New York Mets fans are feeling optimistic about 2021. New ownership, new players, and a brand new year to invest your heart into your favorite ball club have all made for nothing but good vibes.
One of the biggest differences between last year and this is the presence of Francisco Lindor at shortstop. The superstar ex-Cleveland Indians shortstop is coming off of a down year in 2020 but so are many other typically awesome players.
Fortunately, Lindor has the kind of track record which indicates he should be closer to normal in 2021. As Tre LyDay of FanSided noted, he’s one of eight MLB players coming off of bad years in 2020 poised to rebound in 2021.
Why did the new Mets shortstop struggle in 2020?
LyDay profiles well why Lindor’s 2020 campaign wasn’t his best. A few too many strikeouts, a weaker barrel rate, and some admitted fatigue all contributed to Lindor putting together what was an atypically poor year.
Even though his .258/.335/.415 slash line isn’t horrendous, it’s well below the .285/.346/.488 he has hit overall in his career.
The switch from Cleveland to New York won’t help Lindor other than to maybe provide him with a little extra motivation. Extension or not, the atmosphere he’s entering in the Big Apple should be enough motivation to play his best.
If fatigue was truly a factor in Lindor’s down year in 2020, the Mets should pay close attention and communicate honestly with their star shortstop. Jonathan Villar can more than fill in admirably every so often. I even trust Luis Guillorme to get a rare start at the position whenever Lindor needs a little bit of rest.
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A three-time league leader in plate appearances including last season with 266, the Mets should remain cautious with Lindor to get the most out of him. Generally consistent, if what he did last year was the worst of what we can expect, the Mets are in great shape.