Year of Decision
Posted by Richard Herr at 8:00 AM
Year to Go For It
Year of Decision
Year of Decision
This is the fourth in this series. I am not only doing an assessment of each player’s coming year, but also charting what should happen with them when 2018 rolls around and we start thinking about that year’s roster.
This posting covers:
OUTFIELD and CATCHING
Yoenis Cespedes - Got to start here. We’ve got him. For the next four years. He’s the straw that stirs the drink. Has somebody already said that? .280, 27, 96.
Outlook for 2018 – Year 2 of his contract.
Curtis Granderson - We’re going to test him in center field. He turns 36 in a couple weeks. We keep waiting for his usually slow Aprils to turn into the last dance. I hope the leadoff position will be handled by someone else, so Grandy can hit homeruns with men on base. .240, 24, 65.
Outlook for 2018 - Free Agent. He’s one of the people who’s going to bring the payroll down to where the owners are happier. (Something I don’t care about.) We are going to bid him a fond adieu and perhaps ask him to look us up if he wants to go into coaching. (Although I doubt that one. He’s a natural for going into the media.)
Jay Bruce - Ahem.-- You’ve often heard of the elephant in the room? The thing that’s on everyone’s minds but no one talks about. Jay is the elephant in right field. In his case, Sandy is turning around Branch Rickey’s old thing about trading a player a year too soon rather than a year too late. Sandy isn’t trading him too soon, but waiting until later, when someone’s got an injury in the middle of the lineup, when Jay’s value will be increased. In the meantime, he’s a major leaguer with a good track record. .240.26, 80.
The outlook for 2018 - Free agent, if he didn’t already make another team happy before the end of 2017. More money off the payroll. But as we count up the times we say that, the more we are going into transition.
Michael Conforto - The outfielder I mention fourth who could very possibly start the year in Vegas. We are all waiting/hoping for him to break out as the star we think he is. There’s a possibility they’ll try him in center field. The main problem here is the elephant in right field. It also affects the numbers at the end of this paragraph. So, here we go. .270, 24, 70.
Outlook for 2018 - Last year of team control. Should be starting in right field.
Juan Lagares - He should be starting in center field--but probably not in New York. The team gave him his contract, but then use him as a late-inning replacement. His gold glove makes him an asset. He could probably do better on this club if he could handle the strike zone better, thus raising is OBP. However, he’s actually the best bad-ball hitter on the team. .260, 5, 20.
Outlook for 2018 - $6.5 M. Second-last year of contract. He might see more playing time in this year. He could also be sent to another team where they would love him playing full-time in center field and put up with his modest hitting numbers. He’ll always make the highlight reel.
Brandon Nimmo - Sandy’s first 1st-round pick. Finished second by a point in the PCL batting race last year. He seems to be underappreciated by the New York press and fans which they seem to do on a number of occasions. (If I just use the initials DM, will I not seem repetitive?) I hear that injuries have reduced his foot speed to make him a question mark in center field. Let’s remember who we’re talking about covering centerfield in Citi this year. It begins to look like he might be sent back to Vegas where he has to show that he can finish second in BA again.
Outlook for 2018 - Without any free agent considerations, it’s possible he could platoon in centerfield with Lagares. I think that might be all right. The fact he didn’t play any high school ball might make him a late developer.
Travis d”Arnaud - I think that last year he resembled a young quarterback on the Jets when Rex Ryan coached the team. There was nobody there paying any attention to him. In the first week of spring training he’s looked much better. His hitting definitely looks sharp. I hope Glenn Sherlock helps him with his techniques. I also hope he tries to imitate Rene Rivera’s enthusiasm about working with the pitchers in a game. It will probably improve his ERA. Then it is incumbent on him to have a relatively injury-free year. (Relatively, because he is a catcher.) .260, 15, 66.
The outlook for 2018 - ARB 2. He’s got to survive 2017. If he doesn’t, the Mets are going to be shopping for another catcher.
Rene Rivera - To quote: “Good field, no heet.” The ERA thing is going to put him in a lot of ballgames. .220, 5, 30.
The outlook for 2018 - Free agent. Have to see what happens with the rest of the catching corps to see if he’s re-signed.
Kevin Plawecki - A phone call away in Vegas. He spun his wheels last year. Needs to show improvement. If he polishes his defensive skills, that would help.
Outlook for 2018 - Last year of team control. Maybe move up to the parent club as #2 catcher.
Thomas Nido - Winning the batting title in the Florida State League catches your eye. Winning the batting title in the Florida State League is not a guaranteed ticket to the major leagues.
Outlook for 2018 - Let’s see how he does at Binghamton (Did they really change their nickname to Rumble Ponies?)
This concludes the player assessment part of this report. The next section will take a look at management. In working through this report, it became more and more apparent that there’s going to be some big changes in the team for 2018. I think/hope the farm system is about to bloom.
Whenever Richard Herr isn’t solving all the Mets’ problems, he spends his time writing humorous science fiction novels.
You can see his books at https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Herr/e/B00J5XBKX4.