New York Mets final report card grades for the 2020 season
We saw the flashes of dominance last year, despite the horrible year from Diaz. This year, it seems that he has finally put it all together as a Met. He had a 1.75 ERA in 26 appearances and struck out an unheard of 50 batters in 25.2 innings pitched. This adds up to 17.5 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. Last year, his two biggest problems were the walks and home runs given up. Last season, Diaz allowed 2.3 home runs per nine innings. This year, Diaz allowed just 2 home runs in 25.2 innings pitched, 0.7 home runs per nine innings. A massive improvement. The walks are still an issue, but if he can work on that next year, he will be very tough to handle late in games. The reason he is not at an A+ is he only converted 6 of his 10 save opportunities. Had he converted those, the Mets would be in the postseason. However, he did complete his last four opportunities, and only allowed one run in September. A very good year for the likely closer in 2021.
McNeil got off to an uncharacteristically slow start and dealt with a couple of injuries this season. Even with the slow start, he managed to put up a .311/.454/.836 slash line with four home runs and 23 RBI. McNeil, who hit 23 home runs last year, didn’t hit his first until September 6th. He then proceeded to hit the rest of the home runs he hit the next three games. It was an odd year for McNeil who felt like he didn’t even have a good year yet he was still able to hit over .300 and played four positions in the field.
Nimmo had an A+ bat this year. He had a .280/.404/.484 slash line with 8 home runs and 18 RBI. He was on pace for 21 home runs, the most he’s had, while having an on-base percentage of over .400. He was getting on base consistently for the Mets this year and it’s unfortunate the team struggled so much to drive him in. While he was great at the plate, he was awful in the field. Nimmo has proven he is not a center fielder and the Mets need to bring in someone who can play every day in that position. What this means for Nimmo is yet to be seen but I do know Nimmo cannot be the everyday center fielder anymore.
Another great rookie this year was Andres Gimenez. He was a surprising presence on the opening day roster but he performed well above expectations. He had a .263/.333/.398 slash line with two home runs and 12 RBI. He also led the team with eight stolen bases in nine attempts. Gimenez looked comfortable at the plate, and that was a concern for the Mets leading up to this season. Gimenez has always been known for his glove and he did not disappoint in that area. He was a steady force at shortstop, second base, and third base this season. Down the stretch, he was playing every day against right-handed pitching. I’m very interested to see what the Mets do with Amed Rosario because the Gimenez’s performance this year warrants a lot of playing time next year.
Shreve had the new role of being a long reliever out of the Mets bullpen. He struggled a bit down the stretch which is why his ERA is at 3.96 but he pitched much better than that number shows. He came in early after the starters struggled and kept the Mets in game they had no business being in. The 30-year-old has solidified a role in the Mets ‘pen in 2021 and I couldn’t be happier. Left-handed hitters went just 2/32 against Shreve, a .067 average. He showcased a really good splitter in two strike counts which led to him striking out a career-high 12.2 per nine innings. A very good season by someone the Mets expected to be a low leverage innings eater at best.
Lugo faced a tough situation moving into the rotation mid-season. He was forced to stretch out which is not easy to do in the middle of a season, and had some good starts down the stretch for the Mets He did also have some clunkers. The inconsistency in the rotation raises a lot of question marks about his status for the 2021 season. I was a big advocate of the switch for this season as the Mets desperately needed a starting pitcher to give them quality length. He definitely gave them more of that than guys like Michael Wacha, Rick Porcello, and Steven Matz did. He is clearly better out of the bullpen. But the Mets’ lack of starting pitching might force him to at least begin the year in the rotation. Hopefully, with a full offseason of being stretched out, he can perform with more consistency in the rotation if that is indeed where he is to begin next season.
Wilson quietly had a very solid 2020 campaign. His ERA was inflated due to a couple of bad outings in the beginning of the season, but he allowed just one run in September and helped get the Mets out of multiple jams. He’s a free agent and is someone I wouldn’t mind the Mets bringing back. He’s proven to be a good high leverage left-handed reliever. If he leaves, the Mets would have to find a replacement and it’s hard to tell if the replacement will be as good as Wilson has been in his two seasons as a Met.
It was a nice bounce-back season for Familia. While he still didn’t show that the contract the Mets gave him was worth it, he was at least usable this year. Familia still has a really bad walk issue as he walked 6.4 batters per nine innings, but he was able to get out of the jams he created a lot of the time. As long as he throws scoreless innings, it doesn’t really matter how many base runners he allows. He had a FIP of 4.92 which shows he got lucky getting out of the jams he did get out of. He only struck out 7.8 batters per nine innings, more than a strikeout less than his career average of 9.3. That does however raise red flags for next year as to whether he will still be able to be productive. Hopefully, he can.