Do you remember the people last year and throughout the winter saying Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor wasn’t worth the $341 million contract he signed? It seems like those naysayers have been awfully quiet this year.
As the Mets went from looking lifeless against the Cubs to blowing out the Pirates on Thursday night at Citi Field, Lindor hit his 24th home run of the year. When looking at the grand scheme of things, it was just another dinger for the shortstop. After all, he’s already surpassed the 30-homer plateau three times in his career.
But it was significant. Not only did it come on Roberto Clemente Day, which was special for the Puerto Rican star, but he also set a club record. This laser into the second deck helped him become the franchise’s single-season home run record holder for shortstops.
— ESNY (@EliteSportsNY) September 16, 2022
Lindor has set a number of Mets records so far this season. The ones we’ll be talking about in particular are home runs, RBI, and fWAR.
Lindor’s trifecta of Mets records
Heading into 2022, two different players held these shortstop records. Asdrubal Cabrera’s 23 homers in 2016 was New York’s single-season shortstop record, while Jose Reyes held the record for both RBI (81 in 2006) and fWAR (5.8 in ’08 and ’11).
Prior to New York’s game against Pittsburgh on Friday night, Lindor now has 24 home runs, 94 RBI, and 6.2 fWAR. He’s also added 15 stolen bases for good measure, and at the moment, his 127 wRC+ is second to the 142 mark Reyes posted in 2011. That was when he won the batting title with a .337 average before heading to Miami in free agency.
It’s not just Mets shortstop history where Lindor’s 2022 campaign shines, though. His numbers are also among baseball’s best. Prior to Friday’s action, that 6.2 fWAR is the best at his position (Xander Bogaerts is right behind him at 6.1). His home runs, RBI, and wRC+ are all among the league’s top five at shortstop, too. To top it all off, he’s having another stellar year with the glove. Lindor ranks in the 98th percentile of Statcast’s Outs Above Average.
His assault on Mets’ all-time leaderboards is in full force
Lindor has been a superstar since debuting for Cleveland in 2015. His career fWAR currently sits at 41.3, and he’s enjoyed seven seasons with at least 4.0 fWAR. On five of those occasions, that number has surpassed 5.0.
But once he landed in Flushing ahead of the 2021 campaign, Lindor had to start from the bottom regarding the Mets’ all-time shortstop leaderboards. After just two years in the orange and blue, he’s already shot up to near the top in many categories. In most instances, Lindor is chasing Reyes.
Through 1,365 games with New York, Reyes collected 108 home runs, 521 RBI, 408 stolen bases, and 33.2 fWAR while posting a 103 wRC+. Outside of the wRC+, all those career numbers are the best in Mets history at shortstop.
In just 269 games played, here’s where Lindor ranks in those categories:
- Home runs: 44 (fourth)
- RBI: 157 (seventh)
- Stolen bases: 25 (sixth)
- fWAR: 10.4 (third)
- wRC+: 116 (second)
Since he’s under contract until 2031 (his age-37 season), it’s not crazy to assume Lindor will own the majority of the franchise’s shortstop records. In the fWAR department, the only other shortstop ahead of Lindor outside of Reyes is Bud Harrelson. He accumulated 17.9 fWAR in 1,322 games played.
Any way you slice it, 2022 has been a banner year for Lindor. Both in the sense of him bouncing back from a rough start to his tenure with the Mets, and how his performance looks within the context of team history. Based on what he’s done thus far as a big leaguer, though, it seems like his assault on New York’s record books is just beginning.
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