The expectation of many was that with MLB requiring two fielders on either side of the second-base bag and banning infielders from playing on the outfield grass that the end result would be more hits. And that has indeed turned out to be true, even if not to the degree that many believed. Last year, MLB had its lowest BABIP (.290) of the 21st Century, the third year in a row it set a record-low in the category. This year, the league’s BABIP sits at .297, which is tied for the 11th-highest mark this century.
But somehow the Mets haven’t gotten the memo. Of their 11 hitters with at least 95 PA this season, only three of them have a BABIP with a league-average or better mark in the category. And one of those three consistently runs elevated BABIPs and his mark this year is beneath his lifetime average. Let’s look at these 11, with their BABIPs this year, along with their lifetime marks:
We have to ignore the two rookies, since they don’t have much of a pre-2023 track record to examine. Of the remaining nine players, only Nimmo and Vogelbach have a current BABIP superior to their career mark. And for most of the seven who don’t, they’re falling significantly short of their lifetime rates.
Lindor – 37 points below
Alonso – 54 points below
McNeil – 16 points below
Marte – 52 points below
Canha – 22 points below
Pham – 60 points below
Escobar – 50 points below
That’s five players who are more below their career norms than the 31 points above his lifetime rate that Nimmo is. That’s how you wind up with a team BABIP tied for the 27th-worst in the majors.
The offense this year for the Mets has left a lot to be desired most nights and a good chunk of that can be explained by the hits not falling in at anything close to a reasonable rate. The BABIP gods have it in for the Mets so far this year, even more so than the umpires.