2/18/15

Tom Brennan - PROJECTIONS OF METS OFFENSE 2014 VS. 2015 - OUTFIELD

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PROJECTION OF METS’ OFFENSE 2015 VS. 2014 - OUTFIELD: Tom Brennan

The Mets’ 2014 offense was offensive.  629 runs. 

 I decided to forecast my thoughts on 2015 production with what I see as the Mets’ likely 2015 players.  Trades and injuries are a part of the game and could alter my projections down the road, but you gotta start somewhere.

 I am going position by position, seeing what happened last year and what I think for 2015, and figure out the projected aggregate differential.

 In terms of RBIs, the following lists the actual results for 2014 and my projections for 2015.  I think that the Mets are capable of another 121 runs above last year’s skimpy 629 (3.9 runs per game), bring us to 750, or 4.6 runs per game.  I think 50 of those runs will be due to shorter fences, and 70 will be due to better performances and better players.

P.S. the source of my 2014 stats were one of the Mets’ website links.


Position
2014 RBIs
Projected 2015
Difference
First Base
96
110
+14
Second Base
73
70
-3
Shortstop
57
80
+23
Third Base
69
90
+21
Catcher
74
75
+1
Left Field

46

80

+34

Center Field

76

75

-1

Right Field

78

90

+12
Pinch Hitting
18
30
+12
Pitchers
12
20
+8
TOTALS
599
720
+121

 Let’s say 720 RBIs equate to 750 total runs. 

 Projections are just that, projections.  My guesswork. 

 Let’s go plus/minus 40 to address uncertainty – that said, I am projecting the Mets will score 710 – 790 runs in 2015.

That run production increase, plus Harvey’s return, a full year of deGrom, and a stronger bullpen starting the season, and I think we could win 86-94 games in 2015. Most target us for less.  I think that’s the range.

So this is article 5 of 6.  I have summarized my thoughts regarding each position’s projections - previous included 1st base and 2nd base; shortstop and 3rd base; catcher.

·       Outfield (today’s article)

·       Pitchers and pinch hitters (next article)


CENTER FIELD:

 Last year, Juan Lagares surprised a bunch of folks (but not me) hitting .282 with 24 doubles and 4 HRs in 414 at bats for a .384 slug %.  Not bad, and a real improvement over 2013, but those stats marginal for an outfield starter – except for that other-worldly glove, the one that makes him a terrific starting Center Fielder.   Due to Lagares’ early season platooning and an injury, other CFs (Nieuwenhuis, the Young-sters, Granderson, and den Dekker) combined for 220 CF at bats, hitting a combined .245. 


Overall, the combined 2014 CF was actually pretty fine offensively, at .269, with 43 doubles, 3 triples, 14 HR, and 76 RBIs in 634 official at bats (just 38 walks though).

In 2015, I see Lagares adding 100 plate appearances, with an increment in his power, average, and on base % in 2015, to .290/.330/.410.  I think he continues to come into his own offensively, and he’ll sneak a few more homers out in the shorter right side of the outfield in 2015.

As back up to Juan, and spelling him for (let’s say) 20 games against tough righties, I'd like to see den Dekker over Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Matt is the better fielder, and I think he really figured out his excessive strikeout thing in 2014, whereas Kirk has not.  Overall, I can see Matt getting 200 major league at bats, and re-introducing a bit of pop into his enhanced contact swing.  200 at bats, .275, .350, 5 homers 25 RBIs.  Half of that as Juan's back up in CF, half of it backing up Granderson or Cuddyer. 

So I see .285, 15 HRs, 85 runs and 80 RBIs out of CF in 2015, a relatively small increment over the collective production for all the Mets' 2014 CFs.

And FIVE STAR CF DEFENSE.  Making it a Mets position of strength.

LEFT FIELD:
I’m sorry, I had to bring up 2014 Mets left field.  .219 in 606 at bats, 6 homers, 46 RBIs – ugh!  (83 runs scored - not too terrible there).  It got “old” having the 2 Youngs playing in LF and during their left field stats hitting just .218 in 394 official at bats.

Michael Cuddyer, Dekker and Mayberry in 2015?    How about .270, 15 homers, 75 RBIs and 90 runs.  We got less Younger, but a lot better in LF.


RIGHT FIELD:

Due to Curtis Granderson’s early ice-cold start and a few blips of deep freeze throughout the 2014 season, the left field contingent (493 Granderson ABs, 72 from Abreu, and 45 from other players) hit .240, with 34 doubles, 19 HRs, 83 runs scored and 78 RBIs.  Lots of walks, lots more strikeouts.  In other words, 162 games of mediocrity.  Not terrible.  Clearly mediocre, though.

2015 should be better.  Shorter fences, his favorite batting coach, 2nd year on the team and in the NL, I see .250, 25 HRs, 85 runs, 80 RBIs from Grandy in 140 games.  Adding in the RF subs, how about .250 overall, 28 HRs, 95 runs, 90 RBIs?  So, add 12 runs of production over last year for this slot.  Not terrific but solid.
In summary, I see 45 more runs out of the outfield in 2015.  I would not be surprised if it turns out to be more. 
Next and final edition: pitchers and pinch hitters, a motley offensive bunch in 2014.

2 comments:

Reese Kaplan said...

I think you're slightly optimistic on Juan Lagares, wildly optimistic on Curtis Granderson and rather pessimistic on Michael Cuddyer. The net result might be somewhat under what you predicted.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Reese, on Grandy I figured he'd not repeat his .140 April, and his other 5 months were close to the pace I see for 2015.

Having Long as coach ought to help, and so should the shorter fences.

If nonetheless my projections turn out to be wildly optimistic on him, he is unfortunately wildly overpaid. He needs a big year 2 of 4 on this contract, or it is a bust.

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