New York Mets: Justin Wilson, the unheralded bullpen piece


The New York Mets have some heavyweight names in their bullpen. Edwin Diaz was stellar prior to the 2019 season, Dellin Betances was a stud from 2014 to 2018, Seth Lugo was among the league’s best relievers last year and Brad Brach has closer experience. However, one of the most unheralded names of the unit is Justin Wilson.

Very quietly, the lefty registered a 2.54 ERA and a 3.91 FIP in 39 innings with the Mets in 2019. That’s very good production, and he figures to be a very important arm as the team searches the postseason in 2020.

His WHIP was a rather high 1.33. However, he used his high strikeout rate (10.15 K/9) to get by with control issues (4.38 BB/9.) In fact, Wilson has a long track of success in MLB. He has eight seasons, and not once he has put an ERA worse than 4.20 in a full season.

People tend to remember that he was very bad in 17.2 innings with the Chicago Cubs in 2017. Back then, he had a 5.09 ERA and a 2.09 WHIP, with a ghastly 19 base on balls.

But he was solid in 2018 (3.46 ERA) and was even better in 2019 with the Mets. The most appealing trait about Wilson is that he can retire both lefties and righties. He is more than just a prototypical LOOGY (left-handed one out guy.)

The Mets‘ bullpen wild card

In 2019, he held left-handed batters to a .217/.368/.261 line, with a .291 wOBA. Righties hit .232/.303/.384 with a .296 wOBA. His overall xwOBA was .288, per Statcast. That is a very good number.

For the Mets’ bullpen, which is full of question marks, Wilson’s reliability and stability are very good developments. The team doesn’t know which version of Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz they will get. They don’t know if Dellin Betances’ Achilles will hold up.

The New York Mets need a guy that can get outs in high-leverage situations. Thankfully, they have one in the unheralded Justin Wilson.