ST. LOUIS — Francisco Lindor’s slump to start his Mets career has become the most analyzed in baseball this season.
Is it mechanical? Mental? The jolt of switching leagues and becoming entrenched in a new environment?
Just over a month since signing a 10-year extension with the club worth $341 million, Lindor took a dreadful .171/.289/.220 slash line with one homer and three RBIs into Monday night’s game against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, as he remained tethered to the No. 2 hole in the lineup.
A deeper look into the numbers shows that Lindor’s biggest issue isn’t chasing pitches or strikeouts, but his inability to barrel the ball. Entering play he had barreled 2.8 percent of pitches, which ranked in the 12th percentile among MLB players, according to Statcast. Lindor’s barrel rate the previous three seasons were 9.5, 7.5 and 5.6, respectively.
“He seems tentative at the plate, caught in-between,” a major league scout said, adding that Lindor’s low barrel rate is probably a timing issue, connected to lack of aggressiveness and not seeing the ball well.
“Bad trifecta,” the scout added. “Keep swinging.”