what was expected of the pitching staff, just another year of solid performance that defines and sets the tone for this ball club.
The bullpen was led by Edwin Díaz. Hearing the trumpets from the song “Narco” by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet just gives everyone goosebumps as Díaz would march on the mound and fire fastballs with confidence and control. Díaz had a truly remarkable season with 32 saves, 118 strikeouts, 1.31 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and 3.0 fWAR. Adam Ottavino also stepped up and delivered from the bullpen, but besides from Díaz and Ottavino this bullpen was rather inconsistent and shaky.
The Mets are far from the perfect ball club, but they had most of the pieces they needed to succeed in the regular season. Winning 101 games is a truly remarkable accomplishment in franchise history, but ultimately the Mets came second in the division, finishing behind the Braves, and they came short in the postseason versus the Padres. Ultimately, this season is a failure. Queens will never be happy unless you bring back that World Series trophy.
M-SABR Predicted Record (88-74) vs. Actual (101-61):
Before the season, no one expected the Mets to be this good. As Jared Greenspan noted in the 2022 Season Preview, there was lots of uncertainty about the consistency and production of this ball club both offensively and defensively. To add on to this uncertainty, they were faced with the injuries to ace Jacob deGrom.
A lot went really right for the New York Mets this year. They disproved the prediction that the Mets would lack consistency and reliability. Players like Alonso, McNeil, Bassitt, Scherzer, Lindor, Díaz, and more stepped up, performed, and played their hearts out. However, as noted, the regular season success failed to carry over to the postseason. If this is the kind of team Mets fans could realistically expect to see in 2023, it’ll be interesting to see how the expectations will weigh.
Surprise of the Season:
Ever since Edwin Díaz stepped foot in New York, Mets fans have always questioned if he was ever worth trading for. Before this season, Díaz had been disappointing and his performance had been mediocre or poor. In 2018, with the Seattle Mariners, Díaz had an All-Star season with 57 saves and 124 strikeouts. Immediately after the trade, Díaz had not proved himself to the fans in New York. Mets fans got tired of waiting for Díaz to show up, and there was an acknowledgement that Díaz would never be the same player again.
In 2022, though, Díaz shut up everyone and proved why he is one of the best closers in MLB. Díaz was named an All-Star, and he was NL Reliever of the Month for June, July, and August. According to Baseball Savant, Díaz is in the 100th percentile for Whiff%, 97th percentile for Chase%, 100th percentile for K%, 100th percentile for BAA, along with some other dark red circles. The electric season from him was a pleasant surprise and made Mets fans ecstatic about his presence in Queens.
Players We Watched:
1. Francisco Lindor
Lindor had an incredible season and yet again proved to everyone why he is a top MLB shortstop. Batting .270 with 26 HR, 107 RBI, 6.8 fWAR, and consistent defense, there wasn’t a lot to really complain about. He also only missed one game throughout the whole season, compared to the 37 games he missed last season. Mr. Smile came to play every day and led this team to thrive.
His success has a great impact on the locker room. Before, people were saying how he;s been overpaid and how he is not worth his contract, and many were losing faith. But after such a solid and consistent season, the fans should not doubt him, and most importantly, his teammates should no longer doubt whether or not he can produce for this team.
Having one of your star players succeed is one of the most important things for a ball club because everyone knows that Lindor needs to show up when the Mets need him most. I expect Lindor to continue this incredible play, and I expect Lindor to continue having a positive impact on the rest of the team.
2. Francisco Álvarez
Álvarez played only 5 games in MLB this year. In 12 ABs, he hit for a .167 AVG with one home run. There is not much really to conclude from his play in the MLB, given the small sample size.
There is no doubt, though, that Álvarez has had great success in the minors. In 112 games, Álvarez batted to a .260 AVG with 27 HRs, and 78 RBI. He has the power that would be a great addition for this Mets offense, but his defense could use some work. I would expect Álvarez to become a big league player soon, but at the end of the day he is still 20 years old, and he has to develop a bit more, so we can all be patient.
3. Dominic Smith
Dominic Smith is most likely leaving New York this year after a disappointing season. In 58 games, he had no home runs, 17 RBI, and hit for a .194 AVG. He was very underwhelming when considering how many people expected him to break out this year. Smith has no place on the field or even in the DH spot, so there is really no use for him on this team as of now. Professional baseball is a business, and you have to do what is best for the team, not try to be empathetic. No matter how cruel that sounds, it’s just the way it goes. I would expect Smith to be in a different city by the start of next season.
The Mets number top priorities should be to sign Jacob deGrom, Edwin Díaz, and Brandon Nimmo. When healthy, Jacob deGrom gives the Mets a probable chance at winning every game he steps on the mound. His velocity combined with control and movement is truly unmatched by any other pitcher in MLB. He is too valuable for the Mets to lose.
The same goes for Díaz after coming off his incredible 2022. Without Díaz, the bullpen would lack its anchor. Brandon Nimmo just gets on base. He had 71 walks this year, which led to a .367 OBP, which is what you want from a leadoff hitter. This, combined with his great defensive presence, shows that the Mets cannot really afford to lose him, either.
It is incredibly hard to improve a team that won 101 games, but it is not impossible. There are no huge fixes or trades needed, but rather some important signings or moves need to take place to fill up the roster the best way they can.
For example, the Mets should seek to improve the bullpen by signing someone like Will Smith, Taylor Rogers, or Kenley Jansen. And the Mets should make a hard push to sign Willson Contreras to secure a reliable and all-star catcher.
The Mets have all the pieces they need to succeed and win a World Series. They just have to make smart moves this offseason to provide a roster that would yield consistent production and great depth. Sounds simple, right? Just win it all.
Something to Watch:
1. Aaron Judge
As we all know, Steve Cohen is not afraid to spend big money. So why not sign Aaron Judge? Aaron Judge would make the Mets a clear favorite to win it all, as he would bring incredible production on offense and defense. There is a new king of New York, and that is Steve Cohen. I would think that he is willing to spend anything to sign arguably the best player in the league.
This probably depends on how the Yankees perform in the postseason. If they go all the way, Judge probably will stay in the Bronx. However, if the Yankees don’t get it done, I would be ready to buy a Judge jersey in orange and blue next season.
2. Brett Baty
Brett Baty is a top 20 MLB prospect, and you can expect next year to see how talented of a ball player he is. He’s got a smooth and pretty lefty swing, while hitting for good contact and power throughout his time in the minors. On the defensive side, he has shown off his strong arm, but he can still improve on his fielding.
Baty has all the tools necessary to succeed at the highest level, and he just has to continue developing and show how talented he is on the diamond. I would keep your eye on Baty and expect to see number twenty two have incredible performances and make great plays for the New York Mets next season, maybe even being the piece they didn’t know they needed to make a World Series run.
3. Shorter Walk-Up Songs
For the 2023 season, the MLB is implementing new rules and regulations to make the game go by faster. One of those new rules is making walk up songs limited up to 10 seconds long. Mets fans will no longer be able to listen to the electric 20+ seconds of Pete Alonso’s walk up song “Working Man” by Rush. The fans and even the players won’t be able to be fired up by their choice of music because they will all be cut off short. Could this lack of hype music alter the performance of the players? Is this an advantage for the MLB pitchers? We will see next year.