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NY Mets: Re-ranking the team’s upcoming free agents

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 21: Marcus Stroman #0 of the New York Mets pitches in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 21, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 21: Marcus Stroman #0 of the New York Mets pitches in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 21, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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CINCINNATI, OHIO – JULY 19: Kevin Pillar #11 of the New York Mets hits a home run in the eleventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 19, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO – JULY 19: Kevin Pillar #11 of the New York Mets hits a home run in the eleventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 19, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

7. Outfielder Kevin Pillar

Listen, there is no doubt that Kevin Pillar is a beloved player not only amongst the Mets fan base but also in the locker room. Between his clutch hitting and sporting an in-game protective facemask, how could one not love Pillar?

Even so, it is hard to figure out what the future may hold for the centerfielder. At 32-years-old, Pillar does not have the burst he once did in the field, and his bat has slowly faded over the course of the season.

On the year, Pillar has hit nine home runs and plated 26 runs in 71 games. He also is the owner of a .217 batting average and a .255 on-base percentage, which clearly are not great numbers.

In the off-season, Pillar was brought in with the expectation of being used late in games for his glove, i.e., the coveted Juan Lagares role. Then, when the injury bug hit the Mets outfield early in the season, Pillar’s role grew into an everyday one.

The move into the lineup made a clear impact on Pillar offensively. In May as an everyday player, he hit for a .327 batting average. Whereas in April/March, June, and July Pillar has hit well below .200.

Again, the Mets originally brought Pillar in for his leadership, experience, and glove. If anything, Pillar has given the Mets that and more during the 2021 season. If there be interest from both sides, the Mets should explore bringing him back in 2022 as a depth piece yet again. His contract includes a team and a player option with different salary totals so there’s a good chance he does come back.

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