Christmas wishes for the 2013 Mets

The Mayan Apocalypse has come and gone and the world is still here, which means it’s time to start Christmas shopping. No doubt lots of you want to leave coal in the stockings of everyone related to the Mets but let’s at least give the players something that they really need. With that in mind, here’s what I think these guys need for the upcoming year:

Mike Baxter – A RH platoon partner. Baxter posted an .836 OPS versus RHP last year. Team that with Scott Hairston and you’ve got one OF spot sewed up nicely.

John Buck – A HR binge to start the year. Remember 2010? Newly-acquired Rod Barajas opened the year with 9 HR in his first 23 games and then proceeded to do nothing for three months. Yet there are still fans who remember his stint fondly. Buck’s a short-term solution so might as well pack his value into a brief time frame, much like Barajas did.

Ike Davis – The enthusiasm to play defense again. When Davis showed up in 2010, he posted an 11.9 UZR/150 and made countless highlight-reel plays. In 2011, his UZR/150 dropped to 7.1 and last year it was (-2.1). That’s correct, Davis was a below-average defensive player last year. Highlight-reel plays were replaced by lackadaisical effort on too many balls. It was fun to watch him hit in the second half of 2012 but that joy did not translate to watching him in the field. Hopefully he can be a complete player again in 2013.

Lucas Duda – A quick recovery from his fractured wrist. That type of injury is known for sapping power and his 2012 season already showed a disappointing lack of HR.

Josh Edgin – Better success against the Braves and Phillies. Against all other teams in baseball, Edgin had a 1.04 ERA last year but against those two NL East rivals, Edgin allowed 11 ER in 8.1 IP for an 11.88 ERA.

Frank Francisco – An improved BB/9 rate. Last year Francisco raised his strikeout rate and cut down his HR/9. But he was done in by a 4.46 BB/9, his highest mark since 2007.

Dillon Gee – A full season of last year’s 3.34 K/BB ratio.

Matt Harvey – The stones to tell Dan Warthen to take a hike if the Mets’ pitching coach tries to get him to abandon his fastball and throw more changeups.

Jeremy Hefner – A consistent role on the team.

Daniel Murphy – The return of his ISO. In his first 707 PA, Murphy had a .162 ISO. But in 2012 that dropped to a .128 mark and last year it was .112 for the season. Murphy needs to stop being content to hit the ball the other way and look to turn on more pitches.

Jonathon Niese – A repeat of last year’s .272 BABIP

Kirk Nieuwenhuis – Production in his ABs where he does not strike out. There’s little doubt that Nieuwenhuis is going to fan in at least 25% of his PA. But in his final 28 games, he posted just a .222 BABIP and a .382 OPS.

Bobby Parnell – Respect from the fans. The other RA had a terrific season last year yet fans seem not only willing but eager to send him out of town for anyone with a pulse who bats from the right side. Parnell had great overall numbers last year but everyone still clings to the belief that he can’t pitch in the 9th inning. Parnell had a .524 OPS in the ninth last year. People claim that he falters in high leverage situations but his .703 OPS in high leverage situations was better than the NL average of a .736 OPS.

Johan Santana – Thirty starts like his first 11.

Ruben Tejada – The return of his walk rate. Last year Tejada had a 5.4 BB% after posting a 9.3 BB% in 2011. Tejada had many memorable extended-pitch ABs last year, so he seems comfortable going deep into counts. It’s surprising to me that his walk rate was so poor last year.

Justin Turner – An outfielder’s mitt. The Mets tried Turner at first base last year and that didn’t work out too well. Why not try him in the OF? Turner doesn’t figure to get a lot of playing time in the infield in 2013. Dave Schneck and Victor Diaz had similar body types as Turner and the Mets used them in the OF once upon a time…

Jordany Valdespin – More drag bunts. OK, I admit that the drag bunt is to me like cowbell is to The Bruce Dickinson. But I just think it’s thrilling to watch a batter get a running start and beat out a hit this way. And since Valdespin and his .286 OBP offer little else – why not try it once a game?

David Wright – a K rate under 15%. I try to give guys different gifts each year but this is clearly what Wright needs more than anything. Here are his splits in 2012:

1st Half – .351/.441/.563 with a 13.2 K%
2nd Half – .258/.334/.416 with a 20.7 K%


Sandy Alderson – The freedom to speak the truth about the team’s payroll

Terry Collins – A chat with former Mets manager Joe Torre and Bobby Valentine where they each discuss how they ran their bullpens when they were employed in Queens. Torre’s bullpens in his full seasons managing the Mets always posted a better ERA than his starters and in Valentine’s last year, the bullpen’s ERA was a full run lower than the starters. In two years under Collins, the Mets’ bullpen has a 4.49 ERA in 932.2 IP and both years they’ve posted a higher ERA than the starters.

Fred Wilpon – Coal, for allowing anyone in the organization to trash Dickey on his way out the door.


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of the readers here at Mets360. We experienced tremendous growth the last year and I’m very happy that you come to our site on a daily basis. And I’d like to give an extra special thanks to loyal readers like Metsense, Name, Chris F, NormE, AJ, Steevy, Pete, JoeG, JerryGrote, 7train and kjs who comment on so many of our stories. Your contributions add to the site and make us all better writers. And finally, thanks to Charlie, Chris, Dan, David, Doug, Mike and Steve for all of your articles.


This is the fourth Christmas wishes column I’ve written. If you’re curious about past gifts you can check them out at the following links:

2012 Christmas wishes
2011 Christmas wishes
2010 Christmas wishes

9 comments for “Christmas wishes for the 2013 Mets

  1. Chris F
    December 23, 2012 at 9:17 am

    It seems you left a key Mets “player” out of your list:
    To Mets360, another year of stimulating, interesting, and thought provoking reporting from a group of dedicated individuals that makes this the daily go to site to learn and talk about the team we all love dearly! Well done in 2012 and continued success in 2013 Brian and Co.!

  2. JerryGrote
    December 23, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Brian & Co:

    thanks for being here … no doubt the most rational, informed (surprise. The two go together!), even-handed stuff on everything Mets. I might not be looking forward to 2013 baseball in Flushing, but I am looking forward to your take on it.

    Hope you guys have a great Christmas!


  3. December 23, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Merry Christmas to you and your family Brian. Your Christmas offering was quite entertaining. i only have one gripe for you today. Ike’s play wasn’t lackadaisical. As I have mentioned before it was the Valley Fever side affects. You just don’t have any strength and your reflexes are shot. Which is why I am more than amazed at Ike’s production last year. I lived a number of years in Phoenix(hence the handle) and have seen first hand how debilitating the illness can be. For an athlete to come down with this sickness takes anywhere from 6 months to a year to fully recover from the side affects. Let’s give him a pass for now and see what the new year brings us. Hopefully he let’s someone else mow his lawn.

  4. NormE
    December 23, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Mets 360 is a joy for this septuagenarian. You entertain and educate me, even when I sometimes disagree. Keep up the good work.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family and to all of those who participate and enhance Mets360.

  5. Name
    December 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Can’t Cowgill be part of the platoon with Baxter?

    While researching how that 9th inning stat about Parnell is misleading(beucase a lot of times he pitched in the 9th with the game NOT on the line) i found this interesting tidbit.
    With Kelly Shoppach behind the plate, he only allowed 1 run in 11 innnings (0.82 ERA).
    So maybe Parnell’s Christmas wish should be for the Mets to bring back Shoppach.

    Terry Collin’s wish should be that expanded roster rules in September should be allowed in all regular season games so he could utilize his extreme platoon strategy.

  6. steevy
    December 23, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    I harped on Tejada’s walk rate all year,it was very concerning even though his offensive season was promising in other area’s.I’d also like him to play 150 games or so.

    • Name
      December 23, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      I think a reason Tejada’s walk rate went down is because he has very little power so pitchers are not scared to pitch to contact with him. Most likely, if he hits it, he gets a single.
      Not that they groove pitches to him, but if its 3-2, they’re probably going to throw it in the strike zone.

      • Chris F
        December 23, 2012 at 9:23 pm

        He’s 22. The bat shows enough promise. RT will come along.

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