Future Positional Analysis – Outfield


We continue…

If we learned one thing in the World Series is the fact that we now have a full time left fielder in Michael Conforto. All he had to do was hit one home run against a lefty to claim that job.

I believe that the 2016 Mets lineup will start with Curtis Granderson (RF) leading off, followed by David Wright and Conforto.

The question is who will play centerfield.

For safety sake (and, at least late inning defense), we have Juan Lagares under contract through a team option in 2020. The Mets said this week that he will not have to go under the knife and will return in 2016 at 100%. I hope they are right because he surely didn't look like he played in that condition at the end of the season.

I’d like to think, that with all the great young starters on this team that are under team control, that the proper amount of money can be spend to bring in to play centerfield at the talent level we quickly got used to when Yoenes Cespedes arrived.

Frankly, I don’t see anyone coming out of the organization with this kind of potential talent for at least two or three more years.

(Editor’s Note:  the choice of Cespedes, at the kind of money and length of contract he will demand, could be debated. Frankly, I was very unimpressed with him in the World Series)

Beyond this, Michael Cuddyer is still under contract to play the 2016 season for $12.5mil. This has turned out to be a cheaper version of the Jason Bay contract and the Mets need to consider DFA-ing him to open up this roster spot to someone that could be much more productive. 

Past that…

Talent wise, I rank Wuilmer Becerra (Sav - .290, 9-HR) as the next possible major league starter. He was 12th in the league in RBIs (63) at the age of 21. He obviously will start the season in St. Lucie, but let’s remember this was the same team that Conforto started this year. Fast tracking is possible in this day and age of baseball.

Next up, in my opinion talent wise, is Brandon Nimmo (St. Lucie-Bing-Las Vegas: .269), who stumbled a little in 2015. He also continues to be a little injury prone and is now projected as a probably backup outfielder someday in the majors. Additionally, the power remains questionable (376-AB, 5-HR, 26-RBI, .372-slug). Nimmo needs a banner 2016 to make everyone start believing it was worth picking him in the first round a few years ago.

Third up ‘could’ be Kevin Kaczmarski, who led the Appalachian League in hitting (.355). The only negative here was his age (23) and I would hope the Mets would recognize the need to send him directly to St. Lucie come April 2016.

Past this are two ‘names’ far too young to project. 18-year old Desmond Lindsay hit .304 for the GCL Mets and 20-year old Wagner Lagrange hit .347 for the DSL Mets. Both will probably play 2016 for one of the rookie teams, though there is an outside chance that Linsday goes to Columbia.

Beyond that, Nimmo will joining five others (Darrell Ceciliani (AAA: .345), Jayce Boyd (LV - .254), Travis Taijeron (LV: .274, 27-HR), Jared King (Bing: .214), Brock Peterson (AA: .241) trying to secure five outfield slots in Las Vegas.

Binghamton has four more outfielders to content with… ‘almost’ prospect Victor Cruzado (A+ - .272), Stefan Sabol (A+ - .265), Maikis de la Cruz (A+ - .247), and the disappointing Champ Stuart (A+ - .176).

Right now, I just have four outfielders slotted for St. Lucie… Kaczmarski, Becerra, Patrick Biondi (Sav - .277), and John Mora (Sav - .278).

As for Columbia, five outfielders (Emmanuel Zabata (Brklyn - .232), Vincente Lupo (Sav - .213), Michael Bernal (Brklyn - .257), Hengelbert Rojas (Brklyn - .220), and Tucker Tharp (Bklyn - .222) could be fighting for the four slots left open to join Lindsay there.

Regarding the rookie teams, remember Lagrange and Grabriel Jiminez (DSL-2 - .290).

Summary – Organizationally, the Mets outfield looks good, but it sure would have looked great if Cespedes had come back to play in the long term. Right now, this position barely grades out at a ‘B’, but it would jump to A or possibly A+ if the right names were signed in the off season.

Hats off to the drafting of Conforto, but we need more here.


Thomas Brennan said...

Murphy gone, Cespedes likely close behind. Same old Mets?

That was really a game changer in Paris last night. The barbarian scum are at the gate.

Ernest Dove said...

Due to the injuries and his young age I say its best if Nimmo simply stay in Vegas until September call ups in 2016.

Mack Ade said...

Hard day to write about baseball.

Thomas Brennan said...

It will be nice if by 2017, we have Wuilmer and Wilmer batting 4th. Taijeron walks a lot and strikes out an awful lot. Wonder if he swung more if he'd hit more long balls and strike out less. Could get him to the bigs.

I will be intrigued to see if Ceciliani can stay healthy and be an asset in OF next year.

Thomas Brennan said...

It will be nice if by 2017, we have Wuilmer and Wilmer batting 4th. Taijeron walks a lot and strikes out an awful lot. Wonder if he swung more if he'd hit more long balls and strike out less. Could get him to the bigs.

I will be intrigued to see if Ceciliani can stay healthy and be an asset in OF next year.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

I think Taijeron and DC are a straw clutch at best.

Let me ask you this.

Let's say Lagares returns to a .280 hitter punching out 15-HRs... add that to the potential 25 HRs each for Conforto and Granderson.

Is 65 HRs enough from an entire outfield?

Robb said...

Honestly, this is really a 2017 question. in 2016, barring something unforseen, the mets are going into the season, with conforto in left (spelled by Cudy), legares in cf (hopefully a platoon guy on a 1 year deal to share) and granderson in right.

By the end of the year the hope is Nimmo is the platoon in center with legares (after super 2). Buccera has taken a big step forward )being a year on half season away in rf and lindsey is the better than they expected.

DC looks like a fourth outfielder.

Id sign up for 65 hrs from the outfield group next year 70 if im lucky.

yes, an awfully hard day to write about baseball, but a needed distraction.

Thomas Brennan said...

I think Ceciliani has some potential, including with power. I have no problem with them signing Cespedes and having Lagares as a 4th OF. My brother said Yanks angling for Cespedes. Typical. If not Cespedes, spend $$ and get a bona fide 3/4 OF.

Zozo said...

They need to spend some top dollar to not waste any of our great young starting pitching. We need a stud in the middle of our lineup or we won't be tasting the playoffs next year. We need that person from the beginning of the year not half way through. Bring in Heyward and Cespedes while trading Granderson for some young prospects. Our defense and middle of the order will be strong enough to see this through for the next 5 years.
So spend some of the SNY MONEY!!!!

Thomas Brennan said...

Right on, Zozo.

Hobie said...

I'm with selling high CG IF we can land YC. OF: Conforto-Legares/Nimmo-Cespedes... & Cuddyer (maybe yr2:yr1 = Grandy yr2:yr1)

Even selling (not as) high Duda and re-sign Murph IF: Murph/Wright at 1B/3B or even 3B/1B whichever is easier on David, Wilmer & Dilson (reserves Zobrist ... & ...TJR :-) )

Sign a RP if not retrieved for CG or Duda ... Colon? the Korean? the Cuban?

And trying to ignore the reality of this sad day I ponder: What if Niese is 10-3 with 1 2.90 ERA when Wheeler is ready to go? Cheers me up (a little(.

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