From now until the start of the 2022 season, New York Mets statistics aren’t going to move up or down. Unless an official scorekeeper admits to some sort of wrongdoing, the numbers are what they are.
There was no shortage of disappointing statistics from this ball club in 2021. Many of the regulars missed so much time that they weren’t able to even accumulate 100 hits on the season.
Among all of the numbers, I found three statistics you’ll definitely believe are true but might not have realized. They represent a couple of different things.
Jonathan Villar led the Mets in strikeouts, not Pete Alonso
You would think Pete Alonso, with a team-best 561 at-bats, would have ended the year with the most strikeouts. That wasn’t the case. The slugging first baseman brilliantly cut down on his Ks. He ended the year with 127 of them compared to Jonathan Villar and his 132.
There are two things to take away from this. First, Alonso might be becoming a different type of hitter. Although he wasn’t as powerful as he was in 2019, he did still hit 37 home runs. If fewer strikeouts this year can lead to more hits in 2022 and beyond, maybe he’s more than just a slugger.
Secondly, Villar having enough trips to the plate to even lead the team in strikeouts shows just how hurt the team was. For yet another Villar statistic to surprise you, he was second to Alonso in at-bats with 454.
Tylor Megill made the third most starts for the Mets this year
How important was Tylor Megill for the 2021 Mets? He was important enough that he finished with 18 total starts on the season. Only Marcus Stroman with 33 and Taijuan Walker with 29 made more.
Megill didn’t even make his MLB debut until June 23. At the time, I don’t think any of us believed he would be with the big league club for long. He seemed like a temporary part of the rotation. Because he pitched well and guys continued to get or stay hurt, Megill remained.
In other statistics related to starts, David Peterson and Jacob deGrom each made 15. It’s tough for me to believe this because it felt like Peterson was gone far earlier and deGrom’s absence wasn’t nearly as long as it actually was. Each pitcher ended up missing about half the year. And yet somehow they were tied for fourth in the most starts for the team.
Miguel Castro pitched the fifth most innings of any Mets pitcher
Miguel Castro was a workhorse out of the bullpen for the 2021 Mets. In 69 appearances, he tallied 70.1 innings of work.
This means Castro was able to record 211 outs. This led all relief pitchers but it was also more than all but four of the starting pitchers. Peterson, who made 15 starts, only got through 66.2 innings.
In a year where deGrom was the only starter with a winning record, it was essential for the Mets to get such positive results from their bullpen. From a wins/loss perspective on the back of baseball cards, there were many odd results. Jeurys Familia, Trevor May, and Aaron Loup combined to go 22-7. But none of them helped the Mets get through as many outs as Castro did.
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Which other statistics from the 2021 season caught you off guard but didn’t exactly shock you?