8/9/17

Tom Brennan - 2020 DEFENSE-FIRST INFIELD?

15 comments
Tom Brennan - 2020 DEFENSE-FIRST INFIELD?

The Mets' infiield through July was characterized by most observers as exhibiting lots of power, little speed, and weak, limited range defense. 
Many would say that other than the HRs, it has been subpar.

The Mets could do a complete 180 for the 2020 season, fielding a terrific defense, speedy, low power infield. What would that look like?

DOMINIC SMITH - by 2020, Smith will be a 2+ season MLB veteran, and a Gold Glover at first base, producing 35 doubles and 15-20 homers, the latter a below-average quantity for a major league 1B. NO speed though.

LUIS GUILLORME - a glove whiz at SS and 2B, I would project an ultra low power .250 hitter with a .335 OBP.   His 16 doubles, 0 triples, and 1 homer this season mirror his non-power of years prior - what you see is what you get there.  Also, average speed, with intelligence in usage of same.

AMED ROSARIO - a full-blown star at SS in 2020, with a superior glove, 30 steals, 10 triples, and 15 homers, to go with a .300 average. All star caliber.

ANDRES GIMINEZ - modest power at best for the 21 year old in 2020, .280 hitter, great glove, close to Rosario speed. His power and average would grow by his soph year in 2021 at age 22 and increase from there. Could be a special player.

Collectively, this would no doubt an infield to defensively match or exceed any Mets infield in team history.  Many runs (50-100 per season?) would be prevented.  This foursome would produce good on base %, mostly good speed, sub par power compared to other MLB squads.
And yes, Wilpon fans, it would be CHEAP!!!!!!!!!!!!

Would you take that IF configuration, or would you prefer less infield D and more power hitting from some alternate starting infield combo?  

Perhaps have Guillorme be a bench player and late inning defensive replacement and have a Wilmer Flores at 2B, or a platoon (lefty hitting Luis is hitting .298/.388 OB% in 2017). 
Or have Gavin Cecchini instead of Guillorme as your utility guy - after all, Gavin's made just 11 errors at SS and 2B this year, continuing a defensive turnaround started mid season last year, and while he has not hit really well this year, his modest power still far exceeds that of Luis. 
And Gavin's #'s in Vegas over 2 years average out to .292/.355/.403 in 219 games (with pretty equal lefty/righty splits), overall #'s that we have no idea yet if Luis can match.



Perhaps go on the offense:

Trade Mr. Smith and add the potentially prodigious power bat but lesser glove of a Pete Alonso (pictured above, maybe - you decide) - think Lucas Duda D but upgraded offense. 

Perhaps spend big bucks on a Manny Machado and have a 2020 infield of Alonso, Giminez, Rosario and Machado.  Strong D and hitting thunder.

Or maybe you still have David Wright penciled in at 3B?

You're the GM, readers, not me.  What say you?

15 comments:

Thomas Brennan said...

Vegas is 35-68 in their last 103 games. Wow.

Eddie Corona said...

yep you pretty much laid out all the options...
for me get machado, with Rosario, Gimenez and smith / alonzo
but the key is Gimenez ... some think he could be better defensively than Rosario... if so then Rosario at 3b and Gimenez at SS would sure look sweet... then i could live with a Alonzo 1b and cecchini/Guillorme 2b combo...

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

A few things...

1B - FWIW, compared to Dominic Smith, Peter Alonso is a HORRIBLE defensive first baseman

2B - you know my past where I have always emphasized middle field defense over offense... Guillorme is the best choice but probably a half a year away

SS - Rosario

3B - we have no ++ defensive third baseman on the horizon

Reese Kaplan said...

I have a feeling that Guillorme is a slicker fielding Ruben Tejada. That's not saying much. I can see him in a utility role, but unless he gets the average up into the .320 range or develops some power, I don't think he's going to be a starting caliber player. Do you remember Wilfredo Tovar, the last slick fielding singles hitter? He had a couple of .280+ seasons in AA before dropping off at AAA and worse at the major league level. He's now 25 and playing for the Cardinals in AAA, hitting .236. (And compared to Guillorme, he's Babe Ruth with 24 HRs over a 10 year minor league career.)

Longtimefan1 said...

I think Guillorme has chance to be starting second baseman having off the charts defensive acumen with heart of a lion few display.

That mental make up and determination should also drive his offense which is developing into on base, line drive, game smarts. He says his goal is to be doubles machine and improve his power even though he doesn't believe he'll be double digit over the fence type.

That doesn't mean he won't. He's very young, just 22. Weighs nearly 200 lbs. As he refines his swing, those doubles could turn into 8-10 or more homers.

What sets him apart from Tejada and Tovar is his will and highlight reel skill. I would not underestimate his upside, or limit his capacity to regularly contribute whether he starts like a Wally Backman, or becomes significant super utility player who could also play outfield corners with fantastic arm. He is a very exciting player capable of doing things with ease no one's ever seen.




Longtimefan1 said...

Regarding Gimenez, if he's being blocked in the infield, he could always be converted to CF. That is something for the Mets to consider by the time he's in AA, especially in a farm system weak in outfield prospects. Could become a Lorenzo Cain type.

Thomas Brennan said...

Some great thoughts from everyone here - for Guillorme to become a doubles machine, he needs to hit doubles...16 in 2015....16 in 2016...16 (so far) in 2017. His extremely low power output could hold him back from ever being a big league starter, so I hope he can ramp up the power, to be at least a 30 double, 5 homer guy.

Always a possibility that one of the infielders switches to the outfield - not Alonzo, though, unless baseball allows 4 outfielders. He did, by the way, mash another homer last night. BAT BEAST.

Thomas Brennan said...

One more option to not overlook:

Consider trading Smith and putting Flores at 1B.

He hit better than Smith when he was in PCL - Smith could struggle. Flores is over that. After he was totally jerked around in April and went 6 for 35, he since has hit .300 in 223 at bats with 11 homers. He could hit .300 at first with 30 homers over a full season. Why not Wilmer? Defensively, he'd not be Smith, but my guess is offensively, Smith might not be Wilmer, either.

Thomas Brennan said...

We fans always hope. We hoped Amed would be a ball on fire when he came up – so far, he is not. We hope Smith will be a star when called up – he might not be for a while. We don’t perhaps remember that when Wilmer was in the PCL, at the same age as Smith, he hit better than Smith (more RBIs, more power). And it has been a struggle for Flores at times, but now he is past struggling, hitting .300 in 223 at bats with 11 homers since April. Why not put an already-broken-in Wilmer at first, where he might hit .300 with 30 homers over a full season, rather than perhaps deal with 1 or 2 years of a struggling Smith. We want to win it all in 2018, right? Why not trade a few number one draft pitchers (Dunn, Kay) with Smith to a team that has an elite, cost controlled starter or bullpen ace? And put Wilmer at first.

Reese Kaplan said...

6-35 -- a week's worth of ABs for the entire month. He hits when he plays regularly and gets into a groove. This month he sits for Curtis Granderson so Bruce can play 1B. Go figure!

Pablo Grullon said...

I agree Wilmer needs to be allowed to start everyday whether thats at 1B, 2B or 3B. His bat plays.

Luis (Sr) said...

I just will say, Luis likes to prove people wrong!
Thank you Longtimefan1 for your opinion, it's look like you have seen him play.
Good luck to all of them. They're great players.

Thomas Brennan said...

Luis Sr, I certainly hope he excels. Best wishes.

Longtimefan1 said...

@Thomas Brennan

I understand your POV Wilmer's big league bat having already gone through growing pains.

But in comparison, Dom Smith has better B.A. and OBP at Vegas, similar power comparing Wilmer's first Vegas stint, and plays gold glove caliber defense, great feet and hands around the bag.

Wilmer is defensive liability like we saw Wednesday when he failed to scoop a Reyes throw on tough play that should have been completed for out.

That was one of multiple Wilmer defensive miscues on Wednesday. We've seen way too many of those wherever he plays. Year after year, same issues. Can't keep giving the opposition extra outs over and over.

I think Dominic Smith has more all around upside if he doesn't eat his way into oblivion. He also more naturally using the whole field. Wilmer's mainly center and pull although has hit more opposite field this season for doubles when for several years had none.

For his major league career, just one opposite field homer, and none in years.

Thomas Brennan said...

Longtimefan1, great perspective on one dimensional Wilmer. In theory, a guy who played short and second for so many years as Wilmer has should find 1B easy, in reality perhaps not so easy.

As for Smith, NYC is the eating capital of the world, so let's hope he sticks to his enhanced diet and stays relatively svelte. 230 or less is where he needs to try to stay. For now, the Wilpons will keep their fingers crossed for the hefty future 1B without the hefty salary of his predecessor Duda.

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