Cuddyer's Impotence, Ruben's Resurgence: Mets Position Players, Ranked

Wilmer Flores was supposed to be an offensive force for the Mets in 2015. Instead, he has been among the bottom feeders in most offensive categories. Photo by Stephen Guilbert
I am going to give you all a bunch of data then give you two reactions I have to it below. What you interpret from this information is up to you. Tell me in the comments and we'll start a good discussion. I'm going to use 100 plate appearances as my sample size which includes part time position players like John Mayberry Jr. but omits hurt or demoted players like Travis d'Arnaud and Dilson Herrera. 10 Mets have accumulated 100 plate appearances this year and here is how they rank using a number of different criteria:


1.) Curtis Granderson: 2.5
2.) Lucas Duda: 1.5
3.) Ruben Tejada: 1.2
4.) Wilmer Flores: 1.1
5.) Juan Lagares: 0.8
6.) Daniel Murphy: 0.5
7.) Kevin Plawecki: 0.3
8.) Michael Cuddyer: 0.1
9.) John Mayberry Jr.: -0.1
10.) Eric Campbell: -0.2

WAR/600 AB (Wins Above Replacement extrapolated over a full season [600 plate appearances])

1.) Curtis Granderson: 3.89
2.) Ruben Tejada: 3.19
3.) Lucas Duda: 2.39
4.) Wilmer Flores: 1.96
5.) Juan Lagares: 1.40
6.) Daniel Murphy: 1.07
7.) Kevin Plawecki: 0.95
8.) Michael Cuddyer: 0.91
9.) John Mayberry Jr: -0.56
10.) Eric Campbell: -0.71

Base running (calculated by Fangraph's BsR):

1.) Ruben Tejada: 1.5
t2.) Lucas Duda: 0.4
t2.) Juan Lagares: 0.4
4.) John Mayberry Jr.: 0.3
5.) Curtis Granderson: -0.1
6.) Wilmer Flores: -0.2
7.) Kevin Plawecki: -0.4
8.) Michael Cuddyer: -0.8
9.) Eric Campbell: -1.1
10.) Daniel Murphy: -1.5

Total Defense Rating (calculated by Fangraph's DEF rating):

1.) Lagares: 7.5
2.) Flores: 4.9
t3.) Tejada: 3.7
t3.) Plawecki: 3.7
5.) Granderson: 2.1
6.) Campbell: 0.3
7.) Mayberry: -0.4
8.) Murphy: -1.7
9.) Duda: -4.9
10.) Cuddyer: -6.0

wOBA (weighted on-base average):

1.) Granderson: .341
2.) Duda: .332
3.) Tejada: .305
4.) Murphy: .304
5.) Cuddyer: .300
6.) Flores: .292
7.) Lagares: .267
8.) Mayberry: .266
9.) Campbell: .264
10.) Plawecki: .263

The five categories above tell us the following:

1.) Overall value based on offensive contribution (at the plate and on the bases) and defensive contribution
2.) Value per time played
3.) Offensive contribution- Base running
4.) Defensive contribution
5.) Offensive contribution- Hitting

The sample size is small and there are other ways to evaluate the Mets players (you could use wRC+ instead of wOBA, for example, but the results are about the same).

Here are my two reactions to this information:

1.) If I can pin down the biggest culprit to the Mets position player impotence this season, it is Michael Cuddyer. There are plenty of candidates, but none have been worse overall than Cuddyer for the playing time he has received and where his at bats have come.

2.) Ruben Tejada remains a misunderstood and completely under-appreciated and undervalued player by this organization and fan base.

What do you take away from this? Chat in the comments or Tweet a question at me (@StephenJosiah13)


bob gregory said...

I think this is an example.of WAR'S limitations.
The numbers do not necessarily match the collective crud witnessed day in and day out in on the field, in game performance.

Stephen Guilbert said...

Sure it does. Those numbers are terrible.

Stephen Guilbert said...

This isn't going to be yet another "Stephen Guilbert defends sabermetrics" post, is it? Look, I very easily could have posted the average, OBP, runs, RBI, strikeouts, walks rankings here but a.) It would tell you less about the value and performance of our players and b.) Not be much (if any) different from the conclusions you drew from the information above.

Not understanding something is not grounds for rejecting it. That is the last I will say in defense of the metrics used above.

bob gregory said...

Just looking that 6 of the starters in the adjusted WAR for 600 abs being above replacement level and that 5 starters have a weighted on base avg of .290 or better. As bad as they may be, the observed collective performance seems even worse

Thomas Brennan said...

Be interested to see what WAR per 600 at bats leaders in the majors to compare to our hoppers.

bob gregory said...

Relax stephen.
Deep breath.....

Just expressing that the performance has seemed even worse

Stephen Guilbert said...

Bob, those numbers are pretty awful. Remember, WAR has a ton of data over the years to draw from. This is what these numbers mean:

Scrub 0-1 WAR
Role Player 1-2 WAR
Solid Starter 2-3 WAR
Good Player 3-4 WAR
All-Star 4-5 WAR
Superstar 5-6 WAR

So we have two "good players", one "solid starter" and the rest role players, scrubs, and a few players literally not worth their weight in a roster spot over a triple-A player.

That's abysmal no matter how you look at it.

bob gregory said...

But that fits the plan of Alderson's offense.

Gary Seagren said...

Great work on your article and just another reason to bring up Conforto. We were 1 for 26 with runners in scoring position yesterday and left 25 on base to no ones surprise so why not? Without Wright and D'Arnaud and with Duda doing his best Ike Davis impersonation along with knowing a big trade ain't happening he could just be spark we could use.

Stephen Guilbert said...

I would rather Brandon Nimmo than Michael Conforto at this point. I think Nimmo is a bit more ready than Conforto and can play center and lead off...two things the Mets need.

I'm not sold that 200 double-A at bats for Conforto is enough to expose him to major league pitching just yet.

Ernest Dove said...

I find it strange that people (not talking macks mets people) have reported only Bingo guys having chance at call up instead of more (junk) from Vegas.
I believe Ceceliani is still missing in action. And even though I had some fun writing a post on cory vaughn back in like April 2014, that has not shall we say materialized............
I guess im almost surprised that front office wouldn't simply call up more aaaa guys instead. I hope this means they are desperate enough to finally do something to spark this team.

Stephen Guilbert said...

The position player talent in the system is in double-A and high-A at this point. The lineup reinforcements are still 1-2 years off. Smith, Rosario, Cecchini, Nimmo, Conforto.

Ernest Dove said...

Hence the reason why I enjoy my 160ish mile roundtrips to port st Lucie to watch A ball more than lay on my own bed watching the major league heartache every night.

eraff said...

AA is where all the talent is...that's for all teams. AAA is Finishing, Buffing, Holding area---and a place for fully finished 23rd-25th man on the roster guys---"the Shuttle".

If you think the stats are bad, watch these guys play....and if you think they're togh to watch hit, just look at the stats--- Everything confirms Everything!!!!

Stephen Guilbert said...

No argument here, eraff.

S. Finch said...

I feel like this Ruben Tejada discussion has occurred every year since he has been brought up. Yes, in about 1/3 of a season Tejada has been fairly valuable, but....

-He has never eclipsed the 2.0 WAR threshhold, despite all of the opportunities. This leaves him where most agree he belongs: the "role player" category.

-I don't know much about the sample size variation in BsR, but it hasn't been that high since 2011. He has gotten bigger and slower. The eye test says he is a below average runner and i am inclined to believe there is some small sample size issues here.

-Tejada is middle of the pack according to Fangraph's DEF for SS with >100 innings. Average is fine, but not when you bring few other baseball skills.

-WOBA - is it good to be second in WOba on a team that is third to last overall?

Tejada is "misunderstood", "under-appreciated" and "undervalued" when considering him as a roleplayer. He has shown glimpses over the years, but always comes back to what he really is.. a decent backup.

Stephen Guilbert said...

That's cherry picking, Mr. Finch. I merely give the rankings for the Mets players above. I chose the best, all-encompassing statistics out there for each of the major contributing factors to value. If you want to twist that, fine. But don't expect me to buy it.

eraff said...

Tejada is a Major League Middle Infielder. He's highly skilled and he generally makes the right play--- he lacks the athleticism that would make him a 1st tier player, much less make him an "exciting/promissing" player.

You cannot hate players for what they are...now, my opinion of the guys who gather and assemble the parts to this team...............they have simply too few well rounded players...too few major leaguers.

The guys running this squad are stuck in 1999...they're playing 3 run HR baseball, but they forgot the HR HITTERS!!! They have a pitching centered team with No Defense, Speed, Offense, Small Ball Offense.

5 Years in---you have a pitching staff!!!!! PERIOD

The Troika should set themselves on Fire in Public.

S. Finch said...

"I chose the best, all-encompassing statistics" - That would be a subjective decision, otherwise known as....cherry picking.

The thing is yes, by those numbers tejada has been a valuable contributor this season, but doesn't it concern you that all of those numbers are/close to career highs and a small sample? Tejada has done this over and over again. He has streaks where it looks like he might be a first division starter, but he has never finished an entire season with stats that suggest he is anything more than a good bench piece. Who knows, maybe he is breaking out, but i would count on a 2015 line similar to his career averages.


"highly skilled" "1st tier"

I assume you mean defensively. Since 2010 Tejada ranks 17/24 in SS defense. That plays if you provide something positive with the bat.

Players near him? Ian Desmond, Jed Lowrie, jose Reyes, Starlin Castro.... The difference is they hit a little bit.

S. Finch said...

Even more telling: Since 2010, 24 SS have a minimum of 2000PA. Tejada? comes in at #22 in WAR. I think that's more telling than 226PA you use to make the case that Tejada is "undervalued" or highly skilled, or first tier.

Stephen Guilbert said...

Finch, I cannot teach you sabermetrics. It is up to you to learn them. The burden of knowledge falls on the ignorant here, not the reporter.

eraff said...

Finch---please re-read my comments...I certainly did NOT refer to Tejada as a "highly skilled 1st tier player"---- I PLAINLY explained that he is not a 1st tier player.

Gee Wiz....

S. Finch said...


I was going to let it go..

Basically, I don’t get why you choose 226PA to determine Tejada is undervalued, when we have over 2000PA over his career that when using the same statistics, show he is at best a role-player.

Furthermore, your argument uses the metrics incorrectly.

Many of the components to calculate wOBA do not stabilize until around 500PA. Ruben’s at 226. Defensive metrics are notoriously unreliable with small sample sizes. You are taking 1/3 of a season and projecting it out. What would Lucas Duda’s wOBA look like after his first 226PA??

Basically you took WAR, then a few of the components of WAR, and compared Ruben's tiny sample size to the rest of an inept lineup and declare he is pretty good...

His value remains as a role player, you want him valued like a decent starter.

S. Finch said...


sorry i was a little worked up.

Thomas Brennan said...

Seems a WAR is going on here LOL

Stephen Guilbert said...


Was this a post about Mets position players in the past five seasons or position players this season?

I know you can get this.

S. Finch said...


Perhaps i focused too much on the "remains..." in your final sentence.

Stephen Guilbert said...

I can't help with reading comprehension, Finch.

Stubby said...

"5 years in--you have a pitching staff!!! PERIOD"

Not "a" pitching staff. THE pitching staff. The best in baseball. Better than Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, by their own admission. A pitching staff deep enough to withstand injuries. That ain't nothin' even though you seem to think it is. Pitching wins championships. Always has, always will.

Building a world class pitching staff was the focus and Sandy succeeded beyond all expectations. In the process, he assembled a lineup that, with that pitching staff, should have been sufficient until the later draft classes--which were more focused on position players--were ready for graduation. And, when everyone was healthy, we were killing the competition. You can blame the GM if you wish for unforeseeable injuries to the keys to the offense, but I can't. Even with all of those injuries, we are still in a position to win this year. That's because the Mets focused on the three things you need to win--pitching, pitching, and more pitching.

I know there's some romanticizing of the 1969 team. And it's true that, from sheer numbers, they would seem to have produced better offensive numbers--hits, home runs, etc. But in the context of the season, the '69 squad was far from an offensive juggernaut. They ranked near the bottom in most offensive categories for most of the season. The '69 Mets were the World Champions because of pitching.

The only stats you need to know right now are these: second place, 2 games out, end of July. And that's with a DL that's filled to overflowing. Now maybe they collapse late like all of Omar's squads always did, but I don't see it. Most of our healthy players are contributing below career average. Odds say they are going to get better down the stretch, not worse. At the end of the day, though, its the pitching that matters, and that we've got. I still think Mets fans owe Sandy a bushel of apologies, but I'm not holding my breath. If we should make it to the Series this year, I just know that Mets fans will find plenty of reasons they aren't happy about that.

S. Finch said...


Geez... are the insults necessary?

Steven Matz in LF for 2016? Projects to 20 WAR-.505 wOBA!

eraff said...

Stubby... actually, my main gripe is that they are squandering that staff...... last season and this season... and this season, it is a vhampions j in staff.

So.... recognize that opportunity ..... PITCHING..... Does not remain in place

Mack's Mets © 2012