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Next Mets player to reach 200 hits could already be on the roster

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 04: Amed Rosario #1 and Jeff McNeil #68 of the New York Mets celebrate after defeating the Atlanta Braves 3-0 at Citi Field on August 4, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 04: Amed Rosario #1 and Jeff McNeil #68 of the New York Mets celebrate after defeating the Atlanta Braves 3-0 at Citi Field on August 4, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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The next New York Mets player with 200 hits in a single-season may already be on the roster.

Only two players in New York Mets history have crossed over 200 hits in a season. In 1996, Lance Johnson’s amazing season ended with the speedy outfielder compiling a franchise leading 227 hits. The 2008 season included 204 hits from shortstop Jose Reyes. Nobody else since, before, or in between has reached the milestone.

In a typical MLB season, only a small number of players will reach 200 hits in a year. Nobody in the National League has reached the mark since 2017. Reaching 200 hits is not as simple as Jose Altuve made it in the early part of his career.

On the current Mets roster, however, there are two players I believe can challenge for 200 hits in a season. Utility man Jeff McNeil is definitely a consideration as is shortstop Amed Rosario.

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McNeil makes sense because of how much of a pure hitter he is. Through his first 196 MLB games, he’s a .321 hitter with an average of 195 hits per 162 games. In a nutshell, he needs to keep doing what he’s doing but stay healthy and get lucky on a few more knocks.

An obstacle for McNeil may be his ability to draw walks at a good rate and willingness to get hit by a pitch. In 2019, McNeil was hit by 21 pitches. This can help out a player’s OBP, but it bruises both their body and chance to reach 200 hits.

Rosario’s odds at 200 hits in a season would require more growth. In 2019, he led the Mets with 177 of them in 157 games played. To get those extra 23 he’d need to become a much better hitter. I think he could be capable of it.

A benefit for Rosario is the fact that he doesn’t get hit by pitches or draw too many walks. Although he is improving in the latter, thankfully, he has yet to benefit from free passes.

Through his first 357 games played, Rosario’s 162 game average for hits is only at 163. We’ve seen him improve, though. A 200 hit season from him may be wishful thinking. Considering only two players in the team’s history have ever accomplished this feat, it’s a lofty goal we can only hope he reaches.

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Will we ever see another Mets player reach 200 hits? And if so, is he already on the roster?

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