I really like what I am reading about that hitting coach Kevin Long has been saying to the press this past week. One of his particular statements stood out to me when he was asked if the Mets are better than last year’s .239 team average, which ranked 28th in the majors:
“You are what you are. We’ll see if we can get that number to increase. At the end of the day, it’s really about scoring runs. We need to maximize our ability to score runs. There’s some intangibles that come along with that. There’s base running. There’s situational hitting.”
I talked a little about this last week when I mentioned that the Mets will learn this year how to win ballgames. Hitting over .239 is a good goal, but winnng 89+ games is a better one, and frankly, you can do this hitting .239 if your hits are preceded with runners in scoring position.
You also need a considerable increase in on-base percentage, which Long addressed when he talked about Juan Lagares. Lagares hit well above the league average in 2014 (.281 vs. .250), but still needs improvement on chasing bad pitches. Stop that and your walks increase, thus increasing your OBP.
Long also seems to know the limitation of the talent on this team so don’t be surprised you don’t see more platooning than you expected. Guys like John Mayberry Jr. were born for a platoon system and again… no one is going to care at the end of the day who was in the lineup if you win the game.