Jeff McNeil Austin Jackson
Robby Sabo, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

Ricky Keeler

As the rosters now shift to 40 players in September, let’s take a look back at the month of August for the New York Mets.

When you look back to the month of August for the New York Mets, it was one of their better months of the year. They were 15-15, which is the first time the organization had a record of .500 or better since April (15-9).

On offense, the Mets were surprisingly one of the better teams in all of baseball. They had 271 hits, which was the most in the big leagues. Plus, they had ten triples (led the league) and they scored the fourth most runs behind the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

Of course, it helps when you score 24 runs in a game like the Mets did on August 16 against the Philadelphia Phillies. With that being said, for an offense that has struggled to find any consistency for the bulk of the year, those numbers are quite an accomplishment.

On the mound, the Mets had a 3.58 ERA as a team, which was middle of the pack in the National League (eighth). In terms of strikeouts, their 266 K’s were the second most in the NL and just one behind the Atlanta Braves. This comes despite allowing the second most hits in the NL (253).

With the rosters now expanded, let’s take a look back at the month of August by looking at the players that stood out, surprised, and disappointed. Be sure to send us your picks in the comment section below:

Hitter Of The Month: 2B Jeff McNeil

When the New York Mets made the decision to trade Asdrubal Cabrera, it opened up second base for Jeff McNeil, who was having a good year at Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas. If anything, McNeill proved in August that he should have been up to the big leagues sooner.

In 29 games, McNeil had a slash line of.330/.373/.476 with a home run and eight RBIs. While he is not a run-producer in this offense, His 34 hits were tied for the most on the team with Austin Jackson. Out of those 34 hits, 10 of them were for extra bases, including six doubles and three triples.

Another impressive stat about McNeil’s month is that he is the most reliable hitter on the team in terms of consistently making contact. In 103 at-bats in August, he only struck out eight times.

While it is not clear whether or not McNeil would be the second baseman of the future in Flushing, he is at least playing his way onto the 2019 roster, whether it be as a starter or coming off the bench. There is always a spot near the top of the order for someone that can put the ball in play constantly.

Pitcher Of The Month: Zack Wheeler

While Wheeler and Jacob deGrom should split this award, Wheeler deserves some love here because deGrom wins the award every month. The Mets decided to hold onto Wheeler at the deadline and it has paid off in a big way.

In six August starts, Wheeler was 4-1 with a 1.13 ERA, struck out 43 batters and walked eight over 40 innings while holding hitters to a .193 batting average. In five of his six starts, the 28-year-old right-hander went seven innings.

Wheeler’s fastball gets all of the attention, but his breaking ball was one of his key pitches in August. According to Brooks Baseball, teams only hit .111 against that pitch with one extra-base hit (double) and 13 strikeouts.

Of course, deGrom deserves the attention as he tries to push for a Cy Young award. He went 3-2 with a 1.24 ERA in six starts. In 43.2 innings, he struck out 60 batters while only walking nine. His 60 K’s were seven more than any pitcher in the major leagues.

With deGrom and Wheeler at the top of the rotation, the Mets have the chance to play spoiler in September and play a factor in the NL East race.

New York Mets
(Bruno Rouby, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images)

Biggest Surprise: OF Austin Jackson

When the Mets signed Jackson in July, he was supposed to be nothing more than a fourth outfielder. Brandon Nimmo had to go on the disabled list, so Jackson got more playing time and he took full advantage of it.

In 30 games, the veteran had a slash line of .304/.350/.402 with a home run and 11 RBIs. Out of his 34 hits, six of them were for doubles and he also had one triple. Jackon hasn’t had an extra-base hit in the last ten games. With that being said, a change of scenery has helped his game in his short tenure in New York.

If there was one problem with Jackson’s month, it would be the high strikeout total. He had 38 strikeouts in 112 at-bats. The only player who had more K’s in August was Michael Conforto with 42.

Despite the strikeouts, Jackson has given himself a chance to play in September now that Jose Bautista is in Philadelphia. He isn’t part of the Mets future, but it is good to see him play well after a rough beginning to the season with the San Francisco Giants.

Biggest Disappointment: C Devin Mesoraco

Mesoraco was one of the surprises for the Mets in the early portion of the season after they traded for him in the Matt Harvey deal. August was one of those months that he would probably want to forget.

Yes, he battled some injuries in August including some neck stiffness. However, he only hit .114 in 11 games with a pair of solo home runs and an on-base percentage of .244. Despite the low batting average, he did only strike out six times in 35 at-bats.

The catcher of the future is still up in the air in the Mets organization. Tomas Nido will get his chances in September along with Kevin Plawecki, but nothing is set in stone at that position.

While he has done a good job catching the pitchers and won’t hit for a high average, the Mets could use Mesoraco’s power to help out at the bottom of the lineup.

I graduated from St. John's University with a degree in sports management. I previously wrote about the Johnnies at Rumble In the Garden.