NY Mets: 3 players who stepped up in 2021 but are best suited in a part-time role
By Tim Boyle
The New York Mets bench mob has been a brilliant part of the 2021 season. Due to an excessive number of injuries, many of the part-time players have been thrust into a full-time gig. On a nightly basis, we’re seeing lots of expected bench players in the starting lineup.
Naturally, some Mets fans have gotten caught up in the excitement of what these guys have done. That’s a big part of being a fan: being fanatical.
These three Mets have stepped up big time in 2021. However, I don’t see them as viable starting lineup options when the IL clears out or even next season when the club has some big decisions to make.
Jonathan Villar has had a nice run but let’s not make him a Mets regular next year
Jonathan Villar signed a one-year deal with the Mets this offseason so the odds of him returning for the 2022 season are already slim. He is coming off a down year in 2020 which is a big reason why he settled for a part-time gig with the Mets.
An abundance of injuries has led to Villar seeing much more time. He has taken over as the team’s primary third baseman and occasional second baseman and shortstop. Because Villar plays a different style of baseball from many other Mets, some have gotten caught up in the excitement. Speedy and capable of playing defense well, he’s a different type of ballplayer.
I’m hesitant to commit to Villar beyond this year in anything more than a depth role. His overall season numbers are close to his career averages. The one exception is his batting average which has consistently been below the .259 he hit prior to joining the Mets.
Villar is a wonderful piece to have and there’s no doubt he helped save the Mets season. In anything more than a temporary regular role, I don’t think he’s what’s best for this club next year and beyond.