NY Mets: Too early 2022 Opening Day batting order prediction

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Javier Baez #23 of the New York Mets at the plate at Truist Park on October 1, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Javier Baez #23 of the New York Mets at the plate at Truist Park on October 1, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images) /

As the 2022 MLB off-season gets underway, the New York Mets are going to have plenty of holes to fill. Among them include potentially replacing Michael Conforto, as well as many other offensive contributors. That being said, here is a way-too-early look at what the Mets 2022 Opening Day batting order may look like…

Mets 2022 lineup with designated hitter

1.) LF Brandon Nimmo

There was not much that went right for the Mets offense in 2021. But one of the few bright spots for the team was when Brandon Nimmo was healthy and leading off the batting order. In 76 games Nimmo led off, hitting for a .289 batting average and posting a .393 on-base percentage.

To place Nimmo anywhere else in the lineup would be foolish. As one of the most discipline batters in baseball, having him in the leadoff spot is a no-brainer.

2.) SS Francisco Lindor

Primarily hitting second last season, Francisco Lindor did not have a great year at the plate. However, he began to turn things around in September, as he hit nine home runs, batted in 25 runs, and hit for a season-high .257 batting average. Hopefully, Lindor’s numbers will look more like they did with Cleveland in 2022.

3.) DH Pete Alonso

If Lindor snaps back into his All-Star form, the Mets top two will be very scary knowing Pete Alonso is going to be hitting third. In 2021, Pete Alonso quietly hit .308, with a .378 on-base percentage and nine home runs in 34 games batting third. It is time the Mets find their surefire number three-hitter, and Polar Pete has the strongest case.

4.) 2B Javier Baez

This off-season, the Mets have two premier free agents – starting pitcher Marcus Stroman and second basemen Javier Baez. Due to his strong performance last year, Stroman may be harder to lock up on the open market. So, the Mets need to do whatever it takes to retain Baez.

Acquired at the 2021 MBL trade deadline, Baez provided an offensive spark to a Mets lineup that desperately needed it. With Baez’s elite potential, the Mets cannot pass up a top-four of their batting order being Nimmo, Lindor, Alonso, and Baez for a full season.

5.) 3B Kyle Seager

Here is the Mets first addition to the offense of the off-season. Kyle Seager has spent all 11 years of his MLB career playing for the Seattle Mariners, playing a major role in their late post-season push. After all, Seager played in 159 games, hitting 35 home runs and batting in over 100 runs for the first time in his career.

As Seager will soon be 34 years old, he will be the experienced veteran addition to hold down the hot corner until one of the Mets top prospects are ready to take over. Not to mention, Seager is more of a slugger than a pure hitter, as his declining batting average will hurt his price tag this off-season. Therefore, making him a very possible option for the Mets to get some left-handed middle-of-lineup power.

6.) RF Jeff McNeil

With the Mets off-season additions, the former super-utility man Jeff McNeil finds his home in right field replacing Michael Conforto. In one of his more efficient defensive positions, McNeil will need to find his bat again in 2021. After all, his career-low numbers last season played a big role in the Mets disappointing season.

7.) 1B Dominic Smith

Should the universal designated hitter rule come into effect this off-season, Dominic Smith is going to play an everyday role on this team. With the DH, Smith starts in the field at first base, given he is a more natural defender at first than Alonso. He will however need to pick up offensively, following an underwhelming fifth campaign.

8.) C James McCann

Speaking of underwhelming, James McCann rounds out a stretch from the sixth-eighth hitters who are bounce-back candidates in 2022. Despite some great defensive numbers, his batting average decreased over fifty points and his OPS was his worst since his final year with the Detroit Tigers. For McCann to keep the starting catcher gig over a healthy Tomas Nido, he must perform better with that bat.

9.) CF Starling Marte

Last but certainly not least is one of the bigger projected additions of the off-season, center fielder Starling Marte. With Marte, the Mets have another capable leadoff hitter, who with the DH, could kickstart things by batting ninth. This past season, Marte had a career-high .383 on-base percentage, on his way to hitting 12 home runs and stealing 47 bases.

Bench: Tomas Nido (catcher), Robinson Cano (second baseman), Luis Guillorme (infielder), Khalil Lee (outfielder)

Off the bench, the Mets have four players. Tomas Nido will platoon at catcher with McCann and hopefully can stay healthy in 2022. Meanwhile, Robinson Cano returns from his one-year suspension, bringing questions as to what kind of player he will be at 39-year-old.

Luis Guillorme gives the Mets a versatile infielder, as Dominic Smith acts as the backup first baseman. As for their fourth outfielder, Khalil Lee gets the nod. Yes, he had his struggles with strikeouts when he hit the majors in 2021, but his performance in Triple-A earned him a spot on the Triple-A East League All-Star Team.

Lineup without a designated hitter

Should there not be a designated hitter in the National League, the Mets batting order would be as follows…

1.) LF Brandon Nimmo

2.) SS Francisco Lindor

3.) 1B Pete Alonso

4.) 2B Javier Baez

5.) 3B Kyle Seager

6.) CF Starling Marte

7.) RF Jeff McNeil

8.) C James McCann

9.) Pitcher

Bench: Tomas Nido (catcher), Robinson Cano (second baseman), Luis Guillorme (infielder), Khalil Lee (outfielder), Dominic Smith (utility)

Without a spot for a designated hitter, Dominic Smith reverts to his bench role. Starling Marte moves up higher in the batting order but hits lower than he has in the past given the potential power in the middle of the Mets batting order.

Next. Marcus Stroman sees fit on Los Angeles Angels

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No, the New York Mets are not going to go out and sign every big bat this off-season. And nor should they. New York has numerous needs at every level of the team, and distributing funds to make the team better is the way to go in 2022.