On Saturday, Francisco Lindor reached 100 RBI on the season. After many productive seasons with the Cleveland Indians prior to joining the New York Mets, it was one achievement that alluded him.
Lindor has always been a strange player to predict. He began his career with decent power and a tendency to bat over .300. His third and fourth seasons included far more home runs and doubles with a drop in batting average and increase in strikeouts. This year with the Mets is kind of like those seasons but with less pop.
Reaching 100 RBI was important for Lindor this season. It’s a milestone number to finally put to rest any doubts about what he can contribute. It might not be exactly what we expected. On the 2022 Mets, run production is sometimes desperately needed.
What more can Mets fans ask from Francisco Lindor?
Because we do have many years left of Lindor playing for the Mets, we’ll get an unpleasant changing of opinions year-to-year. Those who have bought in fully will always have numbers to represent his value to the team. Those willing to push the narrative that he’s not very good will have other areas to look at. No single statistic will ever appease anyone. Even if he wins the MVP and the Mets win the World Series, there is a person out there who is going to credit the runners he drives in over the man swinging the stick.
This year is right there with Lindor’s best days in Cleveland. The biggest difference from this season and the 2017-2019 campaigns is the lack of doubles. Lindor managed to knock 30+ home runs and 40+ two-base hits in those three years. It raised his slugging percentage immensely thus lifting his OPS over .840 in all three years. In 2022, Lindor will need a strong finish to get over .800.
Lindor hasn’t become a singles hitter but he is a different type. He has already struck out more than ever—something players will routinely do as they become more prevalent in the game.
There are things we could want from Lindor. There just isn’t much else we can realistically ask him to do other than trade in a few singles for doubles or maybe ground out a couple more times than swing and miss for strike three.
The trade that brought Lindor to the Mets will remain a debatable one because of how well guys like Andres Gimenez are looking right now. Add in that the Mets could have potentially signed him in free agency the following year and we have reason to second-guess.
Let’s not, though. At least for now. The season Lindor is about to complete has been absurdly good and like no other we have ever seen from a Mets shortstop.