5 Mets players who will be the biggest X-factors in determining where this team goes

The performance of these five Mets will determine what the team does.
Jul 4, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (4) wears a 4th of July themed catcherís kit against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 4, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (4) wears a 4th of July themed catcherís kit against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports / Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports
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We know the players who need to carry the New York Mets to the finish line. What about those others who look strong enough to put the load on their shoulders?

Several Mets players could be considered an X-factor for this ball club. Leaders like Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, Brandon Nimmo, etc. don’t really qualify because they’re the ones doing the brunt of the work or at least they should be. Someone like Jeff McNeil hitting well is helpful, but not the sort of difference-maker the team needs to become a true contender for a championship.

It’s these five, in a very particular order, who’ll be the biggest X-factors to determine how far the Mets can go.

5) Francisco Alvarez

The importance of Francisco Alvarez cannot be overstated. As both a hitter and defensive player, we’ve seen how different the Mets look with him in the lineup. Pitchers like Jose Quintana are confident with him behind the plate and successful. He makes a difference just by being present on the field.

He becomes an X-factor for a couple of reasons. Good health is the most important. Already having missed a good percentage of the year while playing a position that gets battered on a nightly basis, ensuring he’s around for the last legs of the season is crucial to the Mets making a run.

By just being a good defensive catcher and game-caller we can reap the rewards of Alvarez. He adds to the X-factorness by continuing to hit well and doing it with power and average. The offensive explosion by the Mets in June will need to continue for this team to be anything more than playoff hopefuls. Someone like Alvarez slotting in as a number five or six hitter and being a real threat each time at the plate helps deepen a Mets lineup that could end up as their biggest strength.

Remove Alvarez from the equation and the drop off is major at the position. The Mets can live without his bat. As we’ve seen, the pitchers will have a tough time breathing without him behind the plate.