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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.