The 2021 Mets won 77 games.  This year’s squad improved by 24 games.  The Mets won 101 games, the second-highest total in franchise history.  It was a great year, despite how the season ended.  Some here wondered if they’d win 85 games once the news hit about the injury to their ace late in Spring Training.  Instead, they won 101 games.  Let’s never lose sight of that number.  Wow, 101 games – no one saw that coming in late March.

The following grades are for the regular season, the one in which the Mets won 101 games.  The goal is to incorporate actual production, along with preseason expectations, as well as the individual’s role on the club. This means not all grades that are the same are equal.

Pete Alonso – He was better in the second half of the season than he was in the first half.  Which means he gets the “minus” removed from his final score. Grade: A

Chris Bassitt – The second half of the season was very good for Bassitt, so long as you ignored his results against the Cubs and Braves in September.  That may be my own personal bias showing. Grade: B+

Mark Canha – After dinging him for weak contact in the first half report card, Canha went out and added 50 points of SLG in the second half.  Following the trend from the previous two entries, he gets a bump in his score. Grade: B-

Carlos Carrasco – In his last seven starts of the year, Carrasco gave just 27.2 IP, opposing batters had an .859 OPS against him and he posted a 4.88 ERA.  He was solid for most of the year and lousy at the end.  Carrasco breaks the trend and sees his grade go down. Grade: C+

J.D. Davis – He had just 15 PA in the second half for the Mets and he struck out in seven of those.  No reason to change his initial score. Grade: D

Jacob deGrom – In his first seven starts after being activated from the IL, deGrom picked up where he left off as the best pitcher in baseball.  His final four were significantly worse.  He matched Bassitt by laying an egg against the Cubs and Braves.  But he was even worse against Oakland after being handed a three-run lead.  It’s tough to grade a guy who misses more than half the year.  It’s also tough when expectations are thru the roof.  Ultimately, we thought he was going to return sooner than he did and in 36% of the starts he did make, he was way below expectations.  Grade: C

Edwin Diaz – As hard as it is to believe, Diaz was even better in the second half than he was in the first.  He was so good that he might be worth paying for in free agency, which almost never is true for a closer. Grade: A+

Eduardo Escobar – After being so underwhelming that he was demoted into a platoon player, Escobar was outstanding in his final 32 games of the year, with a .982 OPS in his final 129 PA.  Essentially, we have five months of disappointment (as a LHB, at minimum) and one month of sublime play. Grade: C-

Luis Guillorme – The feel-good story of the first half of the year, Guillorme crashed to earth in the second half.  Actually, the crash started earlier than that.  From June 24 until the end of the season, he had a .589 OPS.  As a result, he has the biggest drop from his initial score Grade: C+

Francisco Lindor – FanGraphs describes a 6+ WAR as an MVP-type season.  Lindor had a 6.8 FWAR.  Still, I’m going to be petty and deny him the “plus.” Grade: A

Seth Lugo – It was a roller coaster type of year for Lugo and unfortunately his ride ended with a downer.  He gave up runs in five of his final nine appearances, including 4 HR. Grade: C+

Starling Marte – Would the season had been different if Marte had been healthy in September?  That’s going to be one of the regrets from 2022.  In his last 77 PA before hitting the IL, Marte slashed .319/.390/.580 with 9 XBH.  Should missing most of the September swoon count against him or is it proof of his value?  I’m leaning towards the latter and bumping his grade up from the first half. Grade: A-

James McCann – He lost his job to a guy who with a late surge finished with a .600 OPS.  That’s, um, not good. Grade: D-

Jeff McNeil – An .898 OPS after the All-Star break was a 118-point improvement over what he did in the first half, when we were all impressed with what he did.  He finished with a 5.9 fWAR. Grade: A

Tylor Megill – While he was on the IL, everyone tripped all over themselves saying what a great addition Megill would be as a power arm out of the bullpen.  In six relief appearances after being activated, Megill had a 6.00 ERA. Hopefully next year, Megill’s performance will match the hype.  Grade: C-

Tyler Naquin – His Mets career started off with a bang, as he produced 7 XBH in his first 31 PA.  After that great start, he did his best Robinson Cano imitation, putting up a .439 OPS in 99 PA.  And that was with the platoon advantage the vast majority of the time.  Grade D+

Tomas Nido – In the first half, he was worse than Quad-A Patrick Mazeika.  In the second half, he took the job from McCann.  Not that surpassing McCann is any great accomplishment but it was an improvement from earlier in the season. Grade: C-

Brandon Nimmo – He was a tiny bit better in the second half than he was before the All-Star break, fueled by a big September.  Outside of a brief trip to the Covid IL, he was healthy the entire season and played virtually every day.  Statcast loved his defensive play, making the decision to keep him in CF look good. Grade: A-

Adam Ottavino – We thought he was great in the first half but he turned it up a notch after the All-Star game, going from a 2.52 ERA and a 0.981 WHIP to a 1.50 ERA and a 0.967 WHIP.  Given the expectations from when he was signed late in the offseason, it’s impossible not to give him the highest mark possible. Grade: A+

David Peterson – He wasn’t nearly as good as a SP in the second half, which saw three clunkers in a row to start September.  And his work as a reliever wasn’t all that hot, either, although he seemed to get better as he got more experience.  His first-half performance earns him the “plus.” Grade: C+

Joely Rodriguez – There was a stretch where he was great against LHB but that was followed by a time where he seemingly couldn’t get anyone out.  But he finished with a 2.25 ERA in September, when he limited hitters to a .456 OPS, even if none of us felt great when he entered the game.  Everyone thought he was over-graded initially, so he’ll see a drop now. Grade: C+

Max Scherzer – Everyone remembers the last start of the year against the Braves but Scherzer had a … checks notes … 2.36 ERA in the second half of the season.  He was great in his first year in Queens and only the missed time holds his mark down. Grade: A-

Dominic Smith – He didn’t play in the second half of the season, so there’s no reason to change his midseason mark. Grade: D-

Drew Smith – Missed nearly two months in the second half of the year but when he came back, he was very useful.   It would be nice to see him pitch a full season.  Grade: B-

Daniel Vogelbach – No one was more polarizing than Vogelbach, who started with two strikes on him as far as the fans were concerned because he was the biggest acquisition the Mets made while other teams made more noise at the deadline.  It was maddening watching him let hittable pitches go by early in the count, only to swing at tough pitches once he had two strikes.  Vogelbach seems like the type of guy who would be much more dangerous with a slight tweak in his approach early in the at-bat.  But with all of those valid criticisms, he had a 139 OPS+ and a 144 wRC+ for the Mets.  Because he’s a platoon bat at DH, his upside is limited.  But the average MLB designated hitter had a .710 OPS this year.  Vogelbach had an .830 mark for the Mets, giving the team a huge upgrade at that spot.  If we were going to grade solely on the basis of OPS, he would be in the B+/A- range.  But given his platoon status, combined with the fact he did not deliver the power expected when he was acquired, he has to be lower.  Grade: B-

Taijuan Walker – For the second straight year, we saw a significant decline from Walker in the second half of the season, even if not as drastic as in 2021.  For the year, he was 10-1 with a 2.35 ERA against sub-.500 teams and 2-4 with a 5.10 ERA against teams .500 and better.  There’s value in dominating the weak teams.  If everyone pitched as well as Walker against the dregs, the Mets would still be playing. Grade: B-

Trevor Williams – An under-the-radar criticism of the 2022 Mets is wondering if they got the most value they could have from Williams.  He was so good in his long relief role that they were ultra-reluctant to use him as either a starter or a short man unless absolutely necessary.  In five of his nine starts, he allowed 2 ER or fewer.  Against teams .500 or better, Williams had a 2.35 ERA.  You never hear about how the Mets need to re-sign him now that he’s a free agent but his production won’t be easily replaced.  Grade: A-


Buck Showalter – All of us greybeards are eternally grateful that the Mets hired Showalter because he proved to everyone beyond a shadow of a doubt that a manager can make a difference.  May we never, ever hear again that strategic moves are far less important than “communication” from a manager.  I’d bet my house that the 2022 Mets would not have won 101 games if Luis Rojas was still the manager.  Grade: A-

Billy Eppler – Came on the job late but was instrumental in the free agent signings that helped transform the team.  He also traded for Bassitt and had a strong MLB Draft.  Many wish he would have made a bigger splash at the trade deadline but with the organization’s refusal to include any of their top prospects in deals, he was limited in what he could accomplish.  Still, he added a useful bullpen piece in Mychal Givens and made a big upgrade at DH with Vogelbach.  Grade: B+

13 comments on “Final grades for the 2022 Mets

  • Jimmy P

    No quibbles from me.

    What’s interesting to me these days is the distinction between what works in the regular season compared to the postseason. Carrasco and Bassitt make for good examples.

    Carrasco was 15-7 with an ERA just under 4.00. Teams can win a lot of games against bad teams with quality backend starters. At the same time, he was never going to help the Mets in the postseason.

    On Bassitt, it’s less clear. But here was a guy who took 30 starts and often went deep, pitching to a 3.42 ERA. On a team with injury-prone staff (aren’t they all?), the value of a guy who will consistently take the bump can’t be understated. At the same time, he failed in some big games against quality teams. Can he win big postseason games? It’s not clear to me.

    So the question in both these cases will be how to value those regular season contributions. What do you pay for that?

    OTOH, Jake deGrom is the opposite. We can all imagine him winning a WS game. But his value in the regular season is questionable. How much do you pay for that?

    I don’t have the answers, just asking the questions.

    • Brian Joura

      I think this is definitely an idea worth exploring.

      Ultimately, anything can happen in a small series and every playoff series is a small series. The famous Billy Beane line – “My shit don’t work in the playoffs” comes to mind.

      I think it’s way too easy to read too much into what happens in a small sample. Maybe Max was pitching hurt. deGrom pitched better against the Padres than he did the A’s – stuff like that.

      My main takeaway is that three games against the Braves and two against the Padres don’t define the 2022 season. While I would go into the offseason looking to improve the club, it’s not like they need to reinvent the wheel. You still look to assemble the team that can win the regular season and hope for good fortune to strike in the playoffs. So, you’ve got to have those Carrasco/Walker types who clean up against the dregs.

  • BobP

    No argument from me either, although I think you were probably kind to McCann. I also think that considering the expectations that many had for him, McNeil may warrant an A+. But those are real nit-pics.

    I think you did a great job of keeping the emotion of the late collapse out of the equation. Scherzer blew it against the Braves and Padres, but really had a great season and it seems like he was a huge part of changing the culture for the better. After those two games, my emotional thought was that he dropped the ball in the situations that we really got him for, and that is true, but I’m also sure that they wouldn’t have won 101 games without him – not just for his performance, but for the impact he had on other players.

  • Hobie

    I don’t comment her often because so many articulate what I’m thinking better than I. Case in point is Jimmy P’s Bassett vs deGrom value balance.
    Of the original grades, I have only one small quibble, And that is a near-ideal back-up catcher, Tomas Nido, forced to bear the full-time role, gets penalized for the failure of his starter-ego. No biggie, & I look forward to an Alvarez-Nido Batman/Robin duo.

    • Brian Joura

      You should comment more. Most people love to hear that you agree with something they wrote, whether they be authors or commenters.

  • Steve_S.

    Good job, Brian!

    But you forgot Ruf! F-

    • Brian Joura

      Ruf only had 74 PA so he didn’t qualify

  • Paulc

    Agree with you on all, Brian, including the C on deGrom. What are your thoughts on signing deGrom? If so, length and AAV? Your assessment, not a prediction.

    • MikeW

      deGrom in my opinion is not worth the risk of investment. We already have to pay Scherzer. We have to go younger. I like Rodon. Maybe deGrom stays healthy, but I doubt it. I think his arm or shoulder was stressed over the last few weeks. That’s a bad sign after how late he got started.

    • Brian Joura

      I’m a deGrom fan so I hope he stays with the Mets.

      Scherzer got 3/$130 so there’s the ballpark. I don’t believe deGrom is one of those “I’ve got to have the highest and best” guys when it comes to contracts. But he doesn’t want to be massively underpaid, either. My wild guess would be 4/$150.

      • Metsense

        Offered 3/135 for deGrom. After all, he is the best pitcher in baseball. Also, the team limits their exposure with a short term contract.
        There were 153 starting pitchers in baseball in 2022 that exceeded 70 innings. According to fWAR, Bassitt was #48, Walker #53 and Carrasco #55. All of them were in were in the two tier of SP. Bassitt and Carrasco are getting older. Walker fades for the last two seasons. All of them still valuable though, especially when compared to other pitchers.
        Therefore, pick up Carrasco’s option, they can trade him later if they want. Then offer a qualifying offer to Bassitt and Walker so that the team would only have one year exposure to them. It is a over-pay but it will be expensive to replace them in the open market.. The Mets have Peterson, the #80 ranked SP, if Bassitt and/or Walker refuse the offer. This year they won 101 games with this rotation. That is really good.

  • JimmyP

    I think the 2023 team needs to go to $350 million to be WS contenders.

    The hope is that number can actually go down if they can actually get the farm system to produce talent . . . down the line.

    The holes they have now can only be plugged by money. Hopefully that’s the short-term plan and the team finds itself on more solid ground in the coming years.

  • NYM6986

    Nice job on the scoring Brian. What was most refreshing is that I don’t remember another year in recent history where so many players were given an A, regardless of whether there was a plus or a minus after the letter. Might have graded Nido a C because after all he is a backup that got thrust into a starting role more than ever. Might have given Buck an A and not an A -, because he clearly made a difference in much more than the 6 game swing they usually say managers Impacts, and he gets credit for the greatly improved attitude on this team. So does Max in the way he got the starters to stay together during games and discuss pitching regardless of who the starter was. He’d make a great manager someday but doubt he’d give up the good after baseball playing life just to keep a uniform on.
    101 wins, when we were hoping for 85 and a wildcard, makes this a great season. It ended too soon but that gives us something to work on for next year, like another star bat in the order, a #1 pitcher, even if they slot at a 2-3 on our team, and one more dominant arm in the pen. Can’t wait for the off-season and Uncle Steve’s free agent spending. LGM

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