Amidst all the trades the New York Mets made, we give you our picks for who won our monthly awards for July.
After the 25-4 loss to the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, the New York Mets had to be happy to flip the calendar to August. Plus, the trade deadline is now in the rearview mirror after the organization dealt closer Jeurys Familia and second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera.
In the month of July, Mickey Callaway’s squad went 12-12 in 24 games. While a .500 record for a month is average for most teams, the 12 wins were the most New York had in any month since April when they got off to a good start (15-9).
On offense, the Mets only scored 97 runs, which was the third lowest of any team in the National League (Giants and Padres had fewer runs). Their 22 home runs were also the second worst in the league (Giants had 16) and they had the worst batting average (.219).
It didn’t get much better on the mound, but it is hard to be high in pitching categories when you give up 25 runs in a game. Nevertheless, the Mets had a 4.86 ERA (third worst in the NL) and they had the fewest strikeouts (183).
So, let’s the close the book on July with our monthly look at the best and worst performers of the month.
Hitter Of The Month: OF Michael Conforto
This was the toughest award to give out of the four because of the way the Mets have struggled offensively. With that being said, Michael Conforto gets the nod because of his ability to drive in runs.
In 24 games, he had a slash line of .247/.366/.455 with four home runs and 15 RBIs. The 15 RBIs were the most on the team and the four long balls were second to Asdrubal Cabrera (five).
Out of his 19 hits, eight of them went for extra-bases and that includes his four doubles. He does have three multi-hit performances in his last ten games and the hits are starting to match up with the patience he has shown at the plate (57 walks this year).
Now that the trade deadline is over, the Mets’ future starts to come into the spotlight and Conforto needs to play a big part of that as one of their cornerstone players. While a .247 average in July doesn’t signify great things, it is a step up from what he was doing in June (.198) and that is progress in itself.
Pitcher Of The Month: SP Jacob deGrom
We should name this award after Jacob deGrom because he continues to pitch well despite the lack of run support that he gets every start. It has to be frustrating for any pitcher, much less one that is an ace on the staff.
While not recording a win in four July starts, deGrom went 0-2 with a 1.74 ERA, In 31 innings of work, he had 30 strikeouts to just four walks and held opposing hitters to a .195 batting average. It is his best month of the year in any month where he has made four or more starts.
In those four outings, deGrom pitched into the seventh inning or later every time and allowed two runs or fewer in three of those four starts. He continues to give the Mets a chance to win every time he takes the mound and can at least spoil a contenders’ chances of making the postseason when he takes the mound in the final two months.
Biggest Surprise: SP Zack Wheeler
The Mets chose to keep Zack Wheeler at the trade deadline and he is starting to become one of the reliable pitchers in the starting rotation due to his consistency. In five starts during July, he was 3-0 with a 3.13 ERA.
Out of those five starts, he allowed two runs or less in three of them. Plus, he did have one more start than deGrom, but he tied him for the team lead in strikeouts (30). His ten walks were the second-fewest that he had in any given month (eight).
With improved control and the consistency he has shown since June 1, it has been a pleasant surprise to watch Wheeler start to live up to the hype that he had a couple years ago. He even had the lone RBI against the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 29.
If there was an honorable mention, that would go to Corey Oswalt. Oswalt has gone back-and-forth from Las Vegas to the big leagues, but he did a good job filling in for Jason Vargas when he was on the disabled list. He had a 1-1 record with a 3.60 ERA in four starts and held opponents to a .162 average over 20 innings.
Biggest Disappointment: OF Brandon Nimmo
At times, Brandon Nimmo has been the hitter of the month this season, but his month of July left a lot to be desired for Mets fans. In 23 games, the outfielder had a slash line of .203/.364/.304 with only one home run and six RBIs, which has caused the team to take him out of the leadoff spot in the lineup at times.
Now, despite these struggles, Nimmo still has one of the more patient eyes on the roster. He had 15 walks, which was the most on the Mets this past month. With that being said, the strikeouts continue to go up as his 34 K’s were eight more than anybody on the team.
This could be a case of the league finally getting a scouting report on Nimmo and it is up to him to make adjustments. He still is a key part of the team’s future heading into next year. If he continues to see more pitches, then the hits will eventually follow.
As far as a disappointing pitcher, Steven Matz had a 6.07 ERA in six starts. While it is tough to get wins as a pitcher with the way the offense has been at times, the left-hander has not ended the month well as he has pitched to a 12.34 ERA over the last three outings.
This includes the seven runs Matz allowed in less than an inning on July 31 against the Washington Nationals. So, while Zack Wheeler continues to improve, Matz’s development has not taken similar steps.
Hopefully, Matz will be alright health wise as Anthony DiComo of MLB.com tweeted on Wednesday that the left-hander was going to see a doctor for forearm discomfort.