If the 2022 season started today, what would the Mets’ lineup look like?
We’re still sitting around waiting, patiently, for Major League Baseball and the MLBPA to get together and agree on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Since the two sides reportedly won’t break bread again until after the calendar flips over to 2022, the boredom is getting to us.
So let’s project into the 2022 season.
The New York Mets have been considered one of the big winners in the offseason… so far. The additions of Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar have bolstered the Mets’ lineup and added a future Hall of Famer to the rotation.
But what would the lineup look like if the 2022 season began today?
For the purposes of this discussion, we’re going to include the designated hitter. It hasn’t been formally added to the National League permanently… yet. But the expectation is that it will be part of the new CBA. (Frankly, it should have been a year ago but the owners tried to tie it to expanded playoffs.)
Here’s our proposed batting order for the Mets’ current 2022 roster:
- Brandon Nimmo, RF (L)
- Starling Marte, CF
- Francisco Lindor, SS (S)
- Pete Alonso, DH/1B
- Robinson Canó, 2B (L)
- Eduardo Escobar, 3B (S)
- Dom Smith, DH/1B (L)
- Mark Canha, LF
- James McCann, C
- Bench: Jeff McNeil (L), Tomás Nido (L), Luis Guillorme (L), JD Davis
What we like about this lineup is the balance. It’s been a while since the Mets have been able to alternate righty-lefty through the entire lineup, but the way the 2022 roster is coming together that could easily be accomplished.
One area that is interesting, however, is the top. Marte led baseball in stolen bases (47) last year, but Nimmo had the better OBP (.401).
We’re also interested to see how second base plays out. Both Canó and McNeil bat left-handed, but we haven’t seen Canó in more than a year. What will he look like when he’s inserted back into the lineup? At $24 million, the Mets hope he’s still able to contribute offensively.
Right now, the bench is almost completely left-handed. Davis is the exception, but he’ll be fighting for at-bats behind Escobar.
The good news is, with Lindor and Escobar in the lineup most days, you have two switch-hitters in the infield. If Smith is at first, you would have two left-handed batters in the infield as well.
So needing McNeil or Guillorme — who bat lefty — becomes a troubling proposition. Obviously the regulars need days off, and Guillorme did a very nice job in a number of roles last season. McNeil isn’t going to win a Gold Glove any time soon, so how/when he fits will depend largely on how effective Canó is when he returns.
The Mets don’t appear to have many holes in this lineup if they’re all hitting up to their potential. That’s the huge question: what will Smith and McCann be in 2022? They’ve shown a lot more than they produced in 2021, so getting those two bats back to what the Mets want/need is huge.
At some point the Mets are going to need room for kids to make their way up as well.
Mark Vientos is a right-handed batting third baseman/outfielder who could be ready soon. And we’ve previously discussed the question of how/where Ronny Mauricio fits into the team’s future; he’s a shortstop who may move over to second base eventually, but there are two veterans in front of him on the payroll right now.