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2022 reasons to look forward to the 2022 season

Mar 13, 2022; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts after
Mar 13, 2022; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts after / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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New York Mets
Starling Marte (left) and Mark Canha (right) are two of the new free agent acquisitions by the Mets this offseason. / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

59 - XBHs from Eduardo Escobar in 2021
He was overshadowed a bit by the Scherzer and Starling Marte signings, but Eduardo Escobar was an excellent signing in his own right. While his numbers on the surface — a .253/.314/.472 slash line and 109 OPS+ — don’t look incredible, Escobar brings something to the Mets that was seriously lacking last season. He racks up extra-base hits.

In 599 plate appearances last season, Escobar hit 28 home runs, 26 doubles and five triples. His 59 XBHs and 9.9 XBH% both would have ranked second on the Mets last season among qualifiers, behind Pete Alonso’s 67 XBHs and 10.5 XBH%. Kevin Pillar was the next qualified hitter at 8.1% (and only other Met above the league average), far behind Alonso and Escobar. It wasn’t a one-year wonder season either for Escobar, as he has a 10.3 XBH% since 2018. For a team that has really struggled to get the big hit over the last couple of years, Escobar has the potential to be a massive help.

377 - Mark Canha’s OBP over the last 3 seasons
Escobar may lack a bit in on-base skills but signing Canha makes up for it. While not quite on Juan Soto levels, Canha borders on elite status when it comes to boosting that OBP. Over the past three seasons, Canha has an OBP of .377, which ranks No. 15 in all of baseball among players with at least 100 games played. 

He wasn’t quite as good last season, but he still put up a mark of .358 — which would have ranked second on the Mets among qualifiers, only behind Brandon Nimmo. He’s got enough pop to hit 15-25 homers in a season too and should be a really valuable piece in the lineup.

12 - SBs from Canha last season
Yes, Canha can get on base and hit for a bit of power, but did you know he can also run a little bit. Not a ton, but he did swipe 12 bases in 2021. Sure that doesn't sound like a lot, but that would have been the second-most on the Mets last season. The only person he would have trailed is Jonathan Villar who had 14 and is no longer on the Mets.

The Mets have been so deprived of speed and specifically base stealing in recent years, so it’s exciting to have someone who can swipe the odd base here or there. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the Mets also brought in Canha’s teammate who led baseball in that category last season.

47 - Starling Marte’s SB total last season
In 2021 the New York Mets as a team had 54 stolen bases. Starling Marte had 47. He is going to be 33 years old next season, but he’s shown no signs of slowing down so far. He’s one of, if not the most elite base stealer currently in the game, and really going to bring an element to the Mets lineup that has just been missing for so long. Canha is nice, but Marte is elite.

Oh, and he’s also great at the plate, hitting .310/.383/.458 last season for the Marlins and A’s. He can hit anywhere in the lineup and is set to be a cornerstone in this Mets lineup for the next four years.

106 - Career HRs for Pete Alonso
There is no denying that Pete Alonso is THE hitter for the Mets. While almost everyone else slumped last season, he still hit 37 home runs. Add that to his total from the first two seasons of his career, and he’s already broken the century mark. He’s the most prolific home run hitter in baseball right now and is shaping up to be one of the best of his era at doing so.

His 106 home runs have come in 370 games. Only one player in MLB history has more home runs through their first 370 games, and that is Ryan Howard who had 115. Injuries really took their toll on Howard towards the end of his career, but in his prime, he was nothing short of terrifying. The Mets have one of the best first basemen in the game who should be entering his prime, time to enjoy it.

23 - The number of walks and strikeouts from Luis Guillorme in 2021
There were only four players in baseball last season (with a minimum of 100 plate appearances) whose walk total was equal to or greater than his strikeout total. Juan Soto was obviously one of them, and he was joined by Yasmani Grandal and Tony Kemp. The fourth was Luis Guillorme.

Guillorme has very little power, but his plate discipline and bat-to-ball skills have really improved over the last couple of seasons. At this point in his career, he’s become a solid slap hitter, great on-base guy and really good glove — all in all adding up to a really valuable bench piece.

941 - Francisco Alvarez's OPS last season
Who said we only care about the Major League season? This upcoming minor league season has a bunch of different storylines for the Mets, including the development of top prospect Francisco Alvarez. The now-20-year-old catcher killed it last season, hitting .272/.388/.554 across A and high-A ball.

Likely moving up to AA this season, Alvarez has already stated his desire to make the majors this season. Sure, that might be a bit of a long shot, but it shows he’s motivated to make an impact in the big leagues, and soon. 

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