The New York Mets will enter the 2024 season without many expectations. Sure, fans expect them to maybe win a little bit more. but considering the fact that they won just 75 games this past season that shouldn't be hard. The Mets don't have the 'World Series or bust' expectations surrounding them this season that made the 2023 campaign an absolute nightmare.
If the Mets are good, that'll be a surprise based on how they've operated this offseason. The only star we've seen them aggressively pursue is Yoshinobu Yamamoto. They seem content to build this the right way instead of seeking shortcuts which is a nice change of pace from what we've seen in the past.
Expectations are low, but that doesn't mean this Mets team is incapable. There is still tons of talent on this team and if these players step up, they could be among the teams ocmpeting for a playoff spot. If not, it might be another long year in Flushing.
1) Jeff McNeil
A large portion of the 2023 Mets roster regressed, but not many regressed harder than Jeff McNeil who went from a batting champion to barely noticeable. His batting average dipped by over 50 points, and his OPS dipped by 125 points. McNeil went from one of the best hitters in the National League in 2022 to posting a 96 OPS+ in 2023.
His overall numbers weren't terrible, and he did finish strongly. However, the Mets needed a lot more from McNeil last season and will need more from him this upcoming year if they're going to be competitive. His .270 average was far too low for a hitter who relies so much on slapping singles all over the diamond, and his drop-off in doubles going from 39 to 25 was pretty alarming as well.
We can safely assume the trio of Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor, and Pete Alonso are going to produce in a big way. Unfortunately, that's only three of nine. Adding another all-star season out of McNeil makes it four players pitchers have to worry about. It can't be overstated how badly this team needs Jeff McNeil to go back to being the player who was competing for batting titles.