The 2019 New York Mets set a new franchise record with 224 home runs. Pete Alonso hit more than anyone, smacking a franchise and rookie record 53 of them. The team got power from other sources as well on their way to having the most powerful year ever for the Amazins.
They are very unlikely to break that record in 2022. The team finished 25th in dingers last year. This offseason, they didn’t add that much power either. Starling Marte and Mark Canha aren’t sluggers. Eduardo Escobar has the potential to hit 25-30 but that’s about his maximum.
Then there’s Francisco Lindor who waited until the final weeks to hit half of his 2021 home runs. The team has guys with pop but no one, other than Alonso, we can fully trust to go yard on a regular basis.
Mets will need to win without the benefit of regular home runs
The Mets let two free agents with 30+ home run potential leave them this offseason. Outfielder Michael Conforto and infield rental Javier Baez could have been nice pieces for the club to have in the middle of their order. Instead, the middle of the Mets lineup might be more about singles, doubles, and the occasional round-tripper.
There are two players present on the roster with potential to become more notable home run hitters. J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith will begin the season with part-time expectations. However, as we have seen from each of them (Davis in 2019 and Smith in 2020) there is some pop in those sticks.
Combined, even in a part-time role, it’s not outrageous for them to hit 30 together. If one of them sneaks in more starts than expected, maybe we can start to talk about 40.
Davis had the better track record in the minor leagues as a home run hitter but after his breakout year in 2019, saw those averages to down in each of the last two seasons. Smith was never a home run hitting first baseman as a minor leaguer. Gap power is more realistic of an expectation.
Home runs aren’t the most important thing in a regular season game nor should we start to wonder if the Mets built their roster poorly because of this. The danger does come into play when guys aren’t getting on base and the hits aren’t piling up. Station-to-station baseball is a winning formula only if guys are consistent. That’s why so many teams enjoy having big boppers up and down the lineup. One swing can change the course of a game.