Five things every Mets fan should smile about

More than a third of the way through the season, the Mets are teetering on the edge. How we perform over the next few weeks will dictate if we’re buyers or sellers at the deadline and set the direction for the rest of the season. Playing .500 ball thus far has been disappointing. We all hoped we’d be 10 games over at this point. Playing .500 instead of 10 games over means we’ve had some injuries, some under-performing players, some bad management decisions, and some bad breaks. But, playing .500 also means we’ve been doing some things right. For the sake of this post, we’re going to keep it positive. After all, there is plenty for Mets fans to be excited about. Here are the top five.

  1. Pete Alonso is having a remarkable rookie season – perhaps the best we’ve ever seen from a Mets hitter. As of Thursday, the 24-year-old first baseman was leading the team with 22 home runs, 49 RBI and a robust .933 OPS. At this pace he’ll shatter the team record for home runs by a rookie – currently 26 by Darryl Strawberry in 1983 – and run away with the Rookie of the Year Award. He’s also played a solid first base and has proven to be a great club house guy. And his towering home run blasts are adding up to a heck of a highlight real. Looks like we have our middle-of-the-order slugger set for the foreseeable future.
  2. Jeff McNeil is the real deal. He showed us a glimpse of greatness last year, but the Mets front office wasn’t quite convinced and brought in two veteran infielders to bump him to a utility role. Though the bench is no place for a .338 hitter with an .883 OPS and an ability to play three positions. McNeil has been seeing a lot of time in left field, but has also filled in at second and third base. What’s most impressive about the lefty is that he can seemingly hit any pitch off any pitcher. He never looks over-matched. Still under rookie contract, McNeil figures to be in the Mets’ plans and the fans’ hearts for years to come.
  3. J.D. Davis is also on a rookie contract and figures to be around for the foreseeable future. The righty slugger is slashing a respectable .264/.331/453 and has only so far scratched the surface of his versatility, playing left field and third base. However, the 26 year old can also play right field, first base, and pitch in relief if needed. He’s also displayed a knack for coming through with big hits in high pressure spots.
  4. Dominic Smith may have been “Wally Pipped” by Alonso at first base, but he’s shown he belongs in the big leagues. The former top prospect has been getting at bats as an occasional left fielder, first baseman, and pinch hitter. Though he’s only gotten 79 at bats, his OPS is a whopping 1.028. He appears to be in shape, excited to be here, and a spark plug off the bench. It may be tough for Smith to carve out a solid role going forward, but, at a minimum, he’s developing into a nice trade chip.
  5. Seth Lugo is proving to be one of our most valuable and versatile pitchers. He’s often dominant and can go multiple innings. The righty reliever has an impressive arsenal with a rising fastball, a tight spin curve, and sweeping slider. In 24 games, he’s 3-0 with a 2.51 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 32.1 innings. He could wind up back in the rotation next year, but, for now, he’s our secret weapon out of the bullpen. If the Mets make the playoffs, he could be a real difference maker.

In fact, the same can be said about all five of these guys, for this year and beyond.

 

9 comments for “Five things every Mets fan should smile about

  1. NYM6986
    June 14, 2019 at 7:24 am

    There’s a lot to be happy about since in reality we are not a championship level team. We have certainly shown we can score runs with contributions from many players, yet our weak link has been inconsistencies from our starting pitching and an unreliable pen. We expected Diaz to shut the Cards down in the 9th preserving the win for Jake, only to be disappointed again with a two out rally to tie. Love Smith and his resurgence but would like him packaged somewhere for another strong and reliable back end reliever. Still being around .500 is an improvement and something to build on for the future. If you want to dream, key on the possibility of a second wild card pick and if our rotation solidifies, no one will want to face Jake, Thor and Wheels in a short series, let alone our best pitcher Vargas

  2. Peter Hyatt
    June 14, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Well said.

    These players are also fun to watch.

    Dom Smith has maintained an excellent attitude with team & Alonso.

    Smith could bring in talent —trade should be done while he’s hot.

    Frazier is hot but prior to this, I hoped JD Davis would get more time at 3rd.

  3. David Klein
    June 14, 2019 at 8:24 am

    How can you not have Conforto on this list? He’s been an absolute star this year. He has a 140 wRC+ And is worth 2 war, my god.

    • MattyMets
      June 14, 2019 at 10:50 am

      David – I think Conforto is a very good, but streaky player when healthy, but I had higher hopes for him, fair or not. I thought he was going to be Carlos Beltran good, maybe minus the wheels. He’s a good player and I love having him on my team, but he’s not great and I’m not sure he ever will be.

      • Peter Hyatt
        June 14, 2019 at 11:48 am

        I’ve always thought that Conforto has the most natural swing of the Mets.

        He’s been streaky, inconsistent & injured.

        If he were to ever put it all together…

      • David Klein
        June 14, 2019 at 3:21 pm

        Such a brutal take just brutal

        • Bob P
          June 14, 2019 at 4:28 pm

          David, I am a huge Conforto fan, but I agree 100% with Matt and Peter. I am hoping he becomes a great player, but he has been extremely streaky throughout his career. He’s been good this year, but not great. Barring a tremendous hot streak, he won’t even be considered for the ASG. Alonzo, Degrom and possibly McNeil and Diaz (although not based on last night) would be ahead of him as a Mets representative.

          I truly hope he puts it all together, but similar to Matt, I had higher hopes for him than what he’s done so far. That may be setting the bar too high, but I think he has superstar potential.

          • MattyMets
            June 14, 2019 at 4:37 pm

            Something that drew me to Mets360 and keeps me here – smart, like-minded fans. We don’t always agree, but apparently I’m not alone in my thinking on Conforto. I felt the same way about Strawberry. He had his moments – hot streaks and highlights – but I was always disappointed and kept waiting for that 40 HR/120 RBI season that never came.

  4. Metsense
    June 14, 2019 at 9:49 am

    I smile about these five players but I frown about the management.
    Alonzo is the most dynamic offensive rookie that I have ever seen and Met uniform. Strawberry won the ROY with a .848 OPS and a .134 OPS+. Pete has a .938 OPS and a .150 OPS +.
    Smith is the biggest surprise because most the fan base wrote him off before the season. He currently leads the Mets in OPS and he should be starting in left field in a platoon with an occasional start at first base.
    Just Dingers Davis should be his platoon partner in left field and occasionally get a start in right field. Frazier is having a good year at third base and Davis can’t compete with that.
    McNeil is the one Met that I would want to have batting with a runner on 3rd with less than two outs. He should be the everyday second baseman. If Frazier cools down then McNeil should play third Base or second base and Frazier and Cano should platoon.
    Seth Lugo is the best reliever that the Mets have. His problem is that they don’t allow him to pitch back-to-back. Last night, I realized that they probably would be better off having Lugo pitch the ninth inning because they can’t use him today. I am not advocating him being the closer but I am advocating him being maximized. Diaz is the closer but under certain circumstances the Mets should more innovative. ( why did Diaz not pitch on Tuesday night? There was an off-day Wednesday and he hadn’t pitched since last Saturday. He was stale.)
    I realize that the Mets are not going to change and that is why I frown at the management but I still smile at these mismanaged players.

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