I’d like to enter our conversation from a different angle this time. Instead of looking at specific players, let’s pull back and first examine the team’s 2012 batting statistics. Maybe by getting a handle on the general issues, we can begin to see how that applies to specific players moving forward.
Anyway, some Mets numbers, relative to all 16 NL clubs:
- Runs: 12th
- Hits: 10th
- Doubles: 8th
- Triples: 16th (last)
- HRs: 11th
- AVE: 10th
- OBP: 11th
- SLG: 11th
- K’s: 7th
- BB: 5th (but you already knew we could take pitches!)
- SB: 15th
- PH-H: 1st!
What does it mean? Well, first, I started with Runs because that’s the whole enchilada, everything else is secondary. We lack team speed, a quality that translates to defense, too, so it hurts on both sides of the ball. We pinch-hit a lot, which makes sense, since the team has so many platoon-type guys who can’t hit LHP. And we’re often losing, I guess.
Our rankings by position (NL only):
- OPS: 16th
- HR: 16th with 5 (League Average, 18)
- OPS: 8th
- HR: 2nd with 35 (League Ave., 22)
- OPS: 3rd
- HR: 14th
- Runs: 16th
- OPS: 10th
- HR: 15th (tie)
- Runs: 8th
- OPS: 1st
- HR: 7th with 22 (League Ave., 19)
- Runs: 3rd
- OPS: 14th LF, 12th CF, 14th RF.
- HR: 8th LF, 10th CF, 10th RF.
Comment: Catcher killed us all year long, obviously. Murphy had 3rd-best SLG in NL, and 6th best OBP, yet LAST in Runs. Is he a base-clogger, a station-to-station plodder, or is this a result of the lineup falling off a cliff at the bottom three-four spots? A combination, I guess. I hate to imagine those outfield numbers, especially in LF, minus Hairston (which seems to be the plan, idiotically).
Although neither of us claim to be expert in statisitical analysis, thanks for starting this topic. It is a good angle for us to discuss. My quick recap of what you have just listed is that:
* We had NO speed.
* We had marginal power.
* Our outfielders and catchers were horrendous, and our infield offense was well above average.
Now when it comes to our catchers and outfielders the numbers just reaffirm the fact that they are an embarrassment. Somehow our brain trust has to inject some major league outfielders into this system. Since they also couldn’t field it’s just crazy how bad an outfield Alderson put out there. Bay was historically bad so we have already improved this position by getting rid of him.
I’ll never understand why we couldn’t find a catcher last off-season who could hit .215 but provide a home run once in a while. These guys are not expensive. Josh Thole is not just bad he is boring, the human equivilient of watching paint dry. It’s been three years, replacing Rod Barrajas should not be “The Manhattan Project”.
Murphy was interesting to me. Those are good numbers. I’ve been really down on Murphy, but this shows the effect that the lack of power and speed around him could have on my perception. Oh, and we had ONE GUY who was number one in OPS at his position. David Wright. So I know I sound like a broken record but I cannot see ANY trade involving Wright which will help this offense. We have to sign this guy.
I don’t want to get sidetracked into a debate about David Wright, except to note the obvious: of course you can downgrade one position and still improve overall so long as you upgrade other areas of need.
Fans often express impatience when it comes to a debate about marginal players, you know the thought, “Who cares about our backup catcher — we’re still going to suck anyway.” And I absolutely hate that mentality. To me, team-building is about a hundred small decisions. A win here, a win there. Little things add up to big things. Last year, when the Wilpons were criminally cutting $50 million off payroll in one fell swoop — no transition period at all — they went with Mike Nickeas at backup catcher. Nickeas, a guy who across eight minor league seasons and over 2,000 PAs had conclusively proven that he could not hit. Yet he worked for the Major League Minimum of $480,880 plus meal money, so he got the roster spot. And guess what? He could not hit. I understand that every penny counts, but this was pound foolish. I believe that solving this position, even more than outfield, is the key to the off-season. It’s time to talk turkey with the Blue Jays; I’d give up a lot for Travis d’Arnaud — whom the Jays acquired in the Roy Halladay deal — assuming that his defense is solid.