Heading into the 2022 Major League Baseball season, the New York Mets had all the talent in the world on paper to make a run for a National League pennant. However, the feeling around the team took a turn for the worse when it was announced that superstar pitcher Jacob DeGrom would miss at least two months of the season with an ailing shoulder.
Mets fans, and those who participated in live betting for season-long win totals were not happy to learn that a perennial Cy Young award candidate would not be on the mound. However, New York has been able to remain in first place in the National League East thanks to contributions from several players. We will take a look at the most integral contributions from three players who deserve to be All-Stars in 2022.
With each passing day, the blockbuster trade the Mets made with Seattle Mariners in the winter of 2018 looked worse. New York acquired second baseman Robinson Cano, who was already up there in age and well past the prime of his career. He had twice been suspended for steroids throughout his major league career, including him missing the entire 2021 season.
The crown jewel of the trade, closer Edwin Diaz, had been less than stellar in his time with the Mets. After posting a major league-leading 57 saves with Seattle in 2018, he struggled with control throughout much of his time in New York. However, it appears as if the closer’s slider and electric arm have turned the corner this year. He’s among the league leaders in saves in the National League, and the confidence fans have in him feels different in 2022.
After a tremendous start to his major league career, Jeff McNeil’s ascent hit a speed bump last season. He battled injury and ineffectiveness, which left him frustrated. He was always an aggressive hitter, but his tendency to swing at the first pitch became common knowledge around the league, and he wasn’t as effective.
With a simplified, calmer, and more selective approach, McNeil has returned to his place as one of the most prolific contact hitters in baseball. He has a chance to win the National League batting title if he can stay healthy, and remains focused on driving the ball to all parts of the field.
It seems like forever ago now, but Mets star slugger Pete Alonso had a pretty serious scare during Spring Training. He was involved in a car accident where the vehicle allegedly flipped over. Somehow Alonso was not hurt, and it’s an incredibly fortunate stroke of good luck for the player and the fans.
Alonso has been on an absolute tear to start the season. He’s been at or near the top of the home run and RBI leaderboard for most of the year, and is one of the most imposing hitters in baseball. He is also on pace to set a career-high in batting average, which shows that the 27-year-old is much more than just a prototypical power hitter.