Pete Alonso and Jeurys Familia need to step up

The Mets are fresh off a 15-1 streak of winning baseball and there is certainly a lot of information to take in over that stretch of baseball. Amidst a number of dramatic and unlikely performances there is a full data set of everyday player’s statistics across what is essentially 10% of the baseball season. The Luis Guillorme home runs are a rare occurrence, so much so that the club will need to rely on proven talent to perform in order for their success to continue. By looking at the sample size of data from July 25th through August 10th, the Mets 15-1 streak, one can gather where the productivity was coming from and where it will likely need to improve from moving forward.

Two things are abundantly clear prior to diving into this sample size, Pete Alonso has been a significant contributor to the team this season and Jeurys Familia has not been. And in looking at their splits over this timeframe neither player was particularly effective. These are mutually exclusive assessments.  However the Mets have been winning games by the likes of Michael Conforto, J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil who put up fWAR marks of 1.1, 1.0 and 0.7 respectively over the two week period. Even Seth Lugo retired 26 straight batters in this stretch which is good for a 0.4 fWAR, astounding for a reliever in just a few games. Emphasis on WAR should not be overstated as it’s often a mixed bag of data and results, however even the eye test confirms that these players were making a difference day to day.

Unfortunately, the contributors are soon likely to regress as this is the nature of physics and life. Conforto, is sporting a 9.1 K% over this stretch whereas his career rate is 24%. J.D. Davis owns a .438 BABIP to go along with a 21% K% which is surely a recipe for regression and Jeff McNeil can hardly stay healthy for more than two weeks at a time. The hits should start falling against Seth Lugo and Edwin Diaz has yet to prove any more reliable than Braden Looper circa 2005. Such is life, and physics, as the other foot is destined to drop. Fortunately the Mets have a power mashing first basemen who has been playing below his norm and should be able to offset any regression with a few better at bats. They also have an arm in Familia who was once capable of putting together elite innings of baseball.

Some may think that Alonso was more productive than he actually was over this stretch since he ran into five home runs. But his 34.3% strikeout rate and increased ground ball rate are signs that the bat has cooled and that there is room for improvement. Famlia’s performance was particularly average over the winning stretch, however his three strikeout performance against the Nationals on Sunday was an encouraging sign. Having guys like Familia and Brad Brach step up and deliver quality innings is instrumental for the Mets future success. If Lugo can continue to be elite and Diaz can find his way, that would make for a scary collection of arms for opponents. Similarly, we have seen Alonso battle against elite pitchers with advanced level plate discipline. His improvement would time well with the inevitable cooling of Conforto or Davis.

1 comment for “Pete Alonso and Jeurys Familia need to step up

  1. Mike Walczak
    August 14, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    The biggest thing that I have noticed since the all-star break in Alonso’s plate discipline. It appears that he is swinging at a lot of pitches that are off the plate, especially with two strikes.

    That being said, Ill take Alonso any day of the week.

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