2021 Fantasy Baseball Statcast Deep Dive: New York Mets

by Jordan McDonald
2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Waiver Wire

Welcome to another edition of the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Statcast Deep Dive featuring the New York Mets!

Last week, we covered the New York Yankees and their early-season hitting woes. And now, we head across town to Queens and examine the issues at the plate for the Mets.

The team replaced its hitting coach Chili Davis and assistant hitting coach Tom Slater on Monday night after a disappointing start to the season. Collectively, they have hit for a .236 batting average as a team, which is middle of the pack across the league. However, the team's slugging percentage of .364 is currently ranked in the bottom five.

A new voice in the batting cage may lead to better results, but some of the hitters are looking at an uphill climb. Let's discuss some of the prominent batters on the Mets whose seasons have not gone as planned.

2021 Fantasy Baseball Statcast Deep Dive: New York Mets

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Francisco Lindor

The Mets executed the biggest blockbuster trade of the offseason by acquiring Lindor from the Cleveland Indians. And before his first regular-season start, he was awarded a lucrative 10-year, $341 million dollar extension. The marriage has started off rocky with Lindor only hitting .157/.276/.202 with one home run and three RBIs. Also, the fans have made their feelings clear by booing him throughout his struggles.

Whether you agree with the reaction or not, Lindor is not playing up to the worth of his mega extension. He has contributed towards the lack of power numbers collectively displayed by the Mets.

His Average Exit Velocity and Sweet Spot Percentage are the lowest of his career, and the same can be said about his expected Batting Average (xBA) and Slugging Percentage (xSLG). His Hard Hit Rate is actually above 40 percent but obviously, that hasn't contributed to any offensive success.

There are some positives to take away from Lindor's Statcast page during his inaugural season with the Mets. He has improved on his walk and strikeout rates, as both are ranked in the top 20 percent of the league.

Besides that, the rest of his stats don't offer a lot of hope for much improvement. His harrowing slump has resulted in a weighted On-Base Average of .234, which is ranked in the bottom six percent across the entire league.

Jeff McNeil

McNeil has proved to be a reliable fantasy option with tremendous offensive upside and positional versatility. But this season, his numbers have taken a nosedive alongside his other teammates. He has never finished a season with a batting average of less than .300, but he is currently sitting at .230 so far into this season.

His profile as a high contact hitter with modest power lessens the expected batting stats from his actual numbers. But his power numbers for this season are slightly better than what he has previously averaged.

One explanation for the dip in batting average could be a decrease in Sweet Spot Percentage, which currently sits under 30 percent. If he manages to get back to his career average of 33.4 percent, the rest of his numbers may increase as well.

He also possesses an elite strikeout rate that has ranked in the 98th percentile in the last two years. And his walk rate is up by four percent from his career average as well. If he is able to make better contact and incorporate some more power, McNeil could return to his reliable ways.

Michael Conforto

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Conforto was another Mets player with a high ADP that has not played up to those lofty expectations. Excluding the 2020 shortened season, he has finished every season with at least 27 home runs since 2017. But he was still able to post an incredible .322/.412/.515 slash line in 54 games last season. However, he has only slashed .235/.374/.383 with two home runs in the early part of this season.

Similar to McNeil, Conforto has been plagued by a lack of contact on the ball. His Sweet Spot Percentage for this season is almost six percent lower than his career average. He is also a bit overrated as a power hitter according to his Statcast page. He hasn't recorded an Average Exit Velocity over 90 MPH over the past five seasons, and the last time he finished a season with a Hard Hit Percentage over 40 percent was in 2017.

Overall, Conforto has established himself as an above-average hitter throughout his career, and possibly new hitting coaches can break him out of his slump. But don't expect the improvement to match last year's numbers.

Dominic Smith

Another player whose stock rose after a stellar 2020 season. Smith broke out by slashing a ridiculous .316/.377/.616 and recorded the second-most doubles in the league. However, managers who hoped for an encore have been sorely disappointed. He has stumbled out of the gate with a .233/.256/.349 slash line and just two home runs.

If you are one of those people who doesn't know what to do with Smith, my suggestion is to remain patient. His underlying stats are better than what is on the surface, with an xBA of .294 and an xSLG of .526.

He is also another player on the Mets who has never averaged 90+ MPH in Average Exit Velocity, but he did manage to record a Hard Hit Rate of 46.7 percent last season. He is down to 31.7 percent for this season, but that number should slowly creep back towards his average of 38.3.

Smith has tremendous room to grow as a major-league hitter. In fact, his 199 plate appearances in 2020 are the most for a season over his five-year career. He is someone to keep an eye on for the rest of the season if he can find his groove again.

Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers

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1 comment

2021 Fantasy Baseball Statcast Deep Dive: Washington Nationals - Fantasy Six Pack May 13, 2021 - 10:31 am

[…] will stay in the NL East after discussing the state of the New York Mets last week. The Nationals currently find themselves at the bottom of the division after being in […]

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