September is for more than getting stuck behind school buses for the first time in months. It's a chance for major league baseball players to seal their fate. A month of auditioning for some and clinging to work for others, we're witnessing a mix of both from several New York Mets players.
Only a part of what happens in September will carry over into the offseason decisions. These Mets players are having the kind of performances where it’s clear what’s next for them.
1) NY Mets outfielder DJ Stewart has won a major league job
Is there any doubt DJ Stewart belongs on the major league roster for the Mets next year? You don’t have to campaign for him to be in the starting lineup, but to at least not heavily consider carrying him on the bench seems personal.
The left-handed hitting minor league free agent came up to the majors this year more out of need than talent. Shortly after his promotion, Stewart showed those scouts who praised him many years ago and led to a first-round draft selection that they weren’t seeing things. He really does have talent.
Stewart has essentially become exactly what Mets fans were hoping to see from Darin Ruf and Daniel Vogelbach. He hits for good power, plays the field much better than expected, and has the kind of swagger that’s impossible to avoid falling in love with.
We’ve seen enough from Stewart to award him a fourth or fifth outfielder job next year depending on how you want to label it. His left-handed stick has proven to be far too good to dismiss. Keep him around. What do you have to lose?
Heading into the final 6 games of 2023, Stewart is slashing .264/.352/.549 in 167 plate appearances. Adding 11 home runs and driving in 26 through such a short period of time has only helped his cause further as a potential bat off the bench next year and DH option.