Mets' Breakout Players, Most Disappointing to Start 2022 Season

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2022

Mets' Breakout Players, Most Disappointing to Start 2022 Season

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    It was a busy offseason for the New York Mets as they spent big in free agency and swung a deal to acquire Chris Bassitt from the Oakland Athletics on the trade market.

    Early breakout star Tylor Megill came back to earth a bit before landing on the injured list, and he's joined there by Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer as the team's starting pitching depth is really being put to the test in the early going.

    Despite all the flashy additions, one of the team's most consistent hitters has been utility infielder Luis Guillorme, while unheralded Drew Smith has emerged as a key bullpen weapon. On the flip side, Dominic Smith has not thrived in the DH role as hoped, and he is steadily losing playing time as a result.

    Ahead, we've taken a closer look at the biggest breakout players, as well as the most disappointing player, on the Mets roster through the first quarter of the 2022 season.

Under-the-Radar Breakout: RHP Drew Smith

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    Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    Despite some recent struggles, Drew Smith still deserves recognition for his breakout performance filling a setup role in the Mets bullpen.

    The 28-year-old tossed 13.1 scoreless innings over his first 12 appearances, holding opponents to an .093 batting average with 17 strikeouts and only four hits allowed.

    He has been scored on in four of his last six appearances since that pristine start to the year, including a blown save on Tuesday when he allowed two hits, one walk and three earned runs while recording just two outs.

    His importance to the team's early success can't be overstated, and he'll need to get back on track for the bullpen to be a reliable late-inning force.

Biggest Disappointment: 1B Dominic Smith

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    Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    Dominic Smith earned some down-ballot NL MVP votes in 2020 when he hit .316/.377/.616 for a 168 OPS+ with 10 home runs and 42 RBI in 50 games during the shortened season.

    Miscast as a left fielder with Pete Alonso blocking his path at first base, he has never been an asset defensively, which puts even more pressure on his offensive production.

    After posting a lackluster 84 OPS+ with 11 home runs and 58 RBI in 493 plate appearances last season, he seemed poised to benefit as much as anyone from the implementation of the universal DH, but instead, he has struggled to hold on to his spot in the lineup.

    The 26-year-old is hitting .203/.281/.278 in 89 plate appearances and still searching for his first home run of the new season. As a result, J.D. Davis has seen more playing time at DH, and until he starts hitting, Smith's role will likely continue to diminish.

Biggest Breakout: IF Luis Guillorme

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Luis Guillorme fits the prototypical utility infielder profile perfectly, with the ability to play all over the infield, solid contact skills, and limited power production.

    He hit .265/.374/.311 with four extra-base hits in a career-high 156 plate appearances last season, and he was again expected to serve as a bench piece on this year's team, but he is quietly playing his way into a large role.

    The 27-year-old is hitting .333/.405/.439 with four doubles and one home run in 76 plate appearances, and he has been in the starting lineup three times in the last six games entering play on Wednesday with a pair of starts at second base and one at third base.

    With Jeff McNeil capable of manning a corner outfield spot and the DH slot looking more like a revolving position because of Dominic Smith's struggles, it's not hard to envision Guillorme playing his way into a semi-regular role the rest of the season if he keeps hitting. He could be the 2022 version of what Donovan Solano was for the San Francisco Giants a few years ago.

         

    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and accurate through Tuesday's games.

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