Are Mets Hitters Having A Bad Year, Or Are They Simply Poor Hitters

Mets Bane: Situational Hitting

The Mets are last or near-last in all NL team batting stats this year. Is it merely a bad year, or is it that this team just can’t hit?

The Mets team batting stats are brutal. Pick almost any category in the sortable National League Team Batting stats, and you’ll find the Mets at or near the bottom.

With only 34 games remaining in the season, the hope that the Mets would turn things around has been drained, and the fact is this is who the Mets are – a bunch of players who are not good major league hitters.

A familiar adage in baseball says that successful hitting is contagious, but that also means that poor hitting is contagious, which continues to grip the Mets.

Mets: Where’s The Team?

You know there’s something wrong when a team has one player is leading the team in all of these main batting stats (BA, HR’s, RBI, OBP, and OPS).

Mets standard-bearer Pete Alonso
Mets standard-bearer Pete Alonso

That player, of course, is Pete Alonso, and he is the only Mets to appear among league leaders in a single category (HR – 29).

Other than Alonso, no other Mets player has cracked the 100 hit mark, and the closest to Alonso’s 75 RBI is Brandon Nimmo, a full 22 behind at 53.

Not long ago, there was a time when Dominic Smith was being referred to as one of baseball’s pure hitters. No more.

Mets Jeff McNeil in 2019
Mets Jeff McNeil in 2019

For all the pomp and circumstance surrounding Francisco Lindor, he is still batting .224, with almost as many strikeouts as he has base hits and an OPS well below the major league average.

Jeff McNeil, one of the few hitters in the majors to carry a lifetime .300 average, is down to .247, with six home runs and 73 hits, just two seasons removed from 2019 when he had 162 base hits a BA of .318.

Something is “off” about this picture, though, right?

Mets: This Is Not An Aberration – It Goes Deeper

The Mets have always been a team built around pitching, and this year is no different. For the most part, the pitching staff has held its own enough to keep the Mets in nearly all of their games.

The fact is, though, that the Mets hitting woes stretch far down into their organization. Their last-place Triple-A team in Syracuse ranks fourth in runs scored out of six teams, as does their Double-A team in Binghamton, New York. Both, like their parent club, have negative run differential marks.

If the fundamentals of hitting are not being taught at those levels, what are the chances they can be taught (and learned) at baseball’s highest level?

Hitting coach or no hitting coach, it doesn’t matter if it’s Chili Davis, Hugh Quattlebaum, Charlie Lau, or Ted Williams – you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Even if a hitting coach could have a chance to teach situational hitting, how to work a count, and yes, even when to swing for the fences, it becomes a task filled with hurdles if the Mets organization lacks an overall hitting strategy, and the players coming to him have no idea what he’s talking about.

Mets: This Is Not The Bench Mob We’re Seeing

All was well when the Bench Mob appeared on the scene as replacements for injured regulars, excited, energetic, and producing against all odds to keep the Mets in first-place.

But in case you haven’t noticed, the Mets have crashed and burned when all of their “star players” returned to action. What has been the difference?

It’s quite simple, really – the replacement players played and hit as a team while the group we see now has no concept of what that means.

It’s not (at least it doesn’t seem) that they’re selfish and out for themselves; as much as it’s, they just don’t know how to produce runs – as a team.

Steve Cohen Is Still The Man With The Plan

Forgetting that, because apparently, Mets owner Steve Cohen has, and he is directing his staff to rebuild (hey, that’s what it is) from the bottom up to teach these skills at the lowest levels of the Mets organization.

Steve Cohen - An Open book and a man with a plan
Steve Cohen – An Open book and a man with a plan

This can still be accomplished while the Mets and Cohen weed out the deadwood (not my job) on the Mets roster via trades during the offseason and bringing in only players who have these built-in intangibles that make them successful hitters.

It doesn’t need to be a complete purge but surely Smith, McNeil, Javier Baez, and Michael Conforto, sad to say, needs to be on the list of outgoing Mets.

It goes without saying that Cohen’s “three-year plan” to bring the Mets to the World Series irks many Mets fans, especially those who have endured a decade of dysfunction under the Wilpon’s.

And while Steve Cohen is not necessarily a patient man himself, having been forced to make any number of delaying decisions as he worked his way to a $14 billion empire, this is a case when Mets fans should play the game of “follow the leader.”

Let’s face it. Steve Cohen and the Mets can obliterate the prolific Class of 2022 Free Agents – if he wants to – handing out expensive long-term contracts at will, with a one-and-done parade down the Canyon of Heroes next November, absorbing a long-range hit on future team payrolls.

The Mets performance with the bat this year is not a case of poor hitting being contagious as much as it’s a wasted effort to keep trying to put a square peg in a round hole – and that some of these players do not belong in a major league lineup.

Weed ’em out, concentrate on the farm system, and bring in players who already know how to handle a bat in any number of situations.

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

Edward J Bessler Just can’t hit! Zero plate discipline and for a lineup that strikes out this much, they fail to hit HRs also. They have been one of the worst teams hitting in the clutch for years now so this isn’t some fluke.

Ty Corsale I feel we’re in this situation every year. Excluding a few players, we simply can’t hit consistently when it counts

Jason Lefkowitz Steve Contursi I keep going back and forth on this and ultimately I think it comes down to the game the manager is calling. If the bats aren’t working play small ball, bunt, do something different to light a spark. They already changed batting coaches, it can’t be on them only. This team is talented and the lineup just doesn’t haven’t delivered results. That’s why I say mix it up. I mean my friend says mix it up. lol.

Michael A Guerin No discipline at the plate including Alonso. They take too many close pitches and swing at pitches usually way out of the strike zone.

Adam Friedlander The Mets are terrible hitters, you’ll get no argument there, my one issue is using cumulative stats to illustrate it with some of the guys who missed a significant amount of time due to injury, having said that their issue is they are waiting to hit home runs which they never do which never bodes well for scoring runs which is more important than hitting homers

Steve Bergon Major decisions will happen in the off-season..starting with firing their mgr. It would be a huge gamble to trade Smith and McNeil as they are not costing the Mets a lot of money.. They desperately need offense..but they also need 2 more starting pitchers

Closing Published Comments And Final Thoughts

With tonight’s game time approaching, we’ll close published comments.

No final thoughts on this one – it is what it is.

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Steve Contursi
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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.