The New York Mets finished the first half of 2018 with the worst batting average in the National League at .228.
One of them is the poor performance of the bullpen. Anthony Swarzak walked both batters he faced before Tim Peterson took the mound and allowed the game to slip away. An even more regular occurrence, we saw the Mets bats go silent.
The Mets could only must two hits until the ninth inning. This kept their batting average at a National League low of .228. Across both leagues, only the Baltimore Orioles at .227 are lower.
When it comes to team batting average, we can’t really blame any specific player. Do we take it out on hitting coach Pat Roessler? He has to receive at least some of the responsibility.
The Mets leading hitter this year has been Asdrubal Cabrera. His .281 batting average is hardly strong enough to carry a team, but a nice personal accomplishment.
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I’ve excluded Juan Lagares and his .339 batting average he mustered until landing on the disabled list for the rest of the season. Even if we did include him and others without the at-bats to qualify, the team has only one other guy hitting above .300. Unfortunately, it’s pitcher P.J. Conlon at who has gone 1 for 3.
Fortunately, the Mets aren’t at the bottom in OBP. Brandon Nimmo has reached base regularly. Michael Conforto has also managed to walk a lot. Plate patience has paid off with the tenth most walks in MLB this season.
Walks have their place in baseball yet they can only take a team so far. Without making contact and picking up hits, this leads to stranded runners.
The team’s batting average hasn’t received any help from the part-timers or rookies this season. Luis Guillorme, Tomas Nido, Dominic Smith, and the rest of the gang have all hit below the Mendoza Line. Also helping to drag down the team’s average is the pitiful .181 Jose Reyes has hit in nearly 140 at-bats. Surprisingly enough, he had two of the five hits on Sunday.
There is one silver lining from this statistic. The Mets know exactly what they need to improve next year. This roster needs guys who can hit for average.
Guys who can hit .300 are vanishing from baseball. There’s more emphasis on hitter for power and trying to hit through the shift rather than around it. Hopefully, the organization sees this fault in their system and do their best to correct it in the offseason.
Or perhaps they rethink their philosophy at the plate.