Now that the 2023 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of the season from A (Abraham Almonte) to W (Josh Walker). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at outfielder DJ Stewart.
Player Review: DJ Stewart
Minor Leagues: 51 Games, 188 At Bats, .229 Batting Average, 43 Hits, 6 Doubles, 16 Home Runs, 41 RBIs, 35 Runs Scored, 35 Walks, .878 OPS
Major Leagues: 56 Games, 160 At Bats, .238 Batting Average, 38 Hits, 8 Doubles, 11 Home Runs, 26 RBIs, 21 Runs Scored, 1 Stolen Base, 15 Walks, .822 OPS, 0.3 WAR
Story: After spending the first five years of his career with the Baltimore Orioles, DJ Stewart found himself a free agent after the Baltimore Orioles opted not to retain their 2015 first round pick. Stewart remained on the free agent market until February when he signed a minor league deal and reunited with Buck Showalter, his first major league manager back in Baltimore.
The Mets assigned Stewart to AAA Syracuse and he spent the first three months of the year there. Stewart got called up to provide a left-handed bat off the bench on July 4th and found his way into the starting lineup by the end of the month as Starling Marte landed on the injured list with migraines. The trades of Mark Canha and Tommy Pham at the trade deadline virtually assured Stewart of an every-day job the rest of the way and he took advantage of his opportunity in a big way.
Stewart was red-hot in August, hitting .303 with eight home runs and 16 RBIs to help carry the offense, including a memorable game against Texas on August 30th when he homered twice and drove in four runs to help the Mets win 6-5 in 10 innings. Things leveled out a bit for Stewart in September as he cooled off significantly, hitting just .189 down the stretch to bring his totals more in line with Stewart’s career norms.
Stewart was a pleasant surprise for the Mets, flashing some pop in August and demonstrating his value to the team as a power threat from the left side. The Mets thought they were getting that capability from Daniel Vogelbach but instead found it with Stewart, who delivered surplus value on his minor league deal.
Contract Status: Signed Through 2024 (Will Earn $1.1 Million In 2024)
Odds Of Returning: 100%
2024 Role: 4th or 5th Outfielder
The Mets agreed to a one-year deal with Stewart in November to avoid salary arbitration, paying him $1.1 million for next season while retaining team control over him through 2027. New President of Baseball Operations David Stearns has spoken positively of Stewart, mentioning him as a key depth piece in the outfield and as an internal option alongside Mark Vientos to fill at bats in the designated hitter slot. Expect the Mets to look for a starting quality outfielder and DH to make Stewart a key bat off the bench, where he could fill the niche Vogelbach was intended to while also being capable of playing the field, giving the team more versatility in roster construction.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at infielder Mark Vientos!