Jason Bay takes over LF on Mets’ all-time worst starters team

Baseball-Reference lists the starters by position for each team, each year. Jason Bay started the most games in LF for the 2012 Mets, so he is considered the team’s starter this season, despite the fact he made just 54 starts in left this year. Seven different players made starts in LF for the Mets this season, with six of them reaching double-digits in starts.

As you might have heard, Bay was not very good this year. In fact, he was so bad, he becomes the starter on the Mets’ all-time worst starters squad. Because of the different offensive environments throughout the years, I created this list based on OPS+. Here are the starters at the nine positions:

Pos. Name Year AVG/OBP/SLG OPS+
C Jerry Grote 1967 .195/.226/.253 38
1B Willie Montanez 1979 .234/.277/.317 66
2B Doug Flynn 1981 .222/.247/.292 54
3B Wayne Garrett 1969 .218/.290/.268 56
SS Bud Harrelson 1977 .178/.255/.227 34
LF Jason Bay 2012 .165/.237/.299 47
CF Jeff Duncan 2003 .194/.291/.245 44
RF Ellis Valentine 1981 .207/.227/.355 65
P Al Leiter 2003 .019/.055/.019

(-79)

Not too many surprises on this list. Perhaps the only thing that really jumped out at me is that Harrelson beat out Rey Ordonez. I compiled this list going backwards, using a minimum of 75 OPS+. Alex Cora’s 2009 (70 OPS+) was the initial player at short. Ordonez’ 2002 (65) replaced him. Ordonez then replaced himself a few times, as he posted a 64 OPS+ in 1999, a 53 OPS+ in 1998 and a 36 OPS+ in 1997.

How many runs would this lineup produce? I used Baseball-Reference’s Neutralized Batting tool, which is set to an environment of 716 runs or 4.42 runs per game. I then took the neutralized numbers and inputted those into the Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis tool. Their calculator estimated that the best lineup would produce 1.966 runs per game. And what would that lineup be? It spitted out the following:

Garrett
Montanez
Bay
Flynn
Valentine
Leiter
Harrelson
Grote
Duncan

How comical! I’m not sure which one is my favorite – Flynn batting cleanup or Leiter batting sixth. Just goes to show how overrated the #4 slot in the batting order is.

The worst lineup would average 1.471 runs per game and be in this order:

Bay-Leiter-Duncan-Grote-Harrelson-Montanez-Flynn-Garrett-Valentine

Suddenly our projected 2013 lineup doesn’t look too bad…

10 comments for “Jason Bay takes over LF on Mets’ all-time worst starters team

  1. Name
    October 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I don’t agree with Jason Bay being called the “starting” LF for the 2012 Mets based on plurality, but i guess that’s not the point of the article. In fact, i forgot he was on the team in September, which i guess is a good thing.

    This year the Mets paid half a million dollars for each hit. Stinking pathetic eh?

  2. Metsense
    October 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Certainly, there are times when it is appropriate to eat a contract,” Alderson told ESPN New York “There are other times when it is not. Jason Bay is not going anywhere, nor is his contract.”
    8-7-12
    In August 2012 the Mets finally began to platoon Bay. This apppears to be the starting plan for 2013 also.
    There are many reasons the Mets should release Bay. His roster spot may expose someone to the Rule 5 draft. $480,000 could potentially be saved if another team picks him up. That money could be applied to the very tight budget this winter.
    If Bay stays on the roster then the most I can see him as is a right handed power pinch hitting bat, and I don’t really see him as that. An expensive expenditure when the Mets could use that $480,000 elsewhere. (and as Name stated they could get more hits for their buck)

    • October 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      And the #1 reason to cut him is that he’s not an MLB quality player anymore. It’s bad enough the Mets have to pay him that much money. They shouldn’t compound the problem by keeping him on the roster and playing him.

      • Name
        October 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm

        I don’t want to give Bay another chance, but he’s going to be given more chances by the current regime.
        That being said, if he comes to camp, he should be competing for the last OF job. If he hits, then i will not complain if they bring him on the roster as the 25th man.
        #FireTC

  3. Doug Parker
    October 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    OK, it’s only been 9 years, but I have to admit that I don’t remember Jeff Duncan at all. Was that really a thing?

    Very sad for the 2003 team that their “starter” in CF played in 56 games and had just 166 PAs…

    • October 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      Duncan was on an accelerated Kirk Nieuwenhuis-like plan. He did very well when he first hit the scene but it didn’t take long for pitchers to figure him out. Over his final 116 PA in his rookie year, he posted a .125/.180/.144 line with 31 Ks.

      And it got worse the following year.

  4. October 21, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Very enjoyable post. I’m stunned that Buddy beat out Al Moran, who was actually one of my favorites in ’64.

    The ’62 Mets fan in me is rooting for Jason Bay. That’s the Mets part of me that cheers for the disenfranchised, dispossessed little guy, the bumblers and losers who try their best but just don’t have the level of skill they they used to have. I’ll always have that in me, and I’m glad for it. Guess you can say I’m a graduate of the Mets, Class of ’62!

  5. NormE
    November 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I like Grubby Glove’s comment. It surprised me that Brian’s list didn’t include any Mets from ’62-’66—The “Golden Years.”
    There should be room on this list for the likes of Choo Choo Coleman, Chris Cannizzaro, Marv Throneberry, Felix Mantilla, Al Moran and numerous others that my aging memory can’t put a name to.

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