His first year with the New York Mets was good but not in the way we expected. Mark Canha led the league in hit by pitches for the second straight year. It aided in a big way to give him a .367 OBP on the year.
Getting on base has always been a talent for Canha. He hit .244/.344/.431 with the Oakland Athletics in parts of seven seasons. With the Mets he slashed .266/.367/.403 in year one.
Only one of those numbers was down. The power. Canha did set a new season high with 24 doubles but it came with just 13 home runs. This was his lowest in any full season. He’s hoping to turn some heavy lifting in the offseason into more home runs.
The Mets could use a power surge from Mark Canha
Canha’s spot in the Mets batting order will have him closer to the bottom than top for much of the 2023 season. His numbers are actually pretty close to Brandon Nimmo, a guy we associate with the top of the lineup. Nimmo hit .274/.367/.433 for the Mets last year. His 16 home runs bested Canha. It tied Starling Marte for fourth in the ball club.
Power was a missing link from the Mets lineup last season. Jeff McNeil, the catchers, and the parade of DHs didn’t crack double-digits. Only McNeil made up for it with a batting title. The rest of the hitters had a fault in their game where the absence of home runs became a bit of a problem.
The Mets aren’t a power hitting team nor should we expect them to be one in 2023. The Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, and Mark Vientos triumvirate may provide them with some extra long balls later in the season. At the start, it’ll be guys like Canha and even Eduardo Escobar looking to increase their pop.
Canha’s home run power wasn’t down a whole lot from the 2021 season. He averaged a home run in 2.4% of his plate appearances. His last year in Oakland was at 2.7%.
With Tommy Pham competing for a couple of starts in the outfield and Baty ready to win the third base or left field job eventually, Canah’s hard work in the offseason will need to show early in the season. The Mets can accept a similar year from him again. However, a more powerful campaign could lengthen any leash they put on him.