New York Mets 2022 Season in Review: MVP

WATCH- Edwin Diaz's Has the Best Walkout Entrance in the MLB
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Now that the 2022 season is over for the New York Mets, we will spend the next several weeks taking a look at the big picture. This deep dive will be broken down into phases every weekday, continuing today with a look at the Mets’ 2022 MVP.

When you win 101 games, it is very easy to have a lot of different MVP candidates. Six different players took home Met of the Month awards during the season and that group didn’t include Jeff McNeil, the National League batting champion, Max Scherzer, Francisco Lindor or Jacob deGrom. While all of them put up excellent years and Pete Alonso should receive down-ballot MVP votes for his power performance, the MVP of the 2022 Mets has to be closer Edwin Diaz.

The Mets’ bullpen was shaky as a whole but was still a strong unit thanks to the presence of Diaz, who delivered his finest big league season thanks to some smart usage from new manager Buck Showalter. Diaz racked up 31 saves on the season and blew just three, with none coming after a May 24 effort against the San Francisco Giants that resulted in his only loss of the season. Opposing batters couldn’t figure out Diaz, who held them to a .160 batting average and .260 slugging percentage against him. Diaz struck out an absurd 118 batters in just 62 innings pitched, which is an incredibly efficient way to prevent runs.

Showalter was also aggressive with his usage of Diaz, often bringing him in earlier than the ninth inning when the opposing team had their best hitters due up. Diaz responded to each challenge and met the moment, picking up critical outs that the Mets would need in order to secure a victory on that night. This usage did prevent Diaz from having even more saves on his resume ahead of free agency but Diaz was selfless, putting the needs of the team ahead of his own individual statistics, a trait he showcased in the All-Star Game by encouraging National League manager Brian Snitker to give Pittsburgh closer David Bednar the ninth inning instead of himself since it was Bednar’s first All-Star appearance.

Diaz even went viral thanks to SNY’s excellent production of his entrance to games to Narco by Blasterjaxx. The musician behind the famous trumpets in the song, Timmy Trumpet himself, even came out to Citi Field to perform the song live when Diaz entered a critical game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in late August.

The brilliant walk-year performance couldn’t have been more well-timed for Diaz, who is set to become a free agent after the World Series, but he has indicated his preference is to remain in New York. The Mets should be highly motivated to work out a new deal before Diaz hits the market since he is one of the most irreplaceable players on the team right now.

Check back tomorrow as we wrap up our Season In Review Series with a look at the questions the Mets will have to answer this offseason!

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