New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso has a great chance at leading the league with the most runs batted in this season. It’s not just because he can mash home runs. Alonso has the benefit of an offense built perfectly around his power.
The Mets seemed to target some very specific players in the offseason. Joining Brandon Nimmo and a resurgent Jeff McNeil on the roster were Mark Canha and Starling Marte. It doesn’t matter which of the four the team bats first and second. All of them can reach base at a tremendous rate. The paths are clogged up often for Alonso. He is making the most of it, too.
Alonso is hardly the only Mets player benefitting from this. Francisco Lindor, even with some streaky slumps, is among the league leaders in RBI. He is able to accomplish this because of his own clutch hitting and an abundance of opportunities.
The Mets offense is perfectly built around a power hitter or two
This does raise one more question, though. What if the Mets had one other legitimate power hitter? Alonso does strand runners occasionally. He’s not flawless.
The team entered the season with Alonso as the lone pure power hitter. Lindor and third baseman Eduardo Escobar were the only others with true 30+ home run abilities. Even they were probably going to hit closer to 25 than 30.
Lindor is about on pace to do that while Escobar trails behind. Just a little more pop out of the number five spot in the lineup might turn this offense into a juggernaut.
Fortunately, there is an obvious place where they can put this player. The DH spot is practically vacant with J.D. Davis trying to figure things out there regularly. He hasn’t found his power stroke whatsoever, leaving the door wide open to add a power bat at the deadline.
This would chance the style of play the Mets have succeeded with so far this year but only slightly. They could still have Nimmo and Marte at the top with McNeil and Canha closer to the bottom doing what they do so well. This hypothetical power hitter, if he is a low average guy, could even slot in at number seven in the lineup. Putting two high OBP guys in front of him may actually work to the team’s benefit. In a lot of ways, it could actually turn into the wiser strategy.
Before we start constructing lineups with a new player, the front office needs to acquire one. There are a lot of choices out there. Because he’d be the DH more than anything else, there is no limit to their imagination. Whether an infielder or outfielder, the Mets starting lineup could benefit greatly from another slugger. Someone needs to help clean up after his teammates once they get on base.