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NY Mets: Best “Bench Mob” moments of the 2021 season

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May 11, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Patrick Mazeika (L) is congratulated by shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) after a walk-off fielders choice during the bottom of the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
May 11, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Patrick Mazeika (L) is congratulated by shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) after a walk-off fielders choice during the bottom of the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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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)

Kevin Pillar is best known this season for taking a 94mph fastball to the face and breaking his nose, but has far more to offer.

Pillar’s defense is second-to-almost-none and he’s basically a human highlight reel, living up to his nickname “Superman,” but he’s had his share of offensive highlights as well. He’s provided more depth to this lineup than any other Mets player this year, playing nearly every day.

For a bench player, it’s really saying something that he’s played in 79% of the team’s games so far. He’s hardly on the “Bench Mob,” but has really produced, providing 9 HR and 26 RBI. His nine home runs actually even puts him at sixth on the team, only behind Jonathan Villar (10), Dom Smith (11), Francisco Lindor (11), Javier Báez (23), and Pete Alonso (23).

If we compare Nido’s projected wOBA with Pillar’s, he has a 93% over/under, which is less than “expected,” but how much can we expect from a player who has been largely a replacement-level player in prior years. Pillar has been one of the key figures holding the team together for as long as it was.

The struggles at the plate could be attached to big stars like Francisco Lindor severely underperforming until June or Michael Conforto’s slump, which hasn’t shown any signs of picking up all season.

So no, Kevin Pillar hasn’t had as many huge moments as the rest of the team, but he’s helped carry this team through their injuries, including taking a literal 5 ounce sphere to the face, breaking his nose, and still showing up to play 15 days later. That alone is worthy of praise.

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