2021 Mets Predictions: The Lindor Lineup

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2021 Mets Predictions
CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 29: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates during player introductions prior to Game One of the American League Wild Card Series against the New York Yankees at Progressive Field on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

As Spring Training draws closer and closer, I will be providing my 2021 Mets Predictions.

Thursday afternoon, Jared Porter and company made the first major splash of the Cohen era, landing Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco from Cleveland in exchange for Andres Gimenez, Amed Rosario, and prospects Josh Wolf and Isaiah Greene.

In my opinion, this is trade is an absolute steal for the Mets. Porter was able to land one of the top players in baseball as well as an extremely solid top to middle-of-the-rotation starting pitcher without parting ways with any of his top prospects. As a rival executive told John Harper of SNY, the Mets absolutely “took advantage of a small-market team in a difficult financial climate.”

The addition of Lindor just adds to an already strong Mets offense. On paper, this group is looking very stacked heading into the 2021 season. Let’s take a look at the lineup Luis Rojas could potentially send out on Opening Day.

2021 Mets Predictions: Lineup Without Designated Hitter

From top to bottom, this is one of the best and deepest lineups we’ve seen from the Mets in a long time. Last year’s lineup was good, however, this lineup has the potential to be great.

Last season the Mets led the National League in batting average, ranked second in on-base percentage, and finished third in OPS. Swap out Rosario/Gimenez for one of the top positions players in baseball, and here come the high-flying New York Mets.

Since 2017, Lindor ranks at the top amongst shortstops in games played (520), home runs (111), and WAR (19.6). According to Lindor’s ZiPS projection on Fangraphs, the Mets should expect 32 homers, 38 doubles, 20 stolen bases, and a .822 OPS from their newly acquired shortstop.

The power-hitting Lindor should slot in beautifully hitting behind an on-base machine in Brandon Nimmo and one of the best pure contact hitters in baseball in Jeff McNeil. He can seriously do some damage hitting behind those two in this lineup.

Let’s also not ignore the fact that Lindor will also have some serious protection in this lineup. There’s slugging ‘Polar Bear’ Pete Alonso, sweet-swinging lefty Michael Conforto, or even 2020 breakout star Dominic Smith.

Team President Sandy Alderson recently told WFAN J.D. Davis is the team’s third-baseman ‘right-now.’ That certainly doesn’t sound all to encourage for the slugger, but until a change is made, Davis figures to be the starting third baseman for this group. Davis struggled in 2020 after a major breakout in his first season in Flushing.

While his defense is a bit of a problem, ‘Just Dingers’ has shown he has the potential to be a legit force at the plate when he is right. If he does stay in town and ends up with regular playing time, Davis could be in for a big bounce-back 2021 season.

Recently acquired catcher James McCann is also no shlep at the plate. McCann made some adjustments after being DFA’d by the Tigers and turned himself into a completely different ballplayer.

The California-kid hit .276/.334/.474 with 25 homers, 29 doubles, 116 wRC+, and 3.8 wins above replacement after joining the White Sox in 2019. Even without the DH, the Mets’ potential lineup is looking very very solid from top to bottom.

2021 Mets Predictions: Lineup With Designated Hitter

  • L Brandon Nimmo (CF)
  • L Jeff McNeil (LF)
  • S Francisco Lindor (SS)
  • R Pete Alonso (DH)
  • L Michael Conforto (RF)
  • L Dominic Smith (1B)
  • R J.D. Davis (3B)
  • L Luis Guillorme (2B)
  • R James McCann (C)

In these 2021 Mets predictions, the club stands to benefit immensely offensively and defensively if the designated hitter does get added to the National League for the 2021 season.

In this situation, Dominic Smith can move to his natural first base position, bumping Pete Alonso to the DH spot. Jeff McNeil then shifts out to left field, where he has turned himself into a serviceable outfielder.

And with both Rosario and Gimenez gone, Luis Guillorme figures to be in-line to see a ton of playing time in 2021. In fact, Guillorme was mentioned by name by Sandy Alderson when asked about infield depth.

The 26-year old is coming off his best season in the big leagues, after hitting .333 with a .865 OPS over 29 games. Guillorme is viewed by many as one of the top defenders in the organization, and can fill in at second, shortstop, and third.

Potenital Additions?

It is looking more and more likely the Mets are not done adding this offseason. Following the Lindor trade, there are still some interesting free agents and trade targets being connected to the Mets.

Of course, the big-fish and long-rumored free agent for the Mets is centerfielder George Springer. If the Mets were to still land the right-handed-hitting slugger even after acquiring Lindor, this already great lineup would become even stronger, and be more balanced.

Also as mentioned earlier in the post, J.D. Davis’ spot in the starting lineup could be on the hot seat. According to Mike Puma of the NY Post, there’s been recent dialogue between the Mets and Chicago Cubs about Kris Bryant. While he isn’t the superstar he used to be, KB is still an excellent ballplayer who absolutely makes the Mets a better team, and likely won’t cost them all that much in a trade.

No matter how the Mets decide to finish out the offseason, their great offense has already undoubtedly gotten stronger. These 2021 Mets predictions look like they will benefit the team immensely. Maybe, just maybe, this will be the year Jacob deGrom actually receives some run support!

Check back soon for more of my 2021 Mets Predictions as we draw closer and closer to Spring Training, and before you know it, the 2021 regular season.

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