Francisco Lindor Has Always Been A Second Half Player
Watching New York Mets fans react to Francisco Lindor‘s start, you would think this is the first time they got to see him play. Moreover, you would think people had no idea about his historical trends. Sadly, that is not the case.
In 2021, it was a very poor start for Lindor even by his standards. Through the first half of the season, he was only hitting .225/.325/.373 with 11 doubles, a triple, 11 homers, and 36 RBI. Most of that was from his picking it up very late in May and into June as well as a huge July.
Really, much of the reason why is Lindor typically fights it through the first half of the season. On that point, here are his monthly wRC+ splits for his career:
- March/April 110
- May 121
- June 100
- July 128
- August 117
- September 120
Now, this year was a bit odd for Lindor in that he jumped out of the gate in April. He hit .282/.367/.482 with five doubles, four homers, and 14 RBI. That was good for a 148 wRC+. He hasn’t had a wRC+ that high in any month in the first half of the season since May 2018. Now, Lindor didn’t springboard off a poor April into May like he normally does, but then again, he’s only once had an April like that.
That was in 2017. In that year, Lindor had a 135 wRC+ in April only to fall off in May, and he would be even worse in June. Lindor rebounded with a great second half amassing a 140 wRC+ finishing that season fifth in AL MVP voting. That’s the highest he’s ever finished in the voting.
Again, when we see Lindor, he historically struggles over one of the first two months of the season. Historically, it has been April. That said, when he has had big Aprils, he has followed that with a down May. That’s the player he has always been. This is the player the Mets fans celebrated when they obtained him.
This is another way of saying Lindor is just fine, and he will have a great season. One down May is not going to change that. Keep in mind, he still has a 0.8 bWAR and 1.0 fWAR with over four months remaining in the season. Even with his May struggles, he is still one of the top shortstops in the game this season.
That’s true now, and it will be the case throughout the 2022 season. Just wait. He’s going to have a huge July like he always does, and he’s going to be one of, if not the, best player on a Mets team heading to the postseason. When all that happens, just remember all the unnecessary hand-wringing we have seen over his slumping over a couple of weeks of May.