Mets starting lineup has become feared, just as Eric Chavez planned

New York Mets v San Diego Padres
New York Mets v San Diego Padres / Denis Poroy/GettyImages

Can you believe it? The New York Mets enter action on Tuesday with the most runs scored in Major League Baseball. Another double-digit performance on Monday versus the San Diego Padres solidified them further as one of the best-hitting teams in the sport.

Hitting coach Eric Chavez deserves a lot of the credit. Many players have bounced back from down years in 2021. Jeff McNeil looks like his old self again. Francisco Lindor has gone vintage and has been one of the club’s most prolific run-producers.

Chavez’s attitude was simple: he wanted the Mets starting lineup to strike fear in the hearts of other teams.

The Mets starting lineup is deeper than nine men

It’s not just the starting nine who have contributed. Luis Guillorme broke out of his early slump in a big way and has become of the most reliable hitters for the team. He’s a .340 hitter in his first 115 chances. Even a guy like Tomas Nido, now batting .261 in 101 trips to the plate, may have benefitted from having Chavez as the coach.

Good hitting has been contagious. Among the 11 guys with 100 or more plate appearances, only Eduardo Escobar and Dominic Smith have batting averages below .250. Escobar is coming off of hitting for the cycle and is now at .241 on the season. He is closing in on the 1 for 4 mark.

Mets hitters don’t just lead the league in runs scored. They have the best average and OBP as well. Although they rank 16th in home runs, they own the second best OPS.

If this doesn’t scare other teams, I’m not sure what else will. Maybe it’s Pete Alonso’s National League-leading 16 home runs or MLB-best 54 RBI. The lineup wraps around him perfectly and yet it’s not fully dependent on him for success.

There’s a reason why the Mets have the best record in the National League. Actually, there are a couple of them. The starting pitching has been superb and the bullpen might be even better. In the absence of Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer—which would have devastated them in past seasons, players have stepped up.

Chavez has helped give the Mets a reputation that should have pitchers worried. From top to bottom, there isn’t an easy out.

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