At the All-Star Break the 2022 New York Mets are gearing up for a deep playoff run. Every great MLB championship team has those unsung heroes that catch everybody by surprise. Delivering offensive, defensive, or pitching Christmas gems a month or two early etches those players into playoff lore. Count on the Alonsos, Lindors, deGroms, and Scherzers of the world to command the regular season. However, who could be taking Santa’s place to deliver gifts for the Mets before December?
Acquired from the Oakland A’s, OF/1B Mark Canha is one of those potential unsung heroes for the Metropolitans in September/October. Here’s the part where most readers will attempt to dissect a number of stats that may justify – or discredit – my claim, depending on said reader’s perspective on the aforementioned claim. It’s an insufficient exercise because statistics recorded in the regular season don’t predict postseason intangibles. When considering Canha, he passes my “eye” test. Everytime the right-handed hitter garners face time, the camera is met with a scowl of determination and focus, which is usually a sign of deep-seated desire to win. Coming from Oakland, Canha has a realistic opportunity to achieve this desire.
One of Canha’s former Oakland teammates is also serving as a quality piece acquired from the AL West club. RHP Chris Bassitt is also passing my unsung heroes “eye” test by leaving batters looking and chasing. In MLB where flamethrowers are stunning opposing batters like Shawn Michaels’ “Sweet Chin Music”, Bassitt seems to have some off-speed stuff that’s as smooth and graceful as a live orchestra. The right-hander already has a few quality starts under his belt, yet manages to fly under most peoples’ radar. It’s hard to believe, considering how Bassitt’s knee-buckling pitches causes shocks that could register on the Richter scale.
These particular players may not be staring All-Star honors in the face, but they have the look of ball players ready to deliver in big moments; ready to deliver when it matters: in October.
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