1 Mets player we should have more faith in
Going into this season, it feels like New York Mets fans are unreasonably pessimistic. Apparently, the lineup that scored the fifth-most runs in baseball last year isn’t good enough.
Much of this pessimism seems to be focused on the third base position. Sure, Carlos Correa isn’t a Met. In the long run, though, with his health concerns, that’s probably a good thing. And yes, Brett Baty is starting the year in Triple-A. It would be exciting if he was on the opening day roster, but it’s not the end of the world the Mets are keeping him down — especially since it likely won’t be too long.
There’s one person who has been constantly pushed to the side throughout this whole offseason, and that’s Eduardo Escobar.
The Mets are in good hands with Escobar in 2023, and it’s time people had more faith in him.
His 2022 season wasn’t great by any means, but it also wasn’t bad. With a .726 OPS and 106 OPS+, he was technically an above-average hitter. His 20 home runs were the third-most on the Mets, and his 26 doubles were the fourth-most. He’s far from the perfect player, but he’s still a good one.
There’s also reason to believe that his 106 OPS+ is his floor, not his ceiling. In January, Bob Nightengale reported the Mets have optimism for Escobar to have a better 2023.
“The Mets believe that third baseman Eduardo Escobar will have a much improved season after enduring family issues last season that left him emotionally spent by game time,” Nightingale wrote.
Jon Heyman reported the same, and Escobar is quoted in his article talking about how hard 2022 was for him personally. Heyman wrote that his personal situation started to resolve in September, and as we know his production corresponded with that.
In September, Escobar was nothing short of the Mets best hitter. In 30 games over the final month of the season, Escobar hit .321/.385/.596, good for a .982 OPS. His OPS in that month led the team, and his eight home runs were only one shy of Pete Alonso.
Obviously, a near 1.000 OPS isn’t a reasonable expectation for the entire 2023 season. A better season than last year, though, that’s very reasonable to expect.
Baty will be here soon. He is the future. But in the present, give Escobar some respect.