An underrated duo up the middle

Chicago Cubs v New York Mets
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

After their fatal fall in the 2015 World Series, the New York Mets went shopping over the winter to completely redo their duo up the middle. Daniel Murphy left in free agency and with no true and reliable shortstop they could count on, it was time to find one.

The Mets ended up with Neil Walker at second base and Asdrubal Cabrera beside him at shortstop. Walker came via trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates that only cost them Jon Niese. Cabrera was a free agent signing that became a quality addition to a team looking to fight yet again.

In year one, this switch-hitting duo proved to be an important part of the Mets roster.

Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera aren’t the greatest Mets duo but they got the job done

Walker hit .282/.347/.476 with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in his first season with the Mets. It would turn out to be his only full year with the club as he would part midway through the 2017 season when he became one of many trade deadline casualties.

In his second year with the club, he added a .264/.339/.442 slash line with another 10 home runs and 36 RBI. Far from spectacular, the .275/.344/.462 performance in his 186 games for the Mets was more than many second basemen could have given.

Cabrera stuck around a little longer. Traded a summer later, he had seasons of hitting .280/.336/.474, .280/.351/.434, and .277/.329/.488 with the Mets. The end result included a .279/.339/.464 batting line with 55 home runs and 179 RBI.

His time as the club’s shortstop was spent mostly in 2016 with Walker as his double play partner. In 2017, Cabrera played a lot of third base and some second base as well. In his final 90 games for the Mets in 2018, he had become the club’s starting second baseman.

It was brief but it was a productive combination the Mets had up the middle in 2016. Getting 46 combined home runs from them was huge for a team with some big offensive holes.

Neither Walker nor Cabrera is an all-time great Mets player at their respective position. However, the duo is right up there with some of the best the franchise has produced.

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