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 designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach.
Player Review: Daniel Vogelbach
2023 Stats: 104 Games, 275 At Bats, .233 Batting Average, 64 Hits, 8 Doubles, 13 Home Runs, 48 RBIs, 33 Runs Scored, 42 Walks, .742 OPS, 0.2 WAR
Story: After a solid second half with the Mets in 2022, Daniel Vogelbach returned as the team’s primary option as the designated hitter. Vogelbach got off to a solid start, hitting .271 in the month of April, but his extra base power was virtually non-existent. The Mets brought up Mark Vientos from AAA Syracuse in mid-May to provide more power but the team stuck by Vogelbach at Vientos’ extent, giving the veteran plenty of time to work out of a prolonged slump that left him seemingly afraid to swing the bat.
There was a stretch in mid-June when Vogelbach sat for over a week, leading to some speculation that the Mets would designated him for assignment. The opposite proved to be true as manager Buck Showalter revealed that the hiatus was part of a mental break for Vogelbach, allowing him to try working on some swing changes without the pressure of actually playing in games.
The reset appeared to spark Vogelbach for a little bit as he was a tad more aggressive but the results didn’t last for very long. As the Mets’ season slowly faded into irrelevance Vogelbach began ceding playing time to younger players, notably starting just one game after September 9th as Vientos got a longer run as the team’s designated hitter. Reports emerged after the season that General Manager Billy Eppler had essentially forced Showalter to play Vogelbach when the latter had a desire to give younger kids a shot, which made Vogelbach the poster child for what went wrong for the team in 2023.
Vogelbach’s overall numbers were mediocre and he didn’t produce enough offensively to justify how much his presence hamstrung the entire roster since he couldn’t play a defensive position adequately. The fact that the Mets stuck by him so long, largely at Eppler’s insistence, was a detriment to player development and the team’s chances of winning.
Contract Status: Free Agent
Odds Of Returning: 0%
2024 Role: None
New President of Baseball Operations David Stearns declined to tender Vogelbach a contract, making him a free agent the Mets won’t bring back since he isn’t a strong fit for how Stearns wants to build a team. Vogelbach’s strong eye and ability to get on base will help him land a job somewhere but the Mets are looking for more versatility out of their position players, making Vogelbach an ill fit for them going forward.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at relief pitcher Josh Walker!