News broke earlier this week that the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) is pushing to add a designated hitter to the National League among many other rule changes, a rule that could be in effect as soon as this year.
Although there has been some push back by fans, analysts, and even some pitchers, it is a rule that can benefit multiple teams in the National League, but out of the 15 teams the Mets could benefit the most out of the rule change.
Looking at the Mets current roster, although not completely set, there are names that we know will be on the roster. There are two names who would benefit from this the most and could make the Mets lineup a whole lot deeper.
The name that sticks out to most is Yoenis Cespedes. The right handed bat is a guy who carried the Mets to the 2015 NL East title after coming over at the trade deadline from Detroit. Ever since that initial season, his tenure in Queens has been filled with injuries. He has played in over 100 games once while in a Mets uniform, a number that potentially could change with the addition of the designated hitter.
Cespedes is also not that great of a defender, although he does have a cannon of an arm. We have seen time and time again routine line drives or fly balls dropped in left field. If Cespedes would be able to take the pressure off of his legs and let him focus solely on hitting, Cespedes’s numbers could see a resurgence once he returns to the field.
Another name that sticks out is new fan favorite Jeff McNeil. We saw what McNeil can do at the plate in the short time he was up, as well as what he can do with his glove at second base, but with the addition of Robinson Cano, second base may be out of the picture, for now. There has been talk by general manager Brodie Van Wagenen that McNeil will see time in the outfield, which is a mostly unknown position for him. Turning him into the Ben Zobrist “super utility” type of player is all to do one simple thing: keep his bat in the line up.
If the designated hitter is added, McNeil’s name could be stuck into the line up, and not have to expose him to a position he may not necessarily be comfortable playing at the major league level.
If the National League does in fact inherit the designated hitter, there are many teas that will flourish with that extra bat in the order. But out of all of the teams that will benefit from the personnel standpoint, the Mets will be the biggest benefactors.