Francisco Lindor had such a good year for the New York Mets in 2023 that it awarded him with the ninth-place finish in the National League MVP race. He did a lot of things well. Thoughts of him being the worst signing in Mets history are only shared with the two bot followers those tweeters have.
Although extremely productive, there are always areas any player can improve. For Lindor, we should hope for several statistics to increase. I would love to see him get back to hitting 40 doubles like he did earlier on in his career. But this isn’t the most important improvement for him to make.
For Lindor, it’s his plate discipline to work on.
Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor was not a master at plate discipline in 2022
Lindor actually struck out at a higher percentage for the Mets in 2022 than he did in 2021. The small increase from 18.3% to 18.8% per plate appearance is fine when considering how much better he was in other areas. However, before he came to the Mets, Lindor had never gone above 15.8%. It can add up quickly.
Something Lindor actually did very well in 2021 was drawing walks. He received a free pass in 11.1% of his plate appearances. This was a new career high for him. In his most recent year, Lindor was at 8.4%. This is actually right near his total of 8.5% for his career.
It’s surprising to see Lindor’s 2021 season was better in both areas than his 2022 campaign. There is no argument about which version we’d like to see more. Nonetheless, it’s something for him to improve.
More telling than percentages, Lindor had only one more walk last season than he did in 2021. This came in significantly more plate appearances, 524 vs. 706.
Give fans the choice of a .230/.322/.412 hitter who walks more or the .270/.339/.449 hitter he was last year with a little less discipline, everyone would choose the latter. You’d be wrong to pick anything else.
Lindor has been unpredictable in his MLB career. There was a year with 38 home runs and others where he hit far fewer. His OBP fluctuates with seasons over .350 and ones below .340 but never anything in between. Which version shows up in 2023? Let’s take the same one as last year but with a few more two-strike doubles and a couple of high fastballs for ball four passing him by.