12/18/12

Reese Kaplan - Who Should the Mets Have in the 2013 Outfield?

4 comments

Who should the Mets have in the 2013 outfield?

One of my all-time favorite books is entitled How to Lie With Statistics.  It shows you how to use the tricks of the trade to make your point with seemingly infallible evidence to back up your contention.  That book came to mind because I’m going to put forth just such an outlandish proposal but with numbers to support my conjecture.

If you took all of the Mets 2011 outfielders still on the roster and projected them out for a 600 AB season of productivity, who do you think would be the number one offensive producer?  Hint, it’s not Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Mike Baxter – it’s Terry Collins’ perrenial dog house dweller, Jordany Valdespin. 

Now, providing projections is a tricky thing because pitchers could expose a batters’ flaws, but a batter could also then have an opportunity to get into a hitting groove which is tough to do when on the entire season you not once got the chance to start three consecutive games.  (Go look it up – the immortal Andres Torres did, but not Valdespin). 

So, let’s cut to the chase:

Name
Average
Home Runs
RBIS
SBs
Walks
Strikeouts
Valdespin
.247
24
79
31
30
133
Duda
.237
21
82
2
70
150
Nieuwenhuis
.251
22
75
10
53
200
Baxter
.253
11
60
16
80
142

One of the biggest criticisms levied at Valdespin is that he’s a hacker incapable of taking a walk.  By contrast, in his rookie season of 2003 Jose Reyes would have drawn a projecte 26 walks and in 696 ABs in 2005 starting every day he drew a whopping 27.  Now he did learn to take a walk as part of his game.  Who’s to say Valdespin couldn’t do the same.

Look at this projection for Valdespin and then consider another less-than-stellar second baseman forced into the outfield – Alfonso Soriano.  His actual first full season of 2001 he posted .268/18/73/43/29/125.  While he’s not worth what the Cubs are currently paying him at the latter stages of his career, he has certainly more than lived up to that early potential shown when given the chance to play every day. 

Whether they give Valdespin the chance he deserves or not, the Mets can’t go into the season with four left handed hitting outfielders and no righties on the bench.  Towards that end I’ve identified some under-the-radar CF choices that shouldn’t cost a king’s ransom in terms of players to acquire nor salary to pay.

Craig Gentry of the Texas Rangers is a right handed hitting speed burner who subbed for the now Angel Josh Hamilton.  Given Texas’ vacancy in CF, he may not be as available as he once was.  However, Leonys Martin is first on the depth chart, plus they themselves might try the Mike Olt to the outfield experiment, shifting another outfielder to CF.

Tyler Moore’s parents must have a cruel sense of humor as I’m sure his nickname is Mary.  He’s buried on the Washington Nationals, having played all three outfield positions and first base at times last season.  The acquisition of Denard Span puts him far down the depth chart. 

The last one won’t help the right handed dilemma, but could provide a good leadoff bat.  Tony Campana of the Cubs is another speed burner in the Freddy Patek mold.  He’s a career .301 hitter in the minors and in just 317 big league ABs has 54 stolen bases.  That is not a misprint.  He’s currently behind David DeJesus and Brett Jackson on the depth chart. 

Getting guys of this ilk to help the team shouldn’t cost more than a minor prospect.

Now what of some bigger fish to fry…to whom could you trade Wilmer Flores for a similarly talented outfielder?  That’s the basis of more conjecture for another day.

4 comments:

Mack Ade said...

No one, especially me, has ever questioned 'Spin's' ability to play this game. I've gone as far to say that he may have the most raw talent in the organization.

But he also needs a locker in a different building. He makes Kelly Shoppach look like bunk buddy.

I also would play him until the next suspension.

TheCloser said...

How about the ever popular, Scott Hairston? He's still a free agent and a 2 yr $5m contract is his market value for his skill set. Ben Francisco is also a plausible free agent the can play both corners spots. Cody Ross is only coming here is we overpay for him and overpay isn't something I see the mets doing, but he would be the ideal guy to pick up. Signing both Hairston and Francisco would make our pitiful outfield somewhat credible, spin serving as super sub.

TheCloser said...

How about the ever popular, Scott Hairston? He's still a free agent and a 2 yr $5m contract is his market value for his skill set. Ben Francisco is also a plausible free agent the can play both corners spots. Cody Ross is only coming here is we overpay for him and overpay isn't something I see the mets doing, but he would be the ideal guy to pick up. Signing both Hairston and Francisco would make our pitiful outfield somewhat credible, spin serving as super sub.

Mack Ade said...

Hey Closer:

Yeah, I'd love Hairston back, but, like Ross' agent, his is also holding out for as many years as he can get his client.

I don't see a resolution to this until after the first of the year

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