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NY Mets secret recipe for success from the reserves uncovered

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 27: Jose Peraza #18 of the New York Mets celebrates after hitting an RBI single in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies during game two of a double header at Citi Field on May 27, 2021 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 27: Jose Peraza #18 of the New York Mets celebrates after hitting an RBI single in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies during game two of a double header at Citi Field on May 27, 2021 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The New York Mets got through May with what looked like a Quadruple-A roster. Normally, having this many guys sidelined might doom a team. Not these Mets. The reserves stepped up and did more than I think anyone could have expected.

How was it done? We didn’t get any boisterous numbers from anyone. What we did get were a bunch of hungry youngsters with varying degrees of experience. Unlike many past seasons when we might see an older veteran promoted to the big league team, the 2021 Mets have been giving shots to a lot of guys under 30.

Age is nothing but a number, but it seems to have helped the 2021 Mets by having some youth in the chamber

Let’s look at a few ages of players who helped the Mets out immensely this past month. Jose Peraza (27), Brandon Drury (28), and Billy McKinney (26) have all had their moments. Each is a newcomer to the club this year with McKinney being a far more recent addition.

If we go beyond these guys, we can even look at Jonathan Villar (30) as a younger player the front office brought in. Rather than sign a veteran infielder in his mid-30s, the Mets went with someone a little closer to the prime years.

The Mets regulars were already a crop of young players. James McCann, now playing in his age 31 campaign, was the expected elder statesman on the roster. He has been surpassed by Villar in playing time in games and plate appearances due to Tomas Nido’s productive rise.

On the opposite end of the success, these younger newcomers have given the Mets, one of their biggest failures was the trade for Cameron Maybin. His miserable start in Flushing at age 34 doesn’t have much to do with his actual age yet I still find it worth noting.

Mets teams of the recent past have gone a different route. Last year, either before the season or during it, the club added Todd Frazier (34), Robinson Chirinos (36), Brian Dozier (33), and Eduardo Nunez (33). None of them played a whole lot both because they had guys ahead of them and none of these seasoned veterans performed at a high enough level to justify additional at-bats.

If I want to stretch the age, we can even look at Jake Marisnick (29) and Billy Hamilton (29) as a pair of players a little more advanced in age than what we have seen this current Mets regime do.

There’s something to be said about taking a chance on a younger player. Not all always work out well. This year’s team may have a few examples of that by season’s end. Albert Almora was signed to be the club’s fifth outfielder. When healthy, he didn’t perform all that well.

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When we think of analytical data, we don’t always think of something as simple as a player’s age. As many of these under 30 players are showing, maybe there’s a slight advantage to a little less wisdom if it comes with equally as less wear and tear.

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