Who has the most to prove in the 2022 MLB season? According to Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report, a pair of former New York Mets are among the ones with the most to showcase next season.
Making Reuter’s list are longtime Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard and former prospect Jarred Kelenic. Each is at a completely different stage of their career. Both now in the American League West, I agree with Reuter on them having something to prove next season.
What these two former NY Mets players have to prove
In Syndergaard’s case, more than anything, he needs to prove he is healthy. He tossed only two innings in two years both coming late in 2021. Prior to this, Syndergaard was a guy with a whole lot of potential that at times felt like it was reached but in other seasons felt untapped fully.
Unless you’ve been living under a long blonde wig for the last few months, Syndergaard rejected the qualifying offer from the Mets in November and ended up signing a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels. He’s on an absolute “prove it” deal and prove it he must.
For Kelenic, his need to prove himself comes from a rough rookie campaign in 2021. The Seattle Mariners rookie batted .181/.265/.350 with 14 home runs and 43 RBI in 377 trips to the plate. He struck out 106 times as well for an average of 185 in a full 162 game season.
The Mariners shouldn’t lose too much faith in the 22-year-old outfielder they acquired from the Mets a little over three years ago. Kelenic has done nothing but hit well at the minor league level. One hiccup in a year after missing all of 2020 due to the pandemic and receiving just 30 games of experience in Triple-A shouldn’t have them begging for Robinson Cano back—although we’d gladly make the swap.
The current NY Mets roster has a few guys with something to prove as well
Although no current Mets actually made this list, there are plenty of guys on the roster we could consider. Other than Pete Alonso and maybe Brandon Nimmo (only health reasons for him), the rest of the offense could be worthy.
Among the pitchers, we could include Jacob deGrom for his health although his resume is stacked enough that I wouldn’t even think about putting him ahead of someone like Taijuan Walker. To Mets fans, he needs to prove he can be healthy and productive for a full season.
If there was anyone on the roster worthy of landing on this list, however, Francisco Lindor would have to be it. His huge contract alone puts him in competition to have to prove himself each and every year when he doesn’t meet the high expectations set forth for him.
Fortunately, at least on this year’s list, it’s only ex-Mets we find. I suppose a reason for this could be because no single person has much to prove. It’s an entire team we need to see more from.